The Haunted Sawmill promises a scarier experience in 2017 as Vincent Mudgett and his cast of creepy characters return from hiatus for the seventh annual production, “Vincent Resurrected.”
“There’s a whole new level of energy and excitement here,” said Jerry Hersil, Haunted Sawmill Committee Chair.
Hersil notes that a lot has changed at the Haunted Sawmill since it last opened for the Halloween season in the fall of 2015.
The Sawmill features nine new rooms and a new layout.
Outside, where attendees are willing to endure a wait that sometimes takes three hours, new activities will be provided to keep them entertained. Sawmill characters will be roaming the front (grave) yard and performing on the stage. A new feature will bring back the feel of an old-fashioned Halloween party.
“It’s like old-school Halloween party meets Fear Factor,” Hersil explains. “I can’t wait to see how that goes.”
Anticipation is certainly high for the return of the Haunted Sawmill. A recent post on the Sawmill’s Facebook page drew 47,000 views and 400 shares.
“The buzz is definitely out there,” Hersil said.
The Haunted Sawmill shows kick off, appropriately, on Friday the 13th. Shows continue on Saturday, Oct. 14; Friday, Oct. 20; Saturday, Oct. 21; Friday, Oct. 27; Saturday, Oct. 28; and Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31. Gates open at 6 p.m. and tickets will be sold until 11 p.m. Each show has a special theme. Proceeds from the show benefit Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Special nights will also raise funds for a number of charities.
A large group of volunteers has been assembled to create and execute the shows. It takes upwards of 65 people per night to run the Haunted Sawmill.
Prepping the Haunted Sawmill for its debut, volunteers have put on countless hours over the past several months.
“Without these people, it would never happen,” Hersil said.
The Sawmill came to life in 2010 as a Boy Scout fundraising event. An LLC was formed to purchase the former window factory building on Hendricks Street and the Haunted Sawmill grew to be recognized as one of the best haunts in the state. After five successful seasons, however, the Haunted Sawmill stayed dark in 2016 as the original group of committed volunteers reached the point of exhaustion.
A new group came together late last year with some of the original founders to reform the Haunted Sawmill LLC and plan for the event’s rebirth in 2017. Cub Scout Pack 502 of Merrill came onboard as the sponsoring organization.
The summer of 2017 saw the first ever summer show to make up for the missing 6th year – “The 6th Annual Haunted Sawmill – Where’s Vincent – the Lost Year.”