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The Union County Haunted Hayrides are back after a two-year hiatus. The Halloween-themed series will take place at the Deserted Village of Feltville in the Watchung Reservation on the evenings of Oct. 21, 22 and 23.
“The Haunted Hayrides take participants on a one-of-a-kind trip through the Deserted Village, to meet early inhabitants of this unique historical site,” said Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams. “The Haunted Hayrides have been a favorite family tradition for many years, and we are delighted to bring it back for the Halloween season.”
Adults and children 6 and older are invited to participate.
During the Haunted Hayrides, visitors ride through the 130-acre grounds of the Deserted Village in the dark, on an open hay wagon pulled by a tractor. Live, costumed performers enact more than a dozen vignettes along the way, each based on an actual event from the past within the Village or nearby.
A traveling circus, a coven of witches, and a battle from the Revolutionary War are among the scenes staged by an assembly of Union County staff and volunteers each night.
The figure of David Felt, who built this former mill town in 1845, comes along for every ride to regale participants with tales of mystery and tragedy from the 300-year history of the Deserted Village and its environs.
Participants will also have the opportunity to take a short walk on a trail through the woods to spend time with a resident of a Revolutionary War-era cemetery at the Village.
The Haunted Hayrides are scheduled to leave every half-hour from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 23. The total program experience lasts about one hour. Warm clothes and walking shoes are suggested.
All tickets must be purchased in advance. There are no ticket sales on site. Ticket purchases can be made online at ucnj.org/ticket.
Tickets may also be purchased in person at the following locations:
Trailside Nature and Science Center, 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside. The science center is open Tuesday through Sunday, except holidays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 908-789-3670
Parks Reservation Desk, Union County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza, Elizabeth. The desk is open Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For reservation information, call 908-527-4900.
Tickets are $8 for Union County residents and $16 for out-of-county participants. Ticket purchases are limited to eight per person and are sold for rides at specific times. No refunds or exchanges are permitted.
The Deserted Village is located within Union County’s Watchung Reservation off Glenside Avenue, near the border of Berkeley Heights. Visitors are welcome to stroll through the Village during normal park hours, daily from dawn to dusk. More information about visiting the Deserted Village is available at https://ucnj.org/dv.
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