MACKINAC ISLAND, MI – Guests who snag a Grand Hotel room overlooking the front gardens later this month just might be in the perfect spot to hear the screams coming from the woods down below.
Mackinac Island’s luxury resort is resurrecting its Halloween Weekend from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. This special package will feature a costume contest and high-end prizes along with a fun – and frightening – Haunted Forest Trail and a new spooky maze. Details are below, but check here for reservation information on the hotel’s website.
“It’s 3,000 feet of fright,” said Drew Butterfield, the resort’s director of golf and grounds whose team is in charge of outfitting the trail that will wind through the front cedar grove with a plethora of scary things that will go bump in the night. The only other time Grand Hotel hosted a special Halloween weekend was in 2015, so staff are busy pulling gallons of fake blood and creepy costumes out of storage.
“It’s going to be bigger and better,” Butterfield assured, listing a number of big, main-attraction type features his team is building (our lips are sealed).
Up to 35 actors have been tapped to stir up screams along the way, both on the dark forest trail and inside the nearby haunted maze that’s being constructed on the front lawn’s Tea Garden.
“People will need to be on the lookout,” he said of those who dare to walk the forest trail. “We are going to have enough people (in costumes) to scare them the entire way.”
The trails and 3,000-square-foot maze are being built to entertain adults, but Butterfield said the maze will offer earlier time slots that weekend. These will be less scary, set aside for kids. The forest trail will also start out with attractions that are not so scary, in case kids want to try it.
“It kind of progresses as you go,” he said of the fright factor. “If there are youngsters ready to turn back, there will be plenty of opportunity for them to do that.”
And the garden-facing rooms that line the front of Grand Hotel? “That might be the best seat in the house,” Butterfield said, giving guests a bird’s-eye view into the open-top maze.
All the prep work has been fun for staff, with many of them excited to do something a little out-of-the-ordinary.
Discovering staffs’ hidden talents – some can do great theater-style makeup, others have acting chops and other are just hands-down stellar screamers – has been really entertaining. “People are very anxious to volunteer,” he said.
Butterfield includes himself in that category. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had at work,” he laughed.
Halloween Weekend Details
Guests booking the Halloween Weekend package will stay for two nights, arriving Oct. 30 and departing Nov. 1.
In addition to the haunted trail and maze, there will be Halloween-themed family movies, a Haunted Afternoon Tea, tarot card readings, and a pumpkin-carving contest that will award the winner a $250 Grand Hotel credit.
On Saturday, guests are invited to wear their costumes for a special dinner in the Main Dining Room.
“Make sure to wear your spookiest, silliest, or craziest costume for a chance to win a stay at Grand Hotel in 2021, including breakfast and dinner,” resort staff said. The Grand Prize winner will receive a two-night stay for two people in one of the resort’s named rooms; the Second Place winner will receive a two-night stay for two people in a lakeview guest room; the Third Place winner will receive a two-night stay for two people in a standard guest room (blackout dates will apply).”
The Halloween Weekend package includes:
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- All resort amenities
- 2 drink tickets per person will be given in place of the Friday evening reception
- Friday and Saturday night outdoor Haunted Trail and Maze
- Friday evening: Family movie night
- Saturday Halloween Movie Marathon
- Saturday Haunted Afternoon Tea
- Saturday evening: Get ready for a scary movie!
- Saturday pumpkin carving contest – winner will be announced after dinner
- Saturday costume contest – judging will take place before dinner and the winners will be announced after dinner
- Tarot Card Reader throughout the weekend
- No tipping within Grand Hotel
- Standard Room: Rates starting at $1,555.00 per couple; $1,455.00 single
- Lakeview Room: Rates starting at $1,855.00 per couple; $1,755.00 single
- $339.00 per additional adult
This Halloween package is available online or by calling 1-800-334-7263.
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