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Ghoulish Delight Haunted Hayride Rolls This Weekend
Prepare to be scared, once again, at the city's Halloween Haunted Hayride.

"We've got a couple of graveyards, a zombie zoo, a cannibal camp fire, a crashed ultra light and probably a doctors hospital," said Riverbank Recreation Supervisor Kerrie Webb in consulting her preliminary list of terrifying delights.

"And we have something new this year. It's to do with skeletons and black lights. I can't say more without giving away our secrets. But it should be entertaining if nothing else."

A week ahead of Halloween proper, this notorious prelude is set to happen this coming Friday, Oct. 22 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Jacob Myers Park.

Children and adults alike get to sit on hay bales in a truck-drawn trailer and take a tour among the ghosts, goblins and horrors that lurk in the park's deep and dark woods. The park is the perfect setting for the annual 'haunting' and typically elicits screams from even the bravest of riders.

Tickets are priced at $7 for adults and $5 for children of four to 12 years - children 3 and under ride free if they sit on their parents lap - and the tickets are available only on at the park prior to the evening event.

This is the haunted hayride's eighth year. Four or five hundred people each night took the trip in 2009 and Webb expects the same numbers or more this time.

The scary scenes are invented and staffed by volunteers, who prepare several weeks ahead and must provide their own decorations, props, generators and whatever they need for the night.

Working diligently, Webb said they were still coming up with fresh ideas and getting them approved ahead of setting up the scenes in the park. The volunteers' only reward, apart from the gasps and shrieks of their victims, is competition for a $100 prize for the scene judged the scariest.

The Karate for Kids Academy, Riverbank High Drama Club and Friends of Jacob Myers Park are leading the charge among the volunteers, Webb said.

Academy owner Scott Pettit will again be helping load the trailers this year to keep the riders flowing smoothly through the scary scenes.