September 20, 2012

Our Neighbors: Their haunted maze is a scary-good time

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — East of London on Ky. 830 is a place where people pay to get lost and enter with the sole purpose of trying to escape. On the Frazier’s Farm, the corn grows tall, the pumpkins grow big and visitors show up every fall.

Five years ago Charlie and Rose Frazier decided to open their farm to the community and county from mid-September until the first of November. They planted a pumpkin patch, created a corn maze, bought animals for a petting zoo, and greased the wagon for hayrides.

The Fraziers had taken their children several times to visit other farms that offered these adventures. “And the children really enjoyed them, especially the corn mazes,” Rose said.

This would be a new experience for the Fraziers. Since inheriting the farm in 1997 the Frazier have raised six children, numerous animals and fields of tobacco, hay and corn on the 200-plus acres of land but never entertained the public.

“We thought it was a good idea. And once it got started, it would also produce income for us,” Rose added.

“And, we also wanted children to get the experience of living on a farm,” Charlie said. “A lot of them don’t know what some of the animals are. I joke with them and ask “are you a ‘city slicker’? They’re not; most are local children. But they have never seen a live donkey or pig.”

For two-weeks Charlie mowed and chopped the corn stalks to create the haunted corn maze. There are twisting and turning pathways along with dead ends that make you go back and forth before you each the end.  Visitors rarely get lost but often get a bit confused when all they see is corn and blue skies.

“The maze is really popular with the older children and teenagers,” he said. “Some parents will ask if it is too haunted for a small child.”

Charlie and Rose don’t think the corn maze is really all that scary. “It only has a few zombies and clowns and people with chain saws. It is full of surprises,” Charlie said, laughing. “I don’t know why, but people are scared to death of clowns.”

“People have actually had panic attacks and peed on themselves going through the maze,” he added, again laughing.

The farm attracts thousands of visitors who traipse through the corn maze, pet the farm animals — donkeys, pigs, cows, goats, cats and dogs, as well as chicken and ducks, and visit the pumpkin patch.

Charlie enjoys taking visitors on a hay ride to the maze, but he gets a ‘kick’ out of watching the students choose a pumpkin.

“There will be hundreds of school children visit with us,” Charlie said. “And everyone gets a pumpkin. If they can carry it, they can have it.”

“It is amazing to watch them pick out a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. Some will pick-up dozens of pumpkins before they decide on the right one. And others will throw the small ones like throwing a ball. They have to find the right one.”

Their pumpkins have done well this year, according to Charlie. But, if he thinks they don’t have enough, he will buy some. “Again, every school child who visits the farm will get a pumpkin,” he said “And we want to have some available, along with gourds, to sell their parents and others.”

For a fall outing visit the Frazier Farm open daily Sept. 22 through the first of November and offer country-fun activities suitable for every age. Hours are — weekdays by appointment, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., (usually school or church groups); weekdays open to the public from 2 to 6 p.m.; and starting at 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

It may be a bit ‘corn-y’ but the owners of Frazier Farm and their children are telling everyone to ‘get lost’ and get ‘corn-fused’ at their Ky. 830 farm.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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