Build Your Adventure
Creepy Hollow Offers Haunted Trails and Buildings to Spice up your All Hallow's Eve

October 29, 2021

Brandon Kieper

Antigo Daily Journal

“Pay to get in. Pray to get out.” The Creepy Hollow is ready to deliver the spine-chilling fun this Halloween weekend.

Located at N11818 Cedar Road in Birnamwood, the Creepy Hollow’s motto offers a preview of what visitors can expect. Gates open at 7 p.m. and ticket sales end at 11 p.m. Admission is $10, with a fast pass available for $20. Children 10 and younger can get their scares for free.

Creepy Hollow started in 2015 as an ultimatum between Caty Sowinski and her father when she was a junior at Antigo High School. After years of enjoying haunted attractions across the state with family and friends, including the now-retired Marion Maze, Sowinski suggested the idea to him.

Dad gave that stern look a father gives to his child when they ask a ludicrous question and said, “If it works out this year, we’ll think about doing it another year. If it doesn’t, this is the last time we’re doing the trail.”

Here they are, six years later, and with the nose to the grindstone, the work is full-on. And with a handful of family and friends, Creepy Hollow was born.

This is no minor task. To make Creepy Hollow work, it takes nearly 60 volunteers who help on and off the trail, with each playing a crucial role.
“Every single volunteer is absolutely amazing and incredible,” Sowinski said. “We wouldn’t be Creepy Hollow as a whole without them. We start as soon as the spring rolls and schedule our first trail meeting for the year.”

A preliminary meeting establishes the plans for what everyone is doing on the trail and what needs to be fixed, cleaned up, or added onto. Yet, almost immediately after the most recent trail gets finished, everyone is already thinking of what to do the following year.

Creepy Hollow presents a unique vibe as each volunteer essentially has their own ideas and can bring them to life. In the end, it comes together cohesively when all those ideas gel and the trail is ready to go.

That meeting also ensures that ideas don’t double-down on the trail.

“Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t have the crazy elements that we do,” Sowinski said. “For example, the spinning vortex tube, or the maze that’s close to 100 feet long to name a few. We can’t tell you everything because we love the element of surprise working in our favor.
“Another reason we are so unique from other haunted attractions is really due to the fact that we are a haunted trail, but with several buildings dispersed throughout the woods too. It gives you a mix of your typical haunted house as well as the unpredictability of the woods itself. You never quite know what to expect when you are out there and that alone causes unease.”

Creepy Hollow was created with the noble notion of helping the community. All funds raised are donated. Over the years, beneficiaries have included the Antigo Police K-9 Fund, REGI, Weekend for Backpacks Program through the local food pantry, the Langlade County Humane Society, the Foster Families of Langlade County, the Aspirus Cancer Center and the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

“That’s why everyone is so incredibly passionate about what we do here at Creepy Hollow,” Sowinski said. “We put our blood, sweat, and tears into this haunted trail, not to mention endless hours, but it is always worth it because we are giving back to the community. Everyone here will tell you that their love for Halloween and the ability to help others is why we do it. I wouldn’t say scaring people out of their wits isn’t a reason either because it’s incredibly amusing.”

Those bold enough to venture the Creepy Hollow are advised to wear weather-appropriate attire and shoes that will withstand foot travel in the woods. There are rocks and roots to navigate, and sometimes it does get slippery as the night progresses.

Be aware that there is a maze with tight spaces and low ceilings, and some areas throughout the trail that are disorienting. There will be heaters on-site throughout the lines.

Creepy Hollow accepts cash and Square payments and invites all hauntees to snag some pictures with the haunters.

“Thank you for our amazing sponsors that have continued to support us over the years,” Sowinski said. “It is greatly appreciated to always have you in our corner and supporting the work that we do.”

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