HUDSON, Wis. (FOX 9) - After 10 years of scaring folks while raising money at the same time, a couple is pulling the plug its popular "haunted" forest in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Whether it's creeping through dark woods at night, or through a meat locker with strangers leaping out at you, Dreadwood Forest is always a spooky experience. But, it's not just the location that makes the forest different. It's the people that make the whole thing happen.
For the average visitor, you are left in the quiet of the forest, in the middle of the night. All you can see are the people you are with and all you might hear are screams in the distance.
The screams and the laughter come courtesy of the thousands of volunteers that make the Dreadwood Haunted Forest happen.
Emily Gerbig helped co-found the haunted forest, which hands out scares while raising money for charity.
"We don’t use animatronics, we don’t use black lights," said co-founder Emily Gerbig. "The things you see out here are very real and it can be bone-chilling."
"Our mission is to raise money to give to charities," added volunteer coordinator Kat Christopherson.
All the money goes back to the community. And all the volunteers are just that: volunteers.
The forest is located along County Road E in Hudson.
"You can sign up and come out and terrify people in the woods, and the money goes to a good cause," explained Gerbig.
But the unique concept of blending terror with charity was concocted 10 years ago by Emily and her husband is coming to an end. "When we started this, we didn’t have a family," Gerbig said. "We have two kids now and it's getting harder and harder to operate."
This year, they’re looking for roughly 1,000 volunteers to help them make this the biggest and best year yet.
The forest is looking for volunteers to help out with the final year.
"You don’t have to be yourself," added volunteer Bob Kraby. "My wife says I get to be myself when I’m out here."
"Nobody is here because they’re putting a couple of bucks in their pocket," said volunteer Adam Stegner. "We're here because we love it."
Over the course of the last 10 years, they’ve raised more than $185,000 for charities. If you are interested, you can visit their website here.