MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In just more than a week, an isolated forest near Hudson, Wisconsin will become something horrifying.
Believe it or not, Dreadwood Haunted Forest began with a love story. Emily Gerbig met her husband, Darrin, while working at a horror event in St. Paul.
“We actually met each other in costume,” Gerbig said.
Ten years ago, they decided to take their passion for petrifying people and turn it into something uniquely their own.
“We thought maybe we would get 50 people through the front door. Turns out, we got about 350 people through our first night. It took off from there,” Gerbig said.
The half-mile hike through the Wisconsin woods has grown in popularity, but this year the couple will hang up their costumes and focus on their two children.
“Our priorities are a little bit different than they used to be, so we’ve decided that we are going to end this year with a bang,” Gerbig said.
Dreadwood isn’t just about terrifying visitors. It’s a nonprofit organization that has raised nearly $200,000 in the past decade for local charities like Sharing and Caring Hands and Courage Center.
The money raised for charity isn’t the only sweet thing about this scary event. The haunted creatures on the trail are all volunteers, something the event desperately needs to go out with a scream.
They will provide everything: hair, makeup, costumes and coaching on how to scare people. All you need to do is show up and prepare to get spooky.