By Rich Place
As Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville Street celebrates 28 years, it continues to find new and innovative ways to scare the many attendees that come by year after year.
This year is no exception, with a new feature to be added out on the hayride. But don’t except to know what it is before you ride, says Karen Kent, who co-owns the business with her husband, John.
“We don’t want people to know about it until they get out here,” she teased. “It should be a lot of fun and it should scare them.”
Hosted at the same location as the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo, the Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville Street will begin Friday, Sept. 28 and continue on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through Oct. 28.
The experience includes a 25-minute tractor-drawn hayride, a haunted wooden maze, a haunted barn and a vortex tunnel.
“Every year we change things around,” said Kent. “In fact, it’s never really the same even night after night. A lot of times the haunters decide they want to do something different each night. It’s a lot of fun.”
The hayride haunts include a full cast of clowns, witches, chainsaw men, scarecrows and anything and everything in between. And because several of the characters are meant to be frightening, Kent emphasized that the experience it best for children 12 and up.
Admission to the hayrides is $20 per person; 5 and under are free. The hayrides will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 29 through Oct. 29, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. with the last ride running at 9:30. No reservations are needed.
For more information on this event, visit the website at nightmarehayride.com or search for them on Facebook. However, Kent stressed if people have questions they should call 699-4839. She said she’s busy all weekend at the site, which doesn’t have reliable internet access, and it’s difficult to respond to messages via email or Facebook on the day of the events.
Nightmare Hayrides is located at 6319 Sommerville Valley Road in Ellicottville.