According to the Ross Park Zoo website, due to covid-19, they will not be hosting Boo at the Zoo this year. I'm sure it will be back next year if conditions are better, because it is one of the biggest fundraisers for the nation's fifth oldest zoo. But it got me thinking about other Halloween haunts in the Binghamton area that no longer exist today.

The first one that came to mind was the Haunted Hayrides at Highland Park. This used to be held on weekends during October. For a small fee you would get on a hay wagon being pulled by a tractor, and go down into the woods at Highland Park, where people would chase the wagon with chainsaws, jump on the wagon with fake hatchets, and things would even come down out of the trees at you.

That was a lot of fun. That went away a couple of years ago and I don't remember what the reason was. I think it may have had to do with lack of volunteers.

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Another former Halloween Haunt in our area was at Tioga Gardens in Owego. I don’t remember what that was called so I Googled it, and I saw something called Tioga Gardens Goes Ghoulish. But I don't think that was the official name of the event. They had the Jungle of Doom, the 13 Room Haunted House that went through all the greenhouses there, The Black Hole, and the 18-Foot Revolving Tunnel.

I remember one of the rooms was set up like quicksand. They had old mattresses on the floor so when you walked across it, it felt like you were sinking. I used to enjoy going there every year.

And last but not least, The Southern Tier Independence Center used to have the STIC Halls of Horror. It was a haunted house that was held inside their facility on Frederick Street in Binghamton. You would walk through a maze of rooms that had people jumping out at you from every angle.

One of the coolest parts about this was the entertainment they had outside. They had the Fire Woman who would twirl batons that were on fire, balls on chains that were on fire, and she performed may other cool fire tricks.

They also had an old hearse that used to be parked out front of the entrance that featured a scary undertaker guy who was there to greet you. They also had zombies walking around the entire building inside and out.

The Southern Tier Independence Center stopped holding that event because they expanded to help even more people with disabilities in the Binghamton area, and needed to use the space that was used for the haunted Halls of Horror.

[via: Ross Park Zoo]