October 25th 2014 – Headless Horseman

9am: The day started as all weekends should – waking up to warm sunlight, and the soft gurgling of my empty stomach.

I always keep emergency provisions by my bed for exactly these situations. I soothed my stomach with a delicious tiramisu flavored wafer, and went back to sleep.

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Royce. best chocolate store in the city.

10am: Rolling-around-in-bed-not-wanting-to-get-up ritual. It usually involves books, music, and riveting discussions. Occasionally it involves money.

     “Hey Hon – remember the song I liked that I heard in dance class?” I asked


     “You know, the one I played in your old apartment. It’s this woman whose name     starts with an S?”

     “Do you know any lyrics?”

     “No.” (of course not) “But I think the song is from last year and her name is Sandia or something. Except that means ‘watermelon’ in Spanish.”

Starting with very little information, I googled my way through lists of artists whose names started with S. My boyfriend took advantage of the absurd odds against me, and we made a bet that if I could find the song, I’d get $100.

I found her.

Photo Oct 25, 10 47 16 AMThe song is called Read All About It (Part III). I never had a gift for identifying the next hit single. Now that I’ve won, it’s…

11am: Lunch time!

Ootoya was about to enter the list of places and things that we always bring up as a possibility but never do – along with Buffalo, Square Diner, and the Farmers Market at 8am on Saturday. But it’s so close, and I ran out of eggs.

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I read somewhere the Japanese children grow up eating natto, which are fermented soybeans. Chinese people eat stinky fermented stuff, so why not. I was surprised to find that it didn’t have much flavor. After 2 bites, I got annoyed by the stringy stuff that followed my chopsticks around wherever they went. It was like sticky cheese, but to the point of annoyance. It got on my fingers, my hair, and other utensils that I used to try to cut the string. I don’t have time to deal with this sh*t in the morning.

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Almost all of the lunch options were giant platters that included rice, chawanmushi that were almost as good as mine, pickles, and miso soup. My boyfriend had washu beef and more or less the same sides.

We looked like freaking monsters.

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I had grilled mackerel, which got boring fast. I hope they had some other fish other than mackerel and salmon, which are both fairly smelly. Here is a closeup of the chawanmushi. They used the same egg:water ratio as I do, but did not make much of the additional sauce.

12pm: Time to cash in on my $100 win from this morning. He paid for lunch, and then we found these ridiculous slippers in the likeness of Boo!!

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If you are asking who Boo is, then you are behind, my dear reader. This dog has more friends than people you know: http://instagram.com/buddyboowaggytails

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1pm: Time to glam up before some farmer in a monster mask scares the p*ss out of me.

Photo Oct 25, 1 24 35 PM 2pm: Road trip to upstate New York

Photo Oct 25, 6 00 16 PMI was impressed by the prepared-ness for Halloween. There were decorations all over the little college town of New Paltz!

4pm: Fuel time.

Photo Oct 25, 5 26 26 PMWe went to Main Street Bistro in New Paltz, which is a cool little all day breakfast place. Apparently we have gone so far north, that people have southern accents.

We had a delicious meal of shrimp sandwich, omelet, french toast, and fully loaded tater tots… for $40.

6pm: We are here at the Headless Horseman!

Photo Oct 25, 6 23 00 PMWe parked by this distinctive tree.

Like so many other potential “Day in the Life” days, no photography was allowed. So let me describe to you what happened.

Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted Houses

We arrived at 6:30pm, which was 30 minutes before the opening time. A police officer ushered us in. It turns out that the entirety of the Ulster County police force was at the headless horseman.

It costs an extra $25 per person to get Scream Passes. If you think an hour and peace of mind is worth $25 pp, then get it. It gets you to the front of every line, and the waits can be over an hour long, especially for the hayride. We ended up entering all haunted houses first, which was riveting, convenient, and terrifying.

This place is known for the hayride, which is a low platform where you’re encouraged to dangle your legs. An operator then tells you some story about witches and the headless horsemen hunting them. You wind through dark bushes where they have set up elaborate towns with robotics and pyrotechnics. It’s all very meticulously done to the caliber of like something you would find in the Universal Studios theme parks.

If you want to see more of acting, sit on the sides. If you want to be followed by zombies, sit at the back. If you want to be a wimp, sit in the middle. But I hear that sometimes the headless horseman show punishes wimps.

And yes there was a headless horseman! Coooool.

After a 15 minute hayride (it felt like 30), we were dropped off at the entrance to the corn maze, which wove through 4 haunted houses. Once again, we skipped the wait and went straight to the first haunted house of the corn maze.

Corn Maze

The first haunted house of the corn maze was the lunar motel. We went in at the front of a small pack. It really did look like an old rundown motel from a horror movie, and there were reflective surfaces and mutilated people everywhere. It wasn’t super scary, but was a good start to the night.

The corn maze itself was somewhat sparse, and the corn were only about 4 feet tall, so it was quite easy to see all the monsters hiding. But the electric haunts were fun and creative, and some of the monsters were quite clever. There were chainsaws, demented clowns, and my favorite was a giant venus fly trap that came all the way across the path.

The other haunted houses were all fun and medium-scary. There were some parts that were alice in wonderland themed, lots of dead animals and reptiles, and some werewolves. Thank god there wasn’t a clown house.

The Feeding.

Out of the corn maze, you are asked to wait in front of a gate before The Feeding and the food area.

I thought this house was by far the most terrifying. We were sent in 2 at a time, so we were pretty much alone. I have no idea what the theme was. I was just avoiding all the random people amongst the bones and zombies. You are forced to pass closer to the actors in this house than any other, and since the actors didn’t jump out at everyone, it’s very hard to tell what’s going on. Some monsters would jump out at you and proceed to follow you through a hallway and 2 rooms. There were dark corners where people dressed in all black and were barely visible. And oh at the end, there was a smokey room of columns with mummies tied to them… with the mirrors, it looked like there were 40 columns and zombies, though I’m sure there were only 8 or so. Once you carefully navigate you way out of that one, you come out into the fresh air, where you get one more surprise. Yay! I was sweating like crazy.

After that haunted house, all I wanted was some sweets. We had an apple crumble and an apple cider donut to cure the jitters/hunger.

The open field area with the food and the illusionist show had some big props. I’m allowed to take pictures yay!

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Photo Oct 25, 7 30 21 PMPhoto Oct 25, 7 34 30 PMIf this little guy were in a haunted house, he would definitely fly out at your face.

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It would be cool if the headless horsemen rode horse skeletons…

The illusionist was okay. I was particularly miffed because he didn’t pick me to be an assistant. And also I didn’t find his bullet trick very convincing, and I’m absolutely the type to go all starry eyed over magicians.

Blood Inn

This is the very last attraction!! Don’t go in unless you have done everything else, because they cut off your wristbands. I am pretty sure you can still go to all the shops and food stands, but no more haunted houses from here!

After The Feeding, Blood Inn wasn’t nearly as scary. I really liked the parts where the walls moved, but at this point, my nerves had gotten quite dull. Some plants jumped out at us and followed us around, but after a few screams and good laughs, we were right back at the entrance to the hayride and the exit.

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9pm: There’s this creature at the window by the exit. By now, she looked as harmless as an apple cider donut to me.

I highly recommend going to this haunted house, especially if you buy the scream pass. Definitely go early. It’s less crowded, and you get to meet all the actors while they are fresh! When we left, the lines were well over an hour long. The entire attraction takes almost 2 hours even with the scream pass.

We went to the Nightmare NYC just last weekend, and I think that Headless Horseman is much scarier.

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Errant headless horseman in the parking lot.


In the car, I wondered about why we pay money to scare ourselves…

Maybe you’re an adrenaline junky and you haven’t been afraid enough and you just want to live a little.

Maybe you have seen so much scary stuff in your life that you think that a deranged clown rushing at you with a chainsaw is no more scary as any other day.

Or maybe you know what’s scary, and it’s nice to observe horror in a contained environment where you know that you will be safe.

In any case, if you like having a good scare, go to upstate New York, and if it’s too much for you, you can always run out of the emergency exit, but I”m sure it’s nothing some hot chocolate and an apple crumble can’t fix!

What a day!!

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