The delight of a good fright
It was an interesting weekend to say the least. I took in the D-2 cross-country sectional in Colby, and as always, was amazed at the sheer volume of schools and spectators in attendance. It’s always nice to have a great turnout and see people support student-athletes.
Thankfully, the weather was actually nice this year. The sun was out and shining and temperatures drifted into the 50s. It was probably the last gasp of autumn/summer, as Tuesday morning greeted me with a thin veneer of snow and frost, and temps in the mid 20s.
Of course, last year was vastly different. Last year’s D-2 sectional meet began with a blizzard and saw temps in the high 20s. This year, there was more than just weather that was different at the sectional meet. That’s because the trail also doubled as the Haunted Forest later in the evening.
I can only imagine what the runners must have thought as they ran over the trail and through the forest, seeing pumpkins and scarecrows and Halloween themed decorations.
I took in the Spooky Trail, or Haunted Trail or Nightmare Forest (really, we should settle on a name) and it was a blast. I went Saturday, and the weather was perfect that evening. I knew I was in for a blast when I saw the giant hornet’s nest hanging in the tree, and off in the distance I could hear the screams of teenaged girls and the sound of chainsaws running.
The crowd that was waiting in line was great to see, and I think the turnout is only going to grow as the years go by. I really do feel that this will attract even bigger crowds next year.
There were tons of hurdles to clear before the intrepid could be scared out of their minds, and Matt Oehmichen deserves a ton of praise and credit for pulling this off. So do all the volunteers who dressed up and made this happen.
Events like this make a community so much fun and that much more special. It brings people out and together and it supports a good cause. I suggest others to attend the event next year.
I won’t spoil all the surprises, but it had a combination of silly and subtle horrors. There were the jump scares, along with some ghouls and goblins, but I liked the panicked teenagers running down the trail, warning you of dangers ahead. I loved the unseen terrors, people growling in the woods and snapping twigs. That really served to ratchet up the tension.
I’m sure there was plenty of constructive feedback that can be used for next year’s Haunted Forest. I know it’s only going to get bigger and better, and hopefully it can last more than two days.
As for me? Did I get scared? If I am going to be honest, it was only a little, but then again, it helps that I recognize half the people in costume.
But a good scare can be a lot of fun, and I can guarantee I’ll be coming back next year.
BY M USINGS AND G RUMBLINGS