Monday, October 06, 2014


BACK IN THE DAY (BEFORE ALL MY FRIENDS GOT OLD, BORING & MARRIED), THE HALLOWEEN SEASON WOULD INCLUDE A ROUND OF HAUNTED HAYRIDES.  For a few years there, a group of us would make the rounds of all the haunted house attractions and, an especial favourite of mine, the haunted hayrides which would proliferate in my neck of the woods during the month of October.  After all, I live in Souf Joisey which is known as the Garden State; and the name actually applies to us.  Unlike North Jersey, which should be known as the "Smokestack State" since it is merely an adjunct to the creeping sewer that is New York City, my area of South Jersey has many farms and many of them would sponsor Haunted Hayrides during the Halloween season.  It's been over a decade since I've gone to one and nowadays I don't know if my friends could manage to get their walkers onto the hayride at all (Zimmer frames for all our UK readers, holla!). 

I always preferred the haunted hayrides to the walk-through haunted house attractions which merely seemed to have people jumping out at you - which to me could be repetitive and rather dull.  There is something, however, about climbing aboard a tractor-pulled flatbed layered with hay (see example in the photo above) and tooling through the dark, chilly October night while the group leader would tell spooky tales and the woods around you would feature horror tableaux designed to make you go "Eek!".  I know that, on those occasions, the spirit of the Miner 49er was there (if you don't get the reference, watch a SCOOBY-DOO once in a while, will ya?!?!?!). 
Of the many memories of these Halloween Haunted Hayrides, I can recall the (apropos) appearance of Leatherface running at our flatbed with chainsaw growling.  The year of the infamous Mike Tyson "biting-the-ear-of-Evander-Holyfield" incident, the organizers of one haunted hayride set up a boxing ring out in the woods and, when they turned the spotlights on it, a Tyson lookalike bit of Holyfield's ear with gouts of gushing blood shooting out of the side of his head!  I think my favourite of all the Haunted Hayride stunts was when a Headless Horseman (riding on a real horse) sidled up to our flatbed; that one was actually startling and produced some spookily authentic Halloween chills!

But all this is in way of an introduction.  Jason the Mad Pants Napper has graciously donated the following pamphlet of a current Halloween attraction called JASON'S WOODS in the wilds of Lancaster, PA.  Now, he says HE'S not the Jason of the title but I don't believe him for a minute!  After all, it was he who I think unleashed the Zombie Werewolves, Pirate Skeletons and Invisible Mummies which run around the outside of our workplace in the dead of night.  The appearance on the pamphlet at number one position of a haunted hayride gave me a nice little nostalgic flutter.  But I took a cup of tana leaf tea and made that go away. 

1 comment:

Dis Guy said...

Oh yeah, those were the days I recall them quite fondly. Especially the ride we took with Miner 49er! That was one of the best hayrides we went on and it is one of the major favorite highlights of our long, strange, and wonderful friendship. Now if I could just remember your name......