Wabash Trace Haunted Hayrack ride is back for 2019

The Wabash Trace Haunted Hayrack Ride in the early 90’s. Back Row:  Betsy Danforth, Laura Danforth, Kelly Carey.  Middle Row: Fionnuala Carey, Megan Danforth, Maeve Carey. Front Row: Andy Carey (photo provided)

After many years of not having it, The Wabash Trace Haunted Hayrack Ride is making a comeback.

From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26 a spooktacular hayrack ride can be taken down the Wabash Trace.

The ride will begin at the Rose Hill Cemetery Trailhead on Argus Road. Cost is $10 per person or $40 per family. Katy King, a parent of an Essex student, is organizing this event as a fundraiser for the Essex Junior High students who will be taking an educational trip to Washington D.C. next spring. The Washington D.C. trip will be bi-annual for Essex Junior High students and will be fully funded by projects undertaken by the students and their parents.

“This trip will give them the opportunity to see the National Monument, White House and learn about the history of our country,” said King.

In addition to the historical and cultural sights the students will see, they will develop leadership and citizenship skills as they work together to earn the funds. A total of $20,000 is needed for the trip, and students are at about $4,300.

King said she had a lot of fun on the haunted hayrack ride when she was younger and approached Rebecca Castle, President of Southwest Iowa Nature Trail (SWINT), about the fundraiser idea. Castle liked the idea too.

King said they were able to get some of the people that used to help with the hayrack ride and it will be similar to what it was years ago.

Castle said the board had talked about bringing the Haunted Hayrack ride back and are excited as a group that King took the reigns.

“Board members and members of the community that I have talked to are super excited,” said Castle. “I remember going on the hayrack ride as a child and then helping with it when I got older.”

Essex High School students also have the opportunity to help with the haunted hayrack ride.

“It is about a mile ride one way,” said King. “We needed a lot of volunteers for actors and safety purposes.”

A “no scare” hour will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for younger children. King said during the no scare hour, it won’t be completely dark yet, and there won’t be anyone jumping out and scaring anyone.

Other upcoming fundraising events will include a pulled pork dinner at Trojan Hall on Thursday, Oct. 17, a volleyball tournament on Saturday, Oct. 26, and in November the junior high will sell homemade apple pies.

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