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An adventure in haunting

There’s a farmer whose home is found down a long driveway that cuts through the field. There he lives among the grove of trees. It is here where he performs his work... his animal mutations — mixing genes, even humans. He heard that the FBI was coming. So he created the Loft of Lunatics...

This fictitious Halloween story is told by Paula Bell, one of the creators of the Haunted Farm near Worthing, SD. Bell tells the story with a smile. Her tour of the farm reveals some of the secrets she used to create this fun and scary experience for area Halloween haunting enthusiasts.

Bell explains that she has been to a lot of haunted houses. She said some of the best are, “naturally scary.” When asked how scary is her haunted farm, her response is, “what is it that scares you?”

For Bell, finding creative ways to tell the story have been the fun part, creating scenes around the farm and throughout the barn, which for the month of October has transformed into the Loft of Lunatics. She says the feel of the farm changes when the sun goes down. She suggest that younger Haunted Farm go-ers come in the daylight at 6 p.m.

Not only are patrons treated to a haunting experience, they also get a real look at some of the baby farm animals in the lower level of the barn. For $6 customers get to see the haunted scenes around the 25 acre property, as well as the baby animals — kittens, bunnies, ducks, pheasants, chicks, goats and an adorable little dog. For another $3 you can experience a hayride, and for another $6 those who dare, can tour the Loft of the Lunatic.

Bell has created this haunted farm with her husband Tom Bulfer and their friend Kurt Meyer. All of the scenes are her creations from her imagination. “With help from Pinterest,” she adds.

The three have been working on the project for years, and all of the work is to finance her real goal — Farm Fun. Bell said she got the idea when she was with her granddaughter, who was three at the time (now nine) and they visited her great-grandma. Bell said her granddaughter wanted to see the animals at the farm.

It was then that Bell decided she wanted to created a real family farm experience for kids. She explained it as one that would allow kids to see all kinds of farm animals, play on old fashioned farm toys and be a very educational experience. She said, “I have seven grandkids, it’s all about educating.”

She hopes to get Farm Fun going this Spring.

In the meantime, she is creating Halloween farm fun at every turn. Bell points out the Grandma and Grandpa figures with their skeleton kids, and a few goats milling about. She nods toward the cemetery near the garden and the witches nearby, as a turkey crosses the field. The Halloween farm fun really is all around.

Bell said, “It’s been an unbelievable amount of work.”

But as she adjusted one of the scenes, she adds, “There can always be another adventure.”

The Haunted Farm is located at 47449 276th St., Worthing, SD (right on the Klondike Road between Minnesota and Cliff Ave.) Hours of operation are 6-10pm Thursdays and 6pm-12am Friday and Saturdays through Halloween weekend.

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