Panic at the Pond is Oct. 30 in Townsend

Around Halloween each year, people from near and far come to see what Townsend has created for their yearly haunt.

“Panic at the Pond,” a haunted trail, will be taking place at the VFW pond on Main St., in West Townsend on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 from 7-9 p.m. Rain date is Oct. 31. Admission is $6, $5 with a canned good donation for TEO. Proceeds to benefit the Friends of the Townsend Library and VFW-Townsend. Cherry Hill Too will be providing a free kiddie cone certificate to the first 200 children. Strobes will be in use. Good walking shoes are a must!

In the mid to late 1980’s, the Youth Fellowship group of the Congregational Church created the first haunted house in the church basement. Dick Lee’s favorite scene was the head being served under the cake dish. Debbie Tersini, another supervisor, recalls the crawl through tunnel and that it was, “Fun for us.” Adults sold tickets and dressed in costumes, admission was 25 cents and the line was down the block.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilson took over the helm from 1992-1997. Mrs. Wilson says that the “children ran it back then.” She recalls that the closet with the rock part of the cellar made a great cemetery scene. The 1998-1999 seasons were overseen by Diane Thompson. She recalls being in awe of the creativity in the scenes. The Donovan and Kelly families were big supporters of the 2000-2003 years. In 2004, interest decreased and no haunted house happened.

From 2005-2009, Townsend Recreation was granted permission by the church to continue the haunted house. Karen Clement recalls that some children would just make it down the stairs to the basement door and just couldn’t enter the darkness beyond. Due to strict fire codes, the haunted house became the haunted trail behind Hawthorne Brook Middle School.

Due to booking issues, the trail was moved to the Townsend Common with volunteers, Steven Walsh and Greg Hoffman in the lead for Townsend Recreation from 2010-2014. Steve’s most memorable scare was the 3-D Maize. When Townsend Rec decided not to run it this year, the Friends of the Townsend Library and the VFW-Townsend decided to combine efforts to keep the tradition going in 2015. The VFW trail is a perfect location for a scare.