The inaugural Haunted Trails and Glow Walk was such a success in 2016 that the Crothersville Parks Board decided another scary good time was in order this year.
Last year’s two-night event brought thousands of people to Countryside Park in the small southeastern Jackson County community.
Organizers of this year’s event, set to start at 8 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28, are hoping for a repeat.
“We had a shocking turnout last year and hope to see the same this year,” said Ron Foster, president of the parks board.
“We have a lot of help from some very creative minds,” he said. “This year is shaping up to be something I would have never imagined possible. The props are awesomely creepy, and the actors are ready to bring them to life. If you came out last year and had a good time, this year will be even better. No one will be disappointed.”
Haunted Trails will be set up throughout the wooded area of the park along County Road 1000E. There will be a wagon available for those unable to walk the trail.
“Haunted Trails is going to be even bigger and better than last year,” Foster said. “We have something to scare everyone.”
For those not quite up to the fright of Haunted Trails, there will be a Glow Walk with candy stations for the kids and free glow necklaces.
Volunteers 16 and older are needed to serve as actors for the Haunted Trails. They can either supply their own costume or contact a parks board member for help with one. Those wishing to help should be at the park for a meeting at 5 p.m. Oct. 27 for instructions and assignments.
People also are needed to hand out candy for the Glow Walk. Costumes are optional, and volunteers may bring a chair.
New this year is trunk or treat, which gives residents a chance to get involved by setting up decorations and handing out candy from their vehicle. Anyone who chooses to participate is asked to be at the park by 7 p.m. both days.
There also will be viewings of the movie “Gnawbone” at 9 p.m. both days at the ball diamond at the park.
The independent horror film co-written and directed by 1991 Crothersville High School graduates Darrin Means and James Thompson premiered in October 2016.
Set in the 1980s, the hour-and-a-half-long film tells the story of a little boy who witnesses something terrible kill his grandfather, but no one believes him. Instead, people think he has created a false memory of a monster. Years later, the boy, now a grown man, goes back to the woods and, with the help of friends, tries to figure out what really happened.
Most of the filming took place in Jefferson County, while some of it was set outside of Crothersville, and two scenes were filmed in Scott County.
“I think that having our film play where we grew up is fantastic,” said Means, who now lives in Madison and has taught visual arts at Southwestern High School in Hanover for 19 years. “The event sounds like it’s going to be a great time for young and old.”
Since premiering at Ohio Theatre in Madison, “Gnawbone” has been shown during film festivals in Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; Decatur, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; and Rochester, New York.
“The people that have responded back have been mostly buyers and some websites as well as the film festivals,” Means said. “It’s getting very positive feedback because a lot of people like that it looks like an old-school VHS horror film.”
This was the first feature-length film for Means and Thompson.
“I think it turned out well,” Means said. “We are definitely planning some more in the future. With everything that we’ve learned in the first one, it will only get better from here.”
At the Crothersville event, “Gnawbone” DVDs and merchandise will be available for purchase.
“We only have about 200 copies of the DVD left,” Means said. “We’re trying to get rid of them, so if you want one, make sure you come get it.”
The only other charge at the event will be for fish sandwiches and chili sold at the concession stand by the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department.
The event will run through midnight or until everyone gets through the trails.
There is no admission cost, but buckets will be available for anyone interested in making a donation toward future events and upgrades to the parks.
What: Haunted Trails and Glow Walk
When: 8 p.m. to midnight (or until everyone gets through the trails) Oct. 27 and 28
Where: Countryside Park along County Road 1000E in Crothersville
Other features: Trunk or treat area, showings of the movie “Gnawbone” at 9 p.m. each day and DVDs and merchandise available for purchase, fish sandwiches and chili sold by the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department at the concession stand
Information: Anyone interested in helping can talk to a Crothersville Parks Board member, send a message through the Crothersville Community Park Facebook page or attend the parks board meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at Countryside Park