By L'Oreal Thompson
9:35 AM EDT, October 3, 2011
When most people think of Halloween, images of pumpkins, witches and ghosts usually come to mind. Whether you like to be scared senseless in a haunted house, learn more about true ghost stories or prefer a simple hayride on the farm to pick out pumpkins, there is plenty of fun to be had in Harford County this fall for all ages.
For the scariest Halloween fun, be sure to check out Legends of the Fog—Harford County’s largest haunted attraction. Located on about 80 acres of Aldino Sod Farm in Aberdeen, Legends of the Fog is open on weekends in October through the first weekend in November.
“Legends of the Fog is a set of situations,” says Patrick Barberry, producer of the event. “In each house, there is a completely different setting. It’s really an incredible journey to come through. We never leave you in one type of environment for too long.”
From beginning to end, it takes about an hour to 90 minutes to get through the different scenarios, depending on the size of the crowd. Some of the attractions include the Sinister Circus, Haunted Hayride, Cornstalkers and Carsins Manor. On Saturday nights, waits can average about two hours long.
“Waiting in line is part of the experience, so this year we've added new games and new entertainment for people while they wait in line,” Patrick says. “That whole waiting area is one of the biggest dimensions.”
In order to have the most fun, Patrick recommends visitors bring “the right mentality.” “You have some people who don’t allow themselves to get scared, and it’s not the same experience,” he says. “Bring someone you know is going to freak out. I like watching people in my group or people who are ahead of me who are scared.”
Legends of the Fog is recommended for ages 10 and older. It is open on weekends starting Friday, September 30 through Sunday, November 5. General admission is $25 per person on peak nights and $20 on off-peak nights. A “fast pass” to shorten waiting time can be added from $10 to $15 depending on which night you attend. For more information, please check the schedule available online.
If you prefer the real deal when it comes to ghost stories, then the Haunted History Ghost Tour in Havre de Grace is sure to please. On Fridays and Saturdays through October, history buffs and ghost lovers alike can take a tour of downtown Havre de Grace.
“We visit some old establishments in town, such as the bed and breakfasts and other businesses, to hear true ghost stories which have been passed down from generation to generation,” says Lisa Ryan, chairwoman of the haunted history tour. “We have a lot of history in Havre de Grace and you get to learn all about that, too.”
Sponsored by Havre de Grace Main Street, Inc., the ghost tours start at Jana’s Java (217 North Washington Street) and are scheduled for 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes and costs $12 per person. Group tours of 10 people or more can be scheduled for $10 per person. The tour may not be appropriate for children 8 and younger. All of the proceeds benefit the revitalization of downtown Havre de Grace.
“If you want to have a good time with your family and friends and hear about the spooky stories of Havre de Grace and our history, it's a great tour to take,” Lisa says. “I highly recommend bringing a camera. You usually get orbs of light—some people says they’re spirits and others say they’re dust particles.”
During one of Lisa's tours, she took her group to Legion Square across the street from the American Legion. As the story goes, there was a prostitute named Mary who hung herself from the banister on the third floor visible from a tiny window.
“One evening I was telling this story and all of a sudden a light came on. We were told people don’t go up there anymore, that the building is vacant,” Lisa says. “It was perfect timing.”
Other popular haunts include the former Chesapeake Hotel on Union Avenue, which is now the site of Chiapparelli’s. “Al Capone used to come and stay there when he went to the Graw racetrack in town,” Lisa says. “A lot of people say they can feel his presence when they're in the building.”
For the little ghouls and goblins in the bunch, Applewood Farm in Whiteford has a Spooky Spot inside the barn. A mini haunted house for kids, the Spooky Spot is less scary than traditional haunted houses, which makes it ideal for younger kids.
For the perfect jack-o-lantern, visitors can also pick out their pumpkins at Applewood Farm, which also sells fall decorations, apples and fresh apple cider. Admission to the farm is $3 per person and children younger than 3 years old are free. The petting zoo and hayrides are included with the price of admission, as well as a three-acre corn maze and kiddie maze for small children.
“I think we offer an entertaining family experience at a fair price,” says Bryce Adelhardt, owner/manager of Applewood Farm. “For a lot of people, it’s a tradition. They come year after year. You can come here, and everybody will find something they like.”
Legends of the Fog:
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