Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses a legendary haunted attraction, known across the country has focused its efforts on safety this season. For the 2020 season, Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses their hayride with a Drive-Thru Haunt Experience – “Dare to Ride the Horseman’s Trail.” In addition, a brand new corn-maze has been added and guests will be able to experience their world-class indoor attractions!
It is not often that we can call someone a “legend” in the haunt and entertainment industry, and it is not often we get to speak and learn from those few that are in this category of excellence. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses is owned and operated by a true legend, an innovator, and icon in the industry Mr. Michael Jubie.
In this special edition of the “Electroshock Spotlight”, we were honored to sit down with and interview a true pioneer and owner of one of the most popular and finest attractions recognized across the globe! Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses is one of the BEST haunted attractions in the country and an all-time favorite of ours. It is a sincere honor to have Mr. Jubie’s time, and we hope you enjoy an insight into the industry from someone who has built a haunted scare-park that perfectly celebrates and embraces the Halloween season.
Electroshock Entertainment (EE): Mr. Jubie, thank you for sitting down with us and spending time on this interview. Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted Houses is a staple in the industry. Can you provide a brief overview of your background and history of the attraction?
Mr. Jubie: My wife, Nancy Jubie, and I are both lovers of Halloween. I am a Retired Detective, and Nancy is a Registered Nurse. Both of us had horses our entire life. We were in the horse and carriage business for ten years providing service for weddings, funerals, parties, etc. While being out to dinner with friends, we spoke about starting a horse-drawn Halloween hayride.
We bought a farm with the sole intention of creating Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses. We started twenty-seven years ago with thirty-five employees; today the production has a cast and crew of 375 people. We provide a one-mile-long hayride, corn maze, and a total of 10 attractions, not including our great midway with our food concessions and gift shops.”
EE: What are the significant challenges associated with operating your business? How has the business changed over the years and how do you maximize the attraction’s potential?
Mr. Jubie: “Growing your business is not easy. Raising your price is not usually the answer, either. Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses offers the guest opportunities to purchase different items while visiting our attraction. We offer several food concessions, “The Evil Eatery” has hot foods, fresh-cut French Fries, brisket sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage & peppers, potstickers, and much more. There is the “Croaked Crow Café”, and “Witch Hazel’s” that serves fresh homemade desserts. Our bakery, “Deadly Donuts,” makes GREAT apple cider donuts and serves Root Beer floats. There are three gift shops to browse through while in our Mid-Way
Mr. Jubie: “Challenges that face the haunt industry can vary depending on whom you talk to, their concerns and background. The Haunted Industry must concentrate not only on the entertainment portion of each event but also on customer/staff safety. That starts at your entrance. Do you perform searches of all ticket holders? I am a Garrett Metal Detector representative and STRONGLY recommended each attraction has at a minimum handheld metal detector wand to search for metal objects coming into your attraction. For LESS than the price of an animatronic, you can protect your business, guests, staff, and your family. I would LOVE to talk to anyone about the importance of a walk-through metal detector, such as the one you walked through to get into our attraction this evening.”
EE: How do you maintain quality each season? How do you ensure that your attraction stays one of the top-rated shows in the country?
Mr. Jubie: “To maintain excellence in our attraction, we rely on our team of professional mold makers, carvers, builders, set designers, and painters. Our landscaping team is essential for our presentation. We must manicure 65 acres of land for our guests. Our teams are ALWAYS concentrated on the small details that many other businesses pass over.”
EE: Do you have any advice for those looking to start a haunted attraction?
Mr. Jubie: “Advice for anyone wanting to enter into the haunt industry would be to have a minimum of three-million dollars to do it correctly. Be prepared for LONG hours and a lot of STRESS during the season. The stress created by actors, customers, equipment failure, and weather. ALL OUT OF YOUR CONTROL. This industry looks as though it is easy and very rewarding; however, there is a very small window of opportunity to get a return on your investment. Attractions that are not run safely and professionally, no matter where they are, will hurt everyone in the industry.”
“DO IT RIGHT OR DO NOT DO IT!”
EE: Thank you, sir, for your time, dedication, and leadership in the industry!