For the ninth year in a row, ghouls, goblins, and the unfriendliest of clowns have taken over the Pierce College Farm Center for the annual Halloween Harvest Festival.
The Halloween Harvest Festival becomes Fright Night starting at 7 p.m., and has thrill-seekers challenge three different attractions: Insane Reaction, Factory of Nightmares and Creatures of the Corn await visitors brave enough to face what lies beyond the entrance.
Christy Meglio and her family came to the Farm Center under the impression that it was still movie night and were looking forward to watching “Field of Dreams,” but got their dates mixed up.
She, along with her children, cousin and aunt, were looking forward to all the activities available at the Pierce Farm, like “picking out a pumpkin and coming to eat the fresh produce,” according to Kimberly McMahon, Meglio’s cousin.
As their children ran around on the grass, a frightening reminder of where they were came to life.
The gargoyle that keeps guard over the Creatures of the Corn maze growled, warning all those that came close. Some screamed in fear, while others challenged the monster.
It’s just one of the effects that adds to the atmosphere that lingers as night sets in.
Joshua Keel, assistant coordinator of the Factory of Nightmares, knows that guests come for the thrill, and has a goal set.
“I want [people] to walk in completely normal and then to [leave] screaming and running,” Keel said. “That’s how we know we did our job.”
Also sharing in his vision is general manager of all three haunted attractions, Michael Keane.
“Every actor’s goal is to scare the living daylights out of you,” Keane said.
Dillion Bates, 17, has worked at the Harvest Festival before, but came as guest with a few friends. He compares his memories from the previous haunts, but still favors the corn maze.
“It was good,” Bates said. “There [were] more than last year.”
Noah Michael Shriver, 17, who has named his character “Creepy Guy,” took a break from scaring to enjoy some time with his fellow actors.
“It’s my first night doing it, and I didn’t know what to expect,” Shriver said. “But once I got into it, it’s just so much fun.”
So far he has seen boyfriends use their girlfriends as shields in moments of fear.
“Chivalry is dead,” Shriver said. “Places like this kill it.”