Nine-county Trail of Terror offers ‘spooktacular’ fun

The award-winning Trail of Terror swings into action with special events and “spooktacular” haunted happenings.

Ghosts, goblins, pumpkins and gourds are what you’ll find on the nine-county Trail of Terror. The fall promotion covers Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago and Whiteside counties in northwest Illinois. All nine counties have a variety of haunted houses, cemetery walks, pumpkin patches and festivals to enjoy.

The Trail is a self-guided tour through northwest Illinois with stops at such places as the Raven’s Grin Inn in Mt. Carroll, which was built in the 1870s and is rumored to be haunted. The house, which has been featured on HGTV’s Extreme Homes and in National Geographic, will provide thrills and non-gory entertainment for young and old alike.

Another spooktacular tour is the Old Haunted Mill in Orangeville, which features two slides, seven levels of thrills and scares, and new frights added nightly.

The Lena Haunted Barn, also on the tour, is one of the top-rated haunted places in the state of Illinois.

Spirits of Yesteryear in Freeport offers historical characters that come back from the dead to speak of their lives while people tour a Victorian home decorated as an authentic 19th-century home in mourning.

The Sterling-Rock Falls Jaycees “Cinema of Terror” haunted house offers characters from your favorite horror movies.

Meantime, in Rockford, the “Spooktacular P’optober” at Lockwood Park offers family-oriented events and activities in a country farm setting.

Fall festivals are abundant throughout the nine counties, and include Fulton’s Fall Festival, Savanna’s Spook Walk through Old Mill Park, Scarecrow Harvest Festival at Midway Village in Rockford, October Nights in Mt. Carroll, and Halloween on the Prairie at the Byron Forest Preserve.

Pumpkin patches, orchards and farmers’ markets are also a popular stop on the Trail, featuring such activities as train rides, petting zoos, hayrides, corn mazes and, of course, pumpkin picking!

Lodging accommodations are also included in the Trail of Terror information, and many feature special room rates with no extra charge for little ghosts and goblins.

With all these attractions and events to choose from, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit northwest Illinois and take a trip on the Trail of Terror. Some sites have admittance fees that range between $2 to $10. Some haunted happenings are scarier than others, and it is recommended parents call first before taking little ones.

To receive a brochure or get more information about the Trail of Terror, contact Freeport/Stephenson County Convention & Visitors Bureau at (815) 233-1357 or 800-369-2955, or Blackhawk Waterways CVB at 800-678-2108. Visit the Trail online at

From the Oct. 25-31, 2006, issue

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