Mike Barberry makes a pretty good living raising turf and running the Aldino Sod Farms.
But he wanted to share his farm and his success with his community. As a result, last year, he and his son, Patrick Barberry, created Legends of the Fog, a haunted hayride and maze.
"Halloween is the second biggest holiday, only Christmas is bigger," he said. "People love to celebrate Halloween because it's non-denominational. And this project enables us to serve people in our community."
Legends of the Fog begins with the rules of the hayride, an introduction to the story and a video presented by Barberry in the starter tent. He spins a yarn about a city that must be evacuated and the people who are lost there, he said.
"My job is to preset the mood for the story," said Barberry, 56. "Then as people go through the hayride, the story I told unfolds before them."
Last year, about 5,500 people visited Legends of the Fog, he said. About 180 volunteers are participating in the event this year, he said. There are about 120 actors and 40 to 60 people who help in other ways, he said. Setup for the haunted hayride began in June.
There are several new things being offered this year, he said.
First, the haunted maze is bigger - about 2 acres, he said. The maze includes actors who will jump out and scare people as they attempt to weave their way through, he said.
Second, the hayride is longer and runs about 30 minutes, he said. This year the hayride covers about 80 acres through the woods and fields of the farm. For younger children, there is a Maze of Darkness that is about six acres and does not include any actors, he said.
"Young children have vivid imaginations," he said. "Some are scared by the idea that something is jumping out at them. They think it's real."
This year, the event will benefit the Cedar Land Foundation; a non-profit soccer organization; the Y of Central Maryland; and the Level Fire Company, which provides EMS services, he said.
Once the cost of the initial investment is repaid, Barberry plans to start a foundation and donate some of the proceeds to various organizations, he said.
"I want to use this program to give back to the community," he said.
To go: Legends of the Fog will be held on Oct. 24-26 30-31, and Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The cost is $15 for hayride, $8 for Haunted Maze, $6 for the Maze of Darkness, or $20 for all three. Info: www.legendsofthefog.com.