There is a twisted and dark sort of place where terror reigns not far off the beaten path. It is a trail. A trail where all of your deepest fears and nightmares come to life, a Trail of Terror.
The Trail of Terror, a haunted attraction in Buford, is the brainchild of Matthew Miller, a hairstylist and owner of Matthew’s & Co. Salon in Flowery Branch. Miller, a self-professed “product of the Stephen King generation,” opened the twisted attraction in 2018. His love of non-fictional horror has fed his need to open the trail, which is located off of Friendship Road each year.
“We want to bring Halloween excitement and fun to our community,” Miller said. “As locals from this area, we always had to drive so far to go to a haunted house. (The Trail of Terror) was needed.”
A little walk through the woods has never been so scary. The Trail of Terror has a large number of hellions, clowns, twisted minions and more waiting to terrify those brave enough to attempt the trail. Miller and his crew have thoroughly thrown themselves into their roles and have spent close to three months preparing the different scenes along the trail. The actors get creative with their makeup and costumes, often spending hours making sure they achieve that shock factor.
At times, the trail’s scenes or buildings can be extremely disorienting due to extreme sensory deprivation. This alone can scare many as one is immersed in total darkness, never knowing what may be lurking ahead. And there is always someone lurking nearby as the trail throws one fright after another at those who traverse it.
If ghastly characters, terrifying scenes, panic-inducing sensory deprivation and being startled nonstop were not enough, the location of the trail adds an extra fear factor. The trail winds its way through an actual forest. Walking through the forest, one might wonder what is beyond the trees beside them as the forest is excellent for providing hiding spots.
The attraction averaged 500 people per night who tried their luck on the trail last year, and Miller has high expectations for this season. The Trail of Terror has a crew of more than 40 people who work hard to give their customers the absolute best experience possible.
“We love to give our youth employment and a platform to be creative while having a blast,” Miller said.
Crews start prepping for the upcoming Halloween season three months in advance. The trail is not taken down during the off-season, so crews have time to complete repairs and ready the attraction for guests. They also work on building any new scenes that are to be added for the year.
The Trail of Terror is at 3760 Friendship Circle in Buford and is open Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. through Oct. 30. They will be open on Sunday, Oct. 24 from 8 to 11 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 31 from 8 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. The trail is open for one last night after Halloween. It will be open on Friday, Nov. 6 from 8 to 11 p.m.
When asked about the length and duration of the trail, Miller replied, “It’s 1.25 miles. We always laugh when people ask how long it takes to complete. Are you gonna run? Walk? Or hide?”
For more information and tickets, visit bufordtrailofterror.com.
DISCLAIMER: It is advised that any person who suffers with a medical condition involving breathing issues, epilepsy, heart problems, mental illness or are in overall poor health do not try the trail. If someone is physically unfit, they might have a harder time finishing the trail as one has to walk a long distance on various terrain. The attraction uses heavy fog and smoke for theatrical effect. This can aggravate anyone who is sensitive to the fog and smoke.