Platte County residents wanting to start preparing for Halloween will be able to do so this weekend as two businesses are opening for the fall season.
The Gypsy Camp Curse, a haunted house-style attraction located just south of Monroe on Old Monroe Road, had its first opening of the season Friday night and will continue tonight.
Owner Katie Weddleton said the business started in 2017. It’s a haunted walk-through set up outside.
“We start everyone out at an insane asylum for the criminally insane, spiders, alligators, there are some zombies, killer clowns,” Weddleton said, noting that this year live alligators and snakes will be incorporated into the haunt, as well as a spider tunnel.
For younger visitors, Weddleton noted that she tries to adjust the haunted walk-through to suit individuals’ needs.
“When we do have younger guests, we do try to tone it down a little bit,” she said. “We try to carter the experience to fit the group of people we’re bringing in. We usually try to bring in small groups of four or five, that way it’s a pretty personalized thing. We can pick up pretty well on people.”
The Gypsy Camp Curse will operate every Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight until Halloween. Because it’s the business' opening weekend, half-price tickets will be offered tonight. Tickets can be purchased on-site or online at nebraskahaunt.com.
Weddleton also owns River City Carnival, which she’s unable to operate this year due to COVID-19.
Todd Laudenklos, co-owner of Horn T Zoo in Monroe, said his operation offers a pumpkin patch annually alongside a carnival.
But, those wanting to get into the fall season can visit the pumpkin patch, which opens this weekend as well.
“It’s our fall festival thing … that we always put on. We’re not commercial-like like all the big pumpkin patches. We’re more family-oriented,” Laudenklos said. “We set out (up) to… 1,000 pumpkins each weekend. All different sizes they can pick up. They can bring it back with their family and set up at a table and paint them or they can take them home.”
It’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday until the end of October. He noted that prices and other information can be found on the Horn T Zoo’s Facebook page.
Residents who have visited The Gypsy Camp Curse before can still expect to be scared.
“We do change it up each year,” Weddleton said. “We’ve got quite a few things this year, we’ve added some things and changed some things around. We’re constantly looking to see what works and what we can do better.”
As for the attraction’s name, Weddleton said there’s local history behind it.
“A lot of years ago, there was a gypsy camp on this land. They’ve had a very bad name for a really long time. The people in the area weren’t very nice to them so they cursed the land. We’ve had some creepy stuff out there so some of the creepy stuff that’s happened, we think came from that,” Weddleton said, adding that sometimes objects have been known to move on their own.
Weddleton encouraged those who don’t feel well to stay home and visitors to wear appropriate clothing, especially closed-toe shoes as the event is held outside on an uneven surface.
“Be ready to be scared. We want to scare you... we like everyone to come out and get a little jump into them,” Weddleton said.
Hannah Schrodt is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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