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Meet Your Makers
Some people call us crazy, some dreamers, we call ourselves Hauntrepreneurs. It is pretty much all one in the same. After a combined 25 years of experience in luxury resorts, Hans and Arica were ready to spread the entrepreneurial wings. The universe conspired to help them achieve this dream by dangling the Haunted Trail opportunity in front of them when they met Lolain Dobbs. So they packed up their life and moved to the Asheville area from Florida. Arica used her Recreation Management degree from Appalachian State University to organize the event, and Hans utilized his vast creativity and ingenuity to build props and design the trail. Bringing their talents together made them a formidable force, but when they teamed up with great friends they became unstoppable. With a lot of hard work and drive they brought the dream of the Haunted Trail to life for WNC families to enjoy!
From Neighbors to Partners in Fright
Chris Sheffield and Elaine Butta never knew what they were in store for when Arica and Hans moved onto their peaceful mountain in Leicester, NC. From the first friendly “hello,” these four people knew that they were going to be best friends. From the first mention of the Trail, Chris and Elaine have been dedicated hardworking partners in fright. Elaine drew on her years of event experience to help develop the Trail into a complete family outing. And the Haunted Trail relies on Chris’s vast knowledge of horror films to create subtle tie-ins throughout the scenes. (not to mention his acting skills are superb) We are eternally grateful for the amazing support and unwavering dedication these two bring to the Haunted Trail!
The Haunted Trail was created by event master and former special events director for Chicago, Lolain Dobbs. She developed the Haunted Trail over a period of seventeen years starting in 1986. The last year she was there, the show ran for eight days and attracted 40,000 visitors. After Lolain retired from her Chicago position, she formed KLA Productions with her daughter Allison, and continued to keep the Trail alive. Lolain met Arica in Tampa, FL at Innisbrook Golf Resort. Lolain and Arica teamed up to bring the Trail to Florida. There Lolain and Allison bestowed all of their haunting knowledge on Arica while they produced the Trail at the resort for three years. Knowing that Asheville would be the perfect community to start the trail, Arica and Hans packed up many trailers worth of equipment and moved to Asheville to continue Lolain’s legacy.
The Next Generation
Just as Lolain was able to work with her daughter at KLA Productions, we hope to carry on that tradition with our son. Charlie participated in his first Trail when I was 4 months pregnant with him. From the inside he must have been questioning the mother her chose as he spent many 12+ hour days working in my belly. Once on the outside, his suspicions were confirmed as he rode along on my back as we set up skeletons to witches. Conveniently, he became a very fun marketing tool for the Trail being featured on WLOS and Facebook countless times.
We hope that he grows up infused with the same passion we have for events and Halloween. We hope that he understands that all the hard work, countless hours, and bodily injury is worth it when you see how much the community enjoys the experience you have created for them. But most importantly, we hope that he enjoys the camaraderie the Trail creates between friends and family as everyone works towards the same goal.