Haunted Hollow’s legacy

Photo Courtesy of Haunted Hollow's Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Haunted Hollow’s Facebook

Will Patterson

Haunted attractions across Omaha have been roping in scare enthusiasts throughout the entire course of this year’s Halloween season.

As the season enters its final week Haunted Hollow is going strong through Oct 31. Located in La Vista, this haunted theme park is packing itself to the brim with actors adorned in ghoulish makeup to keep the scares coming.

The park has been keeping up the tradition of scares fit for everyone since 1999 when Jill and Mike McCormick opened a haunted attraction on their property right next to their house. Originally with the help of their two sons they continued to grow to the now 7 acres of area the park now spans across.

“Haunted Hollow is new every year. We are always adding new attractions and expanding,” Mike said.

One of the latest addition to the park is the circus area that has come into fruition this past year.

The circus draws inspiration from intimidating clowns and overall mysterious feel of a run-down amusement park. Within the circus section is a variety of separate attractions, including carnival games and a “freak show.”

“It’s fun to see your friends get scared,” said Michael Rogers, an actor and makeup artist at Haunted Hollow.

Rogers works every night of operation to ensure that makeup gets done for the up to 40 to 50 actors that will be skulking around the premises.

“I’m mainly one of the demented clowns that running around outside,” Rogers said, “When I’m not doing that I play a ‘psycho’ character that typically screams and yells at people.”

One of the several roles Rogers takes on is that of a chain saw wielder—a staple in the haunted industry and of Haunted Hollow’s scare arsenal.

The park also has more toned down attractions for those seeking a moment of piece amidst the fast pace chaos that surrounds all haunted attractions. With tarot card readings and games at booths, guests are able to take a moment to relax.

A unique feature of Haunted Hollow is its efforts to give back and participate in the community. This year the park has taken school groups, such as drama groups and show choirs, into its ranks of acting volunteers.

The opportunity not only gives the young actors to take a swing at a new method of interactive acting, but also yield rewards for those who participate.

“They bring a certain amount of actors every night for a week and we make a huge donation to their club,” Mike said.

Jill and Mike both say that the biggest issue facing haunted attractions in the region is a lack of scares. By bringing in young thespians from the surrounding schools they have found a solution while also helping the community in return.

“They can do this instead of car washes and bake sales,” Jill said.

Haunted Hollow is open every day of week starting a 7 p.m. through Oct 31. Those who are interested in participating the haunted theme park can contact Haunted Hollow for more information.