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Area Halloween attractions are launching their annual bids to creatively scare Montgomery County residents.
“This year, the theme of our haunt is Transylvania, so there will be vampires and monsters on the trails, and we have a lot of new activities for our waiting area,” said Julie Clendenin, communications director for Calleva. “I really appreciate the professionalism of our people, and I enjoy seeing how all the various creative and technical elements come together to make the haunt happen. I also really believe in the educational mission of Calleva, and the forest is a wonderful way to support that.”
Markoff’s Haunted Forest opened in 1993, when brothers Matt, Nick, and Alex Markoff conceived of using a haunt to raise money for their goal of starting an outdoor educational camp. Originally a mobile haunt, Markoff’s Haunted Forest now consists of two large trails, a haunted hayride to a Western-themed town, and several games and other attractions on the grounds of the Markoff family farm in Dickerson.
Calleva, Inc, the nonprofit organization founded by the Markoffs, hosts outdoor educational summer camps and other activities.
Clendenin said, “I am amazed by the creative genius behind the Forest. Our team is full of visionary people who think way out of the box in terms of creative ideas. These people work alongside an equally impressive group of technical professionals who are able to implement the vision with excellence. It’s incredible to be behind the scenes and see this event take shape year after year.”
Markoff’s Haunted Forest runs weekends in October and on Halloween night. Tickets and additional information are available at www.markoffshauntedforest.com.
Field of Screams Maryland, a haunt operated by Steelhead Productions that raises money for the Olney Boys and Girls Club, opened to the public on September 22. Located at 4501 Olney-Laytonsville Road, Field of Screams features two haunted trails, a hayride, and a new slaughterhouse attraction this year.
“We’ve really upped the gore factor on the trails,” said Mike Lado, creative director of Field of Screams Maryland. “We have a lot of new attractions built on site. Trail One is the classic haunted trail with clowns and other ghouls. Trail Two is camp-themed, with lodges and skinner houses. We’ve also started to put more focus into the compound areas, so we have a lot more going on while folks are waiting in line.
“I have the greatest bosses in the world,” Lado continued. “They believe in my vision and give me free reign to design it. It’s really cool to see the community come in and have a great time with what we’ve produced for them.”
Tickets to Field of Screams are available at www.screams.org.