By Caitlin Croft

Starting Oct. 2, be prepared to scream and squirm as Nightmare Hayrides returns to Sommerville Street.

This spooktacular event is hosted by John and Karen Kent on their farm, which also is the location of the Ellicottville Rodeo.  This year marks their 25th Halloween season offering the “scariest hayride” around.

“That title was earned from the thousands of satisfyingly scared patrons we have had over the years,” says John Kent.

Along with the hayride, you can enter a few other super-scary haunted features, including the Gothic Chamber, Haunted Wooden Maze and the Haunted Barn featuring the Vortex Tunnel.  All of these activities are included in the admission price.

“Some of the haunts are scarier than others and our patrons are not shy about telling us if they are not scared enough. This is the kind of feedback we love and makes our workers strive to get the perfect scare every time.”

While you are there, be sure to fill up on the homemade soups Karen Kent prepares: corn chowder, cheeseburger chowder and chili are just a few of the featured soups.

“People beg for the cheeseburger chowder,” Kent said. “We can never have enough of it!”

Along with the soups there will be hot dogs, hamburgers, the delicious taco in a bag and other refreshments.

Nightmare Hayrides run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. through Sunday, Nov. 1.  Admission is $18; children 5 and under are free.  Reservations are not necessary.

Seven tractors run continuously and Kent assures us that “if there’s a line, we will keep going until every person leaves scared.”  So stop by and help the Kent’s celebrate 25 years of spooks and scares…if you dare!

Nightmare Hayrides is located at 6319 Sommerville Valley Road.  Visit www.nightmarehayride.com.