Haunted Hayrides a Cash Crop for Arasapha Farm in Glen Mills

Randy Bates with one of his haunted creations.
Randy Bates

The highest-yielding crop on a particular family farm in Delaware County is the haunted hayride.

These days, planting spooks and scares along a dark and seemingly dangerous adventure through Halloween-time cornfields and weeping woods is bringing a much-faster harvest than traditional grain and vegetable crops.

And it’s a lot more fun.

“Halloween is 75 percent of our business here,” Glen Mills farmer Randy Bates said in a Philadelphia Inquirer report by Jason Nark. “I’m netting $30,000 on souvenir photos alone. Unless you have thousands of acres, you’re not making any money as a farmer.”

Bates’s hayrides began running through 82 acres this fall as soon as his “200-year-old Arasapha Farm had once again transformed into Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride.”

In doing so, Arasapha Farm made its horrific and highly profitable turn toward “agritourism” for Halloween, the holiday saving many small American farms.

The scare-filled motel and hayride employ 30 people over a 30-night run in September and October, and it’s been operating since 1991.

Read more about Bates’s haunted hayrides in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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