Trail of Terror 'bigger and better'
Adam Lopata can easily recall where his love of haunted houses began.
As a child, while on vacation with his family, he was intrigued by the spooky attractions that were open year-round in places like Niagara Falls and along beach boardwalks.
“(As a child) you’re always afraid to go in but want to know what’s on the inside,” he said. “Now I want to give others that same experience.”
Lopata, 23, of Green Tree, one of the volunteers at Carnegie’s annual Trail of Terror, has been helping design and build the haunted attraction since he was 19.
“We’re definitely bigger and better than last year. I’d like to think that each year we get a little better,” he said of the trail, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27.
Like last year, tickets, which are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger, will be on sale at the stone pavilion at the bottom of the park near the ball fields. Customers will then board a bus that will drop them off at a stop along Forsythe Road near the first of seven haunted areas in Carnegie Park — a bug-themed space. Thrill-seekers will then weave their way through creepy clowns, a spooky cemetery, a butcher shop and a hillbilly shack before visiting the Scare Room, which is replacing the maze from year’s past.
Lopata describes it as darker and more open.
“It’s going to be pretty scary, honestly,” he said. “It’s going to feel like you are lost in the darkness.”
The final stop on the trail is the mansion — the space Lopata has devoted most of his time to.
While he said most of the other spots along the trail are darker and grittier than last year, he wanted to keep the mansion very clean.
“I want it to be high class,” he said.
Due to the attraction’s small budget, Lopata said, orgainzers are forced to repurpose items they’ve used in the past, but they try hard to create spaces that are different each Halloween season.
“We always have original, completely off-the-wall ideas and stuff to do each year,” Lopata said.
Proceeds from the Trail of Terror benefit the Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark.
In addition to the haunted trail, concessions, as well as pumpkins — the small ones painted by Keystone Oaks students — will be on sale.
They also are offering a walkthrough each night at 5 p.m. for children who are too scared for the real thing, which is important to Lopata. A similar experience when he was just 5 paved the way for his love of all things horror.
“When I was really little, I got to walk through Hundred Acres Manor,” he said, referring to the popular South Park haunted house.
“I loved it. (The walkthrough) could change someone’s life like it changed mine.”
Kristina Serafini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kristina at 412-324-1405 4-digit 6405, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KristinaS_Trib.