Haunted Houses Saving Family Farms

Did you know that haunted houses and pumpkin patch are saving the family farm? The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting article up today about this trend:

Glenn Boyette used to be afraid he’d lose his family farm. Now he’s busy making money by making other people scared.

Over the past four years, Mr. Boyette has built three haunted houses and four other Halloween attractions on his 150-acre farm in Clayton, N.C. That has left just 40 acres for harvesting hay, sweet corn and watermelon–crops that, along with tomatoes, used to claim the entire land.

“We raised livestock and produce for many years and it just got tighter and tighter,” says Mr. Boyette, 58, who took over the farm from an uncle in the late 1980s and over time saw profits dry up.

From the months of September to January, he says, about 35,000 visitors drop by to experience the haunted houses, 3-D adventure, spinning vortex, haunted trail, corn maze and a Christmas light show. Tickets cost between $7 and $25. Revenues, says Mr. Boyette, have doubled since the shift away from farming.

“People love to be entertained more than they love to eat,” he says.

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