Dead and gone for over six years, Arbala Haunted Woods is back in frightful form
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

A haunting they will go, from the community center along the trail to the Haunted Woods of Arbala.

The old Halloween tradition of the Haunted Woods is being revived this weekend after a more than six-year hiatus thanks to the efforts of local Venture Crew 2005, Arbala firefighters and fire academy recruits, Arbala community members and others.

The Haunted Woods will be held only this Friday and Saturday, starting with a stew supper, followed by a ride through the Halloween scream scene.

The frightfully good fun begins at 5 p.m. with a dinner of either chicken or pork stew at Arbala Community Center. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 fee for children 10 and under.

As the sun recedes under the horizon, the wagons will be loaded at the community center at regular intervals. Tractors driven by members of the Arbala Volunteer Fire Department will pull the hay wagons down darkened roads deep into the  haunted woods trail.

The cost of the harrowing hay rides is $7 for adults and $3 for children 10 years or less. Those planning to partake of both the stew supper and haunted woods trails can do both for a discounted rate of $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Once at the Shirley Water Supply well #4, the adventure relly begins for the brave souls willing to traverse the half-mile haunt lined with coffins and plenty of creepy critters, along with a few eerie surprises along the path. The trail is not for the faint of heart and especially not for the timid who tremble at the sight of an arachnid or slippery serpent.

A co-ed group of youngsters, volunteers and parents will be in full garb, with such traditional horror frights as a witches station, mummies and caskets, a truly unique pumpkin patch, and a pirate cave.

There are a variety of ghosts, grim and macabre, including a "bride and groom," and the haunted saloon which was perhaps final stopping place for a few hot heads.

Of course, the haunting isn't complete without a "rising" cemetery. Be sure to watch your step, and don't forget to keep an ear and eye out for a few other frights.

The Haunted Woods was once a yearly tradition attended community wide in Arbala. However, the premise was cut back to a haunted house about six or seven years ago, and since had disappeared completely until the 14- to 20-year-old members of Venture Crew 2005 took on the project last month.

Since mid-September, the wooded path located in the Arbala woods off County Road 1995 have been cleared, and the "thrilling" displays erected,  thanks to the efforts not only of the Venture Crew members but also with assistance from Boy Scout Troop 69, four members of the Venture crew from Pittsburg, parents, volunteer firefighters and volunteers from the community.

The haunting will continue from dark until midnight Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, starting at Arbala Community Center. Tickets may be purchased at the event or from any crew members. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Venture Crew and Arbala Volunteer Fire Department.

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