Guest post from Stuff Monsters Like, a great local blog you need to check. Just in time for Halloween:
If you are trapped in a school bus and a marauding demon is hungering for your soul, what should you do?
That is one of the many scenarios you’ll encounter at Pinheads Graveyard in Canton, 2099 Asheville Highway, the place where your horror movie nightmares come true. The outdoor haunted trail is just a short drive from Asheville, but feels like a long way from the safety of your own home. All the frightening monsters you watched on the big screen are there, like Freddy and Jason and Ghostface from “Scream.” Only, now, they are watching you.
There is a certain amount of nervousness in your stomach as you quietly wait in line outside the trail. Screams and chainsaw growls and eerie lights arise from the forest. Many people in line think out loud, making jokes about how they drove here so other people could scare them. But there’s no turning back now. Your friends would all laugh at you.
At the first bend, “victims” meet Pinhead from the “Hellraiser” franchise. It is his graveyard you’re entering after all. He warns you that he and his friends just wanted to relax in the forest. Your intrusion has made them angry.
As you creep along the darkened trails, monsters and goblins and clowns jump out to greet you. Some carry chainsaws, others carry machetes. The only things to do are run for your life and don’t look behind you.
Every noise in the forest, your mind makes into a monster. You swear you see a dark figure lurking ahead of you, but you must go forward. It’s the only way out. You turn. There’s nothing there. You continue down the trail. Suddenly, you come face to face with that special monster that kept you awake as a child. You know, the one you swore was living in your closet.
You quickly realize that you are starring in your own personal horror movie, and it’s all because of Pinhead’s Graveyard.
The crew tells tales of women crying their way through the tour, tears streaming down their faces from the first demon to the last. There are stories of grown men running in fear, leaving their girlfriends behind to fend for themselves. There’s even a rumor of two men chased by a chainsaw-wielding goon onto the roof of their car.
The workers say they go easier on a group when children are present. They want to ensure that the trail can be a fun family experience for all ages. But for college buddies, or a group of cheerleaders on a fun outing, prepare to scream.
“We’ll do what we can to make you crawl out on your hands and knees,” one character said.
The Pinheads Graveyard crew seems to be one big, scary family. They’ve worked together for so many years, through births and weddings and Halloweens, and they keep in touch well after the fall season is over. Some volunteers have participated for nearly a decade. Others are in their first year of spooking, but you’d never know from the screams you hear coming from the forest… or, at times, yourself.
A lot of work goes into frightening people. Things must be just right. It takes a few hours each day to prepare the trail for its nightly visitors. Costumes and makeup have to be perfect, power tools must operate smoothly, and fires have to be lit. The Pinheads team works hard, but you repay them with your screams.
The graveyard moved to Canton from West Asheville several years ago. The new setting gives plenty of scary possibilities. Planning for Pinhead’s Graveyard starts in the summer. While most people are still sitting by the pool and working on their tans, the Pinheads’ crew is already thinking ahead to October. Because they know during the fall, the leaves turn colors and the ghouls will want to return to their favorite haunted trail.
Pinheads Graveyard has grown into an Asheville Halloween staple since it first popped up from the darkness 17 years ago. Now, many people come from the tri-state area or Raleigh, and even as far as Tampa, Florida or Kentucky for their annual scare. Locals love it, too.
Visit weeknights (Monday through Thursday) from 8-10:00 pm, and weekends until around midnight, or until all the screams have died off. We recommend you visit soon, if you dare. R.A. Mihailoff, the man behind the mask in “Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III,” will be at Pinheads to sign autographs through Sunday, October 27.
All you have to do is make it through the woods alive.