Family friendly thrills and chills
It’s the spookiest and most spine-chilling month of the year.
The month of October begins next week and is characterized by pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving, horror movie marathons, Halloween, trick-or-treating and haunted houses.
For the Stritzinger family of Carriere, this eerie month represents family togetherness and the staging of their annual Henleyfield Haunted Barn and Hayride.
August Stritzinger has been organizing the haunted attraction for the past six years. The hauntings first began in his front yard and grew from there.
Henleyfield is the second location for the haunted house, Stritzinger said. Prior to this year, it was located at Red Hill Estates and was called Haunted Hills.
The barn is situated on the property of August’s parents, Bonnie and John.
Bonnie said she and her and husband were involved with numerous haunted houses in New Orleans and Halloween was always a great time of year for her husband.
Although John has passed away, August keeps his spirit alive with this lasting tribute.
“He enjoyed participating in things like this,” Bonnie said. “He would bring our grandchildren into the woods for a spooky good time, it was his own fantasy forest.”
The tour lasts for about an hour and begins with a walk through a cemetery that is connected to a haunted trail.
“During the walk, guests will encounter slave quarters, a pet cemetery, witch’s hut and an old prison,” Bonnie said.
The trail ends at the barn where guests will encounter the skeletal remains of a sheriff and walk through an opening in the shape of a skeleton’s ribcage. The walkthrough is characterized by spooky music, special effects, horror movie characters and fog machines.
After the haunted barn walkthrough, guests will take a five-acre spooky hayride around the grounds and will catch a glimpse of an eerie pond.
“This is a strictly fun family activity that is dedicated to the horror movies of old,” Bonnie said. “We are not here to frighten, we want our guests to be happy. It’s a tasteful and artistic tribute to Halloween.”
A photographer with Leighann Photography, LLC will be available to capture family photographs.
There will also be a rock climbing attraction and a concession stand.
“People enjoy Halloween,” August said. “I just want a family-friendly place where people can come and enjoy this season of pumpkins and headless horsemen.”
August has a number of ideas for future add-ons including a pumpkin patch, corn maze, a haunted Western themed town and a haunted parade.
The Henleyfield Haunted Barn is located at 206 George Wise Rd. in Carriere.
The barn will be open every Friday and Saturday in October from 7 p.m. till. The cost of a ticket is $10 and includes all three attractions. There is a $1 discount for military personnel, law enforcement officers and firefighters, Bonnie said.
The barn operates as a non-profit so all proceeds are used to fund future entertainment, August said.
For more information about the attraction and volunteering, visit the Facebook page at Henleyfield Haunted Barn and Hayride or contact Stritzinger at 601-590-0968.