Barneschi’s goal: Make Wallingford’s Trail of Terror bigger, better

WALLINGFORD — This year’s Trail of Terror returns for its 29th season, and its founder, the master of spookiness, Wayne Barneschi, is returning to make it bigger and better.

What started as a spooky adventure in his backyard has expanded into one of the most significant Halloween events in the state if not the Northeast. The Trail of Terror takes place at 6 North Plains Highway, and Barneschi said it requires year-round planning.

“This year, we have designed scenes for next year that we can switch over,” he said.

Trail of Terror’s season starts Sept. 30, with the first group going in at 8 p.m.

What’s new for this year’s Trail of Terror?

About 70% of the scenes are new and completed for this year. The clown scene has been redone, according to Barneschi. There will be the continuation of the graveyard scene.

“The clown scene is totally different than it’s ever been,” he said. “All our scenes that were there before have been revamped.”

There is a Monster Museum, which is a different variation of monsters from over the years. Barneschi said that the graveyard is definitely to rave about and one of his favorite scenes.

There is also a fishing village, and Barneschi said there are quite a few surprises for this year and always tries to balance fun, fear and gore to play with people’s minds.

There will be over 30 scenes, and Barneschi said it gets crazy.

What is this year’s theme?

“Harvest: Tale of the Harvester” tells the story of the annals of Central Valley’s history, according to the website. A chilling narrative chronicles the origins of the Harvester, which is birthed from the cursed embalming fluid crafted from the pumpkins on the Aduro farm.

When ingested by the living, this concoction that brought life to the departed manifests forth our innermost fears. Along with this, it gave life to the nightmarish Harvester. 

This tale spread like wildfire through the town and cast unease over Central Valley. This once-thriving community has turned somber as the Harvester’s presence has loomed large and seeps into the very soul of the land.

Streets of the town grow desolate as fear-stricken residents lock themselves inside to escape even the malevolent entity that has prowled in the shadows.

According to Barneschi, the “Tale of the Harvester” trail is about a half-mile walk of several scenes.

Who can attend?

Due to the nature and timing of the trail, Barneschi said this is something for adults to attend. Groups of 6-12 guests will go in at a time. 

According to the trail’s website, children under the age of 10 are not recommended to walk the trail, and it is strongly recommended that young children not attend. Infants and children under 5 are not allowed. In addition, it is recommended that children ages 16 and under be accompanied by an adult when entering, and that teens 16-18 years of age come in groups.

When does the trail open, and what are the hours?

For the 2023 season, the trail opens on Saturday, Sept. 30, and will run each Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of October.

Attendees can visit the trail for one hour each, starting at 7 p.m. and ending by 11 p.m.

Barneschi said that ending by 11 gives his volunteers time to pack up for the evening and return the next day well-rested. The trail, completely made of volunteers, typically has over 100 actors and a few dozen individuals who work as makeup artists, front-line workers and security.

Where can you get tickets, and how much does it cost?

Tickets can be purchased on the Trail of Terror website at, for $25. When tickets are purchased with guaranteed admittance, you can enter your chosen date and time slot. 

VIP Premium Passes are also available at $40. These passes offer a minimum wait time. There are an extremely limited number of them sold each night.

Tickets are only sold online and not at the door. 

“Once tickets are sold out, they are gone,” Barneschi said. “I recommend that people check each morning at 11 to check out what tickets are available for that evening.”

Barneschi said tickets typically are completely sold out within the first week or so in October.

For additional information such as parking, group prices, and other frequently asked questions, visit the website



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