About five years ago, we started a family tradition. We don't have many family traditions so the fact that we can add one, and stick with it, is fantastic in my book. I like to do fun things; things that the kids will remember; things that our kids will tell to their kids and hopefully continue the tradition.
What is the tradition you ask? Well maybe you didn't ask but I'm going to tell you anyway :) We started going on a Haunted Hayride.
The first year it was just me, my kids and a couple of their friends. I remember that year it was so muddy! As we stood in line waiting to get on the hayride, our feet were sucked into the mud and muck and when you pulled them out to walk, it sounded like a suction cup. When we got back to our vehicle, I had all the kids remove their shoes and we put them in the plastic bag. It was a mess but we still had a great time.
The place we go is called Spooky Ranch at the Rockin' Ranch located in Columbia Station, Ohio. When you get there, you stand in line to purchase your tickets. They have several attractions besides the hayride so they have three different packages you can buy. They have The Famous Haunted Hayride, The Haunted Barn, Crazy Clowns 3D, Funny Fun House and Extreme Nightmares. Here is the blurb from their website describing Extreme Nightmares:
Most Extreme Haunted House in Cleveland - Extreme Nightmares Haunted House is Cleveland’s most extreme Haunted House, taking the ordinary Haunted House to the next level. This is our one Haunted House that features extreme gore, blood, guts, frightening scares and in your face acting. Experience extremely detailed, high-tech, Hollywood make-up and acting. Actors have professional speaking parts with a theme to the house. This is not the ordinary boo’s and black walls of other haunts. Extreme Nightmares Haunted House” is a theatrical production that will linger in your mind and cause you sleepless nights. This Haunted house is so extreme that it is not recommended for children, pregnant women or people with heart conditions. No one under 10 years of age will be admitted.
Needless to say, I have never been in the Extreme Nightmares Haunted House. If the babies are too little for all the scares, the ranch has their “Old West Pumpkin Fest” during the day, although I did see some pretty tiny kids on the Haunted Hayride.
The next year I went and took my best friend and her son, along with my kids and another family friend. That was a fun trip. No rain and no mud. We stopped at a restaurant and ate dinner before we went and once we got there, we rode the hayride and went through the fun house.
Last year we didn't go. I'm not sure why but it was never mentioned but this year my husband went for the first time and my daughter took her fiance. It was so much fun. It seems each year they add a little bit more to the ride. As you board the wagon full of hay, you wonder what terrors await in the woods and it never disappoints. My daughters fiance was scared because he didn't know what to expect but said he'd like to go again next year. The creatures that jump out at you are not bloody or gory, just mostly scary with the things they say, "I'm gonna chop your head off," as they swing an axe.
Aww, family traditions are the best!
R. K. Avery