Nightmare Forest Benefits Colby Schools

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Spooky Trail Returns to Colby

(OnFocus) Be prepared to face your innermost fears for a good cause when the Nightmare Forest returns to Colby.

The haunted trail will take place two dates this October at the Colby School Forest with all proceeds staying local to benefit the Colby Hornet Athletic Booster Club and the IDEA Foundation, a nonprofit which provides additional funding for educators and distributes scholarships.

“Not only are you going to get scared, but you’re going to be giving back,” said Matt Oehmichen, organizer.

Once hosted by the FFA, the spooky trail is returning under the direction of The Hornet’s Nest. The Facebook-based group, founded by Oehmichen just over a year ago, connects students, alumni, staff, and the community around athletics and events.

After an encouraging push from his wife, Sarah, a high school teacher, Oehmichen decided to bring the event back as a way to both fundraise and strengthen a sense of community in Colby by getting local leaders involved, from businesses to school staff.

Nightmare Forest, for ages 12 and up, is centered around anxieties and phobias rather than gore. What that will mean for attendees exactly is a mystery — but that’s the whole point.

“H.P. Lovecraft once said the oldest and strongest emotion is fear, and the strongest type of fear is fear of the unknown, and that’s what our main approach is,” said Oehmichen. “All that graphic shock treatment — we’re not doing that.”

The event will take place on Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 26 from 7-10 p.m. with $10 admission. Additionally, cider and popcorn will be for sale. Depending on response, the trail may once again become an annual tradition for the community.