The Fantom Forest – a hike among gnomes, dollies and spirits

Oct 22, 2020 | Recreation & Entertainment


By Mary-Justine Lanyon

The folks in the long line to go on the Fantom Forest spooky hike at SkyPark at Santa’s Village were filled with anticipation. How scary would it be?

What are we going to see? Who’s going to scream first?

The archway and sign that guide the hikers onto the trail is a work of art. Guests – who were allowed onto the trail in small family groups – were immediately greeted by a robed character who warned them about Toby the lost gnome and spirits they might find on the trail.

Fog swirled around the hikers’ feet while a wolf could be heard howling in the distance.

Several gnomes appeared suddenly on the trail, one of whom left the skeleton he was tending to follow us for a short distance.

Two dollies called out to us – you’ll have to discover what they said for yourselves!

We did see Toby the gnome, who was swinging on a log. Mortimer Graves made an appearance, much to the delight of the youngsters I had caught up with on the trail.

Little Hazel of Rialto – a 3-year-old who absolutely loved the hike – named the angel fairy at the end of the hike Angelica, much to her delight.

This is the first year SkyPark has created the haunted hike. The creators are to be commended for coming up with an exciting way to end a day at Pumpkins in the Pines. The makeup and costumes are well done and the characters act their parts with aplomb.

The hike takes place on Saturday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. The darker it gets, the scarier it seems!

Pumpkins in the Pines – which also includes a Sleepy Hollow puppet show and Wacko magic shows – continues the next two weekends. The activities are included with admission to the park, whether by a day pass or one of the season passes.

To make reservations, visit



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This is not an April Fool’s joke!

This is not an April Fool’s joke!

SkyPark at Santa’s Village is pleased to announce it will reopen to the public this Saturday, April 1, after a long closure due to the blizzard. “Come snowshoe, sled and enjoy the last few days of our ‘extended winter’ before the snow is gone for the season!” the park...