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Carnegie's Trail of Terror is 'bigger and better'

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Jen Kiszer of Scott Township sets up tombstones for the Trail of Terror on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at Carnegie Park. The 'haunted' attraction is coming right up. See story and another picture on Page 8.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Mary Pitcher of Scott Township shows off the funeral room while setting up the Trail of Terror Saturday, Oct. 12 at Carnegie Park.

The haunted Halloween trail will wind its way through Carnegie Park again this year, benefitting the skatepark to be built there.

The Trail of Terror, a fundraiser for Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark, starts Friday night and also will be open Oct. 19, 25 and 26.

The Halloween event began last year as a fundraiser for the then just-approved park, headed by Mary Pitcher as a memorial for two sons who drowned during a 2008 camping trip. She began the Pitcher Park Foundation to raise funds, and park construction began in August.

Councilwoman Carol Ann Covi said the trail received such a good response last year that a second year was inevitable.

“We knew we were going to do it again this year — people kept asking for it,” she said, and this year's haunt will top last year's.

“Last year, it was literally thrown together in three weeks time,” Covi said. “That was all the time we had. This year, it's bigger and better, because we started planning it in July.”

For two weekends, Carnegie Park transforms from its usual serene atmosphere to a series of haunts. Participants start at the stone fireplace pavilion. A school bus takes them to the top of the hill, where they wind their way through a maze and a series of outdoor tents, each with its own spooky theme. This year's event will include a butcher shop, funeral parlor and haunted hillbilly shack.

And clowns. There will be scary clowns.

Visitors also will find themselves in the woods at one point in the trail, with a new spooky scene Pitcher said she's sure will impress — and frighten.

“Some of it's scary, and some of it's gory,” Covi said. “We check with parents to make sure kids can handle it.”

For younger children, there also is a pumpkin patch and other age-appropriate attractions. The all-volunteer crew started building the scenes a month ago.

“We're much more advanced than we were last year,” Pitcher said. “Last year, it was chaotic because it was the first year everyone did it.”

The park at night lends itself to a creepy atmosphere, Pitcher said.

“We were here setting up one night, and just as it's getting dark, bats start flying around, owls start hooting and deer start walking across the park,” she said. “It's a spooky setting.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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