It’s a sobering number.
168 people died of suicide in South Dakota last year according to the state Department of Health.
A husband and wife from Iroquois never thought one of their sons would be included in that number.
It’s been just over a year since Brian and Melissa Machtemes’ hearts broke.
“We didn’t know our son was in this position,” Isaac’s Mother Melissa Machtemes said.
13-year-old Isaac, known for his smile and big heart, died of suicide.
“Even as much as we’re hurting today over it, you’ve got to talk about it because it’s what’s important. That’s what he would’ve wanted,” Isaac’s Father Brian Machtemes said.
That’s why it meant a lot to the couple when they found out a haunted house in Huron would honor their son.
“In the process of setting up there were some comments made, ‘You know, would’ve been a lot more fun if Isaac would’ve been here.’ So we thought, ‘Hey, let’s do this in honor of Isaac,'” Haunted House owner Jessica Wagner said.
Isaac’s parents say their son would have loved the Halloween attraction.
“He would’ve been the first one to be the goon and the jokester in one of these rooms,” Melissa Machtemes said.
Isaac’s fellow Boy Scouts helped build the haunted house.
“We don’t ever want to see what happened to Isaac happen to anyone else and I think we’re all in agreement who are doing this that is our ultimate goal,” Scout Troop 222 Chair Jim Tharp.
That’s why the Machtemeses are sharing their story today, so anyone else who is struggling will come forward before it’s too late.
“If there’s a kid out there that’s hurting I’ll be the first one to wrap my arms around them. If they need someone to talk to we’re open,” Melissa Machtemes said.
“And if you’re a parent and you don’t think it can happen to you, that’s what I thought too. Do a reality check with your kids. Ask them the question: are you okay?” Brian Machtemes said.
That could prevent more families from suffering this heartbreak.
The haunted house is open Thursday and Friday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Admission is $10 or $8 with a canned foot item donation.
The haunted house is located in the former Countryside Dental Location at 53 3rd St. SW in Huron.
The proceeds will go to the Boy Scouts, with a portion being set aside for a memorial for the Machtemes family.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts call you can call 1-800-273-8255.