The Indiana Insider Blog

Headless Horseman offers just the right fright


When it comes to Halloween, I’m pretty much a big chicken. I don’t do haunted houses, don’t watch scary movies and I don’t go into those Halloween costume shops that have gory costumes and moving figures on display. So when Angela Tuell offered me tickets to take my family to Conner Prairie’s Headless Horseman event, I thought twice before responding “okay.”

I’m so glad I said yes! We went last Saturday night.  When we entered the gates, we were given tickets for our hayride — 7:30pm. That gave us a little more than hour to wander the grounds of Conner Prairie, taking in the other activities offered.  We headed first to the barn to see the animals that were a favorite on our last visit to the Prairie. This time, Robbie took a particularly liking to a cute little brown goat. Once we were able to coax Robbie away from the goat and out of the barn, we headed for the marionette show.

The show, put on by Stevens Puppets, was humorous, just the right length (about 30 minutes), and WARM! It told the story of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which was the perfect precursor to our hayride. As we left the puppet show for the hayride, I noticed that several people had gathered to listen to a storyteller.


We lined up for our ride at about 7:20, enjoying some kettle corn from one of the on-site vendors as we waited. The wait was fairly short and my a little after 7:30pm, we were on our way. Our hay wagon took us through the woods where slightly frightful, but not gory, scenes had been set up. There were skeletons and coffins, a huge spider and several ghosts. But there was no blood, no guts, much to the delight of this Halloween scaredy cat.


Just as the wagon approached the covered bridge, we heard the telltale sound of galloping hooves. Sure enough, the Headless Horseman was upon our wagon. He rode up the left side, then circled back to the right of the wagon, keeping pace with the tractor pulling us along. Once we entered the bridge, however, we were safe. My six-year-old exclaimed “That was the greatest thing ever!”

I wish I had pictures to share, but they ask that you not take photos on the hayride so the horses don’t get spooked. The pictures here are courtesy of Conner Prairie. You can find more great pictures by visiting Conner Prairie’s Flickr stream here.

All that excitement really made us hungry, so after our hayride, we headed to the campfires where the boys made s’mores for $2 each.

If you’re looking for a great family Halloween outing, you still have time to enjoy the Headless Horseman festivities. Gates are open from 6pm-9pm today through October 30.  For ticket prices and details about other activities, including creepy presentations and “scary-oke”, visit Conner Prairie’s website.

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Written by : Amy moved to Indiana for college in 1988 (Go Bulldogs!) and has never left. Married with three children, she's always on the lookout for fun and affordable things to do in Indiana. Elsewhere on the web, you can find Amy at The Fourth Frog Blog and All Things Aging. Amy receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.