Working up a good Halloween fright
MARION — Twists and turns, dead ends, loops, eerie music and scary creatures are all part of the frightful fun as you dare to wind your way through the intricate network of paths at the 10-acre Screamers Corn Maze.
The maze is located east of Marion on property owned by Bill Cook. It was designed by his nephew, longtime Marion resident Ray Faulman, who also oversees the day-to-day operation of the seasonal attraction.
Faulman is no newcomer to Halloween happenings. For 11 years he managed an award-winning haunted house in the same location.
This year, he has focused his talent on creating a cornstalk maze, an autumn adventure which is gaining in popularity throughout the country.
With eight-foot cornstalk walls, the maze is a perfect outdoor game to test your sense of direction in the dark of night under a moonlit sky.
If you know the exact path through the maze, it takes about 15 or 20 minutes from start to finish. But for the uninitiated, be prepared to spend an hour or more exploring and conquering the labyrinth.
What better way to get in the mood for Halloween than to challenge the maze and the creatures that inhabit it? Be ready — you may come face to face with the Michigan Dogman or Swampman. Strange sightings have been reported!
Once you’ve mastered the maze, relax around the bonfire to exchange spooky stories and favorite Halloween memories. Beverages and snacks are available.
The maze is a family-friendly activity.
“We don’t have a lot of gore, or blood,” said Faulman. “There are no devils and no witchcraft. We offer clean family fun. We don’t really recommend it for children under 12 who might get frightened in the dark with the music and scary creatures, but for everyone else, it’s lots of fun.”
Heather Bingham, Brenna Rivers, Patience Stone-Somers and Vivian Thompson, who came as a group from Cadillac, were enthusiastic about the experience.
“We saw the notice about the maze,” said Rivers, “and heard that it’s really scary and it’s one of the best mazes, so we decided to come out and give it a try.”
According to Faulman, hundreds of visitors come to try their luck in the maze each weekend. They come from Marion and towns and villages both near and far, including Battle Creek, Ann Arbor, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin, Harrison and Cadillac.
Pete Zakrzewski from Ohio is up north spending time in his cabin in Harrison. He happened to hear about the maze and decided to come with his friend Tony Whitt, also from Ohio.
“We thought it was something to do for Halloween fun,” said Zakrzewski. “I’ve been to a maze before, but this is the first time for Tony, and it’s fun to be scared.”
Admission to the maze is $8 per person, and all proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Team Autumnwood of McBain.
“We like to help people out,” said Faulman, “and the maze is a good way to do it. “It’s something we enjoy doing, scaring people in a fun way.”
The maze is open through the end of October. Hours of operation are Thursday from 7 - 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. until midnight. It will also be open on Halloween night, Oct. 31, from 7 - 11 p.m.
Screamers Corn Maze is east of Marion, off Cook Avenue on Haskell Lake Road. For further details and directions, contact Faulman at (989) 339-0675.