All Good Stories Must Come To An End…
In the beginning it was just a story… a story about how two people who traveled down a road just to see where it would go. This road ended in Baldwin, Wisconsin, at a house named The Rose on the corner of 12th and Maple Street. The road led this couple to create a family fun filled scary place called Spooky Hollow Experience.
For nearly two decades, Jack & Gracie created a multi award winning haunt that was seen by people around the world. Visitors from Green Bay, Chicago, Washington DC, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Minnesota and Texas came to see Spooky Hollow. People traveled many miles from Germany, Holland, Norway, Great Britain, and Argentina to come to witness this massive event! Spooky Hollow even was graced by several professional haunts to gain ideas as to what they should do at their own haunts.
Spooky Hollow was also graced with the presence of two well known entertainers. Privately, the creators welcomed Country Music Entertainer Rhonda Towns and Award Winning Bluegrass singer / songwriter Mark “Brink” Brinkman to take part in the festivities.
However, this story must come to an end…
“It was a very difficult decision to make…” solemnly tells Gracie. “However, due to the rising costs and the lack of funds we are forced to retire. For several years we have had a hard time making ends meet when it comes to creating such a huge event. I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back came when several of our props were destroyed by visitors last year. One particular prop costs me about $300.00 to make - the public broke several parts off it. It took a long time to make it and it can not be fixed.”
Other factors in the decision to retire included the change in the public’s persona. Visitors to Spooky Hollow started becoming nasty to the point that many were thrown out and told not to return. Others would take their antics too far and the Police were brought in.
In the end most of the decision was made due to the costs.
“Before we even set up or made anything new, our costs were $4000.00 per year!” shares Gracie. “Then you add candy costs which were around $600.00 per year. Then if we wanted to make anything new – it just grew from there. Many of the props that we make cost a lot. Each of the tombstones started at $100 and went up… Most people don’t believe that we would spend over $10,000 or more per year. If we charged, by law we would have to carry a higher insurance premium and the costs of that did not justify the costs to charge. The whole idea of Spooky Hollow was to give families of all financial statuses a place to have fun.”
The creators would try and off set the costs with various fund raisers. Over the years, they would try and raise money with aluminum can donations, monetary donations, bake sales, flower sales and even a garage sale. Spooky Hollow even sold merchandise, including costumes, on the website. With the entire fund raising, the owners could not even raise $1,000 per year.
Five years ago, Gracie set out to petition local businesses to sponsor Spooky Hollow.
“Every year we would bring in over 5,000 people into Baldwin.” tells Jack. “With that many people – I can’t believe that none of the businesses around here would help out!”
Most of the businesses that sponsored or helped Spooky Hollow were located in Hudson, Wisconsin. Over the years our sponsors included Strictly Country magazine, Aves Studio, Ackley Tree Service, V&A Storage, County Market Hudson, Arby’s Hudson, Papa Murphy’s.
“The hardest part of this decision is knowing that we will not see many of our fans.” tells Gracie. “Over the years we watched as your children grew up to become adults and have children of their own… many of them become very special to Jack and I. I always loved giving away the body parts candy… remember the Spooky Hollow way of eating them?”
Spooky Hollow Experience with Jack, Gracie and Boo would like to thank the Baldwin Police Department, Mrs. Shirley, Lowell, The Voskul Family, The Kulow Family, Strictly Country magazine, Aves Studio, Ackley Tree Service, V&A Storage, County Market Hudson, Arby’s Hudson, Papa Murphy’s, our biggest fan Jack, and many of you (sorry, we don’t remember your names, but know your faces) who helped this dream come alive! We also would like to thank the various people who joined the Boo Crew over the years.
At this time Jack & Gracie do not have any plans in regards to selling any of the props from Spooky Hollow Experience. If and when the decision is made – it will be announced right here on this website or on our official Spooky Hollow Experience Facebook page. However, the creators are looking to offer Halloween Haunt Consultant services to professional haunts.
“It was a lot of fun, but everything has to come to an end!” shares Jack.
“I guess, for now the story comes to an end…” tells Gracie. “One more time for old time sake…
Worlds beyond worlds…
times beyond times…
tonight we have all the time in the world…
welcome to…goodnight from Spooky Hollow Experience…”
Scaring the neighbors since 1996!
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