Haunted Hayride scares up some fun

8 years ago
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Pioneer Times photo/Joseph Cyr
WELCOME TO THE SHOW— Victoria Morris of Hodgdon High School strikes a creepy pose while dressed as a psycho circus clown, one of the many scary scenes found on this year’s Linneus Haunted Hayride. The ride serves as a fundraiser for the Linneus Recreation Department. The ride continues Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16-17 and again Oct. 23-24.

By Joseph Cyr

LINNEUS — Ghastly ghouls, zombies, psycho clowns and more are waiting to terrify the locals at the annual Linneus Haunted Hayride.

The ride opened this past Saturday with a good crowd braving the cold temperatures. Friday night’s show was cancelled due to rain. The event typically draws between 2,500-3,500 annually and is the sole fundraiser for the Linneus Recreation Department.

The 25-minute ride is nearly a mile in length, covering almost six acres, and features roughly 40 different horror scenes. Scenes range from startling sounds coming from the dark forest to full-blown actor presentations of famous horror movies, including chainsaw-wielding maniacs, witches flying overhead, zombies, killer clowns and plenty of blood and gore.

“We tell people before the ride, ‘You will be touched,’ by the actors,” said Carrie Palmer of Linneus, one of the event organizers. “You never know what is going to happen.”

Palmer said her son, Jamie, was 2 years old when she first incorporated him into the hayride. He is now 16 years old and has been a regular actor in the ride each year.

Two years ago, the Linneus Recreation Committee and the town cooperatively purchased a 40-acre spruce plantation behind the recreation department/fire department on the Bangor Road for a permanent location for the hayride.

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Pioneer Times photo/Joseph Cyr
FIRE! — Fire barrels are used for both dramatic effect and warmth for the actors.

Portions of the proceeds go to the Linneus Recreation Department, while other funds go to the student classes that participate each year. This year, actors from Hodgdon High School are participating to raise money for a trip to Europe. Students can also earn community service time, which is required for graduation and can earn money for their respective classes.

Roughly 100 volunteers help put the event together each year. Volunteer duties range from actors for the various scenes to make-up specialists to wagon drivers. In the past, the Haunted Hayride has pumped $8,500 into the town’s Little League field, sponsored Little League teams and funded a donation to Camp Kieve.

Victoria Morris, a student at Hodgdon High School, is a first-time volunteer for the hayride.

“All of my friends were doing it, so I wanted to see what it was like,” Morris said. “Plus it was a good way to earn community service hours.”

Andrew Stoddard, one of the many adult volunteers, has been involved with the hayride for the past nine years.

“I do this for my kids,” he said. “I started when they were younger and it gives us time to hang out together.”

Stoddard said he has been a werewolf, zombie, scarecrow, and this year is dressed as a “creepy clown.” “Psycho Circus” is a recurring theme on this year’s ride with multiple clowns dressed to scare.

“It helps out with Little League and the graduating senior class,” Stoddard said. “I know it helps for a lot of class trip stuff as well.”

Stoddard added anyone who wanted to volunteer was welcome to join the show in either of the upcoming two weekends.

The ride starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $7 per person. It continues until about 9 p.m. The ride is not recommended for small children due to the graphic nature of some of the scenes. Refreshments are also available at Linneus Fire Department.

For more information, visit the Linneus Haunted Hayride page on Facebook or visit www.linneusrec.com.

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Pioneer Times photo/Joseph Cyr
HAYRIDE — The “cocoon” attraction returns this year as riders enter to a completely darkened area filled with unknown thrills and chills.

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Pioneer Times photo/Joseph Cyr
GHOUL — Creative lighting helps give scenes a spooky flair on the Linneus Haunted Hayride.

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Pioneer Times photo/Joseph Cyr
UNDEAD GANG — The scenes on the Linneus Haunted Hayride are portrayed this year by Hodgdon High School students.