about the sawmill


The Haunted Sawmill is Merrill Wisconsin's premier Haunted House location.

This October 2018 the Haunted Sawmill presents: The Nocturnal Carnival!

The train chugged in, the tents went up, and things are getting freaky. While ghasts and ghouls cry the midway, the Ringmaster, Phaedra the Vampiress, is presenting creeps and curiosities to open the mind, and curdle the blood. So step right up, test your luck, challenge your fortitude, and enjoy the show; just be sure to keep a good watch on you valuables (limbs, eyeballs, sanity - those kinds of things) because the clowns run amok and Vincent Mudgett has been seen with Louise, just waiting for a guest to lose their head.

Show dates in October are every Friday and Saturday.  Gates open at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 with the donation of a non-perishable food item. Concessions will be available through Pack 502.  Even before you enter the haunt itself, the yard of the Haunted Sawmill will be decorated like a circus midway with a big top and side shows taking place including performances by the Haunted Sawmill Scare Crew and “Bloodlust”.   Beware of wandering ghouls, twisted carnival performers and the ever-present spirit of Vincent Mudgett!   If guests want to skip the line speed-passes are available for $20.  Tickets will be available on-line at the Haunted Sawmill website.  A special family matinee performance will be held on Saturday, October 27th from noon to 2 p.m. for younger kids and those a wee bit older who don’t want to be too scared.  There will also be a special show for Vincent’s birthday on Wednesday, October 31st – Halloween night!! Check out more details on Facebook by to the Haunted Sawmill page and friend Vincent Mudgett on Facebook for a chance to win free tickets and Haunted Sawmill merchandise.

Since its founding thousands of guest have experienced the wrath of Vincent Mudgett and his many ghouls. The Haunted Sawmill is operated by the Friends of Vincent Foundation, LLC, and proud of all the works it’s volunteers have done to present “The Nocturnal Carnival”. The Friends of Vincent Foundation, LLC, is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help promote youth activities and youth organizations. All proceeds from the Haunted Sawmill go to help youth in Merrill and the surrounding communities. 



Haunting season is closed. The Haunted Sawmill will return in 2019.

Be scaring you soon…

The Story

Presenting: The Nocturnal Carnival

            The youngest of the Morris brothers, Barnabus, left home at an early age to pursue his fortune and glory in the circus.  Barnabus was clever and a master showman and quickly gathered performers and amazing acts together to form his own company – “the Nocturnal Carnival.”  Years later after travelling the world and a series of sold out shows all across Europe, Barnabus decided to return to Merrill and reclaim his family’s property at the site of the old Merrill Sawmill.  Barnabus was very aware of the history of the Merrill Sawmill and how his older brothers, Dorian and Adrian had both come face-to-face with the eternal wrath of Vincent Mudgett. 

The Morris family had long been one of the wealthiest families in Merrill – building their empire off of the logging industry.  The oldest brother, Dorian, ran the Merrill Sawmill for his family.  Dorian’s downfall came when he coveted a pretty secretary named Louise that a young employee named Vincent Mudgett was madly in love with.  Dorian warned young Vincent to stay away from “his girl”, but true love would not be denied.  When Vincent and Louise continued their love affair, Dorian ordered a gang of his thugs to beat Vincent up and show him a lesson.  Vincent and Louise were both tragically killed in the underhanded attack.  Vincent returned from the grave and in what became as the “Massacre at the Merrill Sawmill”, took his revenge upon Dorian and all of the Merrill Sawmill employees.  Vincent’s body was never found and the Sawmill was closed up.

A decade later the second Morris brother, Adrian, took over the abandoned and dilapidated Merrill Sawmill.  Adrian was a psychiatrist and he remodeled the old building into the Arcane Asylum for the Criminally Insane.   A patient with amnesia nicknamed “John Doe” was brought into the asylum claiming to be the reincarnated Vincent Mudgett.  Even though he was well respected in the community, Dr. Adrian Morris was a monster who conducted cruel experiments upon his patients.  With his fellow doctors, like Henry Gouge and Ivan Evansky, Dr. Morris abused the patients of the asylum on a daily basis.  John Doe was no exception.   Mad with grief over the death of his older brother, Adrian lost touch with reality, and when someone claiming to be Vincent was committed and brought into his hospital, Adrian saw an opportunity to take revenge.  John Doe refused to admit that he was not Vincent Mudgett no matter how much Dr. Morris tortured him.  In an ironic twist, a nurse named Louise helped John Doe by bringing him Vincent’s mask and axe and letting him out of his padded cell.  John and Louise then led the prisoners in a revolt against Dr. Morris and his evil staff.  Before the police could arrive, Adrian Morris was killed and the reincarnated Vincent and Louise slipped away and were never found.  The “Arcane Asylum Mutiny” became another footnote in the long and bloody history of the Haunted Sawmill.

Now Barnabus Morris has returned to the site of the Merrill Sawmill.  He plans to raze what is left of the building that his family had built and raise his circus tents on the property.  Barnabus laughs off the notion of there being a curse upon the property and that somehow Vincent Mudgett is going to come back from the dead and continue his quest for revenge against the entire Morris family.  Barnabus has spent his lifetime being a master showman and presenting amazing circuses for children of all ages.  “Vincent”, he says, “was just a man, and John Doe was also just a man. I’m not afraid of any moldy old ghosts.”   During his interview, Barnabus added, “I want something good to come out of my families sawmill.  There has been too much bloodshed and too much negativity attached to the Merrill Sawmill.  Its time for some fun!  Come and see the Nocturnal Carnival.   Our circus train will be arriving shortly and we will be raising the big top on the land that my family has owned for over two hundred years.  I have spent a lifetime gathering together incredible performers like Mysterio the Magician and his lovely assistant Esmerelda, and the gifted fortune teller Tatiana Bladavinski.  You will be captivated and astounded by my thrilling performers like the scintillating and sweet Candy Kane.  You will laugh hysterically at the antics of our clowns like Buzz Buzz, Sticky and Rags!  Come tour the circus wagons and see the circus train conductor and my specially built circus locomotive up close!   Bring the kids, bring the grandparents.  Take pictures on our fabulous midway.  Watch for exotic performers and sideshow stages with acts that will blow your mind.  I promise that you will see amazing sights and sounds the likes of which you have never seen before!”

Vincent has other plans in store though for Barnabus and his circus.  Vincent has proclaimed time and time again that no one should dare to enter his sawmill.  Some doors should never be opened and another meddling Morris is daring to once again open the doors of the Haunted Sawmill.  What terrible fate awaits Barnabus Morris and the performers of “the Nocturnal Carnival”?  What horrors await you if you dare to enter the Haunted Sawmill this October?

 Tale to Vincent Mudgett and the Haunted Sawmill.

Vincent’s tale began a long time ago after his family settled in the woods surrounding Merrill long before it was a city. As a young man Vincent Mudgett found a job at the Merrill Sawmill. As an employee of the sawmill Vincent soon fell in love with a pretty secretary named Louise. Louise had another suitor though - Dorian Morris, the owner of the Merrill Sawmill. Dorian grew jealous of Vincent and Louise’ love for each other and in a fit of rage, he killed Louise when she would not date him. Dorian then turned on Vincent with a gang of Merrill Sawmill workers and killed him as well.

Driven by his hatred of Dorian Morris Vincent crawled out of his grave to take vengeance upon Dorian and the mill employees. The “Massacre at the Merrill Sawmill” culminated with Vincent being surrounded by law enforcement and shot down. Everyone assumed that Vincent was dead. He was buried in the cemetery near the Sawmill alongside the Morris and Mudgett family members who had already passed on.

But, Vincent would not stay buried. Vincent returned a decade later after Dr. Adrian Morris, the younger brother of Dorian Morris, inherited the Merrill Sawmill. Adrian Morris converted the mill into the Arcane Asylum for the Criminally Insane. During this time a man claiming to be Vincent Mudgett was captured by the Merrill Police Department. That man was arrested, tried and convicted. The Court declared “John Doe” insane and he was committed to the Arcane Asylum under the care of Dr. Adrian Morris. Dr. Morris took great pleasure in tormenting the man who claimed to be the reincarnated Vincent, but “John Doe” was pushed too far and with the help of a young nurse named Louise, Vincent led the patients of the Arcane Asylum in a revolt against the doctor and his staff. Dr. Adrian Morris was killed. Vincent found his revenge against Dr. Morris and then escaped with Louise. 

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