Fear on the Farm
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Graveyards aren’t the only areas ripe for haunting, especially around the days leading up to Halloween. Area farmlands can be pretty frightening, too, and it’s not just the scarecrows dotting the landscape.
Since 1990, the McCray family has been offering haunted hayrides through their scary nighttime fields on Alvord St. in South Hadley that each October they nickname theirMonster Mash Scream Park.
“We’ve been offering our haunted hayride for 25 years since Dan Augusto of Holyoke brought the idea to my grandfather Don McCray, who agreed to let him give it a try on our farmlands,” said Doug McCray, who now oversees the monstrous production alongside Dan.
From humble beginnings, the haunted hayride today includes numerous scenes on the farmlands – including zombies, a clown tunnel, and a visit with a pig family named The Schnitts – on a hayride in the dark that lasts about 30 minutes. Once off the wagon and away from the many zombies and other chainsaw-bearing creatures lurking in the dark fields, there is a haunted house to walk through which promises another 15 minutes of heart-pounding excitement in Massacre Manor.
“We have over 100 actors and other employees involved in our annual Halloween production. Many of our actors return year after year, and they are what really make it as good as it is. Because if you don’t have good actors out there, it doesn’t matter what we put into it in terms of scenes,” said McCray.
There are also food stands, including the farm’s creamery, and miniature golf, to keep visitors busy while waiting in line to board the other-worldly ride, as well as after surviving the harrowing experience.
“We also have a not-so-scary Munchkin Mash for younger children, which is appropriate for kids under seven years of age. This year’s theme is Nightmare Before Christmas,” said McCray
Adult haunted hayrides begin at 7 p.m. and run until the lines end, while the “kiddie” ride operates between 5:30-6:30 p.m. Adult rides are $20 for those 52 inches and over, and $15 for those under 52 inches. The Children’s Monster Mash is $5. Tickets can be ordered in advance at www.fearonthefarm.com for use on any weekend.