ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Elizabethton Haunted Forest opened for its 17th year in operation on Friday. The scary venue has a haunted forest trail, a zombie outbreak game of “find the flag” and two escape rooms, among other chilling features.
Owners told News Channel 11 that the haunted forest trail is about three acres long with different scary scenes as visitors walk through. Co-owner Fred Short said it takes them about four to six weeks before opening night to get everything prepared.
“If a scene is not so scary, the next scene might be a lot more scary,” Short said. “You know, we try to kind of keep you going, adrenaline rush as you go through the forest.”
Short said a lot of returning customers come out every year to see the changes they make.
“All of our volunteers actually help make it to where it’s not the same every single time either,” Terance Voorhees, Director of Volunteers said. “That way it’s the same scenario, but a different kind of scary.”
Voorhees said it takes about 15 to 20 minutes for visitors to walk through the haunted forest.
“Some faster, if they get scared easier and run faster,” Voorhees said.
This year, the Sigma Chi Zeta Omega fraternity chapter from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is also helping to volunteer. They are supporting a fundraiser for medical research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. A portion of the sales from the Elizabethton Haunted Forest will go towards cancer research.
“Cancer is taking a lot of lives from a lot of people, and they’re doing some really good research work out there and all the money that we raise up across Sigma fraternity as a whole, across the entire United States and part of Canada, all that money goes to new research tests being done and new buildings being produced out there,” Eli Solomon, Sigma Chi member said.
Solomon and Jared Young said they are having fun volunteering and that it’s a change of pace.
The Elizabethton Haunted Forest is located at 172 Big Springs Road. It’s open every Friday and Saturday night Sept. 29 through Oct. 28 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.