Things that go bump in the night will take over Benson this weekend.
The Benson Volunteer Fire Department will host its annual Haunted Hayride on Oct. 11 and 12.
The event, which serves as the department’s largest single fundraiser, attracts upward of 1,500 people, practically doubling the size of the rural community.
The entire event is run by volunteers, who donate the use of their wagons, sell tickets, and stage horrid scenes along the route.
“It’s a fun event and everyone really seems to enjoy it,” said Sue Janssen, a member of the town’s select board.
Each wagon ride—there are approximately two dozen each night—takes about an hour to run its course, and along the route, riders will encounter a variety of macabre scenes.
“We’ve had this problem with an errant railroad. We think we have it under control, but there also have been complaints about some sightings near Beaver Meadow Pond,” Janssen said.
“I personally only sit in the center of the wagon.”
Organizers leave it up to parents to determine if the hayride is appropriate for children, but warned it may be too scary for very young children. Also, hayrides at the end of the night tend to be scarier than hayrides at the beginning of the night.
Rides depart from the Benson Town Offices at 7 p.m. and continue until 10 p.m. each night. There are two types of tickets available: Advance tickets, which allow patrons to choose the wagon they want to ride and cost $10, and regular tickets, which cost $7.50, but don’t allow patrons the freedom to choose the specific wagon.
“The advantage (of advance tickets) is you don’t have to stand in line and wait. It frees you up to do other things in town,” Janssen said.
Cat Country 105.3 and Froggy 107.1 will broadcast live from Benson during the event, and local businesses will be open and selling refreshments.
To purchase advance tickets, call Janssen at 537-3111.