Monday, October 25, 2010

Haunted Hunt Club Farm

Help, help, I'm being hunted through a corn field by...clowns?

Yes, if you happen to travel to Virginia Beach and attend a Haunted Hunt Club Farm event.

One of the exciting things about Halloween is, of course, the haunted houses, into which group I include haunted hay rides, haunted forests, haunted rest get the picture.  Sunday, 24 October, Frau Punkinstein, myself and friends went to Hunt Club Farm for the 2010 Halloween Festival.  There are carnival rides and funnel cakes and produce of the gourd variety (it is a farm, after all).  I brought home a candied apple because nothing says Autumn like an apple covered in red candy.  I am not fond of the squishy caramel apple with or without nuts.
Back to the spooky.
Here is my ticket:

Check out that face on the right.  That is creepy as all hell, with its stitched mouth and blank, soulless eyes.  I did not see this guy even once.  I did see 1 creepy human marionette, 2 baby doll-faced bloody brides, 3 scrap iron dinosaurs (I can't even begin to explain), 5 inbred rednecks, 1 Jason Vorhees, 1 Freddy Krueger, gratuitous Alice Cooper, 2 Cenobites and 567.4 scary clowns.  I repeat: Scary Clowns.  At a farm.  The incongruity between the expected denizens of a haunted farm/corn maze and the reality of scary clowns leads to ironic juxtaposition that is more funny than anything else.

I had a good time.

There were several factors that made Haunted Hunt Club Farm a winner in my Halloween event book:
1. Carnival atmosphere: I like carnivals.  Carnivals are creepy in their own way, what with the transient nature of them and too many films depicting carnivals of EVIL!    The carnival aspect provided a token set of rides and booths offering gourmet popcorn, funnel cakes, pizza by the slice, hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and cheese steak sandwiches and BUCKET O' FRIES...which just sounds dangerous.
Even in worlds of RPG fantasy, carnivals are creepy places
2. 3 Haunted Attractions:  While this does not meet the total number of scary attractions at Busch Gardens, HCF does a fine job with their haunted attractions.  The Village of the Dead is a walk through with plenty of shocks and gore.  Field of Screams is a corn not-maze, in that there is only one direction to go and no blind turns.  The Haunted Hayride is exactly what it says on the tin.  In all three cases the attraction is out-of-doors, which lends a wonderful atmosphere to the experience and despite being located beside a rather busy highway, once in any of the attractions the patron feels isolated from said highway and this wonderful isolation aids in increasing the creep factor of the whole attraction.  Story lines for the attractions are kept to a minimum with the scares following a loose, nightmare logic.  The Haunted Hayride features moments of narration to move the story along and is easily the most intense, especially as the patron is stuck on the hayride itself, forced to move at the speed of the tractor pulling the wagons, and not at their own too hurried pace.
3. Classic monsters in the Hayride:  It was a nice to see classic monsters like Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger in the Haunted Hayride.  (Okay, 'classic' should be reserved for Dracula and Frankenstein's monster, but darn it, these are icons of 80's horror)  Recent 're-imaginings' of these horror icons have allowed a new generation to enjoy their antics, like crazy cut-ups they are.  Knee-slappers, I assure you.
4. Going the extra mile to make you wet yourself:  A member of our party, Cindy, became a target of one or two very determined haunters when Frau Punkinstein identified her by name during the Hayride.  For the remainder of the ride a persistent Alice Cooper-esque fellow made sure to scare her and use her name in so doing.  That's customer service, that is, and well worth the $20 per person ticket (which covers all three attractions).  There was a very good moment where a victim in an electric chair, who had just been 'fried', leapt out of his chair and onto the wagon screaming, "Oh my God, he can leave the chair!"  That's priceless when the haunter says what he knows you are thinking.  Upped the scare ante big-time.
And one factor that makes me sad:
It's not that they were frightening, because they were not; I was just confused as to what they were doing in a cornfield.
Piss off, Chuckles, I've got cotton candy fields to water
Because, of course, everyone knows that clowns are deathly allergic to maize in its unpopped state.
I imagine that there was an error during the planning phase this year and too many people thought that they were being the clown this time.
"Jim, is that a clown costume?"
"Yeah, Mark.  I thought it would be scary to have a clown in a cornfield; it's madness because it doesn't fit."
"That's what Todd and Karen and Hubert and like, 17 other guys thought."
"Clown's all I brought, Mark."
"Dammit.  Fine, get suited up and head to the corn field."
One, maybe two clowns in a corn field, now that is frightening.  It says, "I've gotten lost in this corn field and there is something wrong in the air...ahh, clown!"
As it stands currently the feeling is, "Dag-nabbit, maw, we got clowns!"
"Oh, Henry, what can we do?"
"Gonna have to spray for 'em, thet's all we can do.  Try and find their clown car after the harvest and spray thet too."

If you are in the Virginia Beach area or can make the trip, I recommend Haunted Hunt Club Farm for the season.  Have a Happy Halloween and, as always, keep your pumpkins lit.


  1. The clowns came to play baseball against the monsters in an instant classic suitable for the whole family. Disney's Field of Screams.

    "If you build it, they will come forth."

  2. Nice one. I never even made the connection.
    My money is on the dinosaurs, because although T-Rex doesn't have the arm to pitch an entire game, the clowns keep goofing and chucking pies instead of trying to steal second when they should. Clowns, pshah, never keep their minds in the game.