Volunteers rally after vandalism - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Volunteers rally after vandalism

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Scaring the public is a thrill for some Halloween fanatics.

Organizer Kathy Smith said, "The more odd it is or the more you've really startled someone and made them scream, the better it is."

And for Smith it's considered a success to haunt guests that attend her annual haunted hayride and spook walk. But this year vandals are wrecking the property.

"It seems that we were targeted because there are other signs in the area for a children's warehouse." added Smith.

Early Friday morning -- promotional signs for the event were ruined and taken.

"They were all handpainted, some had a 3-d effect, some had branches and grapevine on them so they were a lot of effort." said Smith.

Signs we're posted all along route 7 including a large 4 foot by 4 foot sign that was vandalized then stolen.

"At first it was quite a shock. And immediately we said we can't let people down." said Amanda Sheppard.

Sheppard is one of the many volunteers. She commented, "Despite this signs coming up and disappearing - we're gonna have a great time, we need extra volunteers to come in it's created a little extra work but we're up for it."

The event is also a fundraiser for a close friend.

"What is it going to be this year without Conrad there?" asked Sheppard.

40-year-old Conrad Bell was tragically murdered this past July. Bell was a staple volunteer for Freaky Forest held last year.

"Conrad was our swamp monster he also operated props that came flying down infront of people making some great scares." said Sheppard.

In honor of his life -- Bell's employer at Throck Morton Manor offered the property to host the hauntings this year. And all ticket proceeds are being donated to Bell's family. The haunted hayride and spook walk is made up of multiple walk-through buildings, forest walks -- and the obvious hayride.

Kaleb Huestis, volunteer "I like hiding behind the smoke machines and rocks and dressing up as snakes and stuff."

Kaleb and all the volunteers are just eager to move forward -- terrifying the public -- with added incentive this particular year.

Anyone with information about the vandalism -- is asked to contact police.

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