Entertainment

Nine Haunted Hayrides in New England

These classic Halloween adventures include everything from horse-drawn wagons for all ages, to horror-filled fields for only the most courageous.


We’ve already started dipping our toes into fall with pumpkin-spiced drinks and light jackets, but it’s about time to start thinking about Halloween. There are Halloween movie screenings, Beacon Hill’s transformation into a real-life Halloweentown, the carved pumpkin float on the Frog Pond, and, perhaps the most underrated activity of all: haunted hayrides.

There’s a hayride for everyone, from the family-friendly venture at Charmingfare Farm, to the adults-only version at Monster Mash Scream Park. Trekking through woods and cornfields, the nighttime excursions pop up all over the region this time of year, ready to scare and entertain the L.L. Bean boots off of riders. Below, check out 10 of the best haunted hayrides around New England.

Hanson’s Haunted Farm and Hayride

Swing by during the day, and the farm is an idyllic scene: A quaint farmstand serves up freshly grown produce until November, and a corn maze dubbed “Tom and Matt’s Excellent Adventure” offers a labyrinth of family-friendly fun. But when nighttime falls, get out of there or get scared. Hailed as a “local tradition since 1993,” the autumn ritual brings out more than 100 volunteers to thrill patrons with a haunted barn tour and a hayride that bravely treks through farmland scenes featuring fires, gunshots, graveyards, and more. For families looking for a more wholesome autumnal trip, un-haunted hayrides are available during daylight hours to bring guests out to the most excellent corn maze.

$20, 20 Nixon Road, Framingham, 508-877-3058, hansonsfarm.50webs.com.

Photo courtesy of Fear on the Farm

Monster Mash Scream Park at McCray’s Farm

Get in on this Western Mass. three-for-one scare, which is celebrating its 29th “anniverscary” this year. Included in the $25 admission is a hayride and two haunted houses, one of which taunts goers with everything from dolls to snakes, and the other of which is so intense it’s reserved for those 18 and older. The hayride itself takes half an hour to journey through over 200 acres of fields on the working dairy farm, where tableaus featuring Pennywise the clown, “mutant pigs,” and “experiments gone wrong” are sure to unsettle. For parents with young ones wanting to get in on the fun (without getting scarred for life), the Munchkin Mash kiddie hayride is a sweet alternative. Available to those 10 and under, the 15-minute jaunt is an interactive effort to complete a quest—for any real-life Wednesday Addams out there, this year’s theme is the Addams Family.

$25, 55 Alvord St., South Hadley, 413-533-0775, fearonthefarm.com.

Century Sportsman’s Club’s Haunted Hayride and Spooky Walk

If you want to feel scared but also feel charitable about it, amble on over to Auburn this fall. Every Friday and Saturday during October, the Century Sportsman’s Club puts on a Halloween extravaganza, which also serves as the club’s largest fundraiser of the year. Bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Worcester Veterans Inc. and they’ll knock $5 off the admission price. They say the first wagon leaves at dark, so grab your friends and prepare for glow-in-the-dark mystery, disorienting fog, and shocking sights aplenty.

$20, 531 Rochdale St., Auburn, 508-832-2211, centurysportsmansclub.org.

Witch’s Woods

Thursdays through Sundays all throughout October, make your way to Witch’s Woods, where a haunted hayride ventures through the forest at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area. With legs dangling off the edge of the wagon, the wooded ordeal involves zombies, werewolves, and pretty much any other ghouls you can dream up. Tickets include the hayride as well as admission to four other haunted houses and walk-throughs, so save some screams for those, too.

$39, 79 Powers Road, Westford, 978-692-3033, witchswoods.com.

Legends of Fear 

In case your coping strategy for getting through any scary ordeal is telling yourself, “It’s not real,” Legends of Fear is here to tell you you’re out of luck. Their tagline: “Real farm. Real woods. Real fear.” Open on weekends from September 28 through November 2, these tractor-pulled wagons have been terrorizing Halloween lovers for 23 years—so they know what they’re doing. Expect bone-chilling chainsaws, creepy clowns, and most of all, the unexpected.

$26, 2 Saw Mill City Road, Shelton, Connecticut, 203-944-9090, legendsoffear.com.

Photo courtesy of Tim Leyden/Field of Screams

DeathCon1 Haunted Ride at the Field of Screams

Admission at the Field of Screams gains you access to all three of the property’s horrifying attractions: The Dungeon of Doom, a souped-up experience filled with animatronics and vibrating floors; the cleverly named Cirque du Souls 4D maze, where wayfarers don 3D glasses for an extra dimension of fear; and the DeathCon1 Haunted Ride, where guests board a five-ton military truck (a welcome relief for those with pesky hay allergies) to venture into an apocalyptic land ridden with zombies, aliens, and other unpredictable critters. They recommend budgeting around 45 minutes to make your way through the terrifying trio, which you can visit on weekends from October 4 through November 2. Be sure to visit soon, as they tend to switch it up each year.

$25, 179 Plain Meeting House Road, West Greenwich, Rhode Island, 401-397-2600, hauntedhayride.net.

Charmingfare Farm’s Harvest of Haunts

For horror movie aficionados, this working farm may not be the best place to get your scream on. But for children, people with children, or those who are really only in Halloween for the “Thriller” dance alongs and pumpkin flavors, this not-too-scary ride is the perfect way to spend a crisp October evening. The Harvest of Haunts takes place on Friday and Saturday nights from October 11-26. There are two kinds of hayrides to choose from: a horse-drawn wagon or a tractor train drive. Along the way, a creepy cast of characters will make an appearance, from witches and ghosts to an unhinged farmer and headless horseman. Make sure to arrive 15 minutes before your ticket time, as the rides can’t be rescheduled.

$29, 774 High St., Candia, New Hampshire, 603-483-5623, visitthefarm.com.

Spooky World Presents: Nightmare New England

Though “spooky world” might sound like the Casper the Friendly Ghost of haunted experiences, this self-proclaimed “hayride from hell” is truly the stuff of nightmares. From spiders to other disconcerting creatures, this mile-long excursion is bound to feel long. The spookiest part of all? The usual rule of thumb that says the monsters can’t touch you is out the door for this hands-on hayride, though all of the other four haunts included in ticket price are touch-free. Consult the 2019 schedule for October dates—opening day is on (September) Friday the 13, the park is open for Halloween night, and the final run is on November 9.

$39.99, 454 Charles Bancroft Hwy., Litchfield, New Hampshire, 603-424-7999, nightmarenewengland.com.

Vengeance in the Valley

It began some 15 years ago as a way to raise funds for a local class trip, and has only grown better and more unnerving in the years since. During Friday and Saturday nights throughout October, Gaines Farm sets aside typical farming duties to transform the 200-plus acres and host two hair-raising activities: the tractor-drawn haunted hayride and the sweet-sounding cornfield maze called “The Devil’s Torture Chamber.” If you’re only interested in the hayride, tickets cost $13, or for $22 brave souls can make their way through the cornfield, too.

$13+, 6343 Coolidge Highway (US Rt. 5), Guilford, Vermont, 802-257-0409, hauntedgainesfarm.com