By Emily Campbell | Baltimore Examiner Staff Writer
Originally Published in the Baltimore Examiner on October 29, 2008
Ashley, right, and Amber May play the part of deranged clowns as volunteers at the Legends of the Fog Haunted Hayride in Churchville. They are just two of the more than 140 volunteers that make the seasonal park run. Jon Clements/For the Examiner There are people in Maryland who work all year round just to scare you.
Like Patrick Barberry. The 24-year-old operates Legends of the Fog, a haunted attraction at his father’s sod farm in Aberdeen.
“There’s a lot to be done, a lot more than people would know,” Barberry said. “It takes all year to plan an event that’s only running 30 days out of the year.”
Barberry, who graduated from Salisbury State with a bachelor’s degree in business management, first started thinking about incorporating a Halloween haunt after his graduation in 2006. “I was right in the middle of planting season. Being on a tractor for ten or twelve hours a day is very monotonous work, and your thoughts just run wild,” he said.
With a select group of friends, Barberry poured over articles, attended countless conventions and researched other haunted attractions, looking for a way to be different but still successful. “We wanted to be story-based, and have everything connect, almost like a moving play production,” he said.
This is the second year that Legends is running. More than 200 volunteers work to make sure the hayride, maze and adjoining “haunted” house go off without a hitch.
“We really aspire to be a regional haunt, we want to create the best possible entertainment for the county,” Barberry said. “We’re slowly getting better, and we’re definitely learning very quickly.”
Jill Bennett’s husband, Allan, has always been a huge Halloween fan, and in 2001, the couple took $10,000 they had saved for a down payment on a house and instead started Bennett’s Curse.
“[Allan] really wanted to do this,” Jill said. “We’re small, but we’re growing. And we know we’re doing something right because we’re scaring people.”
Bennett’s Curse has been rated one of America’s Best Haunts two years in a row, and this year, the Travel Channel selected the haunt to be a part of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions 3.
“What we’re trying to do is establish Halloween events in Maryland so people don’t have to drive so far away. We want to see the haunts grow in Maryland, and put Maryland on the Halloween map as the state to go for haunted houses,” Jill said.
This article was originally published in the Baltimore Examiner on October 29, 2008, and was written by Emily Campbel.
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