Terror in the Trees haunted attraction at 444 Jacobs Cemetery Rd. in Lucasville opened last weekend, bringing in 450 people between Friday and Saturday nights, lapping last year’s opening of 120.
The haunted trail features more than 20 scenes throughout the attraction and the staff are always adding on to the show. Steve Johnson, owner and operator, said that he will actually be adding an extra scene to the haunt in between opening weekend and the second. The addition is something that occurred to him after he realized there was a minor dead space in the trail.
Most of last year’s attractions are still there, with changes here and there to keep it fresh. New scenes are also available.
“Needless to say, it is difficult to grow corn in the woods. There’s not enough sunlight, etc. We had a pretty good stand of corn going on our first batch, but the little creatures of the woods ate the seeds and saplings. We were able to keep them away with chemical agents, but when we had good, 12-foot corn, the deer came in and rolled it all over,” Johnson said.
Johnson did rig up a corn field this year, despite nature being against it. Last year’s corn patch turned into a path of overarching corn that Johnson said adds dimension to the trail.
Terror in the Trees has also added a mausoleum that houses the undead, a zombie projection screen that sits outside of the blinding fog room, which is filled with zombies, an alien scene and a few more additions that they don’t want to reveal.
“The spaceships have landed, they say, at Terror in the Trees. With Friday night’s kickoff with the meteor, we don’t know if they were bringing in more aliens or if they were all leaving. People will have to come out to see if they are leaving or if there is more,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that one major avenue they will be pursuing in future seasons is the possibility of going 3-D. There will be particular areas of the haunt that will require glasses and will have effects similar to a 3-D movie.
“It is very colorful,” Johnson said. “It has some great effects. I’m hoping that we can get it built by next year. It is a huge expense, but if we do well this year we should be able to get it built. Once you see the 3-D effects it will blow your mind. It offers a lot of unique opportunities for scares. Creatures in the walls will pop out at you and stuff like that.”
Weather is a big antagonist to the trail, seeing as it is an outdoor function. Johnson said they didn’t break even last year, but has hopes for it growing.
“People don’t realize how expensive it is,” Johnson said. “They just look out and think it is just some trail in the woods and it doesn’t cost that much. If people knew how much we spend, they would drop dead and we’d have new zombies for the haunt. It isn’t something you can take lightly and not spend any money on. Every year we are going to reinvest money into it and make it bigger and better.”
The cast and crew of the trail have been working hard since March to bring this season’s haunt to life. Johnson said he started planning as soon as last season closed.
The parking lot has been quadrupled in size with new lighting, horror films will be projected outside of the trail, Girl Scouts will be vending food, a photographer with green screen will also be outside of the entryway, T-shirts will be on sale at the ticket booth and Haunted Ohio wristbands will be on sale for $2. The Haunted Ohio wristbands give a $2 discount to any ticket price to participating haunts in Ohio.
Johnson went to the St. Louis TransWorld Haunt Convention, upon others, to get ideas for this season. The St. Louis convention is one of the largest in the world and took two days to tour everything. Johnson said he will continue the trips to St. Louis to browse material and increase their props. Johnson will also be working this winter in the garage to build into next year’s attractions.
Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for those in a group of 10 or more. There is also a discounted price of $3 for those wanting to go through the haunt a second time the night that they go through. The haunt is open from dusk until 11 p.m.
“We are out in the woods, that in itself is creepy,” Johnson said. “We also keep the line moving with actors popping out and disappearing. We try to use the area and expand to give people a lot of different scares. Another thing is that we across from a cemetery and people pull onto a road called Jacobs Cemetery Road. Last year we lost a few people just because they refused to get out of their car. We do try to strive to scare people, but we also like to entertain. You scare some, but if you can show everyone in the group a good time, then they will keep coming back for more.”