Thursday, 24 October 2013

Haunted Halloween Road Trip - GUEST BLOGGER

Every now and then it is fun to have Guest-bloggers chime in with their adventures! Please enjoy this great post from Kendra, who works for Brockville and 1000 Islands Tourism:

One of the best things about working at Brockville and 1000 Islands Tourism is that I get to hear a lot about all of the great events and attractions that are going on throughout our region, and occasionally I get to go and check them out for myself!


Last Friday I decided to head out on a Halloween road trip with my partner and go to both the Haunted Hay Rides at Drummond’s Sugar Bush and Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village. I dug out my hiking boots, bundled up with a cozy hoodie and scarf, made a thermos full of hot chocolate and hit the road.

First stop was Drummond’s Sugar Bush in Spencerville for a Haunted Hay Ride. Driving out on County Road 21 in the dark we knew we were close when we saw a trail of head lights turning down a dirt road - a good sign that this was a popular event. We parked in the field beside the road and headed straight for the snack truck, the buttery smell of freshly popped popcorn too enticing to pass up. We bought out tickets, loaded up on popcorn and snacks, and headed towards the line up. We ate our popcorn and waited in anticipation as we heard the screams of those in the woods who had gone before us.

As we boarded our wagon with around 25 other brave souls, I was glad to see that there were a lot of children on board (I spook easily and generally avoid horror movies so this was a bit out of my comfort zone). As a few of the first ones on, we tried to figure out where the best place to sit would be: at the front? No, we didn’t want anything targeting us first; at the back? No, the tour guide was there, who knew what role he had to play. We settled on the middle, but in the end it wouldn’t have made any difference where we sat, it was equally terrifying everywhere.

Our ride started up and headed off into the dark woods. No cameras, recording devices, or cell phones were allowed, so I don’t have any evidence of my trip through the woods, and don’t want to give too much away, but I can tell you that we all screamed. A lot.

Throughout the woods were tableaus of various horrors taking place and lots of things hanging from the trees. Our hay ride was equipped with strobe lights which hid movement, making it very difficult to see what was approaching our ride. I was constantly on alert for something jumping out at me, but I was never fully prepared for what would come next. At one point I was off of my seat and crawling across to the other side of the wagon. I wasn’t the only one climbing my way to safety; most of my side of the wagon was there with me.

After the 35 minute ride was over I was left wondering who would pay to be psychologically tortured like that. Well I had and I’d had a great time. As we left there was a line full of people waiting for their turn to be scared, so I guess I wasn’t the only one. It was great to see so many people out enjoying this local event.

We hopped back in our car, poured some hot chocolate, and set off for Pumpkinferno. I’d heard great things about this event and had seen a lot of photos (check out Lindsay’s latest post!), but I hadn’t yet been out to see it for myself. Walking through Upper Canada Village and seeing it completely transformed to showcase installations of thousands of carved pumpkins, I was amazed at the vision and artistry that went into this project. The craftsmanship involved is truly spectacular and it’s difficult to imagine all of the work that has gone into this endeavor. You can look at all the photos you want, but it is something completely different when you visit in person. Everyone around us was blown away by the exhibits; it’s difficult to find a truly all-ages event but this is one.


After taking pictures all night at Pumpkinferno, I was very glad that we had thought to pack our hot chocolate; it was just the thing to warm up our hands for the drive home.

We had left the house at around 6:30 pm and we were home by 10:00 pm, having experienced two very different Halloween events (if you have little ones in tow you would probably want to go to these two events separately). It was a great start to the weekend and we couldn’t wait to tell our friends about it.


The Haunted Hay Rides are running every Friday and Saturday night in October from 7:00-10:00 pm

Pumpkinferno will be open October 24th – November 2nd from 6:30-10:00pm

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