Thrills and chills return to Roxana Haunted Forest

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the forest… The Roxana Volunteer Fire Company still has two weekends of Haunted Forest fun to go. Resurrected last fall, the Roxana Haunted Forest is already becoming a thrilling annual tradition once again, after an almost 10-year hiatus.

On Oct. 24, 30, 31 and Nov. 1, the Haunted Forest will open at dusk, and ticket sales end at 10 p.m. People will encounter clowns, werewolves, the butcher house and, of course, the angry roar of chainsaws. But most of the trail’s horrors are a secret for now.

“I can’t give it all away,” said Michael Magee, committee chairman.

For Magee, haunted houses are fun and not too terrifying, but, “If they catch me off-guard, I’ll get scared.”

The fun and the scares are yielding positive reviews from those who venture into the Haunted Forest.

“All good comments,” Magee said. “I know one person went through three times.”

But the firefighters also have fun behind the scenes.

“I was in the woods, and every person I came upon screamed, yelled and ran. I even got two people in the parking lot,” Magee said. “We all get together, and we all enjoy it.”

For the fire company, the benefit of a Haunted Forest is twofold.

“It’s always fun scaring people, but it was a good fundraiser last year,” Magee said.

“Just support the fire company and what we do,” Magee encouraged. “Last year, we put a lot of work into it. This year, I think we’re making ourselves a little bit bigger and better and scarier.”

The RVFC Ladies Auxiliary will be selling hot chocolate, coffee, hotdogs and hamburgers at the Haunted Forest. People can also enjoy the bonfire while waiting (weather permitting).

The Haunted Forest is located to the right of the Roxana fire hall, where people may park. Look for the bonfire and ticket booth.

The cost is $10 per person, cash only, “but if somebody wants to go through, we’re not gonna tell them ‘No,’” Magee said. There is no age limit, and children 5 or younger can enter the Haunted Forest free of charge, but parents should remember that it is meant to be scary). People are encouraged to wear trail-friendly shoes, especially after the expected mid-week rainstorms.

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