Stay Wild

by | Sep 29, 2023 | Events, Hampstead, Online Exclusives

Get spooked this season with a walk through Wild Hare Sanctuary’s Haunted Trail.

Deep in the eastern NC woods, a family has owned an expansive outdoor oasis for more than 40 years. But there are some sinister creatures lurking in its depths …

If you’re seeking thrills and chills this Halloween season, venture — if you dare — to Wild Hare Sanctuary, a haunted trail walkthrough experience making its debut this year.

The 5.5-acre wooded area was the childhood home of Addie Sellers, who spent the last eight months clearing out the trails with her 16-year old son, Graham.

Wild Hare Sanctuary NC

“He did everything with me, from the story to the costumes,” says Sellers of the trail’s preparation process. “We worked really hard and did it by hand; we used hatchets, axes and pruning shears to get it completed. It’s been a labor of love.”

Open to the public on select days from October 6 to 31, the trail offers a 15-minute walk featuring a lineup of live actors set to scare and spook you. The property, named for Sellers’ mother’s affinity for wild hares, includes a creek, large trees and a swamp area.

Sellers says the trail is ideal for ages 10 and older, and she recommends snagging a reservation beforehand (though walk-ins are still accepted) and arriving on time.

Haunted Trail Hampstead NC

If multiple jump scares in the dark are not really your thing — or if you have a smaller child in tow — the pros at Wild Hare are considering adding an enchanted forest to the lineup during the last couple weeks of October. Expected to occur during daylight hours, the family-friendly experience will feature princesses and princes in lieu of scary characters.

“There’s nothing like this as far as haunted trails go,” Sellers says. “You don’t get to see nature like you do with this one — it’s very beautiful, eastern NC woods — and there’s something for the entire family! It’s just a fun experience.”

The spine-chilling seasonal addition fills a need in the area.

Hampstead NC Haunted Trail

“Hampstead is a growing community, but you have to drive an hour to find a haunted trail,” Sellers says.

After the spooky season concludes, Sellers is looking ahead to adding an array of holiday events like a Christmas experience and Easter egg events.

“There is a long winding trail,” she says. “And there is more land we want to clear out to make some interesting things happen. … We don’t want to develop it. We want to preserve its natural beauty.”

Feeling brave?
Creatures of the Woods Haunted Trail
at Wild Hare Sanctuary in Hampstead

October 6 to 31
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as well as Tuesday, October 31
6 pm to midnight on Friday, Saturday and Halloween
6 pm to 9:30 pm on Sundays
Parking at DDT Outlet: 21740 U.S. Highway 17, Hampstead.
Staff will greet you there for check in.
Tickets cost $20.
Visit to book a reservation

Photography by City 2 Sea Media

About the author

Anna Beth Adcock

Anna Beth Adcock

Anna Beth Adcock A North Carolina native, I grew up in small-town Sanford before moving to Raleigh to attend N.C. State University. Last year, I lived overseas in Bangkok, Thailand, just recently returning to reside in the City of Oaks. From numerous nostalgic summers at the N.C. coast with my family growing up to spending tons of time in Wilmington visiting family and friends, I love our state's coastal region! In addition to penning articles for Carolina Marketing Company, I work as an editorial assistant with Raleigh Magazine, teach fitness classes and work with a nonprofit ministry. When I'm not working, you can find me out for a run, grabbing coffee with a friend or seeking out my next travel or outdoor adventure. In short, I love writing, I love North Carolina and I love living life to the fullest!