Trail of terror

by Senior Airman Brian Harvey
426th Information Operations Squadron

If spirits are the personalities of those who once lived and refused to cross over to the other side at the moment of death, then wouldn’t these spirits reflect the turmoil of that former life? And if hauntings are the residual effects of trauma being imprinted on the atmosphere of a location, then wouldn’t places where terror and insanity were commonplace be especially prone to these hauntings?

The violent escape from an old asylum is a well-known event that many have not forgotten. Fifty years ago, the building on Vogelweh, was used as an institution for the mentally and criminally insane. The outcasts, the misfits, and the strange were picked up from various parts of the countryside and committed to the asylum to be experimented upon with new and inhumane methods.

The most violent of the committed was “Sven the Buzz-Saw,” a lumberjack living in the German countryside, obsessed with the chainsaw and using it as a tool in his many violent crimes. There also was a pair of brothers, Dieter and Schmitz, who lived in the the hills and were known to have a fondness for the consumption of live human flesh and brains. Many of the others were just as demented and perverse and deserved to be locked up. 

One foggy, late October night when the moon was full, a new treatment was set in place to be the “final solution” to the problem − shock therapy. The prisoners organized and escaped, killing nearly every guard in their path.

Breaking through the barbed wire fencing that surrounded the asylum, they fled to the surrounding woods, where they were chased on horseback. What happened after that is unknown. Perhaps the woods took them all, but the prisoners and the asylum workers were never found. Almost immediately, the institution was shut down and the story was covered up in the local newspapers. 

The building is now being used for a much different purpose, but the bars on the windows and the barbed wire on the fence still remain. Every October, strange things happen in the woods surrounding this complex. The escape happened exactly 50 years ago, and this October seems to have the most dreadful reports. Workers have reported hearing the sound of horses galloping, the distant sound of a chain saw going off, screaming, the dragging of heavy chains and what seemed like packs of dogs barking. There have even been sightings of multiple fires flickering in the woods.

It is said that the woods are cursed and haunted. Are the spirits of the old asylum prisoners still out there, forever lost? Do the asylum workers that chased after them still wander the woods? Many believe that they are all cursed to remain in those woods until the end of time.

Recently, explorers have come to the woods to find out the mystery behind the madness and travel the trail of terror. Do you have what it takes to discover the truth?  Find out for yourself as you enter the Haunted Woods and travel the trail of terror, if you dare …

• Visit the Trail of Terror from 6 to 11 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27 and from
6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 29 to 31, at Bldg. 2078 on Vogelweh. Children ages 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $2 in advance at the Kids’ Zone and $5 at the gate. Part of proceeds will be donated to CFC.

Haunted Tent City
The annual Haunted Tent City opens 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 19, 20, 26, 27, 28 and 31 on the 86th Construction and Training Squadron compound, two miles west of the Ramstein West Gate. Contact Melissa DeVault at 480-7422 for more information.

Halloween Masquerade
Boy Scouts of America sponsors a Cub Scout Masquerade
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20 on Pulaski Park. The fun day features face painting, a pumpkin patch, pumpkin bowling, a hay ride,
Halloween bingo and more. It is open to registered scouts and their families. Cost is $5. To become a registered scout, e-mail Monique Ekker at

Halloween Party
The USAGK Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment hosts a Family Readiness Group meeting followed by a unit Halloween Party at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the garrison headquarters’ pavilion on Pulaski Barracks. E-mail Emma Vinson at

Halloween Skate Party
The USAGK outreach coordinator hosts a Halloween Extravaganza 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Vogelweh Skate Express. To sign up and for more information, call 489-7521 or e-mail

Costume Parade
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Family Readiness Group is hosting a Halloween party and costume parade 5:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 in Heaton Auditorium at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. All Soldiers and their families are welcome to attend. A potluck dinner follows the parade. Participants should bring a dish. For details, e-mail or