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Haunted trail in Townsend to be dotted with witches, clowns, sideshow creeps


TOWNSEND — Ghosts, goblins, monsters and things that go bump in the night will be safely corralled by the Townsend Recreational Program this Halloween. Things promise to get scary anyway.

Each year the program does something special for this goriest of holidays. The eagerly awaited spectacle will be held outside behind Hawthorne Brook Middle School.

The outdoor venue is providing special-effects guru Adam Hoffman of Townsend a chance to use his scary skills.

The theme for 2010 is “Carnevil.” The haunted trail could encompass just about anything. “We’re going to have different scenes. We’re doing clowns and jugglers and a couple of sideshow freaks. We’re going to have a gypsy witch,” Hoffman said.

Actors will take part in the scenes. Other volunteers will help guide people through the trail.

The family event is meant for people of all ages, Hoffman said. “It’s supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be creepy. It’s not meant to be traumatizing,” he said.

Hoffman knows what it’s like to be afraid of things.

“When I got into this whole thing when I was growing up, I would watch monster movies from under the blanket,” he said.

He thinks it is odd that the one person in his class in school in Townsend who was afraid of monsters in movies studied how to design scary effects.

As a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Hoffman majored in special effects and movie makeup. After graduation he worked for haunted houses with professional actors in Pennsylvania.

“They’d get into their parts. They’d miss the people lower than their chin,” Hoffman said. He is planning ways to let the volunteer actors in Townsend know when young children are in a group so they can be suitably scary for the younger set.

So far, he has met with other planners for the event, taken stock of props and material available for the evening, and mapped out the scenes. Plenty of help is still needed though.

Children in fifth grade or older and adults can volunteer to be in the scenes or help with setup, collect tickets, guide tours and help with face-painting.

The Carnevil Haunted Trail will be held behind Hawthorne Brook Oct. 22 from 7-9 p.m. Rain date is Oct. 23.

Tickets are $4. Bring a can of food for the Townsend Ecumenical Organization and get in for $3. The first 200 attendees will receive a coupon for a free kiddie cone at Cherry Hill, Too and a coupon for $1 off the corn maze at Goss Farm in Dunstable.

For more information contact Hoffman at or Karen Clement, director of the recreation program at

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