ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – There’s a great scare for even the bravest Western New Yorkers at Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville Street. After all, you’ve voted to say it is Buffalo’s Best hayride.
For six weekends a year, a crew of 70 ‘haunters’ and a fleet of tractors ferry thrill seekers to face their fears.
The hayrides, which carry about 40 people per wagon for a 20 minute or so trip, are not for the faint of heart.
“We can make the biggest boys jump and scream,” said owner John Kent.
Kent says he knows how to handle the ‘tough guys’, too.
“I say to them, ‘Hey, you go ahead and go on that ride and you sit up where the tractor driver can see you, and if he catches you laughing and jumping and squealing, you get your butt back up to the pay window and pay again. You deserve to pay twice, because you’re grumping,'” he laughed.
Kent says, to date, he’s never had a customer walk away unsatisfied with the scares.
That’s because the scares at Nightmare Hayrides go well beyond the wagon.
From the moment you walk up to buy your ticket, through the covered line area to load the tractors, and through the haunted maze and haunted barn after the ride, there are plenty of thrills and chills to get you going.
Kent says they work to make the screams bigger and better every year. “We build, we grow, we change it up. You don’t know which way you’re going or how you’re going,” he said.
Kent and his family started Nightmare Hayrides 29 years ago on the grounds of the Ellicottville Rodeo, which they run every summer. At first, there were some doubters about making a go of the fall season attraction.
“I came home at supper time and I said to the kids and the wife, ‘I’m thinking about doing a haunted hayride here. What do you think?'” Kent recalled. “And the three of them are looking back and forth at each other and said ‘Nah, don’t embarrass us, Dad!'”
Obviously, Kent proved them wrong.
Western New Yorkers clearly love the Nightmare Hayrides attraction. So much so, in fact, they voted to name it Buffalo’s Best.
“I like that title,” Kent said. “I’d like to thank everybody out there that voted for us. I appreciate it.”
Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville Street is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through November 3.
Gates open at 7 p.m. with the first hayrides at 7:30.
Tickets cost $20 and include admission to all of the attractions.