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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Woods of Terror now scarier: Attraction boasts 30 acres of horror and thrill

Dead leaves crackled underfoot as I shifted my weight uneasily from one leg to the other. Something or someone brushed past my face in the dark. A large doorway loomed over me.  From somewhere inside the expanse of dark, a sudden desperate cry escaped into the chill October air.

As the door opened, I peered into the darkness, and steeled myself to enter the Woods of Terror.

Starting in 1990, owner Eddie McLaurin began transforming his land, located on North Church Street in Greensboro, into a haunted attraction after being introduced to the concept by a close friend.

“I loved the theatrical costumes and the aspects of performance involved in those productions,” said McLaurin.

Over the next five or six years, McLaurin developed his own ideas for what would eventually become the Woods of Terror. One of McLaurin’s key concerns for the success of the trail is that of a customer’s line of sight.

“In the woods, when you are running so many people (through the trail), a sight line of 30 feet is way too much,” said McLaurin in a press conference.

The element of surprise is important to haunted attractions such as Woods of Terror, so McLaurin decided to construct his own custom mazelike network of buildings and pathways to confuse people on the trail. In order to make his idea work, McLaurin put a lot of thought into the construction of the maze.

“What I didn’t want to do is just put up black tarps or pieces of black plywood,” said McLaurin.  “I wanted to build actual sets and scenery. So that’s what I did.”

Another key factor for McLaurin is making sure that his actors’ makeup is convincing, not to mention frightening enough.

“Depending on the weather conditions and the amount of detail involved, it can take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes to get the makeup done for certain characters,” said Sarah Ashley, a makeup artist for Woods of Terror.

Intense attention to detail and a tradition of innovation are what makes Woods of Terror stand out alongside other haunted attractions in the country — the visual assault of Chaos in 3-D is the first experience of its kind in North Carolina.

In 2013, Woods of Terror added a new attraction called Total Blackout. Billed as a “journey of the mind” on their website, the attraction invites guests to limit their sight further by donning a sheer black hood as they progress through the final phase of the Woods.

This year, the course has been lengthened.

As a result of the care they take with their craft, Woods of Terror boasts the proud honor of being named one of America’s best haunts for 2013 and 2014, as well as being named the best in the country by

Woods of Terror is not only limited to scares. While not experiencing the trail, those attending are also invited to explore Woods of Terror’s Midway area, which features refreshments and souvenirs.

“Our Midway is truly unreal this year,” said Debra Bryant of Bryant Marketing who works with McLaurin each year to promote the event.

Woods of Terror is the perfect way for any Guilford student to spend these cold October nights. For anyone reading who feels brave enough to experience the Woods for themselves, general admission tickets start at $17 per ticket.

The Woods of Terror spreads out over a total of 30 acres and is comprised of 12 terrifying tableaus. Assuming nothing unfortunate should befall you … it will take about an hour to make your way through the whole nightmarish thing.

For more information please visit

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