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At the end of last year, we decide to up the ante and completely re-do the barn haunt. Looks awesome on paper. But with hubby working 2 jobs and no volunteers, we recently came to the realization that there is NO WAY we can pull this off by Halloween. So.... on to plan B!

We are thinking of doing a haunted hayride. The haunted barn is in a park with paved trails, and we have a number of people who have volunteered trailers, so the logistics are clear. My only concern is the liability - we were turned down by the HOA in the past, but they were powermongers who have since been booted out. A subdivision next to ours does a hayride every year so I know it can be done. What do we need to have in place (legal-wise) to have this happen? When we present this, I want to have all bases covered. It will be on private property and we will be acting under the guidance of the POA (not as individuals - we "run" the haunted house, which is part of the fall festival put on by the POA).


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It seems to me the most common accident of haunted hay rides is when people jump onto or off of the hay rack. (Causing broken legs and worse)
People just want to scare someone by jumping onto a moving hay rack wearing a mask, and "OOPS!" "Ouch!"
People have been killed on hay racks because the creeping-along hay wagon gets rear-ended by someone going 50 to 70 MPH! More and brighter tail lights or just having any tailights at all would have helped this.
Probably number four reason for injury involving hay racks has to do with faulty equipment, weak brakes, inexperienced drivers, and even drunk tractor drivers.
I believe it was in the St. Louis area a little girl was killed when the tractor brakes failed and everyone crashed into a tree.
I think in Alabama was where an "actor" brought his own, real gun , was discharging it to scare people, and shot two young girls, one was dead, the other paralyzed for the rest of her life! (And it was HIS GUN!" Who should know better if it is loaded or not, and how sensitive the trigger might be?)
And then that brings us right home here to little Mount Carroll. Illinois!
A wagon was purpose-built to haul groups up to our local graveyard for a few nights in October for a historical tour.
I first laid eyes on the design and thought it was poorly designed to make it a weak design. It took three seasons to break. It decided to break when it was almost to the crest of our very steep Cemetery Hill !
It was a very lucky night for everyone involved, because no one got hurt or killed, just very scared at the real possibility of riding backwards down a very steep, narrow road for 450 feet with some parked cars along the sides, a straight run-off at the bottom which then slightly curved as the road goes over a bridge!
When the wagon broke the front simply dropped down and happened to dig into the blacktop and slide some, then stop!
There were No Safety Chains holding any part of the wagon to the pick-up truck!
The wagon was long and low, full of seats. The design of the hitch was like a "Goose-neck"-5th wheel, but it was like a huge letter "U" upside-down, putting too much stress on some welded joints with no mechanical advantage,strength from the design. (Think a chicken's wishbone ).
You can never be Too Careful when handling and transporting human "cargo".
No, I do not own a hay ride, probably never will, but when it comes to reading and remembering haunted posts about certain subjects I can not forget them, and I do believe information Must Be Shared to make everything turn out as well as humanly possible with everyone happy with the holiday.
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