After seeing all the people visiting Sean's house, a selected few of his neighbors decided it was too much for "their" community, and decided to try to shut him down! You must understand, this was giving the kids of the community somewhere safe to go,
and their parents knew where they were at all times. There was nothing illegal about it! Just good clean fun! But the older folks didn't care for it, so...they called everyone they could think of to keep Sean from having this event in his yard. They got a bit nasty too...They called the police, the county inspectors, U.S. Steel (because Sean's yard is connected to the U.S. Steel's property). We mean ANYONE that could stop this
Sean understood this problem, and decided to move what had came to be Spooktrail, to a new location. This year he had made arrangements with a friend's mother to use her land because it wouldn't bother anyone due to the land being away from the community houses. Her land was perfect for this kind of thing! The land was still in Edgewater, yet on the outskirts of the community. So Sean and the Crew started building for the upcoming October's event. Spooktrail had opened one weekend (three days) & the Next thing they knew,
trucks and suburbans pulled up on the land and told them they had to tear it down. that the land was leased from U.S. Steel and the Friend's mother would lose her lease if they didn't vacate! Needless to say, Sean didn't want this friend to lose their home. so he packed up and tore down what was already built, and moved it back into the yard on Galveston Street. Finding out later, it was the same people of the community that tried to shut him down at home, called U.S. Steel and told them Spooktrail was on their land. Knowing that if anyone got hurt, U.S. Steel could be sued. This was only going to be something to do for Halloween, not a business?
Everyone that was involved with Spooktrail (including the kids) was speechless about how these people were acting! (good way to make a good impression on children huh?)
You must understand that Sean's house on Galveston Street (old location) had burnt down and forced him to temporarly live in a camper before this year's haunt. But yet he continued to have his Spooktrail. The event went well.
1998 was a a very bad year for the community of Edgewater. This was the year an F5 Tornado touched down and destroyed 50% of the Community in the Spring. That SAME year in October, We felt we would still continue at the Galveston Locoation until we could find a new location to hold an event such as this.
Things went well with the exception of a few problems (yep, you guessed it) a few neighbor problems (some that didn't live here any longer). Our signs were taken down, and things such as this seem to happen on a regularly bases.
So Sean ran across the land on Minor Parkway. ( The Old Flea Market ) He decide to speak with the man that was running the Flea Market. He asked the man if he was interested in sub-leasing some of the land for Spooktrail, and in return he would start charging a fee, and give him half of the proceeds. The man agreed.
With a place to have the event. The Cleaning process begin. Much work and sweat went into this piece of land all year to get building started for October. In the mean time, many problems came to pass. Sean found there were unpaid bills, drug dealings, among other problems under the care of the man he had spoke with about this partnership. During the first year of Spooktrail at Minor Parkway, Sean had tried to pay the bills, keep the trouble away, and still offer a place for the attraction. Much of his personal time & money had gone into this project, and he wasn't going to let anything ruin it. What Sean didn't know was this place was used for distributing drugs and such.
Turning to people that owned their own haunted house locally, that also had a bad location for a haunted house, Sean thought this would be a great idea for two haunts coming together as one and helping each other out along with the community.
The other haunt party agreed to join together on Minor Parkway as one. This first October event went really well, but after October things started to change a bit.
The guy that Sean sub-leased from claimed Sean had stolen things from the broken in buildings, including Sean's own things. very valuable things. He called the cops and Sean called the cops. A report was made..The next thing Sean knew, was this guy had called his family members holding the lease and told them Sean was the one that robbed the place. So....The family said Sean was trespassing and wasn't allowed on the land anymore and they were going sale all the buildings and get out from under the lease. But Sean wasn't still allowed to get his personal things.
Then Sean went to the other haunt partners and explained how well the event went and could all pull together and lease the land themselves. So they did. The lease was put in the other haunt partners names and Sean's name. Sean was the one that came up with the money to lease the land, even though it was suppose to be a 50/50 deal.
The following year was planned to be a great year. Building was under way and things were looking up. Spooktrail opened.. Through the month of October, Sean had a few people come to him with a few complaints, complaints such as pocketing money in the ticket booth, being rude to customers and volunteers, basically trying to take over the whole operation behind Sean's back. After the event was over Sean went to these partners and decided it was time to divide the profits from the event. Sean was told all the money was out of town and one of the partners brought Sean $1000.00 back and said that's all that was made that year. The partners got the rest, after totalling up the people from the wavier sheet, Sean found the profits equalled to 10,000 at least, and was taken BAD!
Left in serious financial ruins, not knowing if he could keep the property, in stead of getting mad and turning to wrath, Sean decided to turn to God for answers. So he prayed..and was told to "keep on keeping on. that it could be worse." So he did.
After the event Sean stayed with one of the volunteers that he started dating. which soon became his girlfriend to this day. They got together and decided to try to get the name on the lease changed to Sean's name only. The reason for this was because the partners didn't want to have any part in the event after stealing the money, but wanted the rights to come on to the land legally. Well...needless to say the reason for this was to steal things off the land before abandoning it. Six months later, Sean got the lease in his name only, after losing so many things.
In the year of 2001, with only a month to prepare, Sean started the building process for the upcoming October event. With the help of the volunteers that backed Spooktrail up, they begun hard work just to get the doors open. In the meantime you must understand it took loans from many folks just to keep the land, in hopes of paying back with the profits from October 2001.
All because the money to support Spooktrail from 2000 to 2001 was taken by the ex-partners in October 2000. Things got underway. the doors open with great reviews for the whole month of October.
The profits made from this year was spent on trying to pay all the past due bills from the year before. With Sean's home and personal land on the line and the bills from this year's event things got really stressed. Sean tried his best to keep the land on Minor Parkway, But just couldn't pay the large amount of money it took to catch up back due bills and nearly went bankrupt.
Sean decided it was time to let go of the land on Minor Parkway in order to keep his home, and sanity.
During the early months of 2002 things were being packed up not knowing if there would be another Spooktrail the following year and where??? During the moving, Sean was taking all his things to his home, the Lease company decided to lease the land on Minor Pkwy while in the middle of the move. They had no choice, they had given Sean as much time as they could. The land was leased to someone that Sean had given much of the scrap metal to because they said they needed the money. And once they got the land, they told Sean not to trespass on the property, and everything still remaining there was theirs, even some plastic squares, and painted styrofoam they couldn't even use??? and burnt it all.
Year 2002...Sean tried to find other locations but doors were shut due to lack of funds. When the volunteers and the children of HIS community came to him and asked him to PLEASE have a Spooktrail for them, and said to Sean.."Why don't you put it in your yard again?" It made Sean realize, there were people that cared, So no matter what the outcome would be, he would build it in his yard once again to continue an Edgewater tradition.
Some said it was good,....some said it was bad,....but it was better than doing nothing at all...
So folks....that's the story..He did build it again, and yes it's back on his land, but keep this in mind.... He hasn't given up on his dream, his destiny, and his friends his fans..big.....or small...it made a difference...
So when you visit Spooktrail from now on, try to remember this story, and keep in mind we are not a huge sponsored Haunted event, but we do this because we love to spook, and hope to leave you wanting to come back year after year....
God Bless, and Hope to see you this year...