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Haunted Forest delivers scares as it raises funds for fire department

EAGLE LAKE, Maine — The Eagle Lake Fire Department has more money to pay for much needed equipment and training after the Eagle Lake Haunted Forest fundraiser brought in $4,100 for the department on Saturday.

Between 550 and 600 adults and children visited the Haunted Forest this year, according to organizer Robert St. Germain.

“It was probably one of the best haunted forests we’ve ever had,” St. Germain said on Sunday. “The crowds were absolutely amazing and our volunteers and our sponsors were absolutely fantastic.”

The theme song from the movie “Halloween” echoed throughout the woods behind the Eagle Lake Town Office where the event took place. Guests hung onto a length of rope as volunteers guided them through the woods where creepy clowns, witches and other ghoulishly costumed actors, including several wielding loud chainsaws (with the chains removed) jumped out to scare them.

Friends Jarren Hartt, 15, and Malik Theriault,14, attended the event together. The teens chatted with other friends in the Eagle Lake town office parking lot and laughed in anticipation as they waited in line to enter the Haunted Forest.

“I saw a lot of people I know. A lot of the people in the haunted forest I knew,” Hartt said.

Hartt said he has attended the fundraiser in the past and was not disappointed this year.

“My favorite part was at the end when the chainsaw turned on and scared people,” he said. “It was amazing. I would definitely go again next year.”

Theriault said it was his first time attending the Haunted Forest and he also cited the chainsaw feature as his favorite.

Rain earlier in the week posed a potential obstacle to the event, but disappeared in time for the weekend.

“Despite the weather being bad on Thursday, the trails were in great shape. It was a little chilly, but all of our volunteers kept nice and warm and we had extra burn barrels in the parking lot for the guests,” St. Germain said.

More than 60 volunteers ranging in age from 11 to 50 years old donated their time to the fundraiser.

“Our volunteers are from all over the St. John Valley, and without them this event couldn’t happen,” St. Germain said.

“I would really like to say thank you to every single person who came to the event. Because of their support and coming to our fundraiser they are partially responsible for possibly saving somebody’s life by us being able to get better equipment and better training for our folks,” St. Germain said.

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