One Tank Trip: Lehigh Valley Screampark


Doesn't look menacing at first, just a nice hayride. Then, you see the entrance. It's Jurassic Park-ish and when it's lit up at night, you know this isn't going anywhere good.

It's the entrance to Lehigh Valley Screampark's latest haunted attraction near Orefield.

The Hollow of Horror Hayride is theatrical. It's like a scary play that unfolds right in front of you.

As owner Buddy Wessner, explained, "I love the scary side and I wasn't always one of those kind of people but I am now. I'm addicted."

Owner and now Halloween fanatic Buddy Wessner showed us around in the daytime, letting us in on the secrets to what makes this place scary. He has more than 50 acres.

His other business is a landscaping company called Stone Haven Supply. It's a big business in the spring, so this is what he does in the fall.

The hayride is a little over a half mile long, about a 30-minute ride.

You'll come to the cemetery first. Most of the names on the tombstones are familiar- kind of an inside joke for those who work here.

Silfies is for this guy, Jacob Silfies, one of the actors you'll encounter along the way.

It's excavated behind the made-up graves. Remember, there's a landscaping company here. There's a steep decline behind the graveyard so when the actors come out, it looks like he or she is coming out of the ground.

"Very steep, most places everything's on the flat and I mean we have a real swamp. Most people try to build this kind of stuff so we use our natural landscape to make our scenes," Wessner said.

Natural elements that are built in. It's an organic method really to use what you already have.

And since the supply company is also a recycler, all this, is just stuff that's come in to be recycled. And here it is: reused, re-purposed, made scary.

What you see in the daytime gets pretty creepy at night and during the whole ride, you'll remember you're in Pennsylvania. Some scenes are an homage to real places in the state, like the town of Centralia, the real and the fake. And three mile island, for real and not for real.

"So this would be the end of the hayride. They get off and have to go into the corn maze." said Wessner.

It's the dead-end corn maze.

"There are dead ends, quite a few of them, and yes, a lot of people get stuck in there," he said.

For more information, visit Lehigh Valley Screampark's website.