October 17, 2013

Haunted walk scarier at new Kittery site

After 10 years of running it as a community-based event at his home, Steve Workman moves it to a commercial space but keeps the volunteer spirit.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Steve Workman of Kittery is the creator behind “Night Terrors,” a haunted walk now being held at Take Flight aerial adventures on Route 1 in Kittery.

Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

NIGHT TERRORS HAUNTED WOODS WALK

WHERE: Take Flight Adventures, 506 Blue Star Memorial Highway (Route 1), Kittery

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Oct. 25, 26, 30 and 31; Walks begin at 7 p.m.; A children’s scare-free session will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and a “light’s out” session will be held Nov. 1.

HOW MUCH: $12 for the walk, $39 for Zombie Zip Tours being offered at the same time, on the adjacent zip line and ropes course operated by Take Flight Adventures.

INFO: Takeflightadv.com

MORE HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS

Check the websites for prices, times and haunting specifics.

Destination Haunt, 249 Lord Road, Lebanon. destinationhaunt.com

Field of Screams Haunted Hayride, at the Ballpark, 7 Ballpark Way, Old Orchard Beach. oob365.com

Fright at the Fort (Fort Knox), 740 Fort Knox Road, Prospect. fortknox.maineguide.com/fright

The Haunting, Parsonsfield Seminary, 504 North Road, Parsonsfield. Parsonsfieldseminary.org

Trail of Terror, Rait Farm Homestead Museum, 2077 State Road, Eliot. raittfarmmuseum.org

The Gauntlet at Harvest Hill Farms, 125 Pigeon Hill Road, Mechanic Falls. Harvesthillfarms.com

This year’s version of “Night Terrors” is a 20-minute walk that leads visitors past a giant bonfire, through stretches of dark, quiet woods, under eerie lights and past assorted zombies.

On Sunday, people riding the adjacent “Zombie Zip Lines” at Williams’ business screamed in delight. People walking through “Night Terrors” faced hillbillies brandishing chain saws and bad teeth, and roving swamp monsters.

The attraction includes some impressive structures, like a 40-foot enclosed maze attached to a graveyard, and a giant “clown prison” populated by shrieking, hysterical clowns. Playing the clowns Sunday were members of Dorks in Dungeons, a local improvisational comedy troupe.

“Take me with you, take me with you!” shrieked one female clown, nearly grabbing onto the pant legs of passers-by as she crawled on the ground.

During the night, Workman manned the maze by the graveyard, an enclosed and mostly pitch-black place where visitors had to feel their way through it. Sometimes, they’d feel something slimy or rubbery, or a hard dead end. Other times, they’d see the glowing white facemask of Workman, floating in the darkness, and hear his eerie voice warning them to go back.

“I think it sort of adds to it to know those are real people. Seeing those zombies coming at you was sort of freaky,” said Heather Walsh, 25, of Rochester, N.H., after experiencing “Night Terrors” on Sunday. “And that clown prison was pretty intense.”

FOCUS ON HELPING THE COMMUNITY

Walsh said she has gone to seven or eight haunted attractions over the last couple years and felt like “Night Terrors,” with its all-volunteer staff, was “great for the money.”

Workman, who works as a consultant to nonprofit groups and community organizations, has spent more than $8,000 to build this year’s “Night Terrors.” He’s charging an admission fee this year for the first time, but has to split revenue with Williams. So it remains to be seen whether he’ll break even. If he makes money, Workman said, he’ll use it for next year’s haunted walk.

Workman’s goal is to keep making “Night Terrors” bigger every year, and maybe even hire a staff some day, while keeping it a community event to help local groups. The St. John’s youth group made about $150 selling food on Sunday night.

One of the community groups that’s benefiting from “Night Terrors” this year is the Kittery recreation department. The proceeds from a special scare-free walk for kids on Saturday afternoon will benefit the department’s two-year-old community center. Workman is on the community center’s board of directors.

“I’ve known Steve since he was 16, so none of this surprises me – his leadership, his ability to get things done,” said Janice Grady, director of the Kittery recreation department. “He’s such a community guy, it makes people want to come out and help him. He’s totally committed to whatever he does and he works to the last minute. If it was anyone else, I’d worry he wouldn’t get it done in time. But he always does.”

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

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