A Northern Irish man has come up with a fun, novel way of putting the spooks back in Hallowe’en. It’s a season of fun and frights and is especially geared towards children who lap up the enjoyment of the season with its pumpkins, trick or treating, black cats and witches. I spoke to the Irishman who has created a fun project for children to enjoy this Hallowe’en. Walter Holt from Co Londonderry has designed a 200m walk through three acres of woodland on private property owned by his family, fusing together the elements of sound and lighting and using a variety of entertainment such as promenade theatre with plenty of fun characters on hand to guide you.
Walter who is a lighting designer by trade with a special interest in trees, created ‘The Disenchanted Forest’ to mark All Hallows’ E’en and to give children in the Mid-Ulster area of Northern Ireland the opportunity to learn more about the season. The copse where the ‘spooktacular’ fun takes place is situated beside the Weddell Bridge Road, between the South derry towns of Tobermore and Draperstown. It’s right in the heart of Northern Ireland and it’s easy to get to. Above all, it provides parents with a great way to keep their children entertained this Hallowe’en once they grow tired of the trick or treating.
This is the first year Walter has organised ‘The Disenchanted Forest’ spectacle and he promises fun for all ages this weekend. “This is not about making children frightened of going into wild places,” explained Walter. “It’s about providing an entertaining new way to mark the summer’s end in this region. Visitors will assemble and younger children will go in groups, accompanied by their parents. The first stop is the witch’s caldron and she will be serving soup! Then they follow the trail round the forest and visitors will love the thrills that I have set up for them. I do emphasise that it’s not about creating fear and making children scared, but instead it will provide fun for all the family.”
This gives just a brief taster of what’s in store for the weekend. Walter suggests visitors dress in warm clothing and bring appropriate footwear. “Anyone would get scared if I allow them to be, after all, they’re going for a walk in the woods for the evening in an environment controlled by me!” Walter added, laughing.