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Dugan Avenue Haunted Trail Could Return in 2013, Rebuilt After July Fire

Koe Street home south of Lemon Grove is reprising the annual La Mesa Halloween tradition.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. Oct. 31, 2012

The Haunted Trail—a 21-year Halloween tradition on Dugan Avenue in north La Mesa—has come to an end, felled by a mid-July fire. But it might begin a new streak in 2013.

Kris Golojuch, the Pirates of the Caribbean-loving homeowner who earlier faced a trustee sale, said Wednesday that he had received word that “coverage is being extended on my insurance claim and I hope to rebuild soon.”

This year, Golojuch is soldiering on—6 miles south.

“Our zombies have moved,” says a block-lettered message on his boarded up garage at 5440 Dugan Ave in north La Mesa.

A new location is given: 1263 Koe St. in San Diego’s Jamacha neighborhood south of Lemon Grove.

The Koe Street home is that of a longtime friend and her mother, “so Candace [Clifford] and her family fortunately gave the trail a new home for 2012.”

Golojuch (pronounced Go-LOW-you) said the city of La Mesa notified him in early October that he couldn’t host the event at the Dugan Avenue because of lack of plumbing and power.

“Neighbors have offered to share power,” he said, “and plumbing is clearly not needed for a Halloween yard display, but instead of rolling up my sleeves and fighting with them, I found it easier just to move the event to [a] safe location.”

In previous years, lines at the Golojuch home could be 2½ hours long. Visitors came from all over the country to explore the snaking trail through his yards, with friends of Golojuch acting as ghouls and chainsaw killers.

Damage to “Golojuch Manor,” as it was known, was estimated at $100,000 after a July 20 fire caused by excessive lint from a dryer in the garage, according to fire officials.

This year’s haunted trail began Oct. 26 and continued the next two nights, with a final night on Halloween. Admission costs $5 for what is being called “Trail of the Dead,” according to orange fliers attached to a fence surrounding the home.

Portions of the proceeds will be donated to Murray Manor Elementary, the flier said. Golojuch’s daughter Kristiana Marie was a student there.

He said he was still trying to figure out a way to raise the funds to rebuild the Dugan Avenue trail.

 “If we can get 1,000 people through tonight (Halloween),” he said, “that would be a great start!”

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