Sound to Sea

Halloween attraction uses local setting to entice, spook guests

Dana Davenport, Staff Writer

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When the sun went down each Friday and Saturday in October, the clowns, zombies and monsters came out in Wanchese, N.C. Wanchese Woods is a local haunted trail, and this marks the fourth year of it.

Bud Elkins, the man in charge, works hard each year to plan the event. This includes recruiting help, finding sponsors and preparing the trail. To prep the trail, Elkins has to cut down trees and vines and clear the path for the trail.

This trail is extremely realistic as it is located in the dark, marshy, wet woods of Wanchese. While other haunted trails may take place in buildings, this trail is literally out in the woods.

“It’s really different from any other haunted houses because Wanchese Woods is in the woods, so it’s extra dark and makes everything seem real,” freshman Maiya Ribeiro said.

This haunted trail is a winding, narrow path with members of the community dressed up as various creatures, including monsters, clowns and zombies. These creatures jump out, follow and scare any soul brave enough to attempt the path.

“It’s funny as all get out when people jump and scream when they get scared and you know that you’re the one scaring them,” cast member Carson Wagner said.

Many different scenes make up this trail, and they include a meat slaughterhouse, a clown house and an area full of trash bags. The meat slaughterhouse includes hanging dead people and the clown house includes creepy clowns that follow and approach guests. The trash bag section includes trash bags that get smaller and smaller, causing those who enter to become claustrophobic as they get farther into the trail.

“When I was walking through the part with all the trash bags, the area kept getting smaller and smaller and I literally couldn’t breath, it was crazy,” senior Cassie Toler said.

With Wanchese being such a small community, residents who live near the trail can hear all the action and commotion that takes place on the weekend.

“If I stand outside, I can hear all the people screaming and the chainsaws running. It’s very creepy,” freshman Blare Firth said.

In previous years, there has been more than one haunted trail on the Outer Banks. In the past, the Lost Colony has had it’s own haunted trail, Psycho Path. Both haunted trails were extremely popular during past Halloween seasons.

“Both of these haunted trails were so scary and creepy,” junior Josie Fry said. “People chased me with chainsaws in both of them when I went and now I’m just not a fan of haunted trails anymore.”

Wanchese Woods plans to remain open in the future and continue what it does best, haunting the woods of Wanchese.

“Each year we try and add more to make this trail more exciting, interesting and different for people to make them want to keep coming back,” cast member Tom Wagner said.

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Halloween attraction uses local setting to entice, spook guests