Ever since middle school, haunted hayrides have been a trademark of my Halloween experience. Nothing beats getting scared out of your mind with a group of your closest friends. Haunted hayrides are like no other spooky Halloween affair. Horror movies and scary stories don’t run up to you and look you in the eyes like the actors do. They don’t follow you around holding chainsaws or knives. They don’t breathe down your neck waiting for you to crack under the pressure of their presence. Haunted hayrides bring the horrors of the movies to life.
The most memorable hayride has to be the one from this past Halloween. My friends and I went to Field of Horrors for my best friend’s birthday. We’ve done it for the past couple years and it is always a great time. This year’s was special because not only was there a haunted hayride but there were also mini haunted houses planted around the field. Last but certainly not least, there was an array of creepy characters roaming around, terrorizing people.
We started with the hayride. This was easily my favorite part. I love getting to see the different scenes and storylines they come up with. I love the anticipation of the next scare. The slight glance over your shoulder to see if there’s a monster creeping up on you. The pang in your stomach when you realize that you’re their next victim. Purely being stuck on the back of the trailer is enough to freak me out. It is a very strange feeling to be completely exposed on all sides while trapped on a moving vehicle in the middle of nowhere. But, hey, that’s just all part of the effect. . . Right?
After that, we moved on to the haunted houses. Despite my obvious bias in favor of the hayride, this part still was quite fun. While I tried my hardest to avoid all the lurking frights, I did find myself screaming more times than I’d like to admit. This portion of the night was especially good for poking fun at each other for being wusses. It is always amusing to see everybody else’s ridiculous reactions to the scares. It is especially funny when that one friend puts on the persona that they can’t be scared no matter what yet still turns out to be the first one yelling.
I think the scariest part of my senior year haunted hayride experience is the realization that this is yet another example of all the “lasts” I will have this year. The last time I will get to go to a haunted hayride as carefree teen with all of my best friends from high school. The last time all of my friends will get together for another one of Amanda’s legendary birthday parties. The last Halloween we have together before we split up across the country. These “lasts” don’t necessarily only exist as negatives, however.
While I am moving slowly but surely through my senior year, I am trying to bask in every fleeting moment without dreading the end of my career as a Voorheesville student. I want to keep these moments alive in my memory as being full of pure, relentless joy. I do not want them to be categorized as sad, sullen instances where I am trying to fight my inevitable maturing. While I still sometimes feel like a goofy little kid in an adorable costume, I find myself shedding the immaturity and getting ready for the next chapter of my life.
Halloween started as a holiday to dress up as my favorite princess or superhero and trick or treat until I got just enough candy to put me in a sugar coma. For teenage Abby, Halloween was full of hiding from the ghouls and goblins creeping around every looming corner with my best friends. Next, it will be the messy college parties and ridiculous costumes in the years to come. Halloween is one of those special holidays that adapts with you as you get older. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, they’re always the same, so full of tradition. Halloween, on the other hand, ages with you, offering an array of different experiences at different stages in life.