WALLINGFORD — Phobias and nightmares lurk around every corner of the winding Trail of Terror.
“Every twist and turn is something different,” said Wayne Barneschi, owner and founder of the seasonal attraction.
The Record-Journal recently toured this year’s trail, which is still being constructed, before it opens to the public on Sept. 29.
The terror starts off with some “grub” from a food stand for energy needed to venture through the nearly hour-long maze. This year’s theme is phobias with inspiration derived from vintage Halloween concepts and movies.
“There’s fear of darkness, fear of the woods,” Barneschi said.
These phobias will come to life in the form of 37 scenes. The hundreds of props within the scenes add to the vintage vibe, with items picked up from tag sales and even the side of the road.
“We’re going to have it like when I was a kid, the old plastic masks and things like that,” Barneschi said.
Depending on the theme, the props are used as-is and are often old. Typical store-bought Halloween decorations are rarely used.
More than 300 actors and volunteers participate with 200 creatures and ghouls in makeup scaring the crowds every night.
“It’s the old horror flicks, you’re talking about the ‘50s and ‘40s and such,” said Jonathan Gerolami, set builder and actor. “Just a general love for Halloween.”
Gerolami said his inspiration for the elaborate sets he helps create on the trail come from old movies like “Frankenstein” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
For over two decades, people have been coming from over 20 states to brave the trail. Proceeds benefit local charities with over $700,000 being donated over the years to the Wallingford chapter of the Red Cross.
“A lot of people plan their vacations around here and the other New England haunts,” Barneschi said of the popularity. “You never know what’s going to happen inside (the trail).”
Trail of Terror is located at 60 N. Plains Highway. General admission tickets are $15 or $20 to select your preferred date and time. The trail is open Friday to Sunday through Oct. 28. To order tickets or for more information go to trailofterror.com/.
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