A local tradition will once again return this year — and for an extended engagement. Arbala Haunted Woods will be open three weekends, giving thrill seekers ample opportunity to test their nerve as they walk the three-fourth mile trail in southern Hopkins County.
The fun starts at Arbala Community Center, where people can purchase snacks such as barbecue sandwiches and hot dogs while they wait for the tractor to return to pick up the latest group.
After the hay wagon is loaded up, it’s off through the woods to the trail. Guides will start tourists on the trail, but only go so far. Then, it’s up to the brave to traverse the rest of the ghoulish path to the end.
The trail includes a number of favorites, but event planners caution regular visitors not to get too comfortable. As is the case annually, there will be a few surprises along the way.
There’s plenty to see, but the trail is definitely not for the squeamish. Arbala Haunted Woods have a little of everything from messy to macabre and morbid or just plain monsterous. This trek should be a hit with people who get a charge out of horror movies or reading the likes of Stephen King or Dean Koontz.
King fans will especially appreciate the crazed clowns — think “It.” The insanity continues at the “hospital, where business is booming; they’ve expanded to make room for even more seriously “ill” individuals.
Who knows what lies in store at the “U Stab ‘Em, We Slab ‘Em Mortuary.” They leave the slice and dice bludgeoning to the Chop/Butcher Shop. Of course, the truly blood thirsty won’t want to miss the Blood Cafe ... provided they don’t mind a few rodents. We hear the entrails are quite the delicacy.
Tread lightly through the toxic wasteland; all kinds of disgusting leftovers have been discarded ... who knows what scraps lie dormant in those badlands.
Of course, there’s the Little Ones Graveyard, home of those who died too soon. There’s a children’s playground, hobo camp, jailhouse, a bride who didn’t quite make it to the honeymoon and a ship of ghoulish pirates.
No spooky copse is complete without possessed putrid pumpkins, weathered witches, devilish dervishes, ghosties and plenty of other things that go bump in the night — even a few requisite spiders, snakes, cobwebs, coffins, rats and other creepy crawlies. Keep in mind Arbala Haunted Woods really is in the woods, so wear appropriate attire. And, if a serpent is spotted on the ground moving consider it a natural bonus — remember a hord of warped thrill-seekers have invaded its home so leave it be and alert a guide.
Arbala Haunted Woods will begin at dark and continue until midnight Friday and Saturday nights, Oct. 18-19, Oct. 25-26 and Nov. 1-2.
To take the trail, meet at Arbala Community Center, located at the intersection of FM 1567 and FM 2297 (Arbala Road), right by Arbala Methodist Church.
The cost for the hayride and haunted trail is $10 for adults and $3 for children age 10 or younger. For groups of 12 or more adults, the cost is $8 per person. To take advantage of the Home Game Special, bring football ticket stubs for $2 off adult admission.
Those making it all the way through the haunted trail can brag by purchasing an “I Survived” t-shirt for $15 at the gate.
Proceeds from Arbala Haunted Woods hayride and haunted woods trail will go to Boy Scouts Venture Crew 69 and to Arbala Community Center to help with costs of upkeep on the facility. Some of the original Venture Crew members who helped revived the Arbala Haunted Woods a few years ago, although grown now, enjoy returning each year to pitch in, offer up ideas and manpower to keep the tradition alive.
For more information, go online to www.Haunted-Woods.net or contactPaula Hammond at 903-343-3989 or Kathie Gentry at 903-234-1540.
Check out Arbala Haunted Woods on Facebook to see who else is planning to visit Arbala Woods, get directions and see what walkers have encountered in the past.
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