The Forest O’ Fears was created in 2014 by an Ossining mom looking to create something fun and unique within the community for everyone to enjoy. Halloween is one of her favorite holidays, so she came up with the idea of a haunted attraction.
When considering a home for the haunt, Cedar Lane Park was the obvious choice — its location, size, and isolation made it the perfect spot for a scare!
The event is built and produced by more than 100 volunteers, 75% between the ages of 8 and 17. These volunteers work on everything from design to execution, learning as they go, building skills, friendships and enjoying the great outdoors!
They spend countless hours building and constructing the event, growing more efficient, creative and talented with each passing year. Students also receive community service hours for their participation from the Ossining School District. Community service is now a mandatory annual requirement for every high school student in Ossining.
The main event is the haunted abandoned building and “trails of horror.” Guests are guided up a dark, winding trail to a two-story haunted house where they will enter at their own peril. Upon exiting the house (if they make it through), guests are directed down the trail of horror leading to their final destination – the haunted pavilion.
It’s suggested children be at least 13 years old to participate, as it does get scary and intense!
New groups are led through the haunted attraction at 15 minute increments, and you can purchase the tickets online. Proceeds go to a different local charity each year. For 2019 it was The SPCA of Westchester.
Everything is well organized, so just get to the park a bit before your start time and you’ll have no issues getting to the start of the walk.
I have little ones and get scared easily, so I sent my husband and father in law to the trail and haunted pavilion, and I took the kids to the Family Fun Field!
The field-only tickets were $10 for kids and $5 for adults. Kids’ tickets include 10 free game tickets and you can purchase additional (inexpensive) game tickets at an on-site booth.
The games were simple but very creative and homemade by the volunteers. My kids loved the Franken Toss, Pumpkin Pitch, Balloon Pop and Mummy Flush. They also had a craft table, a maze and a hayride, all included with the tickets. The only thing that was extra was zombie laser tag for $5.
They also had a Taco Truck and beer from Sing Sing Kill Brewery.
Here is a gallery with some pictures from the field:
It was a nice after-dinner family activity to celebrate Halloween right here in our town. I know this event will get bigger and better as the years pass (it has already!) and I’m excited about having my kids volunteer in the future.
And what about the Forest O’ Fears?
My husband reports: “I didn’t know what to expect going into the haunted walk, but was impressed. I went to the regionally famous Headless Horseman in Ulster a few weeks ago. The Headless Horseman is a huge commercial production with years of experience, a big budget, tons of props, multiple buildings and lots of paid actors. The Headless Horseman is a lot larger and lasts longer, but I enjoyed Forest O’ Fears more. Forest O’ Fears volunteer actors were more engaged than those at Headless Horseman. F O’ F also had impressive props, outfits and makeup, and some really creative and intense scares. I highly recommend it.”