The Sweet Married Couple Behind New York’s Most Horrifying Haunted Compound
A detective and a nurse with a lifelong love of the morbid recruit a roster of macabre-loving misfits, and turn a bucolic patch of the Hudson Valley into a 65-acre hotbed of horror.
Photos by Marisa Gertz
“I think I just peed myself!” is not something most people usually say publicly in a tone that mixes reverence with glee. Yet a young woman walking through a forest of fake entrails enthusiastically divulges this to her boyfriend, seconds after a heavyset man covered in blood sprang out from a dark corner, shouting incoherently, sending the duo into screams followed by ample laughter. At the Headless Horseman Hayride, peeing yourself means you got your money’s worth.
Sprawling across 65 acres of land in Ulster County, New York, the Headless Horseman Hayride is a more elaborate, gruesome theme park than hokey jaunt through the countryside. There are four eateries, several gift shops, and a bevy of attractions, including themed haunted houses, a corn maze, escape rooms, and, of course, the hayride itself. Among the subculture of enthusiasts for haunted attractions, the Headless Horseman Hayride…
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