Saturday, October 18, 2008

Our Haunted Hayride

Taking refuge from all the scary economic news of late, Wendy and I joined her sister's family for a little virtual terror this past week--a haunted hayride at a local apple orchard and cider mill.

I think this is natural. Remember how during the Great Depression of the 30s people flocked to Universal horror movies like Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy? It's an escape from the realities of everyday life. So afterwards you can say, "Well, there are worse things than seeing my savings disappear. I could be bitten by a vampire and become one of the living dead."

So it wasn't surprising when we arrived at Wiard's Orchards near Ann Arbor to find a huge line for tickets to their haunted attractions, even if tickets ranged from $15 to a VIP package of over $30. Better ghosts take your money than the bank or the government, right?

We got a ticket for the haunted hayride. I've never been on a hayride before, let alone a haunted hayride. As we got on the haywagon, the gentleman employee assisting us said, "No flash photography, no flashlights and no touching the monsters."

What monsters? The advertising didn't mention any monsters. And so much for the flashlight I had stuffed into the pocket of my hoodie. My brother and I had toured one of Wiard's haunted houses many years ago and found out the flashlight came in handy.

I remember my brother shined the flashlight ahead as we led our young boys through the pitch black haunted house. "There's one," my brother said as his beam lit upon a creepy-looking character. "There's another one," as his flashlight revealed another before he could jump out and shout, "Boo!" Seems ironic that my brother, who sometimes comments here as "The Enforcer" would want a flashlight under such circumstances, but I remember being thankful he had one.

Back to the hayride. The first part of the ride was uneventful as the tractor pulled our wagon through the field. But once we hit the woods, all heck broke loose. A damsel in distress charged out wagon, screaming for us to save her. Sorry. We were told to stay seated. So some demon jumped out, kidnapped her, and chopped her up or something. Bummer for her.

Then followed a parade of other maniacs, costumed characters and ghoulies who ran after our wagon, waving machetes, axes or chainsaws. "You can't touch us. You're not supposed to touch us," Wendy reminded one of them when she thought he got too close. True, that was something else the gentleman told us as we embarked on our adventure.

"This is interesting," my nephew Billy said looking down the trail we'd just traveled. I looked back and saw some figure in a long billowy cape eerily silhouetted by the full moon as he ran to catch our wagon. He eventually caught up, jumped on and said we were all going to die . . . or something like that. By the way, when we arrived at the hayride, Bily insisted on sitting "in the middle." Not sure why, but I'm guessing he felt safer there.

The climax to our hayride came when we entered a barn, the doors shutting behind us leaving us completely in the black. Then a strobe light illuminated the interior and a couple monsters attacked our wagon from various vantage points, including a loft above. By then we were kinda used to it though, even if one of them had a chan saw that he pressed against the wagon bottom, rattling the whole floor.

Though we all agreed that in the end it wasn't that scary, it still frightened me into having a creepy dream that night. I dreamt that we were headed to that haunted hayride in a school bus, and the bus was chased by a man dressed in a black, billowy cape. Very close to the plotline in the movie Jeepers Creepers 2 if anyone has seen it. When I told my sister-in-law about the dream, she said it was a bonus for the price of my ticket.

I guess.


Blogger Peter said...

Sounds like an excellent way to forget for a while about the economic mess the world is in Dave.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

sounds like a fun way to get away from reality for an evening. I've never been on a hayride. Sounds like fun. I would've thought that there would have been one when we took the grandkids to the pumpkin patch at the great park-but no, just a mini-train ride.

6:34 PM  
OpenID caroldee said...

DAVE doncha just hate when the dreams are so realistic like that. ohhh I think I would have freaked in a dark barn. uh huh.. anyway.. hay makes me sneeze and my asthma go nuts so nope aint going on any hayrides.. hope the rest of your weekend is restful. : )

9:01 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

We used to have hayrides in college, but they were excuses to have some cider laced with whatever bottle of liquor we could find in the fraternity house.

And, after having a few ciders, I think I saw people getting chopped up too. Or, was that the dream I had after I passed out?

9:45 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

What kind of cheap baggers would use a tractor for a hayride? Don't they know that horses (especially Belgium Draft Horses) are de rigueur for a real hayride? Things were much nicer in my youth....hayrides were meant as an excuse for necking!

12:59 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave, it sounds fun.....It must have been scary for you to have that dream after the hay It's been a looooong time since I've been on a hay ride.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds almost as scary as losing Reggie Bush and Tony Romo, huh?

8:17 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

PETER--Very true. Hopefully they celebrate Halloween similarly over in Australia there.

CARINE--We took a "haunted" train ride once a long time ago. That was pretty cool too.

CAROLDEE--My allergies are worse during harvest time as well. Once the weather gets cold, they're better.

FRED--Cider laced with whatever bottle of liquor is available? I've never tried that but it sounds intriguing. Makes me wonder what goes into hard cider.

KACEY--My father says that if horses really do get spooked, that hayride can get really scary, and dangerous too. He has some experience around horses in that regard I guess.

LUCY--I've had scarier dreams, the kind that make me wake up calling out in my sleep. My wife hates those.

ANONYMOUS--Reggie and Romo will make a comeback and so will my fantasy football team. Who is this anyway? Vic, Gary, Gabe, dad? No need to be too scared to post a name here ya know.

9:23 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

How much did you say you paid? Or, should I say, how much did you say you OVERpaid?

Glad you had a good time. Or some such.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I don't like being surprised in that way. (Happy surprises like roses or diamonds are OK!) But I used to enjoy being on the other end of it. Our church used to do a haunted house and I got to be the witch stirring a cauldron of dry ice. I have a really good witchy cackle.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

HOSS--Yeah, it was expensive. Hea, another way for you to make you pile, right? Start your own haunted house.

LYNILU--I could use someone with a good witch's cackle to go with my Halloween yard display. The more kids I scare away, the more candy for me.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Thank you for your comments
and I am glad you enjoy the stories and jokes. Please wish your Mother a very Happy Birthday from a blogger friend. I hope she has a great day and enough wine to enjoy it. If I was to go on a haunted hayride (which is most unlikely)
I would want to sit in the middle too.
We don't do much for Halloween here in Australia. Some kids come a knocking but not much else. Take care, my friend, Regards, Merle.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home