The Day – The East Lyme Walk of Horror Provides Holiday Entertainment For All Ages


East Lyme – Six-year-old Mya Dennis from East Lyme walked the Walk of Horror three times on Friday night before convincing herself she was no longer afraid.

According to her brother Elliot, 10, she ran “the fastest she has ever run” the first time the sound of a chainsaw caught them off guard at what they thought was the end of the race. track.

Elliot said Mya pushed herself to make two more trips around the outdoor trail – under dangling heads, in cobwebs, and against gusts of air and gusts of water – until that the maniac with the chainsaw doesn’t send him running anymore.

On Saturday afternoon, the family was back at the East Lyme Community Center to learn more.

“It’s fun, and the chainsaw guy isn’t that scary,” Mya said at the two-hour kids’ event.

Brother Ethan, 8, did not have one. “Mya, yes he was,” he said. “You were crying.”

Dennis’ three children vowed to return that evening and Sunday to find out more.

The Horror March, hosted by East Lyme Police Cadets, began five years ago. It was then that East Lyme police officer and founder of the local police cadet organization, Mark Hallbauer, “sucked in” a few friends and then convinced the cadets to come aboard.

About 10 of Hallbauer’s friends and buddies make up the core of the organizers, he said. They help guide a dozen cadets and their families through the arduous process of carrying out the annual event.

The trail features props ranging from a huge wooden pirate ship rescued from a local ‘buy nothing’ page on Facebook to handmade cannons to a coffin that may or may not hold someone at one point.

Other attractions include a demonic Sponge Bob Square Pants screaming about Krabby Patty. The prisoners try to escape their chains. Real trees glow in the dark under black lights using spray paint. Fears of jumping abound.

“It’s all about the diversions,” Hallbauer said. “You get them to focus on one thing and something else happens.”

In an effort to engage the five senses in the grotesque, the trail includes fragrant pods of decaying flesh.

“We used the smells of cotton candy or chocolate chips to make them inhale that, saying, ‘Oh, that smells so good. “Then we hit them with the rotting flesh and they vomit,” he said.

But do they really do it?

“They are doing it,” he said. “We made them throw up.”

Nora Askew, a grade eight student at East Lyme Middle School, has been a cadet member for a month. Over the past week, she has spent about six hours a day in areas like the Underwater Tent, where she helped climb a mermaid.

“Before that, I had never seen a mermaid skeleton,” she said. She worked alongside Molly Perrino-Rossi, an East Lyme 911 dispatcher and wife of chainsaw carrier Robert Rossi.

Askew, who has long wanted to be a police officer, FBI agent “or something,” said becoming a police cadet and learning from people like Perrino-Rossi made him realize how many opportunities there are. in emergency services.

“This program really made me see more possibilities of things than I could be,” she said.

Cadets aged 13 to 20 from East Lyme, Montville, Salem, Waterford, Lyme and Old Lyme receive training in law enforcement techniques while putting these skills to use at local events through traffic control, crowd control and relief after major disasters. The group’s structure mimics the city police department, with members using their interview skills to move up the organizational ladder.

The event started on Friday and continues through Sunday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Community Center, 41 Society Road. Waterford volunteer Susan Menghi, whose 21-year-old son is a former cadet, said she saw around 300 people cross the pirate ship that served as the entrance to the trail on Friday evening.

Menghi made a sparkling purple and blue costume for her role as a mermaid, known in mythology to lure sailors to the shipwreck with their sweet song.

“Get out there and have fun,” she said. “Hope you are a little scared.”

Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food for Care & Share of East Lyme and pet supplies for Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control. Cash donations will be accepted for East Lyme Police Cadets.

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