The woods may be a “primal fear,” but so is a maniac with a chain-saw.
Nick Markoff is the oldest of three brothers who help run Calleva Farm in Dickerson, Md., home of Markoff’s Haunted Forest — itself the home of the scariest bunch of chain-saw-wielding hillbillies we hope to ever meet. He also plays one, quite convincingly.
Who are your terrifying inspirations?
“Saw,” Leatherface — there are some dark characters that can really inspire you. Personally, I know some pretty hard redneck guys out here who cut wood for a living, with their right arms twice the size of their left from pulling the cord.
Is there a model of saw you prefer?
I love steel, it’s real solid. We go through a LOT of chain saws. We have one guy just dedicated to fixing, tuning and fueling them. We burn ’em out because they rev pretty high.
Last time I went to the forest, I got totally abandoned by my friends when the chain saws started.
It’s like people never heard a chain saw before! Some stop and curl up in fetal positions. Some run full speed and don’t care if they’ve left their spouses behind.
What’s so scary about the woods?
Calleva Farm, 19120 Martinsburg Road, Dickerson, Md.; opens Fri., through Oct. 31, 7 p.m., $20-$25; 301-216-1248.
I grew up in the woods, but a lot of people are suburbanized. We get a lot of city folk out here, and as soon as the traffic lights end and you drive by a rundown house, they’re scared. Some haunts are into the gore, but the woods — that’s a primal fear.