Per Messa House tradition, 15 Union students ventured to Liberty Ridge Farm this past weekend to brave four haunted attractions.
The first attraction is the “Field of Screams,” a frightfully delightful corn maze that confronts the courageous thrill-seeker with headless mannequins, bloodstained hay bales and eerie enclosed passageways.
To add to the experience, the maze is staffed with costumed machete-wielding farmers and the dazed ghosts of eighteenth-century housewives.
One particular spirit doggedly follows maze runners and hisses menacingly. However, by far the scariest part is running headlong into friends and acquaintances while darting away from some looming, bloodstained actor.
After the “Field of Screams,” the staff of Liberty Ridge Farm suggest a visit to “Fort HuntD,” a wooden labyrinth illuminated with black lights and strobe lights.
According to farm legend, spirits of Revolutionary War era soldiers, who fail to recognize that the battle is over, haunt the fort. Mirrors and misleading signs distract visitors to the fort, who form a distorted sense of time and place.
Breaking off from the group and hiding behind a corner allows for perfectly timed scares, all of which add to the fun.
Legend has it that, unaware of the land’s ghostly inhabitants, the Buchanan family settled on this plot of land and built the stately “Buchanan Manor.”
Following survival of the “Field of Screams” and “Fort HuntD,” Liberty Ridge Farm invites guests to call on the Buchanans at “Buchanan Manor.” Before entering, those who wish may put on 3-D glasses, which intensifies the thrills inside.
Disoriented by the glasses, and adrift in the dark hallways, callers to the Manor find themselves confronted with eerie rat skeletons, gothic paintings that seem to move, and disturbing noises.
Instead of resorting to chasing visitors out of the house, the cursed residents can be found standing in corners or around turns and waiting until an unsuspecting teenager passes.
One woman dressed in white stands next to a white bed, under the sheets of which the outline of a corpse can be seen.
Standing stock still, the woman appears to be a mannequin until she speaks suddenly, crying for the one she has lost and following any who enter her bedchamber.
Liberty Ridge Farm’s grand finale is the “Farmer’s Haunted House and Forest of Fear.” Located across the complex from the other attractions, and secluded from the reassuring sounds of children laughing, the Forest is almost completely dark and silent.
After stumbling through the woods on trails marked by fluttering corpses and the sounds of ropes stretching, voyagers into the Forest are greeted by cackling ghosts and an angry woodcutter with a bloody chainsaw.
Outfitted with all the spookiness necessary to send chills down one’s spine, the Forest is perfect priming material for the “Farmer’s Haunted House,” where one will find — but ah! It would spoil it to give away the final scare!
Visit the Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, NY, to experience their exceptional haunted lineup Fridays and Saturdays from now until Halloween. The fun starts at 7 p.m. sharp!