Meet Owner of Haunted Overload Eric Lowther

You volunteer to be scared beyond reason — to provide yourself with memories for the nightmares to follow. You know. But you go anyway. Later, you will attempt to sleep. It’ll be fruitless. Creaks in the hallway and those groans from the closet will dash any hopes of rest. Meet Eric Lowther, owner and imagination behind The Haunted Overload in Lee. Lowther has been improving the site for years, and is quite passionate about shocking you and your date into a quaking mass. For the little ones, they offer a less vivid experience, tailored especially for the shorties. So go, but remember: Perhaps there are things that no one should see. Ever. But we’ve tried to warn you. Vigorously. Stay well. Unlikely.

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Photo by David Mendelsohn

  • I started when I was about 12 years old. I was a little too old to trick-or-treat, so a friend and I put on a small haunted house in his basement. Once I got that first scare from the trick-or-treaters and some of their parents, I was hooked.
  • After that, I would put on small haunted attractions and displays anywhere people would let me. Friends’ houses, family’s houses, grandparents’, neighbors’, you name it.
  • It’s been an extremely long, hard road to get to the point we are at now. There is no overnight success, just hard work and extreme passion coming from everyone involved over the years.
  • Last year, every show except opening night sold out.
  • My favorite scenes always seem to change to what is new or what I am working on at the moment.
  • I love the “body bag” section we are revamping this year. It’s so creepy, realistic and scary day or night.
  • I actually startle pretty easily. Especially when I am concentrating.
  • We are always “practicing” our scare technique on each other. I am always on guard at the haunt because I know everyone is out to get me.
  • I think the fascination with being scared is all about the adrenaline rush.
  • When someone is startled or scared in our attraction, they can enjoy the excitement of the scare knowing that in the back of their minds they are safe from danger.
  • Like a roller coaster, people love that feeling, and we are always planning different ways to give it to them.
  • In 2015, ABC was doing the show “The Great Halloween Fright Fight.” They saw our Halloween photos online and contacted us about being on the show.
  • The grand prize was $50,000. It was very rewarding to donate the money to the Pope Memorial Humane Society Cocheco Valley.
  • We are very proud to have donated over $297,000 to the shelter over the years, and 2020 marks our 10th season partnering with them.

Skulled Handiwork

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Photo by Dan Plumpton

The four-story-tall skull sculpture that is a centerpiece of Haunted Overload was built in 2013 and has become an icon over the years. “It was a major challenge designing and building it,” says Lowther. “It glows under black light and everyone has to take photos of it.” The haunted trail covers about five acres twisting and winding through the woods, exposing patrons to uniquely designed structures and scares along the way. “We like to ensure each customer enjoys their surroundings. We let them feast their eyes on gigantic sculptures, lighting and sound, and let them have fun watching everybody else gets scared and scream — just enjoying the feeling of Halloween,” Lowther says. He notes with pride that many who come aren’t even there for the scares but simply to appreciate the quality of the work put into the attraction, the actors’ costumes and their performances. Haunted Overload will run three weekends in October starting on the 9th.

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Categories: Q&A