Harknell and I had the pleasure of visiting Schaefer Farm’s Fright Fest in Flemington, NJ. I had previously thought that farm haunts were low budget festivals for children with nothing for me. Spoiled as I am by yearly trips to Orlando for the high-budget Halloween festivals, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I came away from this haunt wanting to return next year.
Schaefer Farm is not a high budget haunt, but that is precisely what makes it so wonderful.
Here is a spiderweb light that marked the entrance to the hayride:
You will find props and scares here that you will find in not other haunt because they made them themselves. Handmade skeletons that attack you from above, sets constructed by hand, you name it! The DIY spirit of Halloween is so palpable here that I enjoyed myself from the start to the finish.
The Hayride was a bit of a wait because they don’t have many cars running, but it was worth it. You ride past scenes of horror that are suitable for all ages. You even stop at some and watch a short vignette. For example, a little girl getting scared by her toys:
Periodically your car will get attacked by things. We get to meet a witch, some hillbillies, some miners who try to shoot us…so many things. The keystone to this experience is that you have a sort of friendly and hilarious ghoul riding on your car with you providing funny dialogue and context.
At one point you get dropped off to walk through a trail guarded by masked men:
Then you go through a graveyard and then you get back on the hayride for a finale that features a car chase. No special toys here – there’s a guy really chasing you in a real big car!
After this, you go through a corn maze of chainsaw guys and then on to the haunted house. It was too dark to get shots of this, but I can assure you that the house was pretty good. It wasn’t one of the high budget deals of course – but it was very entertaining and even a little scary! We got chased out to the concession area which had a very good array of food and things to do.
They had funnel cakes, hot chocolate..and…hot apple cider!!! I think that hot apple cider might be a REQUIREMENT for me to give a good review. It’s like – the official drink of champion haunt goers. Schaefer was happy to oblige:
Other stands had carnival games and savory foods and ice cream. Here are some shots from the farmhouse shop where you can buy popcorn, cookies, pumpkin donuts, fresh produce, jellies, jams, and pretty much everything you can think of at a farm:
Was Schaeffer Farm Fright Fest terrifying for an adult like me? No, but it was fun, had some scary bits, and gave the most unique DIY scares I have seen! I highly recommend this haunt for a fun night out with the family – or even out as a couple like Harknell and I rocked it.
Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based CMO and entrepreneur that is obsessed with progressive rock / metal, marketing, and nightlife. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.
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