By Shirin Rajaee

MODESTO (CBS13) — It’s been a Modesto staple for almost two decades, but now a popular haunted house won’t be creating scares this Halloween.

“When we found out we were just heartbroken. It’s definitely one of the legacies in this neighborhood,” said neighbor Cameron Ayers.

From lighting, to a cast of actors, and elaborate decor, the Deathworkz Haunt on St. Charles Place has entertained families, kids and adults alike for years, and for free.

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“People would be waiting 2 to 3 hours in line to get into the haunt,” said Christopher Brown. “My wife put this together so people could get the full scare for free and it became THE event in Modesto,” he said.

St. Charles Place has been the place to go for the holiday.  In fact, people traveled from as far as the Bay Area and Bakersfield to check out the haunted house. At its peak, they would have 2,000 people come through over 3 days of different themed nights.

“It’s definitely something not just for this neighborhood but something this city knows,” said Ayers.  He adds, “people know where I live because of the haunted house!”

The woman with the vision who has upheld this tradition is Lynette Brown

“It’s truly a labor of love, it takes several months out of the year, at least 8 months,” said Lynette.

Months ago, Lynette Brown started preparations for a special private haunt for devoted fans this Halloween. But just a few weeks ago, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the same cancer that killed her father and her mother was also diagnosed.

“When we got the diagnosis and my surgeon told me he wanted to do chemo, I knew I couldn’t do both,” she said.

In 2016, Brown had to shut down her production over some safety concerns, but she never gave up. She moved her haunt to Turlock.

But it’s now a real scare.

“This is the first year in 18 years I’m doing nothing. Even walking through neighborhoods is hard. I miss it. I miss the people. I miss the kids the most,” said Lynette.

The community is standing behind her.

“You see passion in what they do and they never ask anything for it. We hope for recovery and healing for them and the family,” said Ayers.

As for Lynette. She’s inspired by her own mother’s fight and remains hopeful.

“Through all her illnesses, she’s been strong, so I hope to set that example for my kids. I hope to come back stronger and continue having fun with Halloween through friends and family,” she said.

Shirin Rajaee