It's almost Halloween, and to get in the mood, I went with some friends to Hobb's Grove, an amazing haunted-ranch-of-sorts in Sanger. Here I am with friend and colleague Lizhu, and her husband Dean, at a sign posted near the entrance to the attractions. We managed to avoid alcohol, but, um, I wasn't as successful avoiding profanity as the night progressed.This sweet young thing greeted us while we were standing in line for the first of three attractions, the Haunted Hay Ride.
Lizhu and Dean were settled in on the hay ride, waiting to go. Once the ride started, we weren't allowed to take pictures. A tractor pulled us around through a bunch of scary scenes, such as a hillbilly village straight out of Deliverance, a mad scientist's laboratory, and a small forest complete with really ugly dudes wielding chainsaws. Of course, they chased the trailer of hay that we were on, and it was plenty scary. But little did we know that it was just a warm-up for the next two attractions.
Safely off the hay ride, we waited in line for the Haunted Forest, and this handsome Barney Fife look-alike hung out and chatted with Katie and me for awhile.
You can't take pictures in the Haunted Forest, either, and I wouldn't have tried anyway because I was too busy running for my life. Two young boys went in ahead of the four of us, and we caught up with them pretty quickly, as they were terrified and asked to "hang out" with us. There seemed to be strength in numbers, and added numbers also gave us more people to push ahead and say, "No, you go first!" It was freaky scary in there -- no kidding. There were zillions of twists and turns and dark entryways that you had to go through, knowing darned well that some scary something-or-other would be on the other side waiting to pounce. Honestly, it went on an on, and we all thought it would never end. Finally, we came through what seemed to be a final clearing. Dean and I were in the lead, and Katie and Lizhu were just a bit behind us. Suddenly, one after another, three scary dudes with chainsaws (perhaps escapees from the hay ride) jumped out at us, and we freaked out, running for the opening that looked like the end. I looked back over my shoulder, only to see both Lizhu and Katie literally cowering on the ground in a heap with two of the chainsaw guys over them. And I turned back around and kept running. Some friend, aye?! Katie had been pushing Lizhu forward, and accidentally pushed her right into a tree root, and they both tripped and fell. Thankfully, they were able to get up and join us on the outside.
Safely out of the forest, but easily 10 years older, we found a picnic table to sit at and catch our breath. And make a decision as to whether we could handle the final attraction, the Haunted House. And this guy joined us at our table. And, no, he didn't have a fun cartoon-like voice. He was just as silent and creepy as he looks here. Thankfully, he seemed to be full of whatever he'd eaten before he met us, and didn't need any more sustenance from our flesh and blood reserves.
And this rat! He was really creepy looking, but had a silly cartoon-like voice, so was fun to talk to for a bit. And, no, my camera didn't give him those glowing red eyes.
The Haunted House (again, no time for pics -- too busy surviving) was also amazing, and there were many points in it where we were in the pitch dark, having to feel around on the walls to figure out where to go next. And at one point, there was a mad scientist holding a bloody brain that he waved in front of us, asking us, "Did you lose this?" Clearly, we had -- why else would we put ourselves through this torture voluntarily?!!!
We made it through the house, and decided that the Forest was by far the most frightening. Lizhu, Katie, and I also realized that Dean had managed to keep at least one of us in front of him throughout all the attractions, and NEVER went first! We decided to get even as we headed through the parking lot to the car, and without his knowing, we slipped away behind some cars while he kept walking. He didn't realize we weren't with him for some time, and had to walk around looking for us for a few minutes -- even trying to call Lizhu on his cell phone -- before we jumped out and scared him. Crazy kids.
With all the haunting over, we settled in for the drive home and realized we were not only exhausted but had sore throats from all the screaming. I think I screamed for 90 minutes straight.
Happy Haunting Season!