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Deserted Village Is Perfect for Haunted Hayrides

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – At this time of year, haunted houses appear all around the area with the usual scary characters to frighten visitors. But imagine visiting a whole village of haunted houses and meeting the ghosts of people who actually lived and died there.

That is what you will experience at the Haunted Hayrides conducted in the Deserted Village of Feltville in the Watchung Reservation on Oct. 26, 27 or 28. Fifty visitors at a time will take a 25-minute hayride around the 130-acre grounds of this National Register-listed historic site. The ghost of David Felt, who built this former mill town in 1845, will briefly explain the history of the site and introduce characters from its past, telling tales of mystery and tragedy. Then the visitors will get off the hayride and take a short walk into the village’s Revolutionary War era cemetery and meet some of the people buried there.

“Halloween is a time for ghosts and goblins. Union County’s Haunted Hayrides through the Deserted Village add to the fun. And you will see one of the County’s historic treasures at the same time,” said Union County Freeholder Chairwoman Bette Jane Kowalski. “Every year people tell me they were delighted to be able to learn something about the Village and get a fright or two!”

Rides are scheduled every half-hour from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, and 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28. The total program experience lasts about one hour. The program is intended for adults and children age 6 and older. Enter the Deserted Village via Cataract Hollow Road, off Glenside Avenue on the Berkeley Heights side of the Watchung Reservation. Wear warm clothes and sturdy walking shoes.

Tickets must be purchased in advance at the Trailside Nature & Science Center, located at 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside, (908) 789-3670. The price of a ticket is $6 for a Union County resident and $12 for out-of-county participants. Ticket purchases are limited to eight per person and are sold for rides at specific times.

Activities at The Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park are a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.