Haunted woods in Kahnawà:ke celebrates 18 years of Halloween fright 

Community comes together for scares and a good cause. 

For the past 18 years, monsters and killers join the ghosts in the James Day Haunted Woods in Kahnawà:ke.

Classic horror characters like Michael Meyers and Leatherface brandish their weapons and chase screaming visitors while horrific clowns leap out and cackle and demonic figures emerge from every corner in a wooden structure built behind Kahnawà:ke resident Allison McGregor’s house.

Her son, James Day, started the Haunted Woods nearly two decades ago.

“It was [James] and his cousin had this dream of just wanting to keep busy and off the streets,” she said. “And everything, and they made this tiny little maze where you just go around and you come back out, and as the years went on, it got bigger and bigger.”

The event’s founder, James Day, had to take a break from the scares when APTN News visited the Haunted Woods, but his friends and family told us about his monstrous creation.

“These woods here are really haunted. We’re not just doing this because it’s a cool story and a cool fun time for the community, we got to feed these demons. We come out here and we feed these demons these screams from the children,” said Satehoronies William McComber, one of the performers at Haunted Woods.

McGregor said the structure never gets taken down, but continuously expands thanks to donations from the community.
“People drop off wood in my yard, I get pallets, I get walls, I get all kinds of weird kinds of things you would never believe, and then it just disappears it all goes into the woods,” said Allison McGregor.

Haunted Woods
James Day sitting on the maze structure in the Haunted Woods. Photo courtesy: Megan Day.

McComber said the expansion keeps evil spirits at bay.

“It’s kind of like the Winchester house, where we got to keep building up otherwise the spirits and the demons will catch up to us, so we keep making winding mazes and extra rooms with doors and locks,” said McComber.

Growing up with the haunted woods, Day’s son 13-year-old son Oniehtá:se also has a passion for horror.

“I like scaring people because you get the reaction, and the reaction pumps you up and you feel good about it,” said Oniehtá:se Day, ” It’s fun scaring people, I made a girl pee herself yesterday, around mid-20s, 30s.”
Oniehtá:se said his dad’s Haunted Woods are also “helpful for the community and of the kids in need for the food basket and of families that need help.”

All proceeds from James Day’s Haunted Woods go to the food bank in Kahnawà:ke. As of writing this article, the Haunted Woods has raised almost $3,000 and collected hundreds of non-perishable goods.

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