WATERLOO — For Kevin and Dolly Schults, Halloween isn’t just a holiday, it’s a way of life.

The couple are the masterminds behind Waterloo’s Heart of Darkness haunted house and spend 12 months a year preparing for the scary season. But in February, the husband and wife, along with their two children, took a break from the guts and gore to participate in an equally frightening prospect —trading spouses.

Today, the family will be featured on the season finale of ABC’s “Wife Swap.” In the reality show, which airs at 7 p.m., Dolly switches places with Christine Smith, a Florida mom who believes keeping her kids busy will keep them out of trouble.

“They pair you with the opposite type of person, so you go into a whole new environment,” said Dolly, wh0 runs a day care business out of her home when she’s not helping out with the haunt.

Dolly’s buttoned-up Florida family included husband, Allen, and kids Danielle, 17, and Hunter, 16. As competitive swimmers, both children spend hours in the pool and, once on land, focus on schoolwork and are not allowed to watch TV or surf the Web.

Back in Waterloo, Kevin and kids Cody, 14, and Cassie, 9, welcomed Christine to their clan and the haunted house crew.

“We fit their bill for the show because we’re an ‘off-center’ family, according to them,” said Kevin, who also is a master plumber. “Really, we’re just more fun.”

“We learned to appreciate our lifestyle a lot more,” said Dolly. “But we took the good from (the Smiths) and tried to incorporate it into our family life.”

Mary Stegmeir is a reporter for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Contact her at 319-291-1482 or mary.stegmeir@wcfcourier.com.

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