Ghostly whispering, ghoulish screams, pitch darkness so inky it’s impossible to see and many more heart-stopping horrors return to Gunstock on Route 11A in Gilford every Friday and Saturday from 7 to 10:30pm from October 1 through October 30 (and on Sunday, October 10 from 7 to 10:30 pm).
For the past few years, the horrors were so real, the fright so vivid and the crowds so pleased that the spooks and ghouls will be returning to Gunstock once again this year.
The Morbid Mountain Halloween Screamfest and Haunted Hayride, which debuted a few years ago, is an annual crowd pleaser. Visitors of all ages flocked to check out the carnival-like atmosphere…but beware: this wasn’t like the average carnival.
Certainly Gunstock has ample room for a Halloween happening. With a huge parking lot, acres of mountains and a very big lodge, the resort is perfect for a large event.
Morbid Mountain will feature haunts sure to please all adults and older children who love Halloween. Based on the theme The Legend of Morbid Mountain, the story goes that many are unaware of the ghoulish secrets and history of the grounds and buildings of Gunstock Mountain Resort.
Guests should be aware these are high startle events, which many people love at Halloween. However, parents should be cautioned that there are live actors and strobe lights and the event may not be suitable for smaller children.
Morbid Mountains’ Haunted Houses include The Morgue, Nightmare Knoll and Blackout. Each is a highly creative, scary experience. The Morgue welcomes all those just dying to be scared. The story goes that on an afternoon in 2010, Gunstock’s Doug Irving was inspecting the groundbreaking of the new entrance to the resort. As he made his way around the construction Doug thought he heard whispering. He listened closely to make out what the voices were saying. There was more whispering and then a shadow disappeared as quickly as he could turn around to see what was there. Doug heard something in the edge of the woods. Everything else had become quiet, no birds, no sounds of traffic, just the whispering and the pounding of his heartbeat.
The whispering continued — Doug could barely make out the voices. Turning around to go back to his vehicle, he no longer recognized where he was. The construction was gone, so was the road to the resort — there was only a narrow trail going in either direction. The whispering increased and a shadow darted across the trail. Above him the trees seemed to be growing over the trail, making the woods dark. The path was gone. He had grown up in these woods and he had no idea where he has. “You’re with us now,” the whisper was clearly heard.
The Mountain Morgue came into view. Doug had heard rumors of this place when he was younger. Like all morgues, it was here that bodies were brought after death to be prepared for ceremonies. But that is were the likeness ended. At this place the dead returned to life as zombies, the undead taking control of the morgue. ‘We’ve been waiting for you. You are one of us now — come in,’ said the deadly whispers.
Elsewhere at Gunstock, the telling of ghost stories by the fire is a long-held, cherished tradition among campers. Sitting around a crackling fire in the dark of night, chilling tales of ghosts, monsters and other stories that keep our minds awake throughout the night. These stories, told and retold year after year, may just be true on Nightmare Knoll. You decide.
The third scary haunted area of Gunstock is Blackout. The story goes that on a Tuesday evening in mid-August, Gunstock’s Paul MacNeil was checking in to work at the resort’s Guest Services. He decided to take a drive around the campground. It was uneventful until he noticed the light on in the attic of the Main Lodge. No cars were in the parking lot. “Strange,” he thought.
Walking through the back entrance to the main lodge, the lights in the hallway were on; thankfully these stay on all the time. In the main hall of the lodge, Paul heard sounds coming from the kitchen. The hall was pitch dark. Using his flashlight, he discovered it was only the sound of the ice machine.
Paul noticed the door to the attic was open and the lights were still on. He decided to check and see if someone was accidentally locked in the attic. He recalled the old wives tail of a group performing experiments on living people in the attic of the lodge back in the 1940s. He noticed some strange electrical equipment and what appeared to be an old electric chair. At that point, he thought the stories perhaps were true and he better get out of there.
It was at this instant that a stiff wind came at his back and nearly blew him down. He fell to his knees. Papers, dust and anything else not locked down were blowing around the attic. Crawling on his hands and knees, Paul made his way down the stairs, slamming and locking the door behind him. He made it to the hallway with the only light in the building. He could hear a creaking in the offices behind him. The door blew open. The wind was loud and he could here a loud whispering, “Come back…” a ghostly voice called.
Gunstock’s staff has become masters at crafting these horror stories centered on the misadventures of the resort’s employees. Each year, the public comes back to see what ghastly displays, tours and horrors have been cooked up the Halloween season.
Tickets to tour Morbid Mountain are $15 per person. For those who don’t want to wait in line, they can opt to skip to the front of the line with the R.I.P. pass for $25 per person. An Unlimited RIP Pass is $40 per person. Have a group or want to get your company together? Call Gunstock at 293-4341 ext. 120 for reservations and special rates.
Adults who love to dance should make plans for the Halloween Costume Ball on October 30 at Gunstock. The dance is a great way to try out your new Halloween costume in a fun atmosphere. For more information visit online at www.morbidmountain.com.