Terror in the Graveyard returns

Kierra Harris, Lamp staff

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Shawn McKinney loves Halloween. After visiting Disney World’s Haunted Mansion, McKinney thought he’d like to bring the same experience to Petersburg.

McKinney’s vision was Disney with a twist, and thus Terror on the Square was born in 1993.

Halloween is a very creative holiday — anything goes, McKinney said. Now there are people traveling from Chicago and St. Louis just to experience Terror.

Now known as Terror in the Graveyard, the haunted trail will continue to frighten visitors when it opens at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13.

Finding people to work Terror wasn’t easy, McKinney said. He started with a base, and then friends of friends fed into it and it became a crew.

“They’re good people with a dark side ­because we aren’t just a bunch a weirdos, but we are,” said McKinney.

The graveyard is a lot of work every year, but the payoff is worth it, McKinney said. Seeing all the visions come together and seeing the show run makes it worth it.

The other people that work at Terror have similar opinions.

Quinton Hummel has been working with McKinney since 2012. He started working because of his grandma who told McKinney how good of a worker he was while he was working on a different project.

“I don’t know why I come back each year,” Hummel said. “Last year, I couldn’t move my fingers or drink anything, unless it was out of a straw, because of my costume. But seeing the show run is the payoff.”

People come from all over to work at Terror. Gale Brown, who started working at Terror in 2006, flies in from Colorado.

Brown met McKinney 12 years ago at a silent auction.

“Shawn’s passion for the haunting can be contagious,” Brown said. “I have spent so much time of my life there so it really has shaped me.”

Building for Terror in the Graveyard starts in the middle of August, and employees work from noon until 10 p.m. at the minimum.

“I’m nuts,” McKinney said. “I’m crazy. I gotta be crazy. No sane person would do this. But the passion of creating a show that people enjoy. A dark show. I’m too creative to not do it.”

Terror in the Graveyard is every weekend until Halloween starting Oct. 12. It is open from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27. It will also be open 7 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct 28, and Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Admission is $13 for adults, and $10 for children 10 and younger.

The event is outdoors. Warm clothes and shoes are recommended.

Terror in the Graveyard is located one mile north of Petersburg at the Menard County Fairgrounds, 18450 N. Fairgrounds St., Petersburg.

For more information go to www.terrorontheweb.com.

Kierra Harris can be reached at [email protected]

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Terror in the Graveyard returns