For the ninth year firefighters and volunteers at Grissettown Longwood Fire & Rescue in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. have created a Haunted Trail that is for the hardy, not for the faint of heart.
“I was here by myself one night, and I was getting spooked,” says assistant fire chief Richard Teague, the primary developer of the trail. “There is nothing like this around here.”
Teague explains the team of workers made some changes to enhance the attraction and captivate the visitors, so new mazes were added. Spiders hang from ceilings and cling to webs; skulls sway back and forth; scarecrows fill one room; a “doctor” performs autopsies; animals of various species are on the alert. Screeches, screams, blasts, thunder and lightning test people’s hearing. Tilting rooms, quaking walls and undulating floors test their balance. “Ghosts” appear and disappear. What frightens and is frightful has a place here.
About 4,500 people entered the Haunted Trail in 2015 and more are expected this year. “The number of visitors goes up 300 to 400 every year,” says Fire Chief Tal Grissett. He says that the Haunted Trail team makes all the props themselves, so funds are not used to buy expensive equipment or scenery. Proceeds from the Trail are used to improve the department and to reach out to the community and support safety. A percentage of proceeds this year will be donated to the Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School P.T.A.
“Everybody loves this,” Grissett says of the Haunted Trail. On the other hand, “Somebody passed out completely once,” he adds. “Some people only go through part of the trail. It’s pretty intimidating, even for us, and we know where everything is. It’s not a ‘kiddy’ attraction.”
Security cameras monitor the trail, and “actors” will not touch anyone. Unruly visitors are escorted off the premises. Once through the trail, visitors are welcome to congregate in the fire house where they can purchase light snacks and beverages.
“We encourage people to support their local fire department,” Grissett says, “not just ours but their own, too.”
Things to do on the North Strand
What | Haunted Trail
Where | Grissettown Longwood Fire & Rescue, 758 Longwood Road, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.
When | 7 p.m. until… all Fridays and Saturdays through October and on Halloween
Cost | $10 per person
Contact | 910-287-3030, www.grissettownfire.com/hauntedtrail.htm
SAND BAR LECTURE SERIES
What | Brett Riggs presents Shipwrecks of the N.C. Coast
Where | Museum of Coastal Carolina, 21 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.
When | 6 p.m. Oct. 11, doors open at 5 p.m.
Cost | Adults, $9.50, 62+, $8.50, 3-12, $7.50, free to museum members and those 2 and under
Contact | 910-579-1016, email@example.com, www.museumplanetarium.org
Details | Waters off the N.C. coast are labeled “graveyard of the Atlantic.” Riggs will speak to this and explain.
NORTH CAROLINA OYSTER FESTIVAL
Where | 8 E. Second St., Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.
When | 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 16
Cost | $5, children under 10, free
Contact | 910-754-6644, firstname.lastname@example.org, ncoysterfestival.com
Details | Food, entertainment, arts and crafts, contests; full schedule at ncoysterfestival.com/about/schedule-of-events
COASTAL SHAG CLUB DANCE
What | Dance the shag, line dance, waltzes and two-steps
Where | Moose Lodge, 253 Holden Beach Road, Shallotte, N.C.
When | 7-10 p.m. Oct. 15
Cost | all shag club members, $5; guest, $8
Contact | www.coastalshagclub.org
Details | Halloween costume contest with prizes for most original, scariest, funniest and sexiest
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY
What |Dr. Debra Reble, psychologist and author, speaks about her new book, Being Love [CQ]: How Loving Yourself Creates Ripples of Transformation in Your Relationships and the World
Where | Sunset River Marketplace, 10283 Beach Dr., Calabash, N.C.
When | 4-6 p.m. Oct. 13
Cost | Free but reservations are required
Contact | 910-575-5999, www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com
Details | Champagne and refreshments will be served
ENDLESS SUMMER FESTIVAL
Where | Main Street, North Myrtle Beach
When | 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Oct. 29
Cost | Free
Contact | Charlene, 361-3045, email@example.com
Details | Bring beach chairs; entertainment, vendors, specialty crafts, children’s area, carnival rides
1ST ANNUAL BBQ COOK-OFF
What | Grissettown Longwood fire & Rescue presents the amateur and professional BBQ cookers competition
Where | Silver Coast Winery, 6680 Barbeque Road, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.
When | Application due, Oct. 26, cook-off, Nov. 12; public welcome 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Nov. 12; tasting 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Cost | Amateur cookers, $80, professional cookers, $120; $5 for visitors, includes five tasting tickets
Contact | Debbie, 910-287-2800, Application at: https://nebula.wsimg.com/d544040f548f719edf2ebaa9fbe1b8e3?AccessKeyId=B7662E3CF5AD885D31FF&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
Details | Teams begin cooking at midnight Nov. 12; prizes awarded