A couple of years ago, my childhood BFF Sean had instructed our group of friends to travel to Lee, New Hampshire one chilly Saturday night in mid-October to participate in a mile long haunted trail he’d splurged on tickets for. He’d heard nothing but good things from friends and co-workers who had gone before him, and being as enthusiastic as I am about Halloween and all things horror- he thought it’d be ideal way to spend an evening. When I saw that Lee was nearly two hours away from where I was living at the time- I almost immediately said “no way.”
Having grown up in New England, I’m no stranger to haunted and Halloween-centric attractions. Spooky World was by far the biggest, most popular- and most expensive- when I was a teen, but when I finally got a chance to go- I was left disappointed and frustrated that I’d spent a considerable amount of hard earned money on what was a series of crowded and cheaply decorated haunted houses that were never as scary as promised. I’ve made every effort not to make that same mistake again.
But Sean was confident I wouldn’t regret it- and persistent- and I eventually caved and made the trek North with him as instructed to meet with some of our other friends who were just as skeptical as I had initially been.
The trail was called Haunted Overload– located on the DeMeritt Hill Farm- and we’ve been back every year since then.
Haunted Overload has a lot of the elements you’d expect from a trail in the middle of nowhere that is designed to scare you out of your wits- people jump at you from out of the dark. They will chase you. The props are grim and gory- but it’s the overall scenery that is the most impressive. Full-sized and purposefully dilapidated little towns and houses line the trail. 30-foot tall statues and figures reach down towards you when you round certain corners. There are intricately carved pumpkins and wooden skulls that appear larger than life as you approach them. It’s insanely detailed and the amount of work that clearly went into it is staggering.
And tickets are $27- which is a steal when compared to other, less interesting (or more thrown together) attractions.
This year, in light of COVID-19- Haunted Overload has taken extra precautions. Masks are required at all times. There are sanitizing stations and temperature checks prior to entry. Groups are limited and there are delays in-between them to better enforce social distancing.
This past weekend, I opted to swing by to do the “Day Walk” of the trail. For $7 you can walk the trail at your own pace (with a mask on) and check out the handiwork of the props/scenery without the jump scares. It was a lovely, sunny and crisp afternoon- and I wanted to snap some photos since I don’t really get the chance to leisurely admire it all when I’m running away and screaming in the middle of the night.
If you have young kids or if you scare easily- the “Day Walk” is perfect for you. I had a really lovely time checking things out and seeing all the interesting details that I may have missed otherwise- but I also really love the actual nighttime experience, too. It’s a lot of fun- especially with friends.
Best of all? The farm stand by the exit of the trail serves warm apple cider, doughnuts, and sells all sorts of delicious and seasonal goods for those who might need some refreshments after running the mile. My friends and I love to regroup in there and laugh about who screamed the loudest before we eventually head home.
I hope we all get to be together and do it again soon. It’s so much fun.