Triple the scares

FORTVILLE – Piney Acres, 1115 E. County Road 1000N, offers three times the scariness with the Haunted Loft, the Haunted Corn Maze and the Haunted Hay Ride.Piney Acres employs more than 50 actors spread throughout the three attractions, says Piney Acres marketing manager Jennifer Lear.

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“We improve and expand on it every year,” Lear said, “There have been quite a few changes for a totally different experience this year.”

Individual tickets and a variety of combination tickets and are available ranging from $9 to $32 with discounts online at

The Haunted Loft

All three Piney Acres haunts revolve around the fictional backstory of Dr. E. Rex, who fled Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 to avoid entanglement with the Salem witch trials. He settled in rural Hancock County and opened a medical practice. In the years following the spooky doctor’s arrival in Fortville, people and animals began disappearing from the countryside, and the town-folk began to suspect bizarre experiments. His secret lab was discovered in the Haunted Loft of the Piney Acres Farm, and he was eventually hanged for his crimes. The Haunted Loft, in the second story of the Piney Acres barn, features 2,000 square feet of screams.

The Haunted Corn Maze

Remember all those people and animals that disappeared during Dr. Rex’s reign of scientific terror? They’re all hanging out in the Haunted Corn Maze. Those brave enough to venture into the maze will likely stumble across the remainder of Dr. Rex’s experiments gone wrong, accidentally set free when his secret lab was discovered. The Haunted Corn Maze is 73 acres of medical malpractice gone bad and roaming free.

The Haunted Hay Ride

The Haunted Hay Ride is an opportunity to take a breather from the more hair-raising attractions and enjoy the relative safety of a farm wagon while listening to a guide narrate stories of Dr. Rex and his experiments. The hay ride lasts about 25 minutes and covers 50 acres of the farm.

Undead date

FORTVILLE – The walking dead are encouraged to dress in their ghoulish best for second annual Zombie Prom from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Ten West Center for the Arts, 10 W. Church St. This all-ages dance will feature a DJ, hors d’oeuvres, mocktails and a costume contest with prizes for winners in multiple categories. Tickets are $10 per person or $15 for couples. All proceeds go to Ten West’s mission of keeping youth creative in the community.

Stage fright

INDIANAPOLIS — For an off-the-beaten path event for the month of October, take in “The Witching Hour,” a collection of theatrical vignettes presented throughout the rooms of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, 1230 N. Delaware. The live production features a cast of 23 actors, all of whom are teachers, they tell us, at Coventon School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. Audience members are all candidates for admission to Coventon on a tour through the school’s classrooms.The audience moves from room to room throughout the home to meet different instructors from the school. Each instructor, drawing on both fantasy and history, presents the class being taught in that room. The audience meets famous witches from Tituba of the Salem Witch Trials to the three witches from “MacBeth.”

The show is more creepy than scary, says creative director Donna Wing — no one will jump out and scare you.

The show runs Fridays and Saturdays with performances starting every half hour between 6 and 8:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $17.50, and tickets for children 12 and under are $14.50. Audience size is limited to 15 for each performance. Some performances have already sold out.

Marionette mischief

INDIANAPOLIS – Peewinkle’s Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio, in its new location at the Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St., introduces the youngest among us to Halloween while still being entertaining to adults and parents.“We got lots of comments from parents thanking us for being Halloweeny but not scary,” said Debbie White, executive director. “They can come and not be scared and still enjoy the traditional Halloween characters.”

The 45-minute show begins when Gertrude the Witch flies in for the Witches’ Pitch-In. She immediately solicits the audience’s help in deciding what to put in her stew. Gertrude cracks Halloween jokes and puns in between performances by a skeleton puppet, a cat, a couple of ghosts, a scarecrow who loses his head and an alien.

“It’s a tradition for so many,” White said.

Following the show, children can purchase $3 tickets to attend a puppet workshop.

This year’s project is a scarecrow with a head that moves up and down like the one in the show, White said.

The children are allowed to take their finished puppet up on the stage to try it out.

All tickets are $12. Visit for show times.

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Christine Schaefer is arts editor and editorial assistant at the Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3222 or