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Greenwell’s Haunted Hike set to open next week

By Staff | Sep 24, 2011

The annual Haunted Hike at Mike Greenwell’s Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park will kick off at the end of the month featuring scenes of horror movies that is guaranteed to scare those who are brave enough to venture through the woods.

Mike Greenwell’s Fun Park Manager Dana Waters said this year’s Haunted Hike will feature the best haunted scenes of the last 20 years.

“We have kind of incorporated more of a movie theme this year,” she said. “Some of the greatest horror movies of all times.”

The walk will feature 17 scenes, which is more than the typical 13 to 14 it usually portrays. Three reoccurring things will appear throughout the scenes from previous years.

The Haunted Hike began 20 years ago in the woods surrounding Mike Greenwell’s because Waters had a staff that loved Halloween.

She said they began decorating for the upcoming season and one thing lead to another.

“We said why not do a haunted house and it kind of blossomed from there,” Waters said.

The planning for the haunted hike begins during the current hike every year.

“We are in the mode, so we start creating things for next year,” Waters said, adding that they keep a log of all of their ideas. “We are always thinking of how to make it better and scarier.”

The building and preparation for the hike usually starts at the end of July or beginning of August.

The hike typically attracts 10,000 people a year. Waters said the hike attracts a certain amount of people who enjoy being scared.

“When you like to do this kind of thing you will go check out all the local haunted houses,” Waters said.

Tickets are $10 a person or $15 for a VIP ticket, which gives an individual access to the beginning of the line. Waters said some nights are busier than others, so the VIP ticket comes in handy for those who do not want to wait in line for an hour.

The hike begins at dark, which Waters said changes constantly. She said at the beginning of October the haunted hike usually begins at 8 p.m. and towards the end of the month it starts at 7 p.m.

The hike will be held on Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30 and 31.

Waters said the hike will take about 20 minutes to go through, which may be shorter depending on how fast a person runs.

“Some people like to stroll and take their time and some keep their eyes closed,” she said.

The 20th annual Safe Trick or Treat event for children 12 years old and younger will be held on Oct. 30 from 5-8 p.m. Kids should wear their costume and bring a goodie bag to the event.

Waters said it is a free event, other than the required $2 for parking at 1st Assembly West Church and Greenwell’s. She said the parking fee proceeds will go towards the Lee County Sheriff Explorers. Mike Greenwell’s also will accept donations of pet supplies and food for local shelters the night of the event.

Waters said 19 local businesses each sponsor a hole on the golf course and decorate it with a different Halloween theme. She said although it does not cost the business any money to sponsor the hole, they are responsible for providing the candy and goodies for the children.

The trick or treat event has grown in popularity over the years, Waters said, because parents know it is safe and fun for their children.

“The sponsors come up full force and hook the kids up with candy and goods and the families don’t have to worry about where it came from,” she said.

Waters said she is thankful for the community support she has received during the past 20 years from businesses.

The radio stations 99x and B103.9 have sponsored the Haunted Hike for the last 10 years and Cat Country has sponsored the Safe Trick or Treat event for 20 years.