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Halloween transcends trick-or-treat, costumes

Aside from the traditional Halloween festivities of trick-or-treating and dressing up in a costume, a broader range of options outside Fresno city limits are available for the adventurous.

“I went to Hobb’s Grove last year,” Melissa O’Leary, ’10, said. “It was scary because people would jump out of nowhere in the dark and once I tripped and fell in the mud.”

Hobb’s Grove is a seasonal haunt in Central California, providing attractions such as Zylo’s Woods, a haunted forest; Hobb’s Body Shop, a haunted house, and Hayride into Shadows Keep, a haunted hayride. The midway at Hobb’s Grove hosts full concessions, fire pits and entertainment.

“I was really scared when I went to Hobb’s Grove,” Phillip Neal, ’09, said. “The people were great at hiding in things like bushes and it was completely dark.”

The Grove operates this year, Oct. 10-30, with the exceptions of 15-16 and 22-23.

Adult ticket prices vary from $10-$12.50, depending on the attraction. Combination tickets for multiple attractions and group rates for parties of 20 or more are also available. Those who purchase combo tickets on the opening night will receive a free Hobb’s Grove T-shirt.

“I went to Hobb’s Grove last weekend and went through the haunted forest with a group of seven people,” Melanie Nachtigall, ’08, said. “I would definitely recommend buying tickets online; although it costs a dollar more, it’s better than waiting in a two-hour line just to get in.”

“I’ve been through both the haunted house and forest before,” Nachtigall said, “but the forest is better because the house is grosser. I’m really tolerant for scary stuff, but when someone gets two inches from you with an axe, it’s scarier than you’d think. ”

For a less-frightful alternative to Hobb’s, Cobb’s Ranch offers a six-acre cornfield maze for $10, $8 for kids 4-11 years. The Kiss country-themed maze, advertises “great fun getting lost”, with additional attractions such as a pumpkin patch and rides on the Farm Train, open Sept. 29-Oct. 31.

“I had fun with my friends at the corn maze,” Kelsey Penner, ’08, said. “It is a good alternative to a scary activity like a haunted house, while still giving you a thrill. We went at night, the only negative things about it were people throwing corn, thankfully only one of my friends got hit, and the corn cop yelled at us, to the cop’s credit a small part of the course was vandalized.”

Simonian Farms is a Halloween decoration supplier and annual pumpkin patch in the central Valley. Located at the corner of Jensen and Clovis Ave., it sells many decorations including corn stalks, gourds, hay bales and other seasonal needs.

The pumpkin patch is home to a selection of pumpkins of varying size and cost. Simonian Farms also provides a free corn maze, haunted caboose ride and hayrides around the ranch. The farm is open from 8 A.M.-6:30 P.M., on Oct. 8-31.

Several students attend dances, host parties or carve pumpkins during the Halloween season.

“My family has a Halloween party almost every year,” Stowe Empereur, ’11, said. “Usually it’s just with friends or family but sometimes we do one for the entire class.”

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