Prince Charming has to slay dragons and fight evil witches for it. But for Landon Huntting of Cinebar, true love came easily.
Growing up, visiting local farms during the harvest season was his favorite activity. At age 13, he told his father, Leonard Huntting, he wanted to use their Cinebar farm as a pumpkin patch.
“We grew them down the power line here and picked them and put them in the pickup and just went out to town. I think we made $700 that year. And he says, 'I want to do a patch where people come,' and I'm thinking, he's a kid, you don't want to say 'Oh, that's dumb.' But you know, it was brilliant,” Leonard Huntting said.
But there are plenty of other pumpkin patches in the area, and Cinebar is off the beaten path. The Hunttings needed an idea unique enough to draw crowds.
To their family-friendly pumpkin patch and corn maze, they added “The Haunted Forest.” It’s only open Friday and Saturday nights after dark, yet it’s the farm’s most profitable feature.
Strobe lights dimly illuminate a path that winds for about one-third of a mile as the brave venture through the dark, disorienting forest filled with scary props and actors. All actors are volunteers, and the average night sees 30 to 40 of them. They come dressed as whatever they choose and are assigned a section in the forest to do their scaring.
On its most successful night, the haunted forest drew over 400 attendees. The average number is in the three hundreds.
“Come early to miss the lines,” Landon Huntting said. “We have had probably like an hour and a half wait.”
The Hunttings didn’t want to divulge too many details about the forest to The Chronicle in favor of maintaining the mystery. Visitors who intend to go into the forest should be prepared for an intensely scary time.
Those who are disinterested in horror have plenty of options at the farm, too. There is a firetruck kids can get into for pictures or pure fascination. The corn maze is planted in a design that, from the aerial view, spells “The Huntting’s Farm 2021” and is devoid of scares. The corn maze can be done by flashlight after dark or whenever the pumpkin patch is open.
And unique, Huntting-grown pumpkins and gourds are for sale every day of the week. Landon Huntting can be found in the shed at the farm whenever it is open, living out his passion.
“I think I'll do it forever,” he said.
The Hunttings Farm
Address: 600 Cinebar Road Cinebar
Sunday through Thursday — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday — 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Pumpkins: 39 cents/pound
Specialty Pumpkins: 59 cents/pound
Haunted forest: $15
Daytime Haunted Forest (No actors): $6
Corn Maze: $7
Flashlight Corn Maze: $7
Haunted Forest and Corn Maze Combo: $20
All attractions free for children ages 4 and under