No trick: Leland neighborhood treats community with free haunted attraction

A community in Leland came together for some frightening fun on Monday night. 
Haunted attraction at the Hertzog home in Leland (Photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A community in Leland came together for some frightening fun on Monday night.

Hundreds of people lined up along Stoney Creek Lane in Leland on Halloween night for a free, family-friendly haunted trail in the Stoney Creek Plantation neighborhood.

“Halloween’s a great holiday because it brings all communities together. Thousands of people, strangers, are coming to your door,” Jeff Hertzog said. “It’s just really unique in that regard and we love the unity that provides for the community.”

It’s something Jeff and Danielle Hertzog, who are better known to some as Mr. and Mrs. Halloween, started after Hurricane Florence impacted the Stoney Creek community in 2018.

“Our neighborhood was so big for trick-or-treaters before Florence. Unfortunately, the first Halloween after nobody came. We just said hey how about we do a haunted trail? It’ll get everybody coming back and it’s just progressively gotten bigger, and bigger, and bigger,” Danielle Hertzog said.

The Hertzogs round up volunteers from their neighborhood, their church, and around the community to make the haunted attraction possible. If the volunteers aren’t made up as ghouls and goblins, they’re serving popcorn and cotton candy to people anxiously awaiting to walk through the trail.

This year’s theme is the Hertzog Haunted Carnival, complete with killer clowns and a bloody ringmaster. However, the event is family-friendly, so the actors tailor their terror to each person who comes through the attraction to make sure everyone is having fun.

“These are going to be things they’re going to talk about, ‘that’s the house where the old man used to live that did all the crazy junk!’ It’s just very important. Hopefully, one day all these kids will bring their kids,” Jeff Hertzog said.

Halloween may only be one night per year, but the Hertzogs say the planning for next year’s trail begins November 1.

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