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>> WICKED WOODS' OPENING WEEKEND TO SUPPORT LOCAL CHARITIES
Wicked Woods scares up fun while helping out local charities.

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Date published: 9/22/2011

BY KATIE THISDELL

Halloween isn't quite here, but it's not too early to get spooked.

Wicked Woods Haunted Forest near Lake Anna opens next weekend with a charity night to benefit several area organizations.

Organizer Erik Sayenga says he and his family have been working all year to get ready for screams over the next several weeks.

"It's pretty intense," Sayenga said.

A $20 combo ticket will get visitors into both the quarter-mile Wicked Woods and the Insanitarium, a haunted asylum.

Warning: The woods may not be suitable for children under 12.

On Sept. 30, all proceeds will go to the following organizations: Fredericksburg SPCA, Fredericksburg-area chapter of the American Red Cross, Spotsylvania Volunteer Fire Department, Fredericksburg Area Food Bank and Woodbridge flood victims.

"The more people we get out, the more people we can help," Sayenga said.

Wicked Woods has donated to charities in the past, but never have donated 100 percent of proceeds from one night.

"It's something we always wanted to do, but we weren't able to do it financially before," Sayenga said.

Another benefit of visiting early in the month: potentially shorter lines to enter.

Sayenga says the asylum is "kind of like a warm-up attraction."

"Everything is really old-timey and just really creepy-looking," Sayenga said.

A doctor who has gone mad tries to do tests on people, giving the attraction an interactive feel.

"We try to make them feel like they have to find the way to get out," Sayenga said.

Walking through the woods is like traveling through 20 different movie-quality scenes.

Sayenga says the quality of the exhibit is like high-quality films, too, including professional makeup by Jim Choate.

"We don't just throw on a cheap mask," Sayenga said.

Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975
Email: kthisdell@freelancestar.com


What: Wicked Woods Haunted Forest and Insanitarium When: All proceeds Sept. 30 go toward local charities. The attraction is also open Oct. 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 28-30. Hours are 7-10 p.m. Where:

Take I-95's Exit 118 to Thornburg. Make a right onto Morris Road and continue 5 miles. The road becomes State Route 208; continue 4 miles. Turn left on 208 toward Lake Anna. Turn left on Massey Road across from the Variety Store/Shell. Pass Livingston landfill to signs on right at entrance.

Cost: $20 for combination ticket, $7 for haunted asylum ticket, $15 for haunted forest Info: wicked-woods.com