What are some tips to make sure the forest is a great experience?
Follow the lighted path.
Keep your hands to yourself (There will be no touching this year at the Haunted Forest)
Keep Moving ~ Please DO NOT BLOCK the trail. Step off the trail if something is wrong and one of our staff will assist you. Stopping on trail disrupts the distancing and ruins everyone’s experience!
Watch your Language ~ this is a benefit performance for our camps and outdoor programs and we expect you all to show some self-control.
No Cell Phones or Photographs on the trail. You would not believe how many cell phones get lost on our long, winding, dark trail through the woods. When we find the phone the next morning, they are often trampled and ruined. PLEASE tuck yours away in a zippered pocket!!
MHF COVID Policy
MHF requires advanced online tickets, small group arrivals, and timed entry for an entirely outdoor experience that provides plenty of social distancing and involves few frequently touch surfaces. MHF has implemented modifications to reduce the risk of spreading corona virus. As in past years, Calleva will employ County law enforcement and EMS every night to manage emergencies. Calleva will also stay in touch with Department of Health officials to stay abreast of new developments with respect to Covid-specific guidance.
What will be different this year because of COVID?
In order to comply with public health guidelines, we are selling a limited number of “Cohort Passes”, which is essentially tickets for a group of 6 to experience our Hybrid Trail. Each group of 6 is a cohort and will enter the trail together, hang out in our waiting area together, and depart the forest together. Cohorts must socially distance from other groups and after arriving together at their reserved time, will enter the Haunted Forest together. All patrons are expected to wear a mask when walking through the forest, as will all of our staff.
COVID Policy on Hybrid Trail:
The trail is entirely outdoors. Patrons are admitted in small groups, and staff control entry to the trail on a carefully timed schedule. Our trail management practices are very conducive to social distancing, since successful “scares” require that patrons don’t inadvertently receive a warning based on the reactions of the people in front of them on the trail.
advanced, online ticketing is designed to allow a limited number of tickets sold each night, as well as a limited number of tickets sold for hourly timeslots
customers are required to arrive at their reserved time, wear face coverings for the duration of the trail, and maintain distance from other groups while in the waiting area
timed access to the trail is managed for cohort groups of 6 individuals who arrive together and hold tickets for the same timeslot
timed reservations will keep the number of waiting groups low, will help keep wait times shorter, and structure access as customers move through the following:
queue lines designed to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between cohort groups
signage and markings to guide customers about distancing as well as directional indicators
gathering zones clearly marked for cohort groups
timed entry signals, visual and audible
once they have completed the trail, patrons will immediately depart the property via a lit path to the parking area
A few more details:
Waiver: You must complete this waiver to enter the MHF. Download PDF Waiver HERE.
Dress for the weather & wear shoes suitable for hiking through uneven trails.
No flashlights, outside alcohol or bad behavior.
What is the Hybrid Trail?
For MHF regulars, the hybrid trail can be a fun change of pace. It’s a combination of our most terrifying and artistic scenes from Trail 1 and Trail 2, takes a little bit longer to walk, and gives patrons a “Best Of” experience.
Food & Drink:
Concession style food is available in the Front Circle waiting area. Cohorts must maintain distance between them, but can order food while awaiting their time on the trails.
Deadly Dinner/Pizza Night reservations are available and open each Tuesday for the coming weekend. Guests for this experience MUST have advanced reservations. When entering the farm, Pizza Night guests are directed to a different part of our farm for dinner.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Pizza Night guests can also purchase MHF trail tickets. Please plan your night to be sure that you finish eating dinner BEFORE your trail time.
Can we book in groups?
YES, in 2020 MHF tickets will be sold ONLY for groups of up to 6 individuals.
What about other attractions?
Performances in the MHF Front Circle are FREE.
The Town is CANCELLED this year.
There will not be games or activities in the Front Circle this year.
NOTES ABOUT WEATHER & ACCESSIBILITY
Due to the nature of our event – completely outdoors & in the woods -- our trails are not hospitable for wheelchairs or crutches. The trails are dark, uneven, with steep ups and downs. In many places the trails are very narrow, with low hanging trees and slim clearance between trees and doorways.
What is your Rain Policy?
NOTE: Just like any outdoor concert or theatrical performance, if you don’t come out on a night we are open, you will NOT get a refund! TICKETS ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE TO ANOTHER NIGHT or TIME.
MHF is usually open rain or shine.
Weather in the DC area is VERY location-specific ~ sometimes it’s raining downtown but not in northwest MoCo!
If the Forest is closed due to extreme weather, NEWS will be posted on our home page and our social media channels no later than 4pm.
If we are forced to CLOSE EARLY due to extreme weather, all patrons who are on-site will receive a rain check. Lots of factors go into deciding whether or not we have to close, and patron & staff safety are at the top of our list. If the parking lot is too muddy for cars to safely navigate, if the trails are too slippery for people to navigate, and if there are safety hazards that prohibit the use of the trail scenes, we will not open our gates.
How do the Weather Cancellation Refunds work?
Refunds will be processed at the end of our season (early November). If you purchased a ticket for a night that we close due to weather AND YOUR TICKET REMAINS UN-USED on November 2, we will send an email at the end of the season for you to claim your full refund.
After a long and scary ride through Poolesville, you’ll park in a designated section of our hayfield, and -- according to your ticket's assigned time stamp -- approach the skull entrance for admission to the Front Circle waiting area. At your appointed arrival time, you’ll be directed to walk towards the lights and our socially distanced queue line for ticketing. Please have your cohort ticket receipt ready, either on your phone or paper, to be scanned.
There is no additional charge for parking. Your cohort should arrive in a single vehicle if possible.
Front CIRCLE (the MHF waiting area):
COHORTS ARE ADMITTED TO THE TRAIL on a timed schedule.
At the end of the ticketing queue, your group leader will receive a number identifying your cohort. You’ll wait in the MHF Front Circle (a high energy setting with huge bonfires, music and concessions) until your COHORT number is called on the loudspeaker and displayed on a sign near the trail entrance. From there you will get in a short socially distanced line for your turn onto the trail. Each cohort will have an hour or less to enjoy the Front Circle.
Where can I get discounts?
We are not offering discounts this year.
Where do I go if I lose something?
Please email Haunted Forest and let us know what you’ve lost. If we find it, we will get in touch with you.
NOTE: If you lose your cohort token, you will NOT be refunded and not allowed to enter the haunted trail.
Is there an age limit?
Markoff’s Haunted Forest is a scary event and we do not recommend anyone under the age of 12 to participate.
The trails are very dimly lit. The trails are steep and uneven. Patrons must cross bridges, tunnels, tight spaces, go up and down ramps. There are strobe lights, open fires, and -- since this is an outdoor event -- there can be animals/wildlife present on the farm and in the woods. People with mobility or balance issues should not attend.
Tickets for 2020 Markoff’s Haunted Forest are NON-REFUNDABLE.
PLEASE be sure you’re ALL-IN before you purchase your tickets.
If you communicate with our office before your ticket date, we might be able to reschedule your ticket to another night.
If you do not show up for the day or time on your cohort ticket, your tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE.
Unredeemed tickets can be recorded as a donation to CALLEVA, a registered 501c3. If you choose to donate, you will receive an acknowledgement of the donation that can be used for your tax purposes. The funds raised through Markoff’s Haunted Forest support Calleva programs, scholarships, school discounts, and developmental projects.
If you have questions, please email email@example.com.
Oops! I bought passes for the wrong date or something has come up! Can I change the date of the ticket?
If you purchased for an incorrect night or if you suddenly have a conflict on the night of previously purchased pass we ask that you purchase additional passes for the night that you can attend. Once you’ve done this, send the pass order that needs to be canceled to Haunted Forest and we will refund and void those passes.