NORTH SMITHFIELD – They already have the pumpkins, apples, hay and 51 acres of land that make their Greenville Road farm stand the go-to stop for fall.
And this Halloween, Goodwin Brothers Farm Stand will add a few seasonal scares into the mix.
The farm will host Spooky Spirits Night on Saturday, Oct. 26, an evening of family-friendly Halloween-themed fun.
The event is sponsored by the town of North Smithfield, and the North Smithfield Heritage Association has helped to plan and organize the unique celebration of all things scary.
Members of the organization came up with the idea as a way to draw attention to the work they do restoring North Smithfield’s historic cemeteries, at a time of year when interest in the darker side of town history is heightened.
There are 65 recorded historic cemeteries within town boundaries, and NSHA President Richard Keene notes that seven are within a half mile radius of the farm.
But don’t expect your hayride to bounce through the resting place of the town’s deceased. Keene notes that the hayride won’t be able to access the cemeteries.
“It’s too dangerous to go on the highways,” Keene said.
The Heritage Association will have a display of their work, with a broken gravestone on hand to show how the structure is repaired and reset. The group has been working since August of 2017 to clean up the town’s cemeteries, clearing brush, taking down trees, replacing signs and restoring forgotten stones.
The hayride will travel across the farm with plenty of scares along the way, landing at a second center of activity on the far side from the stand. There, NSHA’s Freya Hainley will tell ghost stories by a bonfire, and a map on display will show where all 65 of the historic cemeteries are located.
“We’ve done something in just about all of them,” said Keene, noting that his organization is actively working in seven that were once abandoned.
Back at the stand, meanwhile, guests can warm up with hot apple cider and hot chocolate.
Multiple tractors and wagons – donated by Goodwin Brothers and Wright’s Dairy Farm – will run between the two locations throughout the night, with vendors on both ends.
Organizers are not charging vendors in the event’s first year, and those interested are invited to contact Keene.
They are also seeking volunteer ghouls, zombies and other frights to help out with the hayride. Volunteers should contact Keene at 401-447-6394.
The hayride will also be free, and guests will have the chance to have their tarot cards read. The group has already secured a caterer and antique car showcase named aptly for such an event: Bag A Bones BBQ will have food items for sale, and Creeps Car Club will have a display.
The event is open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to come dressed in costume, and bring their own spooky stories to share. Parking for the event will be across the street at North Smithfield Middle School.
“It should be a lot of fun,” Keene said.
Spooky Spirits Night will take place at Goodwin Brothers Farm Stand at 458 Greenville Road on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 3-8 p.m.