Halloween attractions gear up for opening

halloween pumpkin carving faceIn 1993, the venture that would eventually become Markoff's Haunted Forest began modestly as a haunted bus ride that visited area. Brothers Matt, Nick, and Alex Markoff conceived of the haunt as a means to raise money for their goal of starting an outdoor educational summer camp.

In subsequent years, the haunt was relocated to the grounds of the Markoff family farm in Dickerson.

"I didn't know if anyone would come," said Matt Markoff. "I hoped people would make the drive." Markoff's Haunted Forest, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is now a beloved annual tradition for thousands of area residents. The haunt, which employs hundreds of seasonal employees, includes two trails, a haunted western trail, and a waiting area with bonfires, games, rides, and food vendors. Proceeds from ticket sales fund the Markoff's nonprofit organization, Calleva, Inc, which provides educational activities for hundreds of students every year.


Preparing for the annual Halloween fun and frivolity

Tim Burton’s 1993 film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is set in Halloween Town, a fantasy world where various ghouls and monsters wait all year to celebrate Halloween.

For some employees of favorite area attractions, this fantasy is reality, as they spend a great deal of the year in preparation for their Halloween presentations.

Since 1993, Markoff’s Haunted Forest, a project of the educational non-profit Calleva held on Markoff’s Farm in Dickerson, has raised money to support the community by providing haunted trails and other attractions for its patrons.

While their neighbors enjoy summer barbecues, Markoff’s staff begins planning for Halloween.

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