Tucked between an antiques store and a food market on the Post Road is a dimly lit place that seems kind of creepy.

Inside, it's filled with cobwebs, rats, spiders and other creatures. But this place has been a Halloween mainstay for a decade at Izzo & Sons Country Garden.

"The kids look forward to it every year," Dorothy Shackett, Izzo & Sons manager, said of the haunted house.

The "house" is really not a house at all, rather a tent-like enclosure of black plastic sheeting that's pretty spooky inside, with about 80 feet of walkway that makes numerous twists and turns.

"We add to it every year," Shackette said. "When we first started it was a straight line."

Features include an "operating room," "crypt," "city morgue," the "headless bride's room" and a "Hall of Shame" featuring heads of classic monsters, such as Frankenstein and a werewolf, framed on a wall.

And because sounds can be as scary as sights, there are screams, a witch's laugh, growls and one person's frantic cry to "Stop!"

The black plastic keeps the haunted house dim even when the sun's at its peak. On rainy days, puddles in portions of the path add to the overall creepy effect.

The "house" -- at other times of year an open air space where shade-loving annual plants are kept -- is designed for young children. There are some robotic characters, such as the headless bride, that move slightly but there are no live actors.

Even so, the decor and sound effects can sometimes make grown men or women hesitate to take a second step and follow their children.

"I think it's memories from their childhood experiences," sales associate Karen Fitzgerald said. "All of a sudden, an adult will say, `I'm not going in.' "

Sometimes, the youngest kids that are the bravest, she said.

Admission to the house is free and children even receive a bag of candy.

The money Izzo & Sons puts into the decoration, electricity and treats is usually offset by pumpkin sales, Fitzgerald said.

Izzo & Sons Country Garden, 1431 Post Road East, is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 203-255-6429.