‘Haunted Hayride’ to return, offering friendly fun frights


Photo courtesy of Audrey Hantz, Peninsula Studios: The Marquette County Fairgrounds has all the elements of a spooky scene sure to scare participants at Marquette’s Haunted Hayride last year.

Benny Garbacz

For those looking to test their bravery,  Marquette’s Haunted Hayride is returning for its ninth annual display at the Marquette County Fairgrounds this weekend. The event will feature over a dozen nonprofit organizations that put their own displays together and scare the wagon riders of the 45-minute tractor trip through the “Scaregrounds.”

The hayride takes place 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 and 7:30 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 21. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Free daycare is available for children under 5 during the hayride. Tickets can be purchased at marquetteshauntedhayride.com.

Andi Goriesky started the event to bring money into the community. Goriesky and her husband would travel out of state to visit haunted attractions and came up with the idea to host their own. She always looks forward to seeing the groups come together. 

“It’s a great opportunity for everyone involved, whether it be the Girl Scouts or Special Olympics, to learn teamwork and finish a project that [they] have started,” Goriesky said.

Several of the organizations involved are NMU student affiliated.

Tyler DeVos, a sophomore fisheries and wildlife management major, is participating in the hayride with the NMU Fish and Wildlife Association. Last year, the group had three scenarios with a gory hospital set up and a witch-burning scene that had scarers going up to the wagon and banging on it to scare the customers. This is her second year participating in the hayride and she has expressed excitement in her return to the event.

“I think it’s fun. It’s great to be with a group in the cold and dark—and scare people,” DeVos said.

“We’ll use the money made [for] travel expenses for our conferences. People come for the fun and the community benefits from it. It’s a win-win situation,”  DeVos said.

“It’s been a ton of fun to participate and contribute to the community. I recommend any NMU groups who are considering it to join next year.”