Welcome One and All!

For all you Halloween Fanatics....this will be a review and links site of the Best Haunted Houses in the country that my wife Lisa and I have had the pleasure - or displeasure - of gracing....

I've been a *huge* Halloween and horror fan since I can remember...I dunno...it just brings the kid in me out...by the end of September, our place is suitably adorned and we await each weekend with anticipation of which haunts to hit next....

We've been blessed enough to be able to travel quite a bit around the country and see some wonderful attractions and the cities they lurk in...and we're hoping to pass on the fun we've had on to anyone willing to listen in....

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A special look into THE SPRINGBORO HAUNTED HAYRIDE AND BLACK BOG of Springboro, Ohio....

27 years and running!!!!!!!!!!

The Springboro Haunted Hayride and Black Bog of Lebanon, OH - one of the legendary haunts of the Miami Valley - we've been visiting this attraction annually for over a decade now, and it never fails to impress...

The Haunted hayride encompasses a very traditional Halloween feel to it, while the Black Bog is definitely for those of more fear-inducing tastes.

The attraction is situated on Bull Run Farms and run by Haunting Master Bill Danishek, and makes the most of it's locale, which includes snack bars, generous amounts of parking and even a bit of BMX action.

I'm not going to say too much aside from  - GO THERE! Bring the family - none of you will return home disappointed...if you return at all....

Did I mention their mascot "Buttercup"...???

Buttercup evolved from one of our carpenters that worked for us just after Bill and Jen inherited the farm.  He was messing around after we started running one night.  He went down in the makeup room and found the bits and pieced of what is now the Buttercup persona.  

Now the name came about because Buttercup was doing his thing and there was a little girl who was pretty upset about how he looked!  

Jerry was standing there and looked at the little girl and said: 

"How can you be afraid of anyone with the name of Buttercup?" 

...and so the whole character came to life.

Special thank to this guy -Marc Meader - and Bill for their generous hospitality.

*****UPDATE 2014*****

The 2014 season saw my wife and I take our first run at haunt acting here at the Hayride/Black Bog - it was and absolute blast!

Take note of the various shots of my wife Lisa and I and the evolution of our make up over the season by the ENORMOUSLY talented crew out there - the results are fantastic! 

After work at our place, and, *yes*, I am as whooped as I look...

Some Behind-the-Scenes glimpses....

The place takes an altogether different vibe after sunset....

The last weekend we worked, our Godkids, Bonnie and Shaun, came for a visit and decided to pitch in with us....

The make-up crew, in action...

Just a little video piece of us clowning about...

....and, surprise of all surprises, we won and award from the Scare Factor, a major Ohio haunt review website!

NEVER underestimate what you can accomplish!

*****UPDATE 2015*****

The 2014 season saw Lisa and I update our characters a bit, add some Brides to our arsenal....plus we received several awards and Honorable mentions...take a look behind the scenes with us as well...

*****UPDATE 2016*****

And now for something special....a little testimonial from some long-term members of the troupe, Joni and Marc....

"So our 1st year....  

The story I remember is, my cousins convinced my dad he could do what BonnyBrook was doing at the time.  He had about 4 wagons and and tractors.  The 1st trail was just down over the hill all the way to where the voodoo shack is now and back.  Our crew was all family and neighbors.  It worked!  We had about 500 people the 1st year!  The next year we increased the trail and the people kept coming! We were still just family and friends/neighbors.  We needed to hire help soon after that, and the trail kept getting a little longer.  

Today the trail is at it's longest it has ever been!  Two of the longest running characters are the Headless Horseman and the Combine.  The Headless Horseman evolved from a friend of my fathers who had a horse and he volunteered to ride his horse in the Headless Horseman's costume along the road in front of the farm to attract attention!  This of course changed over time and became an integral and infamous part of our haunt.  As is the combine.  

My father added the Dungeon about 5 or 6 years into it.  This was a walk through under the concession barn for those of our loyal fans who will remember!  We had to assist many a patron out of there due to claustrophobia!  It was epic!  My father decided to retire and we found our next victims in the case of the Danisheks!  Bill and Jen then became the trustees of this crazy place and loo and behold took to it like a vampire to blood!!  The Dungeon was closed due to fire code changes and replaced by THE BOG.

We encourage our actors to create their own characters, build their own scenes and own those scenes.

  Become that character!  We start in February on ideas to improve scenes, remove scenes that aren't working.  Constantly building on what works.

We are excited to be working with MAUL for the past couple of years to build better characters and improve our over all retention of our monsters.

We are very lucky to have a high rate of returning monsters every year and every year our monsters just keep getting better.  Some have been with the Hayride and Bog for over 10 years.

We take our customer engagement seriously using FB and twitter, all feed back is read and taken seriously.

We have an awesome tech crew for electrical and computer generated excitement.  We build from scratch and are constantly improving on our own ideas to make our customers visit with us as scary as possible.  We have the only custom fogging system built by our tech team and wagons with costume sound on them instead of on the trail. This is an awesome improvement we were able to accomplish last year.  This allows us to match the music to the scene.

We are family owned and operated and we are family oriented in our haunt in both our monsters and to give families a spooky night out on a great fall night in the country!  What could be better than having the piss scared out of you on a full moon Saturday night???"

Speaking of past remembrances, special thanks to Marc Meader for allowing me to publish these photos form the Hayride's first year in 1989.....

2016 was yet another wild and wooley success of a  year for us all...

Our 2016 WALKING DEAD themed Halloween party with a lot of the staff....

2016 marked Bill and Jenn Danishek stepping down as owners of the attraction - but, fear not, it has passed into capable hands, same name, same ideals, new location....

Bill wrote a touching letter to all of us...I felt it appropriate to print it here...


Ecclesiastes 3 tells us:
For everything there is a season, 
and a time for every matter under heaven
For Jennifer and I, this season is coming to an end.

We moved to the farm in 2002 to change the way we were raising our children. Teaching them the value of hard work and to persevere through adversities, to raise them in an environment that would prepare them for life. Now our boys have turned into great young men, our daughter into a strong women. We feel its time to look at the next season of our life. The reality that I am no longer 33 hit me pretty hard this year, although I still love climbing trees to hang lights, it doesn’t come without consequences.
We have been blessed with the best crew I have had the pleasure working with
• To the creative team who’s mission is to deliver the perfect setting
• To the build team for the hundreds of thousand screws driven into pressure treated lumber
• To the make up team for getting all ghouls and ghost deployed under pressure
• To the Safety team for handling all that comes at you, 
(although my favorite nights are the one’s you got to sit quietly and do nothing)
• To the drivers who safely navigated countless wagons though the dark
• To the thousands who worked out here over the last 15 years entertaining and providing an 
excellent experience
• To my parents, family and friends for selflessly serving in whatever capacity needed. 
You had no idea how important Halloween would become in your lives
And finally to all the folks who made the Springboro Haunted Hayride and Black Bog a fall family tradition
We say, Thank you!
We truly value all the friendships built over the years, some will last a lifetime. 
We are so thankful you have been part of our crazy extended family.
Although this will be the last season, we want to make sure we remember it
as our BEST season!
With that being said, next weekend will be the last time you will hear us say...
“last wagon over the hill”–
Much love and respect to Bill and Jenn after 27 years of caring for us all....


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