Spooky Ranch (Columbia Station, OH)
“A Mecca For Halloween Fun”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
The City Blood crew has been touring Spooky Ranch for many years. It’s one of the few haunts we’ve been to that offers different attractions for many age groups. It’s also one of those places that has a carnival type atmosphere where you just want to hang out and have some fun. Our 4 hour drive to Columbia Station, OH is always worth the time and effort because Spooky Ranch offers a lot of bang for your buck. A ticket for all 5 attractions is only $20 and that’s hard to beat.
It rained cats and dogs on our drive up to Columbia Station and we were unsure if Spooky Ranch was going to be open. But when we finally arrived, it was barely raining. The crowds were understandably small, but this was great for us since we didn’t have to deal with the massive lines that Spooky Ranch is known for. We walked to the ticket booth, got our tickets and decided on which haunt we would tour first.
The Famous Haunted Hayride had the shortest line and is our favorite attraction at the farm. After waiting in line for about 10 minutes, it was our turn to walk up the steps and get on the hay wagon. Each wagon holds over 30 people and the wooden sides don’t block your view of the various scenes. The group of young girls in front of us wouldn’t sit still because they were so afraid of what they might see on the hayride. Chopin’s funeral march plays before the tractor starts moving.
Before the hayride officially begins, you’ll drive by a sleeping giant in a small shed and a large pumpkin creature. Many years ago, this pumpkin creature used to breathe fire and the sleeping giant was a fully functional animatronic. Hopefully these props are used to their full potential next year.
The Famous Haunted Hayride begins as you view wreckage from a violent tractor collision. A victim shakes as she holds on to her last breath. A casket company is conveniently located next door. A coffin salesman introduces you to the Sunset Casket Company where you’ll be measured for the perfect coffin if you don’t survive the hayride.
The Famous Haunted Hayride is a fun attraction that does a good job at scaring the entire family. It’s also quite interactive when it comes to its props and actors. A hobo begs for change as he’s inches from your face and an executioner will ask passengers if they want to see a man hanged or set free. Props get up close and personal. I was peed on by a ghoul in an outhouse and a giant dragon breathed smoke in my face. The newly added dragon is incredible and will definitely impress those who are looking for some eye candy. The Famous Haunted Hayride has a lot of great high tech scares like a large mutated rat and a larger than life vampire bat.
One of my favorite scenes is the pumpkin forest. It features torches that shine on props. You’ll see an alien, scarecrows and many scary creatures. You never know what will jump out at you. The Haunted Barn is also one of the highlights of the experience and features the most impressive animated scares. I already discussed the dragon, but there are plenty of other surprises waiting for you in The Haunted Barn.The Famous Haunted Hayride is over 20 minutes long and there are very few dead spots.
The longest line was for Extreme Nightmares which is arguably Spooky Ranch’s most intense attraction. This detailed haunt is not for the faint of heart. An old house sits restless and a possessed girl clings to the outside. A ghoul in a wheelchair sits next to the entrance. The first scene will have you getting up close and personal with a hairy rat. Ghostly Gus (aka rat man) has an affinity for four legged vermin and his pet of choice is a friendly rat. Kiss the rat before the floor falls underneath you. This is a very intense room and it’s a great opening scene for Extreme Nightmares.
Extreme Nightmares is the most detailed attraction at Spooky Ranch and the scariest as well. You’ll meet some unbalanced characters like a librarian who quotes Shakespeare and a mental patient with an electric saw. The fear of rats is used a couple of times in the haunt, most noticeably in the sewer scene where a large rat tail is violently moving and of course the beginning. Most of the attractions at Spooky Ranch are interactive and Extreme Nightmares is no different. The outhouse scene at the hayride is also at Extreme Nightmares. Watch out or you might get a little wet.
There’s also a casket salesmen scene that’s much different than the haunted hayride’s version. This time you’ll be entering a casket instead of simply receiving a sales pitch. The walk through casket leads to a small dark maze/hallway that’s a little unnerving.
Extreme Nightmares is the most theatrical haunt at Spooky Ranch and it can be scary no matter what age you are. It’s interesting to see which haunts have the largest lines. The Famous Haunted Hayride that’s usually the most popular haunt had the smallest line and Crazy Clowns 3D had only a hand full of people waiting to get in. Crazy Clowns 3D is inside an old saloon that’s attached to a jail and a bank. A clown sits on top of a popcorn machine and Count Dracula can be seen above you. Using a clown instead of a vampire would make more sense.
Crazy Clowns 3D is a 7 minute 3D attraction with gorgeous artwork. You’ll be transported into a world of imagination and crazy clowns. You’ll enter a graveyard, an Egyptian temple, a spider’s den and more. This is a good 3D attraction, but seemed a little shorter this year. There are some impressive props like a moving catwalk and a cannon with a loud boom.
Spooky Ranch has been entertaining Columbia Station, Ohio for 22 years and offers something for everyone. Even the little ones have something to smile about because Spooky Ranch has a walkthrough funhouse (aka Funny Funhouse) that is appropriate for all ages. After you’re done with the Funny Funhouse, you’ll enter Spooky Ranch’s Farm Market/Halloween Store where you can purchase a pumpkin, buy some costumes, masks, homemade crafts and tons of spooky gifts. Spooky Ranch offers many concessions like Italian Sausage, funnel cakes, cheese sticks, fries and more.
Spooky Ranch is a mecca for Halloween fun and might become your next family tradition. Tickets are $20 and this includes all 5 attractions. You can enter the Funny Fun House as many times as you would like. Package 2 is $18 and includes all the attractions except for Extreme Nightmares. Package 3 is $16 and includes The Famous Haunted Hayride/Haunted Barn and the Funny Fun House. Package 2 and 3 are $11 a ticket for children 10 and under.
Final Stab For Each Haunt
The Famous Haunted Hayride (Includes Haunted Barn)
Length-9 Design-8 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-8 Scare Effect-8 Final Stab: 8.4
Length-8 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-9 Scare Effect-9 Final Stab: 8.6
Crazy Clowns 3D
Length-6 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-7 Acting-7 Scare Effect-7 Final Stab: 6.8