Not a sound beyond the soft hum of the tractor pulling the hayride echoed through the dark forest. The sudden revving of a chainsaw caused the passengers to look around frantically, eyes settling on a man chasing the tractor-pulled trailer, coming close before giving up pursuit. The smell of exhaust forced the realization to dawn in each passenger’s mind that it was no fake power tool.

The chainsaw had a protective sleeve, but the stench of the exhaust added to the effect. This is what made the annual Waterhawks Ski Team haunted hayride fundraiser such a memorable experience. Being just about 15 minutes long, the ride is over quickly. However, there are plenty of scares to go around.

At the beginning of the course, a witch asked the hayride passengers if they would like to stay for some stew. The ride keeps moving as the witch walks into the road behind the trailer, warning travelers of the dangers in the forest. At first, the witch seemed childish, but once she warned us with a worried voice, a dark curiosity crept over the caravan.

Every turn of the hayride brought something new. There was the funeral home next to the daycare next to the carnival next to the summer camp, making one doubt the hypothetical town had a city planner. Each theme was full of detail, including references to classic films such as “Friday the 13th” with the multitude of hockey masks and even a banner that said “Welcome to Camp Crystal Lake.”

Throughout the ride, the trailer had a “tour guide” that added commentary as well as his own comedic touch. While the guide seemed unnecessary, imagining the ride without him would have seemed less effective. He made us look where the ride wanted us to look and made the passengers feel more grounded.

The Waterhawks haunted hayride was a fun event. It is something that one can enjoy with their friends for a quick night of fun. The ride makes sure its customers do not overstay their welcome, as it is very short, but it is still a good burst of adventure.

The ride will be open the next two weekends, Oct. 18-20 and 25-17 on 100 Waterhawk Rd. in Evansdale. Tickets are $12 each. Cash is preferred, but they do accept cards.



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