When you go to a concert at a huge arena, you’re guaranteed to see something with a high production value — but seeing a performance at a small club can be even more magical.
Such is the case with Haunted Overload. It’s not the mega attraction that something like Spooky World or Witch’s Woods is, but this new site in Lee, New Hampshire, lives up to its name; it’s overloaded with great scares and expressions of horror that are less murderous than they are artistic.
“I like to make it into a Halloween-themed work of art,” says Overload creator Eric Lowther. “I like to have it so even if you don’t get scared, you can look at stuff.”
Lowther is just being humble. There’s little chance anyone will be able to bravely walk through the laughing evil mouths of trees he has hollowed out and filled with colored smoke, giving visitors a giddy disorientation that makes it tough to figure out how long it will last.
“I love that effect,” enthuses Lowther, who not only designs the haunted walk but also dresses up as one of the monsters who jumps out at you when you least expect it. He retouches photos for a catalogue by day, but spends much of his free time on the Overload.
“As soon as the season wraps, I’ll start planning for next year,” he says. “It takes until December to get everything down and the big monsters put away, and I start making props in January.”
Just what does he mean by big monsters? Well, it’s not the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. More like his evil twin. At 36-feet high, the monsters are posted in places that are guaranteed to startle when you confront them walking around the corner.
“In certain nights the fog will hang really good,” says Lowther, recounting how he likes to go through the trail himself. “I like to know what the patrons are feeling. One time the werewolf jumped up and snarled and it got me really good. I’m like, ‘That was frickin’ awesome!’”
DeMeritt Hill Farm
Lee, New Hampshire