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Oct. 30, 2009

The trails less traveled

by Katie Sint, Online Managing Editor
It's dark and rustling leaves can be heard in the distance. Walking along the trail, an ominous feeling fills the air and suddenly something jumps out from the darkness. People scream, run and some even cry. These spooky trails are so much fun, it's scary. SCO is here with the SCO-down on the best Halloween trails Montgomery County has to offer. Using our unique (and scientific) method, we show you what trails are worth the money and time and which trails will be sure to leave you afraid of the dark.

Markoff's Haunted Forest
Rating: 5 bats (out of 5)

Waiting areas are fully decorated with jack-o-lanterns and other spooky objects.  Lorena Kowalewski
Waiting areas are fully decorated with jack-o-lanterns and other spooky objects.
Without a doubt, Markoff's Haunted Forest is the place to be for Blazers looking to be scared out of their minds. Let's put it this way: the Haunted Forest is so terrifying, so frightening, that entrants are required to sign a waiver before entering. With two trails that contain about 13 scenes each, the Haunted Forest offers more screams and scares than any other trail in the tri-state area. Even this courageous reporter had to resort to running through the forest with her eyes shut out of fear.

A word to the faint-hearted: stay out of the forest. For those who aren't searching to be emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives, check out the other attractions at Markoff's. There are Haunted Hay-rides, a haunted bus, fortune-tellers and many other ways to experience the spirit of Halloween, without being completely terrified.

The price of Markoff's can be as scream-worthy as their attractions. Ranging from between $10 - $30, the Haunted Forest will leave a dent in your wallet, but for Blazers looking to be scared, this is the top spooky spot.

Sleepy Hollow Haunted Trail
Rating: 3 Bats

Volunteers are encouraged to come dressed and ready to scare the crowds. Lorena Kowalewski
Volunteers are encouraged to come dressed and ready to scare the crowds.
The Sleepy Hollow Haunted Trail certainly knows how to create a spooky and eerie setting. Comprised of three different attractions - the Spooky Hollow, the Haunted Trail and the Hollow Hay-ride, Spooky Hollow has a lot to offer. Those who would rather enjoy a nice fall night of creepy Carney festivities can spend their time at the Spooky Hollow, which features food vendors, entertainment and classic games, or on the hayride. More daring guests can travel into the Haunted Forest and be bombarded with scenes of terrifying ghosts, goblins and creatures. For those who are wary of entering Markoff's Haunted Forest, the Haunted Trail at Spooky Hollow is a great alternative, a perfect mix of scary and fun (instead of just scary). Spooky Hollow makes for a great family outing, with activities for all ages.

The price of Spooky Hollow is also easier on the wallet than Markoff's, ringing up at $15 a ticket. Just remember - the amount of screams and laughs you'll have at Spooky Hollow is worth every cent.

Wheaton Haunted Train Ride
Rating: 1/2 Bats

Crowds gather eagerly in front of the train station. Lorena Kowalewski
Crowds gather eagerly in front of the train station.
For Blazers looking to share some Halloween fun with their younger siblings or family members, the Wheaton Haunted Train ride is the way to go. Patrons ride on the train and travel through the woods of Wheaton Regional Park, whizzing past creepy goblins and spiders. While the scare-factor of the forest is unimpressive, the youngsters on the train seemed to be having the time of their lives.

The park also offers a Creepy Carousel ride, although it's only appropriate for youngsters - riding on that little porcelain horse dressed as a spider is more embarrassing for teenagers than entertaining - and a Hall of Jack-o-lanterns. If you're stuck babysitting one night and have nothing to do, take the kids down to the Haunted Train and you'll earn major points with the parents.

All these attractions are sure to please the tots at a cheap price; tickets cost $6 per person.



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  • numba one fruitbagel on October 31, 2009 at 12:42 PM
    this is insightful and inspiring. i am in awe of you ms sint
  • Skyler Brown (View Email) on November 5, 2009 at 11:02 AM
    Go DUMPLING QUEEN!
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