Father and Son Haunt Team, Andrew and Michael Coombs, put the Grim in Grim Trails Haunted Attraction in Louisville, KY!

Grim Trails

We interview Grim Trails’ father/son creator duo about their attempt to create a themed Halloween attraction made up of multiple fantastic lands.

Grim Trails

Like father, like son. On any given night of the year, during haunt build season or otherwise, you’re likely to find Michael Coombs out somewhere on their densely wooded property in Jeffersontown, KY building scenes for their outdoor haunted woods, Grim Trails Haunted Attraction. It’s a passion for Halloween he inherited from his father, 30-year home haunter, Andrew Coombs. Building is a year-round effort spent laboring to deliver the scope and scale of a major Halloween attraction with a build team of only two. Michael is putting the finishing touches on one of their newest scenes, the full scale, two-story mock-up of Bluebeard’s Mansion.

Andrew and Michael Coombs don’t just build facades that disguise themed haunted mazes. They have a reputation for building full scale structures that are made to last year after year. Currently in its’ seventh season, Grim Trails Haunted Attraction boasts scenes that include a 25-foot tall Dracula’s Castle including a drawbridge and a 15-foot dragon, a colonial two-story Witches’ House and a Lost Jungle Temple haunted by a snake god. These structures exist within themed areas of their attraction that include Transylvania, Salem and The Jungle Book, all with their own signature flora, water features and atmosphere. New to Grim Trails for Halloween 2018, you’ll enter the murderous Bluebeard’s Mansion and you’ll travel to the frozen, forbidden mountains of Gangkhar Puensum in search of the elusive and mysterious Yeti.

Grim Trails

Grim Trails

“We’re not just building scenes, we’re building lands,” says Andrew Coombs. “I want to take people to different eras, different worlds with different plant life, different sounds and themes. Not just sets, but worlds.”

Before opening their first professional haunted attraction in 2012, Andrew spent over 30 years as a major Halloween enthusiast and home haunter. His son Michael was raised with haunter blood in his veins. “When I was 8 or 10 years old, I built a haunted house called Skeleton Island in my parents’ basement,” admits Andrew Coombs. “I set up a Super 8 movie theater and made my own Super 8 version of Hitchcock’sThe Birds’ to show to the neighborhood kids.”

“I’ve always liked building things,” he continues. “When I was 12, I built a miniature golf course in our neighborhood. I was an only child and I was by myself a lot, so I gravitated towards friends who would be willing to help me build things.”

“In 1980, there was a national Tylenol scare and the news recommended everybody go trick-or-treating at the mall,” says Coombs. “I just thought that was wrong. Halloween should be experienced outside! I decided to do my first home haunt that year. We didn’t have any big trees in our yard, so I went and raked somebody else’s leaves and put them in the haunt!”

After graduating from Eastern High School, Coombs studied art for two and a half years at the University of Louisville and then dropped out to start his own landscaping business which he still owns today. His son, Michael, who was born in 1990 is also his partner in the landscaping business. “I was about 11 or 12 years old when I started acting in the home haunt,” confesses Michael Coombs, “and I was in the sixth grade when I got all my friends on board working on it.”

Grim Trails

“I went with my dad to the Midwest Haunters Convention for the first time in 2006,” says Michael. “Then in 2009, when I was a senior in high school, we both went to the Transworld Halloween & Attractions Show. With everything we learned, we opened the first version of our haunt, then called Grim Tales, in a strip mall in Middletown.”

Michael Coombs met his finance, Courtney Myers, when she applied as an actress during Grim Trails’ second season. Myers now serves as costume designer, actress and team leader at the haunt. With their marriage looming after haunt season, Grim Trails truly appears to be a family business.

When it comes to scaring the public at Halloween, the sins of the father have clearly been passed down to the son at Grim Trails Haunted Attraction. If you’re interested in learning more about all the dark fantasy worlds awaiting guests in this 30 minute spooky adventure in the woods, check out Grim Trails’ website at http://www.grimtrails.com/.

The Phantom of The Ville

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