The Sleepy Hollow Hayride
Expect to Experience:
- Disorganized (but free) parking
- A LONG haunted hayride
- Live bands/bonfires/food
- Port-a-potty only
With Shady Brook Farm’s Hayride of Horror being my favorite haunted hayride of all time, its not surprising that it took me so long to finally give The Sleepy Hollow Hayride at Active Acres a try. The two places are virtually right next to each other, and given a choice, obsessive tendencies typically favor the known commodity. This year though, I reluctantly broke tradition and tried the alternative. Having a $3 coupon to Sleepy Hollow may have influenced me just a little…..sometimes cheapness supersedes tradition. It was difficult to resist doing Shady Brook one more time…..I literally drove past the road for it on the way to Sleepy Hollow, but winding backroads beckoned to try something new. Upon arrival, a peculiarly stationed farmhouse sits right at the entrance of Sleepy Hollow. Beyond that was a mess of cars parked at all different angles and no one giving any sort of direction whatsoever. The gated entrance had one opening big enough for cars to enter, but then other cars were trying to exit out of the same spot. After edging my way through the entrance and nearly scraping against an exiting car, I settled for one angled space and walked down a lengthy row of other haphazardly parked cars toward the ticket windows. The line for the ride wasn’t too unbearable. We waited maybe 15 minutes on a Saturday night as wagons with giant steel cages rolled up to the front of the line. One note here….try to be mindful not to sit with your back right up against the “cage” behind you. As various psychos ambush the wagon during the ride, they tend to jump up on the side and shake it around. This can cause some minor back pain. One other note here in reference to the parking situation….you are driving on uneven ground and this could be a problem for some vehicles. Don’t bring your Lamborghini here.
Once on the wagon, we took a leisurely ride through some fresh-smelling countryside in Bucks County. As haunted hayrides go, I didn’t find this to be especially scary, but fun nevertheless. You could classify this in the ranks of the more suspenseful type, as the ride is long and their props aren’t as shocking as you would see on the nearby Shadybrook Farm. In fact, the props do look a little older and somewhat dated. While I do enjoy seeing a giant mechanical rat thrown into the mix, years of seeing other mechanical rats have mitigated any remaining shock value this guy might have had. The performers seemed a little disorganized at times–one stop was to observe brown-robed characters gathered before a dimly lit backdrop presumably to perform some sort of act of heinous shadiness on a reluctant victim. There was an audio accompaniment to the whole scene as the characters were wearing microphones, but the dialogue was muffled and hard to understand. It was an interesting idea, but enthusiasts of ritual killing re-enactments may not appreciate being left in the dark when it comes to determining exactly who was presiding over the ceremony. I’ll cut these guys some slack though. It was early October, before they had a real chance to perfect their performance. The best and most effective scare was the close collision with a menacing-looking farm vehicle towards the end. Alright, I wont give anymore away.
All-in-all, a worthwhile experience. My sister Adrienne was a quiet observer throughout, but said she enjoyed it. You probably wont find this event truly scary (unless you are very young or this is the first ride you ever do), but the length of the ride on a nice October night will make you feel like you got your money’s worth.
Attractions Selected: Hayride only
Paid: $30 for 2 tickets (although I found a $3 discount coupon which was good from years ago)
Attended with: My sister Adrienne