While it may still be August, the team at Ardmore Parks and Recreation is gearing up for Halloween and the return of the Haunted Forest to Regional Park. Assistant Director Alicia Henry said like last year there will be two trails filled with actors, the less frightening Hidden Hollows appropriate for all ages and the truly terrifying Dead Acres.
“We have an exciting theme and this year we’re going to be focusing on classic slasher films,” Henry said about Dead Acres. “There’s also going to be so much more than that, but you can expect to see some very familiar faces in there who are terrifying,”
Henry said the trail will be set up differently than last year, and while there may be some repeated scenes and characters, they will be in different locations. She added Hidden Hollows will be 100% different from 2018 with nothing being repeated.
In addition to the two trails, the event will also be bringing back a free area set up with carnival games. This year, civic organizations are invited to operate the carnival in order to receive donations for their organizations, similar to the way Festival of Lights operates at Christmastime.
“While the carnival is absolutely free and anybody of any age can come, it will still be a nice way for organizations to get out in the community and be seen,” Henry said. “We’ll provide the carnival games and supplies, but then they work the games with their donation buckets.”
In addition to groups to work the carnival, the park is also seeking donation of a few items in order to help make the spooky scenes come to life. This year, they are requesting old dolls, pool noodles, Halloween masks and mirrors.
“We’re asking people to donate these items or gather them up if they have them around the house,” Henry said. “The mirrors are one of the hardest things for us to get for some reason, but they are going to be a huge part of the trail. We’re looking for mirrors of all different shapes and sizes. They don’t have to be anything special.”
Henry said there will be other new elements in this year’s Haunted Forest which will be announced as the event gets closer, but she is thrilled to be bringing the event back.
“I’m really excited about this year,” Henry said. “I was excited last year too, but I think with all the experience we have and everything learned, we’re going to really go for it this year and people are going to be terrified!”
If your organization is interested in working the carnival or you have supplies you can donate, please contact Alicia Henry at ahenry@ardmorecity.org. Anyone interested in volunteering as an actor can also contact Henry at the same email address. All actors must pass a background check which will be paid for by the city.