40 Acres of Havoc: How Woods of Terror Became a Local Halloween TraditionOct 19th, 2013 | By Jess Loer | Category: Entertainment, Sights
In the spirit of fall and Halloween, I decided I would take the short drive down Church street to visit Woods of Terror, a local haunted house. Immediately feeling the anxiety of my previous attempts of making my way through haunted trails, I was relieved when the owner, Eddie McLaurin, came to greet the line of patrons. Eddie himself is a tall man sporting a bright pink Mohawk and has a friendly demeanor. His ear to ear smile quickly put me at ease.
The first thing you notice when you arrive is that this is a huge production. Eddie has spent years building up his business and enhancing the Woods of Terror, which sits on 40 acres of land. His dream of having a production like this started 20 years ago in 1993. It originally was a 10-minute trail with only a handful of actors. He made his vision come to life even more by visiting Halloween expos and productions around the country for years. Inspired by some of the best national attractions, he has turned Woods of Terror into one of the biggest productions of its kind in the United States. In fact, Woods of Terror recently claimed the #1 spot on Haunted Attractions Magazine’s list of 31 Best Haunted Attractions Around the Country.
What makes Woods of Terror so special? This haunted trail employs over 100 actors who audition for Eddie personally. The actors are given tips from Eddie himself, which is something that he just has a knack for.
“I tell the actors to focus on four people at a time, making it so that each person that comes through the trail gets an experience unlike anything else,” says Eddie. To add to the professionalism and believability of the actors, Eddie has twelve make-up artists on staff that use airbrushing techniques to transform the performers into the dead or undead.
If you purchase a fast pass online, you can skip right ahead of the line, something unique to this production. There are various booths and vendors to keep you entertained while waiting, if you choose a traditional ticket. Vendors include make-up airbrushing and funnel cakes, a personal favorite. You can also admire the guests who show up wearing costumes almost as authentic as the actors.
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk through mazes of claustrophobic rooms and dark narrow halls. For a memorable Halloween thrill, I recommend anyone 18 and up to visit Woods of Terror.