Carnegie’s Trail of Terror returns
As volunteers for Carnegie’s annual Trail of Terror worked on art pieces for one of the haunted attraction’s rooms, a large limb from a tree crashed to the ground nearby.
The irony of this odd occurrence at the scene of a Halloween haunt might have been enough to scare away the faint of heart, but others, like Adam Lopata, saw it as an opportunity.
“I’m going to get my saw later. Free decorations!” said Lopata, 24, of Green Tree, who has been helping design, build, and act in the haunted attraction since he was 19. Due to the Trail of Terror’s small budget, Lopata and other volunteers are used to finding creative ways to repurpose items. The fallen tree limb likely will not go to waste.
“We’ve learned to do something from nothing,” said Mary Pitcher, who sparked the idea for the haunted attraction 10 years ago as a fundraiser for Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark, which sits next to the trail in Carnegie Park. Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark was built as a memorial for Mary Pitcher’s sons, Vincent and Stephen, who drowned in 2008. Both were avid skateboarders.
On an evening in late September, volunteer Nick Bishop was busy building walls out of wooden pallets inside one of the Trail of Terror’s spooky stops. He said he’s helped build just about every Pittsburgh-area Halloween attraction.
“I just can’t get away from Halloween. I love it too much,” he said.
Nearby, black plastic purchased by the group and fencing borrowed from the borough formed what would become the trail’s maze. Old, donated movie props sat in the grass waiting to be placed in their rightful spot for the season.
Lopata said he’s constantly amazed at what they can do with such limited funding.
“We’re really amping it up this year. It’s bigger and better than ever before,” he said.
“Every year, the ideas get more and more insane.”
Though there’s no overall theme to the haunted trail, Lopata said this year’s attraction is called “The Beyond” because “we’re going beyond what we’ve done in year’s past.”
Like last year, customers will board a bus and be dropped off at a stop along Forsythe Road. They will then weave through Carnegie Park where they will encounter creepy clowns, a freaky funeral home and cemetery, a wicked Alice in Wonderland-themed room and other surprises along the way. The path has been modified this year to make it a little longer.
“It’s really something the community appreciates and likes,” Lopata said of the trail.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, and can be purchased at the stone pavilion near the dog park and ball fields. Concession items and pumpkins painted by local students also will be on sale. This year’s haunt runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26.
Kristina Serafini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kristina at 412-324-1405, [email protected] or via Twitter .