I hadn’t been to a haunted house in several years, and was starting to feel really deprived. Especially since I’ve given of my best to this holiday before, I wanted to do some super-duper Halloween-y stuff! Fortunately, I have enthusiastic friends who are willing to drive hundreds of miles to see Amish teenagers in rubber masks, all shaky on Red Bull, jumping out of the trees on bungee cords and brandishing chainsaws in the air.
There were some hitches in the program: I managed to deliver on the promise of warm apple cider doughnuts, but had to substitute local Mexican food for open-air barbecue (problem with the directions.) And, instead of taking everyone to the local punk rock bar afterwards, I accidentally steered the group into the smoky headquarters of West Chester University Jockocracy.
Nobody seemed to mind too much, though. There was still some goodwill left over for
command-performance cheesiness the next day.
As for the hayride itself, it was freaking awesome. The flatbed wagons are pulled through trails
in the woods, with only inches of clearance between the sides of the wagon and the surrounding trees.
Amish seasonal workers in facepaint and masks are everywhere — leaping up behind you when you’re
looking at the fire-breathing dragon, leaping onto the wagon from derelict ghost-town sheriff’s porches,
and yelling “Dy-no-mite!” just before a giant, hot ball of flame shoots up from behind the wagon. I hadn’t ever thought of giant fireballs as a necessary part of Halloween before, but you bet your ass it was a great idea. Along with the bungee-jumping zombies (and the fact that we were being pulled by real farm equipment, not an electric cart), this hayride was 110% kickass.
The hayride finishes through a long, low mineshaft, complete with lots of runaway mine carts
almost smashing into the wagon, giant, horrific, animatronic underground monsters, etc. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t!
Jessica, visible in her pink coat, got lots of extra chainsaw attention. The Lulu pin on her
lapel pretty much summed the experience up: