Uncover Your Eyes: Peek into Haunted Forest

By Isabel Dibble, News Editor

Throughout the whole month of October, there are a variety of Halloween-themed events around the Maryland-D.C. area including Markoff’s Haunted Forest and the Field of Screams.
Both offer a wide range of attractions from haunted trails to hayrides. For some students, it is an annual activity, and others scare visitors as employees.
“My sisters and I love haunted houses,” freshman Christina Maffeo said. “So after living here a while, someone mentioned Markoff’s Haunted Forest. We went one year, and I loved it. I knew that I wanted to work there that night after I left.”
The Markoff family created the Haunted Forest at first to help raise money to start a summer camp, which is known today as Calleva. However, the Haunted Forest quickly became a popular attraction for people.
“The Haunted Forest started 23 years ago,” Markoff’s Marketing Director Tom Doi said. “A lot has changed over the years, but our love for Halloween and scaring people hasn’t.”
With Markoff’s popularity at CHS, many students have applied to be employees.
“Working at Markoff’s can be physically draining sometimes,” freshman Nicole Bratton said. “We open at 6:30 p.m. and close usually around 12:30 a.m., so standing for six hours straight in the cold can get annoying.”
According to Maffeo, there is a 10-15 minute break between each group of people, so while waiting in the cold, employees come around to each hiding spot and provide food and drinks for those co-employees waiting to scare people coming in.
“The people that run Markoff’s Haunted Forest are really good at making every season a hit,” Bratton said. “They make it fun to work there and make every night a memorable one. My older sister had worked there one year, and she had a blast, so I figured that I would try it, and now it’s basically my second home.”
Before reporting to their hiding spots, employees must get into their costumes to get ready to scare.
“Each person picks a costume and usually sticks with the same costume for the season,” Bratton said. “As the season progresses from the first night, you really fall into your character.”
In addition to costumes, makeup is another key component to a successful outfit.
“The makeup artists are amazing and always capture the perfect amount of scariness,” Bratton said. “Makeup can sometimes include a latex layer to make things like scars or bumps pop off the face.”
According to Maffeo, it usually takes about an hour to finish getting into character.
“You have to be extremely careful to never break character,” Maffeo said. “It’s challenging but worth it.”
The combination of costume, make-up and staying in character are what makes Markoff’s an entertaining place to visit.
“I love getting scared because I get excited, especially when I’m with other people,” freshman Michelle Chow said. “When people get scared together, memories are made in which we can reflect on later and laugh.”