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December 07th, 2021

trail of terror posterELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The Halloween season is upon the area, and many people are continuing to look for some spooky activities to do. 

One of those can be found later this week thanks to the Liberal Police Department and some other sponsors with the Arkalon Trail of Terror. This year, the Arkalon Trail of Terror (also dubbed the Half-Mile of Horror), will be Oct. 15 and 16 from 8 to 11 p.m. out at Arkalon Park, and there are several scare spots throughout the trail. 

“We've also teamed up with the Liberal High School After Prom Committee, so part of our proceeds will go to them. Typically, the proceeds from this go to Shop With A Cop, which is near and dear to all of our officers' hearts, and last year saw us buy out the City of Liberal Angel Tree because we did so well with this,” Liberal Police Department Community Policing Coordinator Susan Neal said. “But we know the LHS After Prom Committee is also super supportive of youth in the community, so we felt this would be a great team-up, and they have some great scare spots throughout. We'll also have Capture Photography out there with a photo booth that captures some great mid-scare photos, Change-Up Coffee and Drinks, and Oklahoma Smoke BBQ – so there will be food and drinks and a photo booth to capture some great moments. We'll also have a coffin ride for $5 that's really cool and creepy at the same time – it's one of those things where it seems kind of corny until you actually get scared. The ride can hold two people, and it pumps in sound and smells while it's moving.”

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Neal said she is excited for the LPD to be able to have the event for this year. 

“I'm super excited. This is my first year actually helping coordinate these types of events, but I have always been close to the Liberal Police Department because one of my best friends was Franka Post, so I got to be basically right next to the action with everything,” Neal said. “And the lady who had this job before me, Alison Clark, did such an amazing job, and I've been able to pick everything right up. Things were a little touch-and-go again this year as far as whether or not we would have it, but we're really excited to have it this year. It's been great meeting the vendors and some other new people. It's also great seeing the LPD get excited about this, we've had officers in their plain clothes helping with setup and cleanup, and some of them act somewhat like children because they really enjoy putting this all together every year.”

Neal added the event will help a pair of good local causes. 

“This is our big Shop With A Cop fundraiser, and like I said earlier, we'll also be giving part of our proceeds to the LHS After Prom Committee. Shop With A Cop is near and dear to all of us, I don't think enough can be said about it – we get references from all throughout the community from social workers, the schools, and others, about children in need, and we take them out shopping for some Christmas presents,” Neal said. “Some of the children who get chosen even want to buy presents for others and are extremely generous. We were really glad to be able to buy out the City of Liberal Angel Tree last year, all of the administrator ladies were wrapping gifts what felt like forever. It's really great we're able to have the Trail of Terror for this year, it's for a pair of great causes, and you can come out and have fun while being scared at the same time.”

Neal added there are s few rules to keep in mind before hitting the Trail of Terror.

“We do have a waiver that has to be signed by an adult if they bring minor children – we do recommend this for people 14 years old and older, but we do want as many people to come as possible, and parents know better than we do about what their children can handle,” Neal said. “We're not setting out to traumatize children, we're looking to help them. And while we do recommend the 14 and older guideline, we have had younger children come through it just fine, and we've even had some younger children help at some of the scare spots with no trouble. We also ask that as they're going through the trail, don't push anyone and don't move any of the props or anything else. Also, the people in the scare spots will not actually touch you – they'll get close and scare you, but they won't actually have any contact with the patrons. We also provide small flashlights for people so they can see where they're going.”

With this being her first year helping with coordinating the event, Neal said she hopes this year will also see good turnout. 

“Last year ended up really well, I think everyone was looking for something to do outdoors because they'd been so careful against COVID-19 for a long time at that point, so I think we'll see a good turnout this year again,” Neal said. “I think we'll do awesome again this year, this is something people are looking forward to now since we've been doing it the past few years. We're really excited to see how the Trail of Terror goes for this year, I can't wait for everyone to see how we've put everything together, and I think everyone who comes through will have a lot of fun going through everything.”

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