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TOWNSEND — Thanks in part to a new location on the Townsend Common, Townsend Recreation’s annual haunted trail attracted hundreds of people last weekend.

Townsend Recreation Director Emy Hoff said the new location was important in helping to stir up excitement.

“The biggest thing about changing the location was really about doing something new and getting the buzz going,” Hoff said. “You can’t miss it out on the common, and whether or not people came, they noticed, they asked questions. That gets a buzz going, and that’s what you need for forward momentum and growth.”

The haunted trail also brought in donations for Townsend Ecumenical Outreach, as attendees were offered a discount on the cost of admission if they brought a canned food item for the food pantry.

After previously being held outside Hawthorne Brook Middle School, the change of location allowed the program to expand from one night to two, and to feature a Family Fall Fair Saturday afternoon prior to the trail opening.

The fair featured crafts, food and other vendors.

Changing the space also allowed for new frights, and gave volunteers a chance to mix up the normal routine, Hoff said.

“It gave us a lot of flexibility in the way we set up the trail and allowed the guys to make changes creatively as needed,” she said.

Hoff said there are already plans to hold the event on the common again next year.

“We’re very grateful to the Cemetery and Parks Department for allowing us use of the space. They love seeing new things happening on the common, and we already have some ideas for bigger and better things to do with the fair next year,” Hoff said.

The haunted trail will also continue to be a two-day affair.

“It’s a lot of work for our volunteers for only one night, so it makes sense to have it for two instead. It’s a win-win for the people coming in as well as for our volunteers,” Hoff said.

“We definitely had better numbers Saturday then Friday, probably because there was a lot more happening on Friday in town. But it gave all of our characters a chance to make changes for Saturday, which made it a better trail,” she said.

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