Take a scary stroll – or hayride – through Trumbull County this October
Maniacs in the Woods has grown from a humble beginning to a favorite among October thrill-seekers. Going into its seventh year in 2023, the nonprofit haunt is a fundraiser and passion project for Boy Scout Troop 54.
The walking trail through the woods at the Bazetta Optimist Club has upwards of 15 bone-chilling scenes full of lights, decorations, and plenty of things that go bump in the night.
The trail gets more frightening each year as the Troop adds to their collection of props and builds on their scary know-how. An entirely volunteer team of monsters know just which buttons to push and which bushes to hide behind to make the experience truly frightening.
The haunt runs every Friday and Saturday in October and often pairs scares with local vendors or a trunk-or-treat for the little ones.
Fear Forest offers plenty of options for a good scare: a haunted house, hayride, and trail, and in true Ohio fashion, a forbidden cornfield. The haunt on Tod Avenue in Lordstown has been operating since 2004, when it started as just a hayride.
Now, it’s four attractions offer something for every kind of thrill seeker.
The Insane-A-Tarium haunted house is considered by some to be the most intense haunted house in Northeast Ohio. The mental institution is loaded with blood, guts, gore, and “treatments” too horrifying to describe.
Keeping with the asylum theme, the outdoor Psycho Path walking trail lets visitors “meet the crazies head on.”
The haunted hayride is most well-known for its dizzying drive-through vortex tunnel, where the tractor will stop long enough to make your head spin.
And of course, if all of that wasn’t enough, you can still take a 10-minute “walk of horror” through the forbidden cornfield, which has “only one way in and one way out – if you can make it out,” according to Fear Forest.
The haunt runs Fridays through Sundays from the end of September to the end of October, so there are plenty of chances to face your fears.
The Hartford Optimist Club has been perfecting the art of the spooking since the 1980s.
The nonprofit’s haunted hayride at Storeyland Tree Farm features more than a dozen scenes, most of which include live monsters and a fair number of jump scares. The all-volunteer cast is constantly changing, so the haunt is a little different every weekend.
If you need a snack, you can stop by the concession stand and grab some kettle corn from Boy Scout Troop 4090. The Scouts may make a terrifying appearance on the hayride trail as well.
And, since the haunted hayride is one of Hartford Optimist Club’s biggest fundraisers, you can scream well knowing you’re supporting a good cause. The club distributes money to youth sports groups, Scouts, and the local food bank, among other organizations. So, don’t be surprised if you catch a few zombie baseball players out there, too.
The haunted hayride runs Saturday nights from late September through mid-October and is preceded daily by an early evening family friendly hayride through the picturesque Christmas tree farm.
Those looking for a good scare have found it since 2011 on the self-guided, outdoor haunted walking trail on Lincoln Way in Niles.
Fearhaven Forest runs on Saturday and Sunday nights in October and has victims – er, guests – walk along a gravel woodland path. Watch out for the chainsaws, the monsters that pop out of the night, and the fog. Set in a public park, the trail plays on classic fears like spiders and clowns and also pays homage to some slasher icons.
If you make it through the forest, there’s a maze to try as well.
Snacks are always available, and the haunt has also been known to host the occasional food truck, charcuterie artist or photo booth.
The family and friend-run haunt prides itself on offering an experience that’s spooky for families and adults alike at a reasonable price.