Whether it’s the result of watching a terrifying film involving werewolves and vampires, or the classic scare of opening an eerie closet in my own house, I’ve always enjoyed a good scare.

My enjoyment is a natural extension of my love for Halloween. I’m the guy who annually organizes all-night horror movie marathons in the spirit of the season and looks forward to making his way through a good ol’ Southern-style haunted corn maze.

Halloween is approaching fast, so I set out in search of scares early this year by checking out Campus Recreation’s second annual Haunted Trail. Although the “haunted” portion fell short of my expectations, I had a great time partaking in the activities.

Several years ago, my family and I took a tour of a renowned haunted house in Gatlinburg, Tenn. named the Mysterious Mansion. It turned out to be one of the most frightening experiences of my life.

The Mysterious Mansion included a blowtorch-wielding masked figure that used a variety of scare tactics, such as a chainsaw, trapdoors and spooky lighting.

Did the Haunted Trail utilize as wide a variety of fear-inducing techniques? No. But it did manage to frighten me on multiple occasions – one of which forced me to let out a terrifying squeal – and that’s the whole point, right?

The journey begins with a cliche spook tale about the history of the land that the challenge course is on, resulting in the land being haunted. Once the guide establishes the setting, it’s onto the trail.

The tour is comprised mostly of wooded trails, which are littered with abandoned tents and fake corpses, but it also includes a few more interesting locales toward the climactic finish.

After initially encountering a few ghoulish figures, our group ran into the only sane character on the tour (other than the tour guide), a camper that had been separated from the rest of his group. This becomes the story premise for the remainder of the tour as you accompany him in search of the other missing campers.

There are other activities designed to complement the trail, including a makeshift movie theater featuring classic horror films with lots of snacks and drinks, and a campfire with plenty of s’more supplies available. Both activities are a good way to wind down after surviving the trail.

Despite the fact that the tour was short, it offered some classic scares, and the other activities did a nice job of preparing me for the upcoming holiday season. Considering the fact that Campus Rec is offering all of these activities – including snacks – for free, it’s definitely worth checking out.

The last chance to take advantage of Campus Rec’s novel Halloween festivities is Thursday, Oct. 23. The Haunted Trail is offering tours from 8-10 p.m., and two shuttles will be providing free transportation to the challenge course from Boney Fountain.