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Haunted Forest to offer new scares this Halloween


October 02, 2017

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The annual Haunted Forest at The Clubhouse will begin spooking local residents on Oct. 24, and run through Oct. 31.

Rest assured – there will be a lot of things going bump in the night.

The tradition began on the Georgia Southern University campus many years ago, but was taken on in 2008 by Willingway Hospital as a community service project for their employees and clients when the GSU recreation program decided to discontinue organizing the event. At that time, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bulloch County was chosen as the beneficiary of the proceeds, and the nonprofit has partnered with Willingway to help host the event.

The event raises, on average, $16,000 to $18,000, and 100 percent of the funds goes to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bulloch County, and will be used locally.

According to Mike Jones, chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs, the event grows each year, with about 4,000 to 5,000 people going through the attraction.

 “We have five different scare stations that people walk through. Each year we try to change it up a little bit to create new excitement and continued interest in the forest,” he said. “It’s a massive undertaking each night. There are over 100 volunteers that it takes to put the event on, and it takes months of planning and organization.”

The event moved to The Clubhouse, located on Old Register Road, three years ago, Jones said. He added that more people have begun to attend since the move because, he believes, people may have thought it was just for college students when it was held on campus.

“We have people from Savannah and other areas go through,” he said.

The volunteers who help with the event are students as well as members of the community, and they all have a love for Halloween and “enjoy scaring people,” Jones added, saying that volunteers for this year’s event are still needed. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Ron Wright via e-mail at rwright@bgcbulloch.org.

The costumes and makeup for the participants are both donated and provided by sponsorships. Lighting and materials for the scare stations also come from sponsorships.

Although he wouldn’t give away anything regarding this year’s event, Jones did say that people always ask if KoKo the clown will be there – and he will be in place to entertain the crowds while they wait to get in.

The event begins each night at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children 10 and under, and can be paid at The Clubhouse. They are also offering a fast pass this year – at $20 each, the passes will get you to the front of the line, with no waiting.

There are no restrictions as to who is allowed in to the Haunted Forest, but Jones said that parents are educated at the entrance that it is a “high scare program.”

“Parents can then determine if kids should go through. At parents’ request, we can provide a low scare,” Jones said.

As for how long it takes to go through the forest, Jones answers, with a laugh.

“It depends on how fast you can run.”


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