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Take a walk down trail of dread
Written by Joe Awad   
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 9:38 PM

Go ahead, take a walk. It’s just a trail, or is it?

It’s a trail all right - right into Harrison’s Haunted Woods, a trail into the dark spaces of your mind, a seven-minute journey that will leave a lifetime impression.

For two bucks, you can make the journey into morbidity, Saturday, Oct. 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. behind the community center, 300 George St. And if you get out alive, you can go for seconds Sunday, Oct. 30, same time, same place.

This year, the Haunted Woods, in association with the Harrison Recreation Commission’s Spooktacular, will be a two-night fright delight for kids 10 and over. Adults are permitted, but be forewarned you might pee your pants.

The Haunted Woods is the brainchild of Harrison resident Nate Bourquein, who began expressing his passion for Halloween by creating spooky stuff in his driveway and at his home several year’s ago.

A casual conversation with Harrison Mayor Joel McGuire resulted in the Haunted Woods, now in its third year.

‘Kind of gory’
With the help of his buddies, Bourquein has fashioned a trail that features four buildings staffed by about 20 ghouls and goblins. One is called the dungeon in which you will find a man chained to the ceiling.

“There is a guy in a cage. You come out of the darkness and walk in front of the cage. There no way around it,” he said.

And there is no way to destor that awaits you!

This year’s new theme is the Butcher’s Room. Let’s just say, “It’s kind of gory,” and that you don’t have a ghost of a chance to escape the blood and guts.

And then there is the Saw Room. Enter, my friend. The door locks behind you - click.

“There is a secret hallway, and you have to find your way out of there,” said Bourquein.

A television flashes, and you view a person about to be executed, just like in the movie. The only way to save the would-be victim is to find your way out. Find your way out! Now!

In between the buildings, there is a graveyard, hair-raising cornstalks, and spine-chilling audio if you don’t drown it out with your screams.

“If you walk the trail, you’ll be scared. Three grown women peed themselves last year,” said Bourquein.

“We have a lot of people bail halfway through the trail.”

Added features this year include a ticket booth for the Haunted Woods, and a hayride up to the start of the trail, but this no casual entrance. You will be greeted by a 25-foot entryway.

“It’s a big face, and you walk through the mouth. The mouth, teeth and eyes are all made of plywood and foam,” he said.

Attention to detail and nearly 150 man hours in construction are among the reasons the recreation commission decided the Haunted Woods is worth keeping open for two nights, said Bourquein.

“We want to attract a bunch of teenagers, and make the city attractive to others. … It’s all about the kids, and it’s all about the community,” he said.

Last year, the Spooktacular attracted about 3,000 people, and about 800 dared to walk the trail; a great deal at $2 compared to $15 or $20 charged by other Halloween attractions throughout the Tri-State, added Bourquein.

The Bourquein building brood is made up of Greg Lephart, Joe Brech, Jesse Reardon, and Craig Trammel.

Spooktacular is Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The event will feature free games and goodie bags.

A costume contest for kids and pets will begin at 7 p.m. at the tennis courts.

For more Spooktactular information or to check out other recreation commission events, go to www.harrisonohio.org.