Seneca student Luke Harris has been transforming is backyard into a haunted walk through for the past five years.
For the past five years, Seneca High School student Luke Harris has been scaring friends and neighbors with the Trail of Terror, a haunted walk-through he builds in his backyard every October before Halloween.
“I like scary stuff,” he said as he showed The Sun around the trail.
Throughout the trail are skeletons, gravestones, aliens, a haunted tunnel, creepy dead baby dolls, and fences covered with fake blood designed to scare the daylights out of anybody who walks through.
The trail also utilizes sticks, cut up trees and other backyard items to add to the aesthetic. There’s a big treehouse right in the middle of the trail.
“It probably takes two or three days to set everything up,” said Luke’s dad Steve, who helps create the trail. “We try to use all the stuff in the yard.”
Louise, Luke’s mom, is a fourth-grade teacher at Tabernacle Elementary School and invites her class every year.
“Some kids just don’t come,” Louise said. “They’ve been here, they’ve been scared, they don’t ever want to come back. It’s scary at night.”
For many of the smaller children, the sights — and sounds — are just too much.
“We have power drills that don’t have any drill bits on them,” Luke said. “Just for the noise and it usually gets people all the time.”
As Luke, who is 16 and in 10th grade now, has gotten older, the average age of the attendees has gone up as well. Most of them are Luke’s friends from high school. However, sometimes they’ll get other community groups showing up, such as the local Girl Scout troop.
When Luke started the tour while he was in sixth grade, he was inspired by a Halloween walk-through he participated in at Indian Acres Farm in Medford.
“They did this haunted walk-through thing at their place and it was kind of like something like this,” he said. “I just kind of thought, ‘oh hey we should do that because we have a backyard and we kind of have a path in it already.’”
Louise estimates the backyard is approximately three quarters of an acre.
He buys a lot of the props from Halloween stores, but also gets a lot of donations from people who have no need for Halloween props they inherit.
There’s no fee to enter the Trail of Terror, however, the Harrises ask that you bring a food donation, which will be donated to the nearby Tabernacle United Methodist Church.
Does Luke have any plans of monetizing his scary trail?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t really see the point in just trying to make money off of something. I just want to do it for fun.”
The trail opened this past Friday the 13th, and Luke and his family plan to have the trail open on Oct 22, 25, 27, 29 and mischief night on the 30th. The walk throughs will begin at around 6:45 and visitors can show up as late as 8:30 to enter the trail. The Harrises’ address is 60 Red Oak Drive in Tabernacle, and Louise can be contacted either at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609–425–8724.
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