By Megan Wirts
Spooky Season is upon us and what better way to get into the mood than with a haunted trail!! The Trail of Terror is open for business once again! For the past 17 years screams have been filling the woods in the small town of Holton thanks to community support and dedication from Buffy Murphy and her loyal staff.
This is the fifth time I have been terrorized by the trail's fantastic cast of horrifying characters. I brought along my two teens and four of our bravest neighbors. This was going to be the first haunted experience for one of our group members. Being just 12 years old, she was finally old enough to get the crap scared out of her. There were a few younger kids there, but parent’s beware, it may not be suitable for some. Also, if you have a heart condition or are sensitive to strobe lights, you might want to sit this out.
The trail has been through many changes over the past 17 years, but one thing remains the same, it’s scary!! Filled with all of the most terrifying characters from horror movies from the past 40 years, like Michael Myers, Freddy, Jason, IT and so much more. I definitely screamed, jumped and peed a little as I trekked through the horror filled forest. There are circus freaks, pigs with cleavers, masked chainsaw murderers, creepy clowns and chilling children. From the seasoned trail veteran to the newly terrorized tween, the trail did not disappoint!
Buffy Murphy is owner and operator of the Trail of Terror. More than once over the years she has thought it was going to be the last. When her son Dakota Dean Murphy passed away 7 years ago, she thought that was it, but her friends and family surrounded her in support saying, “the show must go on for Dakota!”. Then they decided that 2019, was going to be the grand finale. Murphy’s youngest son was graduating from high school and she was ready for things to slow down. Then 2020 happened. Since most indoor haunts were closed due to COVID precautions, the Trail of Terror was one of the only haunted attractions available in the area. She was inundated with messages hoping for just one more year of frights. She couldn't say no! The show went on and was a success.
Now it’s 2021 and the show continues to go on. She now looks at each year as an annual tribute to her late son Dakota, who she says was passionate about helping others. Murphy said that the love and support of the community and her trail family “carried us when we did not want to anymore”. This isn’t just a chance to scare people senseless for Murphy, this is a labor of love. She says that the entire staff, newbies and returning members, are deeply committed to excellence. The trail is a small family owned operation that competes against million dollar organizations in the haunted house industry and year after year they have won the title of “Scariest Place in West Michigan” for 14 of the 17 years that the Trail of Terror has been in operation.
Don’t miss your chance to get your scare on! The Tail of Terror opens to the public on October 22, 23, 29 & 30th, beginning at dusk until 11pm weather permitting. Tickets are $15 for regular admission or you can upgrade to VIP for $20. The Trail of Terror is located at 7582 Crocker Rd. in Holton MI.
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