Haunted Houses and Mazes Among Weekend Activities

Elizabeth Ozegueda, left, Daisey Ozegueda, center and Kate Perez

The corpses litter the field, cracked, shattered and strewn over
one another. Alive, they were happy orange pumpkins, but they met
their fateful end at the giant pumpkin slingshot
– one of the several Halloween-themed activities at Swank Farms
in Hollister.
The corpses litter the field, cracked, shattered and strewn over one another. Alive, they were happy orange pumpkins, but they met their fateful end at the giant pumpkin slingshot – one of the several Halloween-themed activities at Swank Farms in Hollister.

Along with the slingshot is the corn cannon, an air cannon that shoots corn at targets.

“There’s really something for everybody,” said Bonnie Swank, who owns and runs the farm with her husband, Dick. “We’ve got people coming from all over because it’s such a good time.”

The farm features three huge mazes that weave through corn fields. Bonnie designs the mazes, changing them every year, and Dick, a Hollister farmer, plants the corn in the patterns his wife creates. The result is circle-like patterns in the fields.

In the middle of the Maniac Maze – a 13-acre puzzle, making it the largest at the farm – is also home to a haunted mystery ranch that brave souls can visit if they dare.

A “pedal kart” racetrack, new to the farm this year, is laid out by some of the farm’s haystacks. The “karts” are similar to Go-Karts but are powered manually, by pedaling.

“You put a couple of men on these things and watch the competitive spirit come out,” Bonnie said, chuckling.

The Kiddy Korral – featuring a haystack to jump in, a petting farm and a smaller maze – is open during the day but closes at dark.

“A friend of mine in the produce business went to a corn maze, and he said I should do one,” Dick said. “We’ve been doing them for six years now.”

The farm, located at 2600 San Felipe Road in Hollister, also has a large pumpkin patch.

Prices vary between $4 and $15. The farm is open from 10am to 10pm.

For more information, call (831) 637-4704 or visit www.swankfarms.com.

Here are some other activities to enjoy during the Halloween weekend.

Gilroy

St. Mary’s Youth Group Haunted House

When: 6pm to 9pm today

Where: St. Mary School, 7900 Church St., in the gym

Cost: $3 donation; free “kids section” for younger children.

Details: Food and drinks will be available.

Info: (408) 847-5151

Gilroy Premium Outlets Halloween Spectacular (trick-or-treating)

When: 4pm to 6pm Oct. 31

Where: Gilroy Premium Outlets, 681 Leavesley Road

Cost: Free

Details: The first 1,500 kids to stop by the information center will receive a free glow bracelet. Participating stores will have a flyer in the window.

Bonfante Gardens TREE-ker Treat, Pumpkin Patch and Scarecrow Alley

When: 2pm to 4pm Oct. 29 and 30

Where: Bonfante Gardens, 3050 Hecker Pass Highway

Cost: Free with price of admission (prices vary)

Details: TREE-ker Treat is for children 12 and younger. Adults are asked not to wear costumes. Scarecrow Alley features 36 one-of-a-kind scarecrows.

Info: (408) 840-7100

Haunted Ranger

Station

When: 6pm to 10pm Oct. 29

Where: Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch

Cost: Free

Details: Refreshments will be provided. Bring warm clothing, a flashlight and a camera.

Info: (408) 842-7800

San Benito County

Mom & Pop’s Saloon’s Annual Halloween Costume Party

When: 9pm to 1:30am today

Where: Mom and Pop’s Saloon, 205 Third St. in San Juan Bautista

Details: Must be 21 or older.

Info: (831) 623-2393

Hollister Free Lance’s No Tricks, Just Treats

When: 10am to 12:30pm today

Where: Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St. in Hollister

Cost: Free

Details: The event features a costume contest with prizes, costume parade and a free movie at 12:30pm. Children will receive free trick-or-treat bags, and the first 200 kids to register for costume contest get a free goody bag.

Info: (831) 637-5566

Fun Night at Sacred Heart

When: 4:45pm to 9pm today

Where: 670 College St. in Hollister, in the courtyard

Cost: Free

Details: The Fun Night features a haunted house, booths, food, costume parade and silent auction.

Info: (831) 637-4157

Morgan Hill

Downtown Safe Trick-or-Treat Festivities

When: 5pm to 7pm Oct. 31

Where: downtown Morgan Hill

Cost: Free

Details: Enjoy a safe trick-or-treat at downtown stores and restaurants, and view inflatable attractions.

Info: (408) 779-3190

Terror on Lassen Way

When: 6pm to 10pm Oct. 31

Where: Lassen Way: From Highway 101, take the Tennant exit east toward Monterey Road. Turn south on Monterey and then west onto Watsonville Road. Turn left onto Venetian Way. Stay to the right, and the entrance to Johnston’s display will be on the left.

Cost: Free, but donations for charity are welcome.

Details: The haunted house features several special effects and a haunted graveyard.

Saint Catherine’s Children’s Halloween Party

When: 2pm to 5pm Oct. 30

Where: 17500 Peak Ave., in the parish center

Cost: Free

Details: Parents and children must be in costume. Game, crafts, prizes and refreshments will be for sale.

Info: (408) 779-0542

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