Arbor Lake serves up screams in Fright Hike

An LED light strapped to a quadcopter circles around Arbor Lake (the location of the Fright Hike), creating a ghostly image. Photo by John Brady.

An LED light strapped to a quadcopter circles around Arbor Lake (the location of the Fright Hike), creating a ghostly image. Photo by John Brady.

The Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the second series of its new event, the Grinnell Fright Hike, today.

Interested attendees can begin the hike any time between 8 and 10:30 p.m. The one-mile hike around Arbor Lake is recommended to teenagers and adults and will feature volunteers to scare the hike participants.

The hike will begin and end at the parking lot on the north side of Arbor Lake, which is on the westernmost end of Washington Ave. Participants are sent out into the darkness in pairs or small groups.

The first series of the hike was held on Friday, Oct. 24 and was extremely successful. Some participants paid more than once so that they could re-experience the spooky walk.

“[The previous hike] exceeded my expectations—we had about 230 people that went through the hike in three hours,” said Emily Counts, the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director.

The spook-tacular event was coordinated as a joint effort by the young professionals network group, Grinnell Connect and the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce. It was proposed because it was an effective way to get the community together in the fall, a season that typically sees a drop in community activity.

“When it comes closer towards October and November there’s not quite as much to do. So one of [Grinnell Connect’s] goals is to make Grinnell a place where people can be entertained and have fun things to do without having to go out of town to do it,” Counts said.

Even if participants attended the first series of the hike, they can expect to be scared again for Friday’s hike.

“It’s going to be a lot colder [than last Friday’s] … which usually adds to the scariness of things,” Counts said. “And we’ve tweaked a few locations of volunteers to scare people and moved a few things around but overall we’re keeping it pretty consistent and taking feedback and ideas to try and make it bigger and better for next year.”

Counts assures that they have prepared plenty of props and costumes for the hike, noting that Freddy Krueger made an appearance in last week’s hike.

“I don’t want to give too much away, you have to come to really check it out, but we have some different props along the way, some spooky signs and that sort of thing. Then we have about 20 different volunteers who are dressing up as all kinds of different characters—a few clowns out there,” Counts said.

The price is $10 per person and can be purchased either that night or online through https://marketplace.tikly.co/?s=fright+hike.