Expect to experience
- My Personal Favorite Hayride
- A jolting hydraulic platform
- Possible graphic-looking violence
- Painfully annoying karaoke
My first and favorite haunted hayride! If you live anywhere within 90-minutes of this event, it is well worth the trip! I take 95 north, and right off the exit at Yardley, PA are wide open cornfields, which look especially ominous under a moonlit sky. If that didn’t give you chills, surely the karaoke near the entry area will. If there could be one complaint about Shady Brook, it would be the seemingly unnecessary amateur singing hour. I know a certain amount of kitsch is necessary at these things, but karaoke seems like an unexpectedly odd thing to see. My last time there, the performances ranged from the woefully desperate to the obliviously terrible. Just to add another pathetic layer to my last experience….the middle-aged man running the karaoke got in a fight with two 12-year olds because they insisted on incorporating profanity into their otherwise innocent song choices. Dan Band recruits maybe?
Karaoke aside, Shady Brook Farm has been a Halloween staple of mine since 1998. Its fun to see the changes which have come and gone since then. A few years ago while riding the wagon, I saw one of the most daring and grisly effects that I have ever seen at one of these things. Along the ride, there is a stop at a deserted house on the trail. The view of the front of the house shows a door busting open onto a front deck as a female character runs out screaming hysterically “Nooooo! Nooooo! Heeeelllllp!”. Right on her heels is your typical horror movie deranged-looking madman. Before you know it, the psycho catches up to her, and from behind, reaches his hand in front of her neck while holding a rather large hunting knife. Its obvious that it wont end well for the lady, and from that point I figured we would see some kind of brief struggle as the wagon pulls away and your imagination would fill in the blanks. Instead……the wagon goes nowhere until we get a full scene of the madman slitting that poor woman’s throat from side to side, and her lifeless body drops to the deck like a sack of bricks. What on earth did we just see? I did a quick gaze up and down the wagon benches and noted several children on board. The whole thing looked so realistic, yet no one seemed all that phased. I’m still not sure how I feel about that horrifying image being part of the ride, but I can say that it did not occur during my most recent visit last year (2014).
At the end of the ride, there are many opportunities to indulge in tasteful but fattening boardwalk-style food. Several firepits are stationed around the premises, which make it great for warming up or toasting marshmallows. You can also reserve tables with your friends and family to have parties right on the property. There are other components to the “farm” including a haunted barn and corn maze, but the hayride itself is the only part of it that I have experienced so far.