LAFAYETTE – We all love to scare people and as Halloween approaches there are a few places in the area that can provide that adrenaline rush.
One of them is the haunted town hall at 101 N. High St. in Lafayette.
It is owned by Ned Baughman of Westminster and David Neff of Lafayette.
“This building was run as a lair for a little while and then it was shut down and I used to scare in it and we didn’t run it for very long. About 12 years ago Ned and I started doing this at campgrounds and everyone said it was scarier than the places we pay for. Then we came back and started renting the building first, and then we bought the building, ”Neff said.
The building itself was constructed in 1899 and was the old Lafayette Town Hall.
“A lot of our rooms are based on what this building has been used for in the past,” Baughman said. “We have a school scene. We have a house – a living room and kitchen scene, there is a prison scene because the building was a town hall. There is a prison in it. The school system used it for a while. People have lived there as well, so it’s been a big part of what it’s been used for over the years. “
Neff praised the level of detail Baughman puts into making the pieces authentic.
“We’ll take a room and we’ll finish it and paint it and it’s a completely clean and nice painted room, and then he (Ned) makes it look like it’s 125 when we’re done with it. There are water spots running down, the cobwebs, the way they spread, I mean, it’s just that level of detail in there, ”Neff said.
There is a story that goes with Haunted Town Hall.
“We chose a character, Mayor Henry Joseph, just trying to choose an old name at the time and given that this is his town hall. Then the story is built around it. We tell people that Mayor Joseph was known to chain someone in the jail cell himself and sentence him to death – acting as judge, jury and executioner, ”Neff said.
New this year is their escape room, a sweatshop you might have found during the Prohibition era of the 1920s.
About 25 volunteers help scare people off every weekend.
“They come back year after year and we’ve even had our friends come over to help us and it’s an addicting thing. Once they’ve had a good scare they’re like, “I’ll be back next weekend, that was a lot of fun,” Neff said.
Haunted Town Hall is open Friday and Saturday evenings until the end of October.
The cost is $ 12 for adults, $ 10 for children 12 and under, and for an additional $ 5 people can go to their escape room. It’s $ 7 in itself if you don’t go through the haunted town hall.
The haunted town hall itself as a business venture could be better.
“It’s a standalone hobby, that’s the best way to describe it,” Baughman said.
“My wife isn’t complaining about it because it’s a self-paying hobby,” Neff said.
The Haunted Circus of the Hammer Brothers
Julie Gossard and her husband Matthew run the Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus at 19407 State Route 117, Waynesfield. This attraction is sure to satisfy anyone who wants a good scare.
The story behind the attraction is as follows, according to their website.
“My name is Constance Motter, I am the last parent of the Hammer brothers. This is the story of the birth of The Hammer Brothers Circus or should I say death… you decide. My grandparents were lucky enough to have twins, Alistar and Ezekiel, both named after their grandfathers. They raised them to work hard and love each other but, as they reached their teens, they started to notice a dark side. They became silent and sneaky. Their father would often find them torturing animals or hiding evidence of a recent murder.
Over the years, with little help from his sons, the farm began to suffer. The father often over-fertilized and used too many chemicals in an attempt to grow more profitable crops with little or no success. The bills couldn’t be paid and the bank began threatening foreclosure. One day, while in town, he saw a poster for a traveling circus. He decided to donate his cornfield in a last ditch effort to pay off the bank and save the farm.
The circus arrived and to his surprise the boys were eager to help. Several seasons passed and he soon realized that the circus fueled his sons’ thirst for darkness. Their father confronted the boys and the ringmaster. He told them animals weren’t the only deaths he suspected. The ringmaster quickly fired the boys and they were devastated. They left in a fit of rage and came back brandishing hammers. They killed their father and the ring master that night and nothing has been the same since.
Alister and Ezekiel continued to travel with the circus and were never apprehended for their crime. This year they returned home to the cornfields of Waynesfield and took with them their terrible terrors. The brothers poisoned the circus aid with farm chemicals, and the entire property is now overrun with zombie clowns.
Sounds pretty scary, eh?
This is the seventh year for the Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus.
The Gossards know all about agritourism, having started Furry Tail Farm years ago and with that, they’ve made the best use of what they have with the Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus.
“During the day we do the Furry Tail farm, and then in the evening we do the haunted circus,” Julie said. “We started the haunted things two years after the farm because a friend of ours owned Scare Fair. It was in our interest. Another lair closed and we decided there was still a need for a haunted cornfield, so we started ours.
They offer a traditional haunted cornfield that lasts about 15 minutes.
“We have 30 to 40 actors working across the cornfield and this is our scariest attraction. We also have a haunted house attraction called Homestead which is also spooky but has more of a theatrical feel to it. So there are skits and still a lot of actors and both attractions are handy which means if you come into the lair they can touch you. They can brush past you. They can touch your hair, ”Julie said.
They also offer a tactile pass.
“So for another $ 5 you can get the Touch Pass and they’ll take you to the scenes. So you will be part of the lair, ”she said.
They also offer a more family-friendly alternative. A ride in a zombie paintball wagon.
“On this ride, you’re actually sitting on a bench in a train car. We are shooting you through the cornfield and we have mounted paint guns and you can shoot glow in the dark paintballs at the actors who are zombies. We play music and the actors don’t get on the wagon, so you can keep a safe distance while having fun, ”she said.
Tickets are $ 15 for the Haunted Cornfield, $ 15 for the Homestead, $ 20 for the Zombie Paintball Wagon Ride, $ 25 for the Fast Pass Per Attraction, and $ 5 for a Touch Pass for the Cornfield and Homestead.
The Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus is open on Fridays and Saturdays until October 30 from 8 p.m.
They sell their last ticket at 11:30 p.m.
You can purchase tickets in person or online at hammerbrothershauntedcircus.com and skip the ticket office.
“Just show your phone and they’ll scan a code from your phone,” Gossard said.
Ned Baughman disguises himself as one of the characters in the Haunted Town Hall.
Jessica Stubbs is one of the actresses of the Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus
Contact Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.