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Haunted homeowner
Man’s maze makes for spooky time
Hayes Haunt 2 es
This creature, crafted by Roger Hayes, marks the entrance to the haunted maze. - photo by Emily Saunders

Hayes Haunt, 7435 Cavaletti Circle, is open from dusk until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday night, weather permitting. More information can be found online at
Roger Hayes is the man behind the monsters at Hayes Haunt, a multi-room, macabre maze in a south Forsyth neighborhood.

When Hayes began building the spooky labyrinth seven years ago, he had no idea how far it would go.

The mechanical creatures and frightening displays now snake through the backyard of the family’s home in the Dressage subdivision.

“We’ve added on to the house to store all this stuff,” Hayes said Tuesday as he led a small tour through each themed room of the maze. “It’s ridiculous how much stuff we’ve got.”

He attributes much of the maze’s success to friend Kevin Hopkins, who has helped out in recent years.

Each Friday and Saturday night, about 100 children and teenagers make their way through the tunnels of tarps and wood, a makeshift graveyard and mad scientist-like lab.

Proceeds from Hayes Haunt benefit Canine Assistants, a nonprofit organization that trains dogs to help the disabled. Hayes’ wife, Lynn, said the charity contributions are important.

“We always hook up with a charity and donate some of the proceeds,” she said.

It costs $2 to go through the maze, a masterminded arrangement by Hayes, who builds “pretty much everything” inside.

Items of note include a 13-hour grandfather clock that runs backward, a life-size replica of the “Little Shop of Horrors” plant and a dozen robotic, hand-sculpted ghosts and ghouls.

Hayes Haunt also includes about 15 actors and actresses who “creep people out.”

“At a lot of haunted houses, they just jump out and yell at you,” Hayes said. “We try to have people say creepy things. Creepy is scary. We don’t do gore. I don’t want to gross somebody out. Gross is not scary.”

Hayes has a background as an artist, engineer and computer specialist.

“It all comes together for this,” he said, gesturing toward the backyard’s elaborate setup.

Children Chris, 23, Amanda, 22, and Michael, 19, often help out as well. Chris Hayes said preparing each year is “quite the experience.”

Roger Hayes said preparations for the following Halloween begin in November.

“There’s no down time,” he said. “It gets bigger every year. I’m constantly toying with this stuff and making additions.”

He took an entire Christmas vacation one year to assemble “spider web gates” near the faux cemetery.

Each room in the maze contains a theme, like the Twisted Toy Room, which is “a tough room for some people to get through. It messes with their heads.”

Hayes said the Mask Room is also popular.

“It even creeps me out,” he said. “Sometimes, when I’m working alone in that room, I’ll get freaked out. We’ve had some kids come absolutely unglued in that room.”

Hayes said it all started out as a hobby, and that it’s “grown into what you see.”