Headless Horseman Hayrides

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Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted Houses
Haunted attraction
Industry Theatre
Genre Theatrical/Interactive
Founded September 20th, 1992
Founder Michael and Nancy Jubie
Headquarters Ulster Park, New York, USA
Area served
Services Entertainment
Owner Michael and Nancy Jubie
Number of employees
Website Headless Horseman Hayrides

The Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted Houses is an outdoor haunted attraction in the Hudson Valley area of New York. It is located in Ulster Park, about 6 miles (9.7 km) from Kingston, New York. This haunted attraction covers 45 acres (180,000 m2) and includes a hay ride, corn maze, and five haunted houses.[1] The attraction has been rated as the "#1 haunted attraction in the United States[2][3] by Haunt World Magazine, and listed as one of the "Top 20 Hometown Haunted Houses in America" by Fangoria.[4] H5 has been featured on Emeril's Halloween special and the Travel Channel, and draws celebrities as customers as well.[5]


The hayride opened for the Halloween season in 1992,[6] stemming from a disguise business Michael Jubie developed during his time as an undercover police officer, as well as the couple's love of Halloween.[7] As of 2015 it featured twelve distinct attractions and employed over 350 people during the season.[7] Owners Michael and Nancy Jubie started the attraction out of a love of Halloween and experience with disguises.[8] Michael has written articles about safety in outdoor haunted attractions,[9] and lectures about his experiences in the industry.[10][11]

H5 is located on a 45-acre (180,000 m2), 200-year-old farm that some employees report is actually haunted.[12] The facility, which was named Tourism Business of the Year by the Ulster County Development Corporation in 2008,[13] has garnered a reputation for tailoring the terror experience to the individual customer.[14]


A year-round crew is employed to develop and implement the annual themes at the attraction. The storyline is developed by the Jubies and Dave Berman in concert with the production crew, headed by Kyle Jubie and Ernie Bonelli. Creative Director Rob Corsino (2002-2014) develops both the sets and oversees the makeup professionals as they create a look for each actor that complements the set and writing.[14]

The sets designs, writing, and acting have led industry publication Haunt World Magazine to repeatedly list H5 among its Top 13 haunted attraction list, "America's Best Haunted Houses," and as its No. 1 Best Scream Park.[2][3][15]



Storyteller dressing to guide wagon riders on the hayride

Patrons are first taken on a hay ride on a wagon which holds 25–30 customers. Customers are given ample opportunity to be scared by actors during the trip, which is facilitated by a "storyteller," another actor who is on the wagon for the ride. Each year the hayride has a different theme, and the storyteller narrates the tale, interacts with other characters, and sets the mood for customers. The veteran actors along the trail attend regular acting classes to sharpen their scaring skills.[14] There is some debate about the ideal place to sit on the wagon for the most enjoyment,[5] but the hayride is scary enough to cause some customers to jump off the wagon, or knowingly leave valuable possessions behind.[16]

Hayride themes[edit]

  • 2016: Horseman's Spawn
  • 2015: Horseman's War
  • 2014: The Witching Hour
  • 2013: Foretelling!
  • 2012: The Horseman's Cult
  • 2011: Hell's Cavern
  • 2010: Escape of Prisoner X
  • 2009: Revenge of the Hollowmen
  • 2008: Once Upon a Terror
  • 2007: The Black Spider Sideshow
  • 2006: The Night of the Collector[6][12]
  • 2005: The 13th Sacrifice
  • 2004: The Night of the Bogeyman
  • 2003: The Season of the Witch
  • 2002: The Necromancer
  • 2001: Dr. Dark's Evil Carnival
  • 2000: The Revenge of the Horseman
  • 1999: The Greenhouse FX
  • 1998: The Last Resort
  • 1997: Nathan's Nightmare
  • 1996: The Forbidden Forest
  • 1995: The Death of Butcher Joe
  • 1994: Revenge of Butcher Joe
  • 1993: The Legend of Butcher Joe
  • 1992: Butcher Joe

Corn maze[edit]

The corn maze is the third stage in the visit. Numerous actors are hidden in a one-way (i.e., customers cannot make a wrong turn and lose their way) maze to scare passersby.

Corn maze themes[edit]

  • 2014
    • Evil Reaping: Dark Harvest Corn Maze
  • 2013
    • Evil Reaping: Dark Harvest Corn Maze
  • 2008
    • Dark Harvest: Evil Reaping
    • Freak Way Walk-Thru
  • 2007
    • Dark Harvest

Haunted houses[edit]

Several haunted houses, each designed with a new theme annually, are also part of H5. They are frequently covered in local media.[17][18]

House themes[edit]

  • 2014
    • The Lunar Motel
    • Glutton's Diner
    • Glutton's Slaughter House
    • Dr. Dark's Black Spider Sideshow (Walk-Thru)
    • Slither's Pet Shop
    • The Nightshade Nursery
    • Flesh They Crave: The Feeding'
    • The Mansion of Dahlia Blood
  • 2013
    • The Lunar Motel
    • Glutton's Slaughter House
    • The Root Cellar
    • Nightshade: Nursery and Greenhouse'
    • Dr. Dark's Black Spider Sideshow (Walk-Thru)
    • Flesh They Crave: The Feeding'
    • Blood Inn: The Mansion of Dahlia Blood'
  • 2009
    • Glutton's Slaughter House
    • The Feeding: Flesh They Crave
    • The Mansion of Dahlia Blood: Phantom Harbor
  • 2008
    • Bad Seed Fertilizer Co.: The Nightshade Experiments
    • The Feeding: Flesh They Crave
    • The Mansion of Dahlia Blood: Phantom Harbor
  • 2007: Bad Seed Fertilizer Co., The Feeding, and The Mansion of Dahlia Blood

The Creature[edit]

Appearing in 2007, the Creature was a 150-foot (46 m)-long inflated attraction that appeared to be a sleeping dinosaur or dragon. Customers passed through the mouth and walked past internal organs on their way through to the back end.

Other activities[edit]

H5 includes several other attractions, including four eating establishments (Croaked Crow Cafe, Evil Eatery, Witch Hazel's and Deadly Doughnut), four gift shops (Magic Moon Gifts, Ghoulish Gifts, Phantom Photos, and Scarewear), and other entertainers including several ghouls lose in the crowd entertaining the lines and Illusionist Ryan Dutcher . Various costumed actors and animatronic creatures are found throughout the site.

Charity benefits[edit]

Children's Day[edit]

Billed as a "Tiny Taste of Terror," Children's Day takes youngsters on a scaled-down daylight hayride and through the corn maze, all of which are modified for a youthful audience.[21]

Frosty Fest[edit]

In 2007 relaunched Frosty Fest,[22] a Christmas-themed event that had originally been conceived and attempted early in the attraction's run.


  1. ^ Lindsay Pietroluongo (2008-10-02). "Make Halloween memorable: Hang out at the Headless Horseman". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  2. ^ a b "The Top 13". Haunt World Magazine. Archived from the original on September 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  3. ^ a b Michael Bonasio (2002-10-03). "Where screams fill the air". The New Paltz Oracle. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  4. ^ Fango Staff (2009-10-02). "Fangoria's Top 20 Hometown Haunts". Fangoria.com. The Brooklyn Company, Inc. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  5. ^ a b Tomcho, Sandy; George Spohr (2008-10-10). "Frighteningly fun: Hudson Valley's Haunted Attractions Reviewed". RecordOnline.com. Times Herald Record. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  6. ^ a b Katie Young (2006-09-16). "The fright stuff: Headless Horseman keeps up its scare tactics". FreemanOnline.com. Daily Freeman. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  7. ^ a b Kalet, Beth (September–October 2015). "The Monster Maker". Ulster Magazine. Times Herald-Record. pp. 16–19. 
  8. ^ "Haunted Houses in New York". 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-23. [dead link]
  9. ^ Jubie, Michael. "Safety! What's Your Definition?". Haunted House Association website. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  10. ^ "2008 National Haunt & Attractions Show Announces New Seminar Theme: The Art & Science of Haunting". International Association of Haunted Attractions. 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  11. ^ "The Art of Haunting". TransWorld. December 1, 2007. Archived from the original on June 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  12. ^ a b Hoevel, Ann (2006-10-31). "'Haunters' work year-round to scare up Halloween frights". CNN. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  13. ^ "Business awards to be handed out Oct. 21". FreemanOnline.com. Daily Freeman. 2008-07-27. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  14. ^ a b c Greg Ryan (2008-09-17). "A Model of Mayhem". Hudson Valley Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  15. ^ "America's Best Haunted Houses 2009". HauntWorld Magazine. Hauntworld, Inc. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  16. ^ Haunted houses get really scary by Craig Wilson, USA Today, October 12, 2006, accessed November 2, 2007 at 00:08
  17. ^ Why Is Fear Fun?, Poughkeepsie Journal, October 2, 2007, accessed October 23, 2007 at 00:27
  18. ^ Local Haunts Reviewed by Sandy Tomcho and Kristina Wells, RecordOnline.com, October 5, 2007, accessed November 1, 2007 at 23:58
  19. ^ "Autism Press Release" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  20. ^ Bonnie Langston (2008-08-29). "Fall show helps Annex arts". FreemanOnline.com. Daily Freeman. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  21. ^ "Dark Destinations: Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses". TheCabinet.com. 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  22. ^ Ulster County Tourism Bureau

External links[edit]