Meriden blogger braves Trail of Terror, Haunt on Eden



When it comes to Halloween horror, I like a spooky adrenaline rush as much as the next ghoul. That, combined with the traditions that come with being someone who grew up in central Connecticut inevitably leads me to local haunted attractions. This year, I decided to approach the traditional venues from a critical angle. This piece is for anyone who wants the low down on the haunts before they actually decide to make a night out of it — full disclosure: while the attractions can lead to an absolute night of thrills, they’re definitely not for everyone.  

Haunt on Eden, 396 Mount Vernon Road, Plantsville 

This haunt, which started as a family-run attraction, has grown to draw crowds from far and wide. To accommodate, it has relocated to Mount Southington. This open-air haunt is self-guided, and accepts groups of six or less at a time. The location includes free parking close to the attraction, porta-potties, and concessions available for purchase (though food items are a bit on the pricier side.)

Our group probably spent about seven minutes total inside the attraction. In that time, it should be known that we did experience many scares that made us jump, a few actors touching us (which I genuinely did not expect) and extremely tight spaces that would not accommodate large guests or those with certain physical limitations. Overall, the experience was definitely worth checking out, but there are certain aspects of the haunt that should be considered based on the group’s needs and ability level. 

Trail of Terror, 60 North Plains Highway, Wallingford

This award-winning haunted attraction prides itself on combining humor and horror for a harrowing experience you won’t soon forget. Transforming a wooded area into a thrilling adventure-scape, the Trail of Terror team clearly put in extra effort this season to abide by COVID precautions and also to up the ante and remind the community why they have so many dedicated fans returning in droves year after year. I was able to catch a word with Chelsea Wooding, a Trail of Terror volunteer, who commented on the painstaking preparation that goes into maintaining and improving the trail each year. The effort put into the 2021 rendition is clear— no corners were cut, and the overall ambiance of the attraction is extremely impressive.

This trail is a much longer experience, and can range from thirty to around forty five minutes based on the group. It is extremely well organized. From parking, to security, to tickets, the flow of operations is seamless. Regarding the attraction itself, accommodations were made to make it more accessible, including the removal of tight spaces. All actors within the attraction were either masked or extremely socially distanced via physical barriers.

Additionally, the chilling overhead audio only added to the ambiance created by the fog, larger-than-life props, and phenomenal actors. The Trail of Terror is basically a household name when it comes to Halloween in Connecticut — in checking out the trail for yourself, it will be easy to understand why! 

Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden-based journalist, educator, and creative. A graduate of both the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport, she is happy to be back in Meriden writing about the city she loves. When she's not helping out in the English department at Maloney High School, she's either exploring the Eastern seaboard for her lifestyle blog (@ eastsidevibes on Instagram) or working on music for her band, Cessa and The Zach. Email Francesca at eastsidevibeswithcess@gmail.com with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!



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