WELLSVILLE – It’s the final weekend of the Haunted Hollow at the American West Heritage Center, located at 4025 S. Hwy 89-91 in Wellsville, and so far the Forest of Fear has been a rousing success, said Wendy King the front desk manager.
King said some 30 to 40 volunteers work to bring the forest alive.
“We had a great group of 800 last Friday,” she said. “And we were the only one in the valley that stayed open on Saturday when it rained.”
The Hollow only operates on the weekend and with this being the last weekend before Halloween, she hopes it will be especially good.
King said they have done it for a long time but Annalise Christensen, the Assistant Living/Programming Coordinator at the heritage center, and her husband Adam took it to the next level, King said.
Christensen said Fall is second only to Baby Animal Days for attendance and contributions.
“The Haunted Hallow is a walking wooded trail through the bottoms. It fits the theme Forest of Fear,” Christensen said. “We try to keep it family friendly, but we still scare the pants off of of people.”
Her husband Adam is also heavily involved.
“He does a lot, he is big kid and likes to build stuff so he does the building and I do the people part of things,” she said. “We have volunteering from ages five years to grandparents.”
Christensen said after eight years it gets better and better every year.
“I think this is the best year ever,” she said. “Our volunteers this year are dedicated and on time and they want to be there.”
Christensen said, generally, they have quality people making the Haunted Hollow work. When they sign-up they know they need to be there.
“Volunteers and staff have put in over 1,000 hours to pull this off,” Christensen said. “It is a real labor of love, but is a ton of work.”
The volunteers dress up to get it into the spirit of the evening and still try to not let things get out of hand.
“We recommend children eight years and up; some kids can a handle it and sometimes older than eight don’t do well,” she said. “We leave it up to the parent’s discretion.”
The Heritage Center has its share of stories from train robberies to double-crosses where the spirits of the deceased have unfinished business with the living. Christensen said the Hollow is truly haunted. This week, the Haunted Hollow will be open from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The last ticket will be sold at 10 p.m. For information at (435) 245-6050.