BURRILLVILLE – The former manager of a haunted hay ride and corn field in Hope, Rhode Island has plans to bring his penchant for inducing scares to Burrillville at a new Halloween attraction on East Ironstone Road set to open in September.
Jason Soares and Wendy Timmons appeared before the Burrillville Town Council last week for an entertainment license for the new, “Haunted Gallows,” at Richardson Sawmill and Farm.
Opening night for the area’s newest haunted stop has been scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30.
Soares, a Warwick resident who ran Scary Acres at Confrida Farms in Hope for 11 years, told councilors that the property will feature two haunted trails targeting guests ages 13-25. The attraction will be open on Friday and Saturday nights plus two Sundays through October and possibly the first weekend in November, according to the owner.
“It’s a haunted trail through the woods,” Soares said, noting that guests will be at the property for roughly one hour, between the hours of 5 to 10 p.m.
A second outdoor area run by the family, doing business as Immersive Events, will offer more family-friendly scares, with an array of pumpkins and photo opportunities.
Advanced Action Sports will also set up a carnival-style paintball shooting gallery, according to the business’s Facebook page, and will be giving each Haunted Gallows customer a discounted admission and party coupon to either of their locations in Webster and West Warwick.
Timmons, who lives in Northbridge, Mass. represented the trust that owns the lot at 505 East Ironstone Road, Richardson Family Trust. The trust owns several properties along the road comprising 600 acres according to promotions for the attraction, and Timmons noted that all parking for the events will be on site.
“Only so many cars are going to fit through there, and there will be attendants,” Timmons said.
Soares estimated that 7-8 acres will be dedicated just to parking.
“When I was at Confreda, we only had 4 acres and we were doing 1,200 people per night,” he said. “Usually, a haunted attraction does 700 people in the first season.”
Elias Richardson, owner of the neighboring farm, questioned how traffic on the road will be controlled.
“I know it’s at night and it’s a young crowd,” Richardson said. “I’m a little nervous about that. It’s a rural road. There’s going to be a lot of traffic.”
Town Manager Michael Wood told Richardson to call the town if there are any problems.
Councilor Dennis Anderson asked Soares about safety measures on the trails.
“I have a natural aversion to risk. How do you ensure you have a safe environment?” Anderson asked.
Soares said visitors will follow lights through the woods and there will be safety net around the attraction.
“If the customer comes to that net, obviously they went off path and they’re wrong,” he said, noting that security will do checks at the end of the night to make sure there’s no one still on the property. “The insurance company has already looked over the site and is ready to go as soon as you guys say ‘yes.'”
“I think they’ve taken prudent steps,” Anderson said. “You can’t prevent all stupidity out there.”
Wood said he had just one pressing question.
“Do you have a plan for alien abductions?” Wood asked. “As long as we safeguard the public from the aliens, I think we’re good.”
Councilors unanimously approved the entertainment license.
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