by Jeremy Austin
FARMINGTON — Screams abounded at the Trails of Terror haunted hayride at Titcomb Mountain. Folks of all ages came on the evening of October 26 to have themselves a massive fright – and to show their support of both the mountain and United Way of Tri-Valley Area.
The rides, which lasted about 30 minutes and carted about 17 people each time, meandered through the dark, chilly evening along Titcomb’s Nordic trails. There were many fearful frights along the way. Starting off the ride was a shadowy masked character with a fake machete that followed the wagon for several minutes and lunged at those unfortunate enough to sit in the rear.
Other terrors of the night included a chainsaw murderer; a ghoulish creature that rolled a large stone at the wagon; several instances of creepy children engaged in pillow fights; and some witches brewing a classic witchy recipe – “Child Stew” – and clamoring for more children. There were even clowns – many clowns – one of which hitched a ride on the back of the wagon and rode along for several minutes.
This was the first year of staging the hayride for both United Way and Titcomb Mountain. Angela Pinkham, a United Way volunteer and “one of the Wicked Witches of the evening,” said that the two organizations had come together, formulated the charity event and started planning it several months prior. They worked on putting everything together, though, within the past week.
“We love our volunteers,” said Kendra Baker, part-time ghoul and finance and operations coordinator at United Way. “You can’t really run something like this without volunteers.”
Angela echoed this sentiment, adding, “I like the way it brings the community together. There’s just all walks of life willing to come and help.”
There were concessions – primarily baked goods and bags of candy, popcorn and combinations thereof – and all were baked and donated by volunteers. There were also several jars of candy: for a dollar, one could put down their name, phone number and guess of how much candy was in one of the jars for a chance drawing to win one of them.
The event would not have been possible without several sponsors, including Verso Corporation and Main-Land Development Consultants both of Livermore Falls, and State Farm Insurance.