Irma scattered pieces of Jacksonville’s Haunted Trail; owners say Halloween attr…


What’s a ghoul to do when Hurricane Irma drops a tree in your graveyard?

Rebuild these gravestones so Jacksonville’s “Previous Spanish Path Hang-out,” an outside Halloween attraction behind a looming brick constructing at 13535 W. Beaver St., can scare once more.

Co-founder April Milward stated she and husband Dave labored with a handful of volunteers for 5 months establishing a number of scenes over the recent and humid summer time. Then Irma struck Sept. 10 and eleven, dropping timber and particles on the path and the constructing the place she and Dave stay, whereas heavy rains flooded it.

“Oh my gosh it was a nightmare. One among our actors stated we should always simply change the theme to an previous city leveled by a hurricane. It was that dangerous,” Milward stated. “We had an enormous tree that got here down throughout two totally different scenes. … The complete path was underneath a foot to 2 ft of water all through, and simply limbs and branches waist-excessive in most areas. We spent days clearing that out.”

Some say the Westside website was a stagecoach cease within the 1800s. Historians say the present constructing seems up to now to the Nineteen Twenties and should have housed a bordello within the Nineteen Forties and ’50s. It was a grocery from 1960 to 1990, with house owners including an ornate outdoors staircase and balcony to their upstairs residence. The Previous Spanish Path retailer closed in 2002, staying empty till the Milwards purchased the 12,000-sq.-foot constructing and the land in 2014.

Their plan was to show it into an outdoor haunted path for Halloween, and it opened that fall with sections like Apocalypse Alley and Voodoo Gardens, carved out of the location simply west of Otis Street. The present continued in 2015, then there was a yr’s hiatus earlier than the choice to revive it for 2017.

The couple, their son and a handful of volunteers rebuilt the cemetery, haunted parlor, horror circus and different elements. When Irma started heading this manner, they ready as a lot as they might, Milward stated.

“Just about every part that we had already adorned, we needed to un-beautify simply weeks earlier than opening,” she stated. “We needed to take down a few tents and introduced in any props laying round.

The siding of the constructing blew off into the subsequent-door lot, a tree fell onto their again balcony and one other smashed a pretend tombstone for “Ima Goner.”

“The best way the tree broke it, it virtually appeared prefer it stated Irma,” Milward stated. “That’s actually creepy.”

The couple misplaced energy for 3 days, then started rebuilding as they completed…



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