Haunted Happenings around MU

It is that time of year when pumpkins are being carved and apple cider is being purchased by the gallon. Halloween is quickly approaching, and the tail-end of summer is now a thing of the past.

It is autumn, and at this time of year there are many fun activities to embark on. Whether you want to go apple picking with the family, or hop on a haunted hayride with friends, there are plenty of options around the West Long Branch area.

One of the main nearby attractions, Battleview Orchards, is located in Freehold and is a great place to spend the day. Battleview Orchards have plenty of land where you can pick your own apples and pumpkins. Plus, they have weekend hayrides around the farm.

Also in Freehold is Wemrock Orchards, famous for their homemade pies. Here, you can explore the pumpkin patch, challenge yourself in a corn maze, and enjoy a hayride. They also have a market, bakery, winery, and ice cream parlor, all of which are available during the fall season.

Twin Pond Farm in Howell offers a corn maze, hayride, and even a moon bounce if you are looking to find your inner childagain. This year, they have added a new Thanksgiving catering menu incorporating everything from appetizers to dessert.

Westhaven Farm in Allentown offers the same hayride and maze attractions, but they also have Haunted Happenings around MU farm animals to visit.

If you are looking for less of a family attraction and instead wish to be scared stiff this season, there are many places around the area suited for you. C. Casola Farms in Marlboro offers four haunted attractions including a hayride, 3D haunted barn, a wooded trail, and a living maze. They charge forty dollars for unlimited attractions, but you can choose which ones you want to explore for lower rates. They also offer pumpkin picking on weekends for those who want to avoid the ghoul and gore.

“I had a really good time at the Casola Farms hayride last season. It was scary, but not too scary; it was just a lot of fun,” said junior Taylor Kennedy.

Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson is in close proximity too; there you can be frightened by both zombies and roller coasters. Fright Fest is going on until October 28 and you can get your thrills not only from their popular rides, but also from the entertainment provided by the walking dead. There are plenty of new Halloween- inspired attractions, such as the Circus of Thrills and Voodoo Island, to fill you with fright.

Kathleen McCluskey, Junior, went to this year’s Fright Fest. “I had a good time, I’ve always loved roller coasters, but the Halloween attractions just made it even better,” McCluskey said.

If you are willing to travel a bit further for the love of fear, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is another frightening option. As a former prison, many of America’s most famous criminals, like Al Capone, have stayed at Eastern State. For the faint of heart, there are daytime tours where you can explore the landmark in the light of day.

A Philadelphia resident, Professor Josh Emmons has visited on more than one occasion. “It’s beautiful and disturbing, and there are always interesting art installations all over the place. I love it,” he said.

However, if you are looking for a scare, Terror Behind the Walls offers a haunted house experience within the prison. “If you hit it during October, expect a ‘haunted’ prison with half-dead psychopath prisoners jumping out as you walk through dimly lit, crumbling cellblocks that date back to the early 19th century. It’s supposed to be totally terrifying,” Emmons adds.

Madison Pinto, Junior, visited Eastern State recently with a friend for the Halloween attractions. “The lines were a little long, and the events that they had were a bit cheesy. But, the jail itself was scary enough for me, I thought it was really cool,” said Pinto.

Whether you want to enjoy pumpkin picking at a nearby farm, or if you prefer the more chilling side of the Halloween season, there are plenty of options around this area for you. Plus, if you want to enjoy the nature of autumn during the day but wish to be frightened at night, you can always accomplish both. No matter what gets you into the fall spirit, there is plenty of entertainment and terror to be discovered right in our area.