The Dark Crop: Looking back after Harvest


Mara Dinbergs

Photo Credit: Mara Dinbergs

Mara Dinbergs, Guest Contributor

Do you like to be scared? How about a walk through a cornfield in the dark?

The Dark Crop is just that–a scary, spooky walk through a field of corn at Lavoie’s Farm in Hollis. There are characters with yellow, rotten teeth who scare you just by approaching. The guide with a wagging tongue warns, “Don’t touch the corn!”

One deranged woman cradles her child’s corpse, tending to it as if it were still alive. “She’s so good, never cries!”  She may ask you to sing “Happy Birthday Dear Baby.”

Then there is Dr. It, the well-educated, creepy doctor whose family is dead. He wanders alone through the corn, guided by a single small light, hoping to find someone to buy his medical cures (even for E-bola) just so he can get on in life.

You pass a piano playing horror music. Dare to climb through the wide front seat of a dark, old auto. A bloody-faced woman tries to sell her gory pie, saying, “It just may be your last meal.” Right behind your head you hear the roar of a motor, making you turn around to see a chainsaw right in your face, hear maniacal laughter and then silence.

You walk forward nearing the exit, glad to be of the haunted walk, but then actually wanting to go back in because it was horrific fun. Each trip through the maze is unique and interactive.

The Dark Crop is co-owned by two adults in the community, but the bulk of the acting falls to the Hollis-Brookline Advanced Improv troupe. Co-owner Chad Zingales (husband of case manager Cora Zingales) and theater teacher Elyse Tomlinson joined together to create the haunted walk. Students in the Improv class get graded on the development of  their characters, which they create by themselves, including costume and makeup ideas, dedication to the performance and staying in character.

“The point of the maze is to scare people so they have fun, not to give them nervous breakdowns,” says Tomlinson.

Even though this crop has already been harvested, make sure you mark your calendars for next year. For an look inside the haunted walk check out Brendan Hurley here.