I’m the horror loving Dolly. I love scary movies, scary tv shows, scary collectibles, scary books, scary video games, scary art, scary fashion. As I was typing that, this is what it sounded like inside my head:
If you’ve never been to a well done haunted corn maze, you’re missing out on chills, thrills and dolla bills. Okay, not the last one, but I was on a roll. Our local haunted corn maze, located at the Australian Ranch, can only be described as fright-filled amazingness. If you’re a sensitive soul like my husband and my oldest, then you should probably stick to the still enjoyable daytime corn maze (available until mid-October) or the mildly haunted daytime maze (with free tractor rides and farmyard animal visits.)
Whichever way you experience it, it’s a great fall activity for one or for a group. I recommend going with a group because then you have someone you know to sacrifice to The Corn Gods by pushing them behind you so you can escape the “freaks” popping out of the corn. Apparently, it’s frowned upon to grab a stranger or stranger’s small child and use them as a freak shield. Who knew? I had to start using my own children, husband, sister, nephews or anyone else in my group. You just have to be faster, smarter or more limber than one other person to survive. I feel like “surviving” a haunted corn maze with my wiley wiles has better prepared me for a zombie apocalypse.
The Cariboo Corn Maze takes place on the Australian Ranch near Quesnel, BC. The Very Haunted Night-Time Maze has evolved into a full evening of entertainment with the haunted corn maze, haunted house, bonfire, hot chocolate and a concession stand to get the kids even more sugared up. Which isn’t a good thing for a shield because sugar just makes them run faster and that forces me to out-sugar the shields in my group to survive. It’s a vicious circle.
The creepiness starts as soon as you turn off the highway. You drive down a dark, winding, steep, tree-lined hill and finally out of nowhere the maze appears, glowing with the bonfire’s flickering light. Once you’ve paid and parked, you can head for the maze or the haunted house. The maze is cut differently each year and has different creepers in it. The only constant has been that chainsaw wielding motherfucker, Leatherface.
The maze is huge and you have to watch where you step because corn husks and stalks are slippery so your attention is divided to start with. That’s how they get you. They have the Leatherface-ish guy moving through the cornfield randomly starting his chainsaw. There have been creepy little Children of the Corn kids just standing there holding hands staring at you. The first year they were there, I thought they were lost and waiting for someone. I looked behind us and nobody was there. Then I saw their clothes and the blank looks on their face and grabbed my shield. Freaky looking people (some just normally freaky looking and some dressed like Ghostface) move silently through the maze and will just quietly move out of the corn and start walking beside and just a little behind you so that it takes a minute for you to notice them. I’ve been used as a shield once by my sister when Ghostface slipped up beside us. She noticed him first, grabbed me, pushed me behind her and ran. Let me tell you, it’s not fun being the shield so be prepared and watch who you position yourself beside.
After the first run through of the maze, we make our way through a forest and over an old leaf-covered wooden bridge to the decrepit and uninhabited farmhouse that they’ve turned into the haunted house. This three story house is different each year and I’m pretty sure it takes a full year of planning and decorating to get it set up. Yes, there’s creepers that jump out at you inside and outside so don’t forget your shields.
There are chairs set up around the bonfire to warm up or just sit and visit. Hot chocolate and a concession with food and other beverages is also set up.
The Non-Haunted Corn Maze (Admission $2 for ages 2 and older.) “Lenore invites you to wander the farmyard to visit the pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, mini ponies and llamas. You may also catch a glimpse of two feral goats and a few belties (cattle that look like oreo cookies!). You are also welcome to snack on the apples–they are organic.” Available from about mid-August until mid-October – Dawn until dusk
The Mildly Haunted Day-time Corn Maze and Haunted House Event (Admission $5.00):
“The daytime events are pretty tame in comparison to the night-time event. You may encounter a couple friendly ghosts and goblins around the Haunted House and in the Corn Maze. Admission includes: tractor rides, access to the haunted house, access to the corn maze, and farmyard animal visits. There will also be a concession available.”
Sunday, October 1 (11am – 3pm)
Sunday, October 8 (11am – 3pm)
The Very Haunted Night-time Corn Maze and Haunted House Event (Admission $7.00):
“The nighttime events can be pretty intense. It is not for the faint of heart. Your admission includes access to the Haunted House and the Corn Maze. Depending on Mother Nature we may or may not be allowed to have bonfires. There will be wonderful concession available as well.”
Friday, September 29 (7pm – 9:30pm)
Saturday, September 30 (7pm – 9:30pm)
Friday, October 6 (7pm – 9:30pm)
Saturday, October 7 (7pm – 9:30pm)
Sunday, October 8 (7pm – 9:30pm)
“Very important message: The “No Drop-off Rule” still applies! This is a family event first and foremost! Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Unsupervised kids will be turned away at the gate. We are not running a daycare or hosting a bush party! Groups of unsupervised pre-teen and teenagers have lead to some unmanageable situations for the hosts, the visitors and the scarers in past years. Absolutely no exceptions! Thanks for helping us keep this a family friendly event.”