little girl dresses as a witch, holding a snake

October 13, 2021

SIU’s Haunted Hollow promises fun for all ages

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Haunted Hollow, a popular fall tradition and family friendly event packed with fun for all ages returns bigger and better than ever to Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center on Oct. 24.

Cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the fest and hayride are back this year. The festival is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

Assorted activities planned

The Haunted Hollow features a haunted hayride, a portable climbing wall and interpretive nature hikes as well as a child-friendly “haunted” cabin.  A diverse group of creepy crawlers will be on hand as well, as participants can learn about and hold snakes, lizards and other wildlife.

There will also be assorted games and activities. Admission and activities are free and there will be “frightening” refreshments available for purchase.

Costumes welcome

Those attending are encouraged to wear costumes and masks, too. The fun will go on rain or shine, so participants should dress accordingly.

SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all those attending must follow current campus and state pandemic safety protocols and wear masks.  

A parent or guardian should accompany all children. Touch of Nature, located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road, is wheelchair and stroller-accessible for the Haunted Hollow.

To learn more

For more information, visit, email or call 618-453-1121.

Sponsors of the 2021 event include River Radio of Southern Illinois, the SIU Credit Union and Paul Melzer’s Country Financial in Murphysboro.