The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday July 23rd

The Witch's Haunted Barn is saving Halloween with a family-friendly event

Farmer Cindy Stubbs dressed as a witch at Firefly Farm. Photo courtesy of Firefly Farm's Facebook page.
Buy Photos Farmer Cindy Stubbs dressed as a witch at Firefly Farm. Photo courtesy of Firefly Farm's Facebook page.

Have no fear, The Witch's Haunted Barn is here to save Halloween in 2020. 

Elementary school students and families have the opportunity to go to Firefly Farm in Hillsborough to experience the spooky spirit starting this Saturday. 

In the “not so scary” haunted barn you can take a whimsical journey full of surprise and Halloween fun — there is even candy for the kids at the end of the adventure.

The Witch's Haunted Barn is happening every Saturday in October, with tickets costing $15 per family. Visitors should pre-order their tickets on the website to secure a 30-minute time slot in the barn. 

While not in the barn, visitors can spend time petting the different animals or going on the pasture walk to see the sunflowers blooming.

Cindy Stubbs, owner and farmer of Firefly Farms, said she is excited for the barn to open and to give families a fun and safe activity to do this season. She even dresses up as a witch named Hazel and joins the festivities.

“It's something that I love to do because it just brings a lot of joy to people's faces,” Stubbs said. 

Besides being Witch Hazel on the farm, Stubbs can also be seen reading to different classes in the elementary school. She started reading to students when her kids were in the school. 

Lisa McCurdy, a teacher at Cameron Park Elementary School, said the students love Stubbs’ annual visits as Witch Hazel. 

“Witch Hazel continues to make classroom visits, this year via Zoom,” McCurdy said. “She is a bit of a celebrity at CPES.”

Behind the 'not-so-scary' barn

This is The Witch's Haunted Barn’s second year open to the public, though a variation of it had happened before. Stubbs started this event originally as a private party to raise money for the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation. 

Stubbs said she wanted to create a family-friendly Halloween option for children since many Halloween activities are too scary or aimed at older audiences. 

While it is an odd year for all, Stubbs has put in numerous safety precautions to let families still enjoy this spooky season. 

Families are required to wear masks when inside the barn, and there is hand sanitizer at the entrance and exit of the barn. When inside the barn, families are spaced out, which is why it is important families pre-purchase tickets. 

Workers are also wiping down any sites that may be touched, and the candy at the end of the barn is all prepackaged. Stubbs has done Count On Me NC’s business training to be as COVID-19-safe as possible. 

At least at this barn, the Halloween fun doesn't have to be canceled. 

@ttaylormmolina

arts@dailytarheel.com

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