Thursday, October 9, 2008

Get spooked at Haunted Acres

If you're looking for some frightening fun, you've gotta check out the Haunted Acres Halloween-theme park behind New England Dragway on Route 27 in Epping.

The place is absolutely incredible, if you like being scared out of your mind!

I went there tonight and, man, it was pretty frightening, but so much fun. They have dozens of actors who follow you around, popping out from every dark corner. The park has two haunted houses, a maze from hell, and a 1/4-mile nightmare walk. It is so well done, and the actors are fantastic.

It's definitely the most impressive haunted place I've ever seen. Just a word of caution: Don't bring the kids.

Check out their Web site,

I wrote a funny atory about a boat that was pulled from the dumped and used as a prop at the place. Here's the story for your reading pleasure.

EPPING - An unwanted speedboat dumped at the Epping landfill has found a new home deep in the spooky woods of Haunted Acres.

After learning about the boat sitting in a heap at the town dump, Haunted Acres co-owner John Tracy decided to put the boat to use in a pirate scene at his Halloween-themed park set up in a wooded area at the back of New England Dragway.

“They were glad to get rid of it,” Tracy said of the landfill workers who planned to simply bulldoze over the boat to bury it along with another boat and other trash.

Tracy stumbled across the boat after mentioning to a town employee that he was on the hunt for a boat to be used in a pirate scene. The worker told him about the boats at the landfill, so he went to take a look a couple of weeks ago.

The boat was pulled from the pile of trash and hauled over to Haunted Acres where it was covered with wooden planks and made to resemble a pirate shipwreck, complete with a large canon that fires puffs of fog as frightened visitors pass by.

“It’s actually a really cool scene at night,” Tracy said.

The shipwreck is now one of the newest features at the large theme park, which is set in an 1860s Western ghost town and includes haunted houses, a maze and a walk filled with frightening encounters.

Robert Gaucher, 19, of Newmarket, helped build the shipwreck scene and said it was his favorite at the park this year. When the fiberglass boat first arrived, Gaucher doubted that it could be transformed into a shipwreck. But after five days of work, the mission was accomplished.

“It came out pretty good,” said Gaucher, a maintenance and security worker at the park.

Some people who read a story about the boats left at the dump in the New Hampshire Union Leader recognized the boat at Haunted Acres and asked if it was the same one they saw in the paper, Tracy said.

Tracy is lucky he snagged the boat when he did because the town won’t be accepting boats in the future, selectmen said Monday. Selectman Dianne Gilbert joked that the dump won’t be taking returns, but Tracy said he has no plans to bring the boat back once his park closes after Halloween. He said he’ll continue using the pirate scene for a few more years, and after that, he’ll either trade the scene to another haunted park or sell it.

Tracy said he’s pleased with how the pirate scene turned out and the rest of the displays at the park, which opened last weekend.

“Everything came out really well. We’re hoping for a good season,” he said.

Haunted Acres will be open Thursday-Sunday until Nov. 1. For more information, visit the park’s Web site,

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