Review – Headless Horseman Hayrides in Ulster Park, NY – My Blog

Review – Headless Horseman Hayrides in Ulster Park, NY

Headless Horseman is a farm in Ulster Park, NY that does a Haunted Hayride, 3 Haunted Houses, and a Haunted Corn Maze. Harknell and I made the 2.5 hour drive from New Jersey to Ulster Park, NY to check this out on this past weekend. It was voted “#1 Haunt in America” by and featured on the travel channel.

If these guys are #1, the bar must be set at my ass.


Headless Horseman has a lot of ridiculousness. The first one I encountered was the “NO CAMERAS ALLOWED” rule. You can’t snap any sort of photo of anything at all inside their facility. They will confiscate your cell phone if you so much as take one photo of you and your friends in line for a haunted house.

This is not a deal-breaker by itself, but it sure takes the fun out of going to a Halloween event. There was a cool demon guy with a pet vulture that I would have loved to get my picture with, but since I didn’t have a camera I didn’t even care that he was at the event. They don’t even have photographers there so that you can buy a photo. This is inexplicable to me.

Parking and Tickets:

Parking went smoothly. There weren’t that many people here since we arrived early, but for some unknown reason, the line of about 40 people wasn’t moving at all. They had 2 windows open and were taking tickets for at least a half an hour, but they weren’t able to complete the transactions very fast at all. They had to open a third window just to handle 40 people. By the time they got the window open, about 100 people were in line behind us.

It was a real mess. People started making their own line to the new window – cutting all of us in line. Security wasn’t there to control the line at all. A customer told the people to get to the back of the line. This worked until 5 minutes later security finally came out and told everyone to make 3 lines. Pandemonium ensued. By that time I was through the line – thank god. I would have been very mad if I were one of the people waiting there all that time who had gotten stampeded by people. It was completely disrespectful to the customers who had been already waiting to tell everyone to just make 3 lines like that.

Sanitary Facilities:

After going through their metal detector and getting patted down, you enter the main area. This place is actually quite cute. There are about 3 Halloween craft shops. One shop sold some interesting decorations, but the others sold basically dollar store snakes and spiders. There was a baked goods place that sold pre-made items and a hot food vendor.

After a 2.5 hour drive, we had to use the restroom and get some dinner before going on the Hayride attraction. This is where the second Big Problem occurred.

They have 3 port-o-johns, but there is almost no light in the area so you have to use them in the dark. There is also absolutely no way at all to wash your hands. We went to ask if there were sinks or hand sanitizer stations. After being led on a wild goose chase and actually getting a really bad attitude from at least one person, we learned that no, there is no way to wash your hands.

I was really rubbed the wrong way by the nasty attitude I experienced. There is really no need for that.

I’ve been to so many of these farm haunts. I’ve been to many Ren Faires, campsites, and music festivals…they all had some way to sanitize your hands! What is the deal here? No wonder almost no one was buying any food.

It boggles the mind that Headless Horseman spent money on a joke port-o-john that is full of fake poop and explodes when you open and shut the door…but can’t so much as add one portable hand washing station. I guess that shows where their priorities are.

We were absolutely starving, so we ended up ordering stuff that we could eat without touching. This was really Not Fun.

The Hayride:

I decided to put the employee’s hostile attitude and the bathroom hands behind me and enjoy myself on the Hayride since I paid over $30 for this. Unfortunately, the Hayride was the worst Hayride I have ever been on. The theme was the Body Farm even though it says “Rage of the Hollowmen” on their website. I have no idea. Did they forget to update their website? Harknell says he thinks that maybe he saw one guy dressed as a tree somewhere. What?

Our hayride was led through some very lackluster scenes of..I don’t know what. There was no real theme tying these all together. We had a guy on the hayride doing a narration that kind of gave us the idea that he was a Mad Doctor who was bringing us to be killed…but the scenes were just inexplicable. First there was some random guy with a white face, then there was some lady spraying water and some talk about water poisoning, then there was some kind of abandoned village. Finally there was a Headless Horseman that chased us…WHY? WHAT DOES THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN HAVE TO DO WITH THE BODY FARM!!? NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.

Here’s an idea..the farm is called Headless about making the hayride be completely HEADLESS HORSEMAN THEMED?

Not many scareactors came to chase us, and absolutely no one was screaming or getting into it. I tried to get into it…but…I just couldn’t pretend to be scared very long. Everyone on my car was bored. They dropped us off at the first Haunted House. There was another sizable line, where we heard a few other groups talking about how badly the Hayride sucked and got to commiserate about whatever it was that we just saw. We still don’t know.

Gluttony Slaughterhouse:

The first house was Gluttony Slaughterhouse. They should have named it: A Really Terrible Way to Recycle Busted Flashlights.

This house is pitch black. The schtick is that they give your group flashlights, but only one works. I’m guessing that they had a lot of dead lights from last year and rather than spending the money to replace them they decided to write it into the script.

This was the WORST IDEA EVER. They grouped us with 2 guys and Harknell had the working light. Well…HALF WAY THROUGH THE HOUSE HIS LIGHT BURNT OUT AND WE HAD NO WAY OF MOVING OR SEEING ANYTHING! There was no security or anyone there to help us. We even stopped and said “Hey guys, this isn’t funny we seriously just lost our only light and we are stuck” and no one came to help us because we were in an area without any scareactors and no one could hear us. That was actually scary in a Not Cool way. What if something serious happened to us in there? If it weren’t for our cell phones that we thought to use as flashlights, we would have just been stuck there.

The Corn Maze and Greenhouse:

The corn maze was OK, but nothing super special. A few scareactors in here were very funny and gave us a good laugh. One guy chased Harknell for like 5 minutes while I laughed my ass off and another one did this hilarious dance at us. I have to say that these specific employees were the bright spot of the night.

The Greenhouse is being billed as a single haunted house to up their attraction count. It’s really just a 25 ft. hallway with 3 people inside it pretending to be insanely attached to their plants. That was just not worth even going into.

Flesh they Crave and Blood Manor Haunted Houses:

Flesh they Crave wasn’t absolutely terrible like the Slaughterhouse, but I’m not sure it would be scary for anyone above the age of 7. The same thing goes for Blood Manor. BM had this check in desk that sort of functioned as a pre-show area..but did almost nothing with it except for some speech about us checking in. The result of this area was that it made the line longer and didn’t do much at all to add to any story.

Like all the other houses at this event, it seemed that they would just throw the kitchen sink at you with no rhyme or reason. There’s a chainsaw guy, zombie, witch, intestines person, a crazy doll, Freddy….what’s next? Bill Clinton and Liza Minelli? Krusty the Klown? None of the scares were very inspired and you could see them coming a mile away. By the end of the night I couldn’t even pretend to be scared. All of the attractions at HH seemed like a walkway past some vignettes in a museum rather than a haunt.

Awful Logistics:

The worst part about the way this event is set up is that you must go through all the houses in order nonstop. There are no breaks in between until you get to the last house. Before the last house there is a stage area where there is a show and a few gift shops. What they do not tell you is that when you go through the last house – you cannot return to that area. Most people want to get all of the houses out of the way before shopping or watching the stage show. I found out when it was too late that I missed being able to explore that area and that I could not return to it.

This was the point where Harknell and I just decided to cut our losses and never come back to this place. I really wanted to like Headless Horseman, but there is so much wrong with this event that the sum total of my night was just disappointment and the feeling that I was ripped off. Given that I’m such a raging haunt fangirl, you have to go REALLY far to make me feel this way.

In my opinion it is really not worth going to unless you live nearby. It’s certainly not worth the price they are asking. They cost the same as elaborate events like Busch Gardens Howl O Scream and a discounted Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights ticket. That’s INSANE.

Headless Horseman gets 1 Onezumi Head from me:


It gets 1.5 Onezumi Heads from Harknell:


If you want a good farm event like this that is worth a drive – try Bates Motel in PA. Bates has less attractions, but they are all very high-quality and high-scare. I went there last year and had a blast. I hope to go again.

15 responses to “Review – Headless Horseman Hayrides in Ulster Park, NY”

  1. I HATE it if you are not allowed to take pictures … no matter at which event! Why would they forbid this? Because they know they suck and they don`t want people to see that before paying the entrance fee! 😉

    EG don`t want people to see the toilets without sink… GROSS!!

    Generally I must say I`m kind of jealous of these things… I have never heard of anything comparable in Europe…

    • Yeah, I am suspecting the no photos thing was to prevent you from seeing in. Either way…crazy!

      Yeah, I looked into Europe and I only found like 2 or 3 places and they don’t seem very well done compared to the stuff here. I do know that Walibi World in The Netherlands used to be a Six Flags and kept the Fright Fest…but Six Flags Fright Fest us kind of lane. I live 45 min from a SF and I do not go. 🙁

      If you guys ever do a vacation to America in Oct…I recommend Florida. Universal Halloween Horror Nights is the best I have ever been to…I did not know I could have that much fun. If you go Hark and I will totally try and go down there and show you around. 🙂

    • Yeah, I am suspecting the no photos thing was to prevent you from seeing in. Either way…crazy!

      Yeah, I looked into Europe and I only found like 2 or 3 places and they don’t seem very well done compared to the stuff here. I do know that Walibi World in The Netherlands used to be a Six Flags and kept the Fright Fest…but Six Flags Fright Fest is kind of lame. I live 45 min from a SF and I do not go. 🙁 Germany has Movie World…but again, it’s not a high calibur haunt.

      If you guys ever do a vacation to America in Oct…I recommend Florida. Universal Halloween Horror Nights is the best I have ever been to…I did not know I could have that much fun. If you go Hark and I will totally try and go down there and show you around. 🙂

  2. While I was reading this I was thinking that we have to get you down to Bates, it would be so much better. Glad to see that you’ve been and concur!

  3. I live not too far from the Headless Horseman … and I’ve never been there. I’m glad I haven’t gone. It gets so much hype from the locals (I am not a local, I’m from NYC) that I thought it might be worth checking out. Thanks to your review, I’m going to pass. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s rude employees. Also, I am a total germaphobe, and not being able to wash my hands after using the restoom would kill me. I mean, I always carry around hand sanitizer (I have kids who touch everything) but most people don’t.

    Most outdoor venues I have been to had portable sinks and hand sanitizer readily available. I went to a thomas the train event in CT and even they had portable sinks with soap and stations with hand sanitizer.

    • This place confuses me a lot. I have heard from reliable sources that they used to be good, but they had all gone a year or 2 before I went. I’m not sure if I just went during a bad year or what.

      The bad bathroom facilities, poor line management, and rudeness I experienced is enough to squelch any of my thoughts of trying again. I want it to be awesome..I really do….arrrr.

      I also kind of really hate the “no cameras” rule.

  4. My friends and I went to the Headless Horseman lastnight. I have been wanting to go for 2 years. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! First of all I have never written a review for anything before but this was so terrible that I couldn’t wait to let people know to save your money.

    First, you buy your 40 dollar tickets in advance to wait on line for 2 hours before getting on the actual hayride. While you wait youre introduced to severe chaos and disorganization its embarrassing. Its so poorly run that I felt anxiety as soon as I walked into the place. There is heavy rock music blasting throughout the time you wait on your FIRST line (because there will be many more lines) and it takes away from the scaryness that you are supposed to feel. So there are what seems like hundreds of police men and rude security guards that do not know what they are doing. They allowed people to cut us after waiting on line for 2 hours. We had an 8:45 ticket time and didnt get onto the hayride till about 1030-1045. There were people everywhere it was so crowded. We finally get on the hayride. I am easily scared and out of the 4 actors that walk up to you I didn;t jump or blink an eye. They didnt want to be there, it was obvious. One took his mask off and told me hes only 16 years old and hated this job. After the 5 minute hayride we got off to another 45 min line. After waiting we finally get inside the haunted “motel” and walk in with 15 other people. Most haunts Ive been to you walk in with the people u are with and thats all. Not this place. Also once you walk in there arent any actors inside. I counted and there were 4 in total. Perhaps the rest were on a break? Once you leave the 3 minute motel walkthrough which honestly felt we were just playing follow the leader. I was so bored and uninterested and disappointed. We traveled 3 hours to get there and we still had to drive 3 hours back. Once you leave the motel room you are inside the “corn maze”. A maze is when you cant find your way outand you decide on which direction to go in. This wasnt a maze. It was a fenced walk through. You literally followed the person in front of you through a 2 min pathway to find yourself at another line!!! Not to mention next to the portopotties that smelled terribly.

    Btw after waiting on all these lines they do not offer you and beverages to purchase. I traveled with two girls who have MS and cannot stand for too long and needed water desperately. We asked the man who worked there if they provided water since we have been on line now a total of 3 hours and they have medical issues they need water he didnt care at all. People were leaving to go home straight off the line it was so terribly put together.

    After the corn follow the leader game we waited on another 35 minute line. They give you a ticket that has the name of each “attraction” on it. THey rip off the attraction once youve walked through it. We look down and notice that after 3 attractions 6 were ripped off!! I asked the rude security guard and he said you went through 6. The motel has different rooms and each room is a different attraction! Wow!! So the hayride, motel, and corn walk through was 6 attractions..???? We go through another haunted house which was just awful. The scenery was good and well done. They put a lot of work into the lay out of the room and that was it. If it was a museum then I give them credit.

    After leaving the 7th attraction (which was really the 4th) we were so dehydrated we walked to find a little cafe to get a drink. They charged 2 dollars for a shot glass of a sized soda. They are a profit making business. They dehydrate u by making you wait on hour long lines where your back and legs start to ache and withold water till the end. After that we had one last45 min line to wait on and we decided to just go home. WE SKIPPED IT!By far the worst haunted house I have ever been to. They should take it down. Any good reviews are from employees

    • Hi Jen – Interesting to hear this! I was just wondering again about these guys. I’m really sad about this whole place. I really do think they are the worst haunted attraction I have ever been to. The staff was very nasty to us when we were there and we felt similar to what you described.

      I did hear from reliable people that HH used to be good, but these folks hadn’t gone there for years. I wonder if they just got that feature on the Travel Channel and decided to do the minimum after that. None of what was on the TC special was at the attraction the year I went. I was wondering if maybe they cleaned up their act since we went – but you answered that question for me. Thanks for posting! I have other reviews on here if you are looking for a quality attraction to try. 🙂

  5. The 2014 season is very different from what the 2009 season was. It’s changed drastically! The last good season I remember was 2005 and then they fixed it in 2013 by changing a LOT of things.

    I know people that work there and management has changed drastically! They got rid of a lot of people that weren’t managing things properly (i.e. – ticket booth people, ticket takers, didn’t re-hire actors that couldn’t act, etc..). They brought someone back that use to write the scripts in the days when they were on top of their game.

    They’ve now expanded the length of the corn maze, added more houses (8 in total!), 9 altogether including the hayride, and they have 8 line actors this year!

    “The “Witching Hour” is upon us! Dare to discover a dark and supernatural world of the Coven of Witches that exist in Crow’s Hollow as you travel a one mile theatrical hayride journey. Expose their secrets and hidden desire to achieve the power to control the Horseman.

    The haunted attractions also include: The Lunar Motel, Glutton’s Diner & Slaughter House, Slither’s Pet Shop, Dark Harvest Corn Maze, Night Shade Nursery & Greenhouse, Dr. Dark’s Black Spider Sideshow, The Feeding, Dahlia Blood’s Manor, and a magic/illusion side show. In addition, there are four food concessions, and Fear Gear, Magic Moon, Scare Ware and Witchy Women gift shops.”

    They also have more shops to go into and also a sanitizing station from when you exit out of the porta john area near the stage. The fake bathroom was bought from what I was told a line actor years ago called Dewy Toowy who was a creepy/funny plummer character that has a real urinal cake in his pocket lol

    Also the cheapest day is Opening Night and also the least busiest.

    (Online Opening Night Ticket: $33.95 +2.95 service charge)

    But there are also, what I was told, coupons all around the country this year for the place. Stewarts, Stop & Shop, CVS, and Wendy’s has coupons!

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