Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride 2011 Review

Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride & Farmers Revenge (Petersburg, KY)
“Fire Breathing Trucks and Demonic Forces Unite”
By Noah Wullkotte:

Petersburg, KY is a dark and mysterious place. The roads are winding and the sky is full of bright and beautiful stars. It’s pure country and a perfect place to have a haunted hayride. Petersburg Kentucky is known for its controversial Creation Museum and of course Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride. Since 2006, Gene and Brenda Webb have organized one of the best haunted hayrides the bluegrass state has ever seen.

Sandyland Acres has evolved a lot over time and has become much more than your typical haunted hayride. The entire farm is full of entertainment everywhere you walk. If you’re hungry you can take a look at all that the farm has to offer at their extensive concessions area. I bought myself a chocolate brownie and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. There’s a variety of food and refreshments available like walking tacos, popcorn, ice cold pop and more.

Sandlyand Acres also has a unique gift shop with lots of homemade items made by co-owner Brenda Webb. You’ll find coffin shaped jewelry boxes, mini scarecrows holding a Sandyland Acres sign, Sandyland Acres T-Shirts, ceramic pumpkins full of candy, jewelry and much more. I picked myself up a coffin I would use to hold change and one of Sandyland Acres’ unique scarecrows. Before you hop on the hayride or enter the barn, you can even purchase some glow in the dark novelty necklaces and toys or get a picture with a monster for $4.

But you obviously don’t want me to go on and on about food and glow in the dark toys. You want to hear about haunts and boy does Sandyland Acres have haunts. New this year is Farmers Revenge. Farmers Revenge is a haunted barn with a plethora of scenes and startling effects. This is the first year Sandyland Acres has featured a brand new haunt that was practically built from the ground up. They’ve featured a haunted cornfield in years past, but nothing to this extent. 

Farmers Revenge is a 5 minute haunt full of interesting rooms and some high tech scares. Farmers Revenge has scenes like a jungle with hanging snakes, deadly insects and water that drips on your head. More could be done with this room, but it’s still effective. Farmers Revenge features some eye catching props like a static Leatherface who revs his chainsaw as he stands next to a hanging body bag. You’ll also enter a spinning vortex tunnel and you’ll even see a homemade electric chair in the Farmers Revenge prison. The electric chair uses electric firecrackers to simulate the inmate being shocked with volts of electricity. Farmers Revenge is a bit on the short side, but there’s lots of room for expansion since much of the barn isn’t being used.

Farmers Revenge has some fun scenes like the Exorcist bedroom. It features Regan McNeil who has been possessed by the demon Pazuzu (aka Captain Howdy). Her pajamas have been covered in vomit as she spins her head all the way around. Furniture moves violently as a curtain blows in the wind. The haunt also features a dimly lit dungeon, a small funhouse and a dark maze.Farmers Revenge could last close to 10 minutes or longer depending on how long you’re trying to find the exit in the darkness.

Co-owner Brenda Webb told us that some customers have been lost for so long that they decided to exit through the entrance as they screamed in terror. I guess they got their money’s worth! Farmers Revenge has a lot of potential if the right changes are made. Adding scary music to play in the queue line would add to the ambience of the haunt. Adding dynamic lighting to the outside would also bring more attention to the haunt. Some of the acting is sub par, but this is understandable considering that this is a brand new attraction. It’s bound to improve over time.

The attraction that started it all is Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride. Sandyland Acres is one of the few hayrides I’ve been to that combines original scenes and horror movie recreations. It’s a very fun and exciting hayride because there’s so much variety. Sandyland Acres has one of the best designed wagons I’ve seen at a haunt. The wagon is wide and the bales of hale aren’t torn apart or scattered all over.

There’s plenty of room for actors to climb onto the wagon and get close to passengers without worrying that they might trip or fall over people’s feet.Before the ride started all I could really see were lots of stars in the sky including a very bright North Star off in the distance. You could tell that you were in the heart of Kentucky and I was very excited about what I might experience. As we got deeper into the cornfield, I could see a blanket of fog behind me that added to the mystique of Sandyland Acres.

Sandyland Acres features many well known horror movie scenes from classic slasher flicks and modern horror as well as more traditional scenes that will appeal to a younger audience. One of the big additions to this year’s hayride is the new double truck chase that features two large trucks that shoot fiery flames as they surround the wagon. This isn’t the only scene that will get your blood pumping.Sandyland Acres celebrates more than just the Halloween spirit. It celebrates Christmas with its Killer Santa room.

This area features a Christmas Tree with a severed head on top, a fire place, a victim being murdered with an ax and plenty of snow that falls on top of passengers. The girls across from me got covered with snow and were having a blast. Let It Snow plays in the background as Santa goes for his attack before he walks aboard the hay wagon.Sandyland Acres has many horror movie reenactments such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes and more. Watch out for Jeepers Creepers’ horror villain “The Creeper”. He loves corn. The most theatrical scenes take place inside the barn near the end of the hayride.

There are many new scenes this year, but I won’t give them away. I’ll let them be a surprise.Sandyland Acres has great scenes, but there are a few that need to be tweaked. The graveyard with a funeral procession wasn’t working properly. Years ago the paul bearers carrying the coffin were animated, but that night the prop didn’t move at all and it just didn’t have the impact it used to. Some of the actors need a little more training. This was the case with the werewolf who interacted with people on the wagon. He just growled at passengers and did nothing else. He was more amusing than scary. Ghost Face from Scream also seemed a little out of place and didn’t do much except for getting in people’s face.

A few of the actors could be more effective if they had weapons that made sound or popped loudly.Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride is a very entertaining haunt and I hope they bring back a few scenes that they used to have. The galloping headless horseman has been removed and there are no longer any scenes involving Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers. Michael Myers could be seen close to the queue line the night we visited, but there needs to be a scene dedicated to this well known horror movie villain.

Co-owner Gene Webb always plays these iconic characters. He was Michael Myers that night and hovered over me as I talked with Brenda.The hayride can last over 20 minutes and when it’s over, you’ll be asking for more. It’s that damn fun. There are areas that need to be worked on, but overall both Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride and Farmers Revenge embody the Halloween spirit and are appropriate for all ages. The Haunted Hayride is $12 a ticket, Farmers Revenge is $10 a ticket and a combo ticket for both haunts is $20. On busy nights, you may want to purchase a VIP ticket for the hayride for $15. On Saturdays the farm is packed. Sunday pricing is $6 for each attraction and $3 for their Hay Maze.

Final Stab For Each Haunt
*Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride:  Length-10  Design-8  Props/Animatronics-8  Acting-8  Scare Effect-8  Final Stab: 8.4

*Farmers Revenge:  Length-6  Design-6  Props/Animatronics-6  Acting-6  Scare Effect-7  Final Stab: 6.2