The reintroduction of the pumpkin spice latte means one thing — Autumn is here. And with it comes a host of other seasonal traditions such as hay rides, pumpkin patches, apple farms, and haunted houses. And let’s not forget one of the most famous, family-friendly Autumn events — the corn maze.
The history of the maze dates all the way back to the 5th century B.C. and begins with the first written record of a labyrinth, a twisting single path meant to be peaceful and meditative. Herodotus, a Greek historian, wrote of this Egyptian labyrinth, calling it greater than even the Pyramids. In the Middle Ages, British gardens began including mazes, a puzzling version of labyrinths that was filled with dead ends. These mazes were a means of entertainment, and still are today, whether they’re made of hedges or corn, the latter being the most prominent type in America.
So who is the brilliant mind behind the modern idea of getting people to pay to walk through miles of corn? The commonly accepted answer is Don Frantz, who built the “first ever cornfield maze for private and public entertainment” in 1993 for Lebanon Valley College of Annville, Pennsylvania.
The latest twist to this corny tradition definitely does not originate from the maze’s peaceful origins. Scary haunted mazes have brought an element of creepiness and more than a few screams into this popular Autumn event. If you’re a traveling family with older kids who love a good scare, these four mazes belong on your bucket list.
Located in Atkins, Indiana, this park’s haunted cornfield is a “fan favorite.” Navigate through corn rustling in the wind (or is it the wind?) as you try to avoid the park’s 75+ clowns, zombies, and other equally creepy creatures. You should particularly try to avoid the maze’s Korn Stalker. . . he doesn’t sound too nice.
Voted as the #1 Scream Park in America by Haunt World Magazine, this haunted attraction in Archdale, NC, is designed to provide you with “pure horror and fun,” with the haunted corn maze being noted as one of the scarier elements. It’s haunted by Kersey Krow, a murderous spirit possessing a scarecrow. With 150 monsters; special lighting, sound, and air pressure effects; and 30 years of experience in making people scream, you might want to bring a change of underwear to this attraction. Kersey Valley Spooky Woods changes elements of their park every year to provide an “uniquely terrifying experience,” so this horror attraction is one you can visit again and again. . . as long as you make it out the first time.
A pleasant, happy experience by day and horrific nightmare by night, Arasapha Farm in Glen Mills, PA, is home to the increasingly popular and incredibly scary Bates Motel, accompanied by a corn maze consisting of far more than just corn. This season’s corn maze has been the focus of the park for the Bates construction team, as they implement a new theme — “The Revenge of the Scarecrow.” (Apparently, scarecrows haunting corn mazes are the big thing this Fall.) This creepy maze will take you in and out of the corn, through haunted sets and buildings, and past 30 live monsters, plus more mechanical ones. A bone-chilling event, this maze is not recommended for young children.
An ominous story lurks behind the corn fields of this Headless Horseman haunted attraction in New York. Appropriately named the Evil Reaping, this event lures you into fields plagued by a murderer’s bent toward revenge and his habit of substituting scarecrows with decaying, murdered bodies. This 250-year old farm has heard plenty of screams before, and it will probably hear many more this season.
If you’re in the mood for both a directional challenge and a good scare, you’ve found the right places to go. Know of any other wonderfully spooky corn mazes? Let us know, so we can try them too!