Unique frights down the road: DeMeritt Hill Farm’s Haunted Overload


Sarah Levine

LEE – As leaves cascade and Halloween is fast approaching, Haunted Overload at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, N.H. is gearing up for the third weekend of their fall 2021 season. Brave patrons and eager actors lurking around every corner maintain that this haunt’s authenticity is unparalleled. 

“This is unlike any other Haunted House in the country,” said George Farrow, the man behind the haunt’s technology system for the last two years. 

Farrow works on haunted houses and theme parks all over the United States, but he especially likes the Haunted Overload; it’s close to home for him, and it’s meant to be “very classic Halloween from the ground up.”  

“I’ve worked on haunted houses that looked like a Best Buy because there’s so many TV’s that are meant to look like windows,” said Farrow. “This is like, you’re just immersed in the woods.” 

Haunted Overload doesn’t hyper-focus on blood and gore or use an extraneous amount of flashy technology. It’s all just “creepy stuff and real people,” said Farrow. 

A lot of labor and attention to detail goes into the Haunted Overload.  

Owner Eric Lowther and his right-hand man Wallace Valley spend every weekend of the summer working on it “with a chainsaw and a ridiculous amount of wood,” said Farrow. 

The result: an array of awe-inspiring wooden structures with intricate detail and variety, and an elaborate path that is constantly evolving. Somehow it all fits into a four-acre plot, and Farrow says they are still expanding. 

As guests clutch bright-red apple cider sippers, a stunning light projection welcomes them into a vortex swirling with silky green color. The fog machine wafts on full blast; an ever-constant low rumble emits from the belly of the woods.  

Anywhere from 50 – 100 volunteers each night pass through secret doors and hide around the bends of confined spaces. Among those waiting to catch people off guard is actress Breana Wawrzkiewicz – the source of the distant, growling chainsaw raising the hairs on the back of each guest’s neck. 

Wawrzkiewicz plays the character Jinxx, a chainsaw aficionado wearing a professional silicone mask that’s usually only found in Hollywood. Jinxx roams the entire trail, often chasing people or riling up guests in the queue line. 

“I’ve always been into horror and Halloween,” said Wawrzkiewicz. Even so, she never anticipated that she would join this haunted house until she came as a spectator in 2014 and fell in love.  

Two years later, she decided that she had to become one of the actors. 

“Going through as a patron wasn’t enough for me,” she said. “I could see myself acting there; I thought it’d be really fun to be a part of it and have it be a part of my world.” 

After her day job, Wawrzkiewicz enjoys coming to Haunted Overload where she can be a whole new person and relieve stress.  

Haunted Overload is a special place, she said. Every actor volunteers out of passion, and they’re given a lot of creative freedom with their characters. 

“We’re just really connected here like a family,” said Wawrzkiewicz. 

Wawrzkiewicz loves being on this side of the experience where she feels very connected with Jinxx. She also likes the anonymity that the character gives her.  

“Where nobody really knows me and I play a male character, I just feel like such a badass,” she said. 

Jinxx has amassed a level of icon status among fans. 

“The chainsaw gets me every time,” said one of Wawrzkiewicz’s most loyal fans, Dee Moscone.  

Moscone tries to go to Haunted Overload multiple times every year to bask in the Halloween world and take pictures with Jinxx. Moscone adores “the eyes with the huge head and pointy teeth” on Wawrzkiewicz’s costume. 

“I mean, they put so much work into it,” said Moscone. “You could go three nights in a row, and it would be different every night.” 

Moscone recommends Haunted Overload to her friends over any other haunted house. 

“I just tell everybody, for the amount of money you pay to go there, it’s worth it,” she said. 

The atmosphere of Haunted Overload is incomparable, and it’s the reason why people like Moscone keep coming back year after year. 

“It’s so realistic,” Moscone said. “You’re like, ‘Oh my god, I’m in one of those horror movies.’” 

At other haunts, Moscone can always count on the same houses and characters. Whereas, with Haunted Overload, the set is constantly evolving each year. 

“I’m always excited to go because they’re going to have something new,” said Moscone. “I can’t wait to see what they’ve changed.” 

The Haunted Overload 2021 season will continue for the next two weekends.