Go Lively or Go Home

If you like to court peril, go ahead and disturb Sissy Lively at play.
Photo by Carmen Joyce

You have to go bigger than creepy-clown tropes to scare the kids (and Halloween-loving adults) these days, although the rural NC Haunted Farm in Henderson County does have a couple resident clowns — and well-dressed clowns, at that. One looks vaguely like a Rocky Horror Picture Show extra, the other resembles a Harajuku fashion plate.

But the Haunted Farm gained its consistent five-star reputation from a much larger narrative. After the fictional Missy Mae Lively was jilted by her would-be groom Billy Joe Tate, the Lively family farm became an oozing catastrophe of fire, blood, and evil. Visitors to the rural Henderson County attraction must hold on to their wits through The Dark Woods, The Demon Hay Shed, The Slaughterhouse, The Depths of Terror, The Haunted Trail, The Meathouse, and other stops at this decidedly-not-safe-for-agritourism destination.

They’ll meet such restlessly dead characters as James “Piggy” Tate and the doll-clutching Sissy Lively, little sister of Missy Mae, who survived a barn fire she set herself and now sulks in terminal torment, “refusing treatment and choosing to wear her new face and spend her days and nights with her mutilated and mangled dolls,” according to a website bio.

“We have four new rooms and an entirely new scene in the woods with 8-foot-tall animatronic [characters], in addition to several new professional masks,” Haunted Farm spokesperson Daniel Ballard revealed to Bold Life. “REVENGE” is this year’s theme, but every other high point (or low point, as it were) is veiled: no unpleasant surprises until the farm opens. Hope is high, because the Livelys, and all the actors, makeup artists, and set designers who make the family come to hideous life, have a rep to maintain: last year, the Haunted Farm was named “Top Overall Attraction” by the state group North Carolina Haunted Houses.

— by M.J. MacAodh

The NC Haunted Farm, 624 Townsend Road, Hendersonville. $25 + $3 parking fee. Cash only. Open 7pm-12am October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, 30, and 31. See the attraction’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for specials and weather updates; check nchauntedfarm.com for restrictions and more information.

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