Kenhorst resident Branden Moyer has always had a love for Halloween, but it wasn’t until 3 years ago that he decided to take a leap and build his own haunted attraction. What started out as a small corn maze in his backyard has now developed into a serious scare factory with the purchase an old junk lot behind his property.
Looking to show off his newly renovated attraction, Moyer invited Reading Magazine for an exclusive behind the scenes look at his new haunted corn maze called “Corn Stalkers”. Corn Stalkers follows the tail of a farmer who has an unfortunate run in with ghosts, goblins and ghouls. The challenge for those who trespass on his property is to make it safely through the corn maze without getting lost…
We caught up with Moyer and his “scare squad” during their dress rehearsal night. Inviting a select few to walk though the event Moyer was eager to hear their feedback. Moyer says the idea came from just looking at the potential of the new property he purchased. “how cool would it be that there is a corn maze in the middle of the neighborhood”
The corn maze took about a month to build, however the last hurdle Moyer had before opening this maze was the approval of the borough of Kenhorst. “I presented them with a detail layout of the Haunt and gave an elevator pitch of what it’s all about. I went over cost, construction and design. They all took it very seriously, but they loved that someone decided to do something fun for the community.”
Scaring the neighborhood isn’t just a one man job, Moyer employs an entire “scare squad” to help terrify guests. “Every year we host auditions for our Scare Squad acting positions. It is always fun to see how other can express themselves visually and verbally.” For Moyer it’s an opportunity to give young actors a chance to be odd, funny and creepy without anyone turning around and looking at them weirdly.
Most importantly, Moyer says the corn maze is for the whole community to enjoy. “This is why our general admission is so cheap, we want everyone to be able to afford to come here and enjoy the scares that await.”
For the past two years Moyer built the corn maze in his own backyard, until a junk yard lot went up for sale behind his property. Even though it was full of trash, scrap metal and dirt, Moyer saw it as an opportunity to expand his corn maze into a much bigger attraction.
It was all screams listening to groups walk thought the attraction. We spoke to a few of them as they exited. Tony from Reading, “They dedicated a lot of time to get this done, I thought it was just a loop but it turned out to be much more”. A father with his son said “It was defiantly pretty scary, my heart is still beating heavily, my seven year old is terrified”.
There is a more serious side to Moyer’s corn maze. One dollar of the admission price is donated to Spirit of Children Foundation. “I don’t do this for the money and I wanted to help out as much as I can” Moyer says. The mission of Spirit of Children is to make hospitals less scary for kids. Since 2007, Spirit of Children has raised $37 million to provide Child Life funding for art, music, aquatic and pet therapy programs in various hospitals around the country.
Corn Stalkers is open every Friday and Saturday in October from 7pm – 10pm. General admission is $3. The attraction is located at 1469 Hancock Blvd. Reading, PA 19607.