Article by Rikki Yanez
“You have not only the scary element of being in the woods, but you have the scary people too,” says Misty Pestor, coworker of owner Michael Grover, when asked her thoughts about the property they decided to choose for the haunted attraction.
On the opening night,October 20, Fear Factory Presents: The Body Farm had quiet the turnout according to Misty Pestor and Stage Manager, Jordan Duran. Duran said over 100 people came to the opening night and 75-plus the night after, so “it’s been an awesome turnout.”
The Body Farm is open from 8 p.m. to Midnight in New Braunfels, Texas, located at 8989
North IH-35 on the two-way Southbound frontage road between Posey Rd. and Creek Rd.
In order to enter The Body Farm, a ticket is required. Owner Michael Grover set up a ticket booth at the entrance where tickets run $20 for adults 18 and older, and $15 for students and military.
In the haunted attraction, lurking within the woods, you’ll find clowns, ghosts, and witches around every corner. Deeper into the trail you will also encounter a creepy abandoned bus, which happens to be the main attraction, according to Pestor.
Misty Pestor said it took months to put together the haunted attraction and each day they add more things to it. “We did it about four years [in our warehouse office in Universal City, Texas] and we changed offices, so we couldn’t do it there anymore. Mike [Michael Grover] found this property and decided to open it back up,” said Pestor.
Audio story by Kelly Newton
Creating an outdoor haunted attraction that consists of different kinds of props for each area in the trail takes lots of consideration and planning. They also held auditions for the actors. According to Frank Montero most of the actors working at The Body Farm are students from Texas State University. These students are from the theater program looking to get their foot in the door by getting experience locally.
Frank Montero, a senior majoring in Performance and Production at Texas State, recalls the audition process. “I had to be all weird in front of the camera.” Montero goes on and says how in the auditions they had the actors show them different facial expressions. The first facial expression was for the actors to act scared, then they had them yell for help and lastly, they had to get angry and pretend to attack. Montero was asked whether he applied for a specific role or just auditioned for any part. The owner (Michael Grover) saw him audition he said, “You’re the clown man!”
According to Michael Grover, what inspired him to do The Body Farm theme for Fear Factory Presents was the fact that the piece of land is sitting in a rural property and sitting right on the outskirts of the city. Another reason behind the theme is because of the Freeman Ranch “Body Farm,” which is near the haunted attraction.
As stated by Texas State’s website in the Department of Anthropology, Texas State University’s Forensic Anthropology Research Facility (FARF) is a “26-acre outdoor human decomposition research laboratory at the Texas State Freeman Ranch,” It’s uses are for “forensic anthropology students, researchers, as well as state and national law enforcement agencies.”
Before creating a haunted attraction, Grover said they initially wanted to create a corn maze for the month of November, but got a late start planting their corn. He plans an ongoing series of events throughout the holidays, such as a corn maze and a Christmas lighting festival in December.
Photos by Lara Dietrich