End of an era

This third season was the MOST successful season GoatMan Hollow
has ever had, despite pitchfork and torch wielding villagers. It was also the
most dramatic of our 3 seasons for its highest of high’s and its very lowest
of low’s. At one point we weren’t even sure if we would be able to open the
haunt, such was the opposition to us. Eventually our "never say die"
spirit prevailed, and each night we broke attendance records. Every night we
winced as we closed the gates early in a over the top effort to be good neighbors,
as many folks who arrived just after 9 pm were told we were already sold out.
One night, our turn away count was over 200!

This Halloween was especially bittersweet; we were all a bit saddened that
it was the last time GoatMan Hollow would happen in Hyattsville. It is an exciting
adventure that we embark upon, moving the GoatMan and his Hollow to a new and
larger location in Prince George’s county, but it is also good bye to wonderful
times had playing in Mike & Bill’s backyard. It was where we all first
met and came together as a newly born family of haunters. And it was where that
we began the journey that has led us to here and now.

year, I was more involved than I had ever been before, and look forward to even
more in the coming year. I cannot express my gratitude for being allowed to
play with this great bunch of folks! In addition to the stuff I did preseason,
during the actual haunt, I worked the front gate and corral areas grouping our
guests into the right sized tours to be scared as only we can. Each night,
with the last tour of the night, I performed a very different role, one not
meant for the guests to witness, but as a signal to cast and crew that the night’s
playtime was over. As the last person through the haunt with the group, I became
the self-proclaimed “Ghost of Haunting’s End”. After 4 hours of hard work haunting,
it was evident that I was a welcome sight to the actors and crew. You never
saw actors run so fast to get back to the house, out of makeup/costuming and
grab some sustenance.

Sunday night, there were 2 defining moments for me. The first occurred as we
prepared the very last group of guests to enter the haunt. Over the production
radio came the confirmation that the set was ready for this group – the VERY
last group to go through GoatMan Hollow. It was a broadcast that was not meant
for all to hear, but as the corral was empty, save for the last 14 guests, we
all heard it. What was especially poignant was the the catch in the
producer’s voice. It really hit home that my role of “Ghost of Haunting’s End,”
was playing out for the very last time this season, at this location.
That night, I received the usual big smiles as the actors saw me, and in the
eyes of many, the realization, that this was it – our playtime was over for
another season. Others were just tired, and hungry.

second defining moment felt like something out of “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie
Brown” Once all cast and crew had retreated to the house, makeup taken off,
and dinner enjoyed, the 4 founding producers, myself and 2 other producers snuck
off for one last walk through the haunt. Stopping on a well worn a production
trail, we 7 gathered for a group hug, and just to annoy the pitchfork and torch-wielding
villagers, we shouted at the top of our lungs “HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!” As our
cry went up into the almost silent night, we said goodbye to all that was GoatMan
Hollow in Hyattsville. It was the end of an era. Next weekend is the cast
and crew wrap party, and then we begin the sad task of dismantling GoatMan Hollow
for the last time. Although, where this haunt is going, it will not need to
be deconstructed each year, which is a blessing in itself.

So all hail, GoatMan Hollow, long may her banners wave.