On Friday night, I found myself on my way down the desolate Oak Shade Road. I was looking for some Halloween fun at Fear Forest. I had heard rumors that the forest was a truly terrifying experience, and I was up for the challenge and ready to test my courage.

After a short and spooky hayride, I approached the doors of Fear Forest. Standing in line with hundreds of eager daredevils, I soon learned that nowhere is safe in Fear Forest. Gruesome chainsaw-wielding men took pleasure in the sadistic torture of their victims in line. Even children were fair game for their terrifying antics.

The only way for me to escape the terror was to enter the forest. Too bad I have never gotten over my fear of the dark. After scrambling through a pitch-black maze where danger lurked at every turn, I was thrust into the woods. What awaited me was far more than I had imagined.

A treacherous mountain trail dotted with ghostly dwellings stretched out before me. As I set out on my path, I was immediately bombarded by my worst fear: clowns. I am terrified of clowns in the same way that some people are deathly afraid of spiders. The creators of Fear Forest have capitalized on this aspect of the human psyche. Multiple haunting sites are set up along the path, each playing on a different phobia. These sites include a spider's lair, a psychiatric ward, a haunted campsite, a wild hunter's bloodstained trailer and an abandoned school bus.

Aside from the clowns, I was most intimidated when I stumbled into a military fortress. Men with black faces and camouflage lurked in corners whispering horrifying tales of war. Coming from a military family, this site particularly played with my emotions and I left it feeling drained and vulnerable - the perfect set-up for the rest of the haunting that awaited me.

A group favorite was a mysterious unmarked room along the path. Though mundane on the outside, when I stepped inside I was swept into a dizzying world of neon colors. The room itself was spinning, throwing the rest of my group and myself into a trippy daze.

Fear Forest lives up to its reputation, and at a cost of $10, it's a frighteningly perfect Halloween weekend activity for students.

Contact Kellan Howell at howellkc@dukes.jmu.edu.