Lake Katrine has its own ghosts in the closet. Quite refreshingly, that is not a lead into another scathing political story.
The Boice family’s Barn of Terror is in its 15th year of traumatizing its visitors. This season sports 6,500 square feet of fright packed into eight rooms and a dreadful silo, a shocking mineshaft and a chilling field house, as well as a mind-bending corn maze over a mile long.
Jim Boice Sr. said that this agri-horror show “is not for the faint of heart.” The Barn of Terror, he said, differs from other scare houses in its approach. “We are different,” he said. “We don’t go for theatrics. We go for horror. We don’t have all these animatronics, we have people hiding. Like if there is someone hiding around the corner and someone warns you there is a guy hiding around the corner. Well, he has moved to a different spot.”
Barn of Terror has a never-growing storyline of an anti-human farmer Mr. Kobbe and his very peculiar undead family. This year’s theme, the Barn of Terror and Circle of Hell, has conflicts with trespassing neighbors nosing around to confirm reports of fields of dead cows. Kobbe’s family members closely resemble Boice’s own family, as they are one in the same.
Jim Boice Jr. said scaring people within an inch of their lives is the family goal, and sometimes they go over the top with their mission. “We have had people wet themselves,” he said. “Sometimes go into the first hallway and they say they cannot do it, and have to turn around. Sometimes they say they have to do it, and they cover their eyes, and hide behind the person in front of them. We have these big football player dudes who come in and by the time they leave, they are crouching behind their cheerleader girlfriend.”
As scaring people runs in the family, Jim Boice Jr. said this season his 11-year-old niece has become a Kobbe family member as well.
Jim Boice Sr. said the family began its foray into the haunted realm with a local church’s youth group, and evolved it from there. Every year the family has built on it more and more, and they work on the barn year-round. Family and friends sit down every year at the table to eat and hash out new ideas and storylines. “We just want to help pay taxes, keep the farm going, and make some money on it at the same time; you know, the American dream,” he said. “When we did the youth group we had tons of people coming, but it was not for a fee. Now it is a business. We wanted to have people come to have fun, but not go bankrupt.”
Jim Boice Sr. said the barn is only ever closed for rain if it’s a heavy rain. Light rain means the horror show goes on, and recommends calling if there is a doubt. The entrance line is never more than 30 minutes, and there is a movie playing and snacks upon which to feast while waiting.
The season opens Friday, Sept. 29 at 25 Thru View Farm Road on Old Kings Highway in Lake Katrine. The Barn of Terror is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Oct. 29, starting at 7pm on until no bodies are left. Tickets are $33, with discounts of $3 per ticket for parties of 10 or more with reservations. Military personnel, vets, police, firefighters and EMTs with ID also receive $3 off per person. The barn will host a “college night,” offering $3 off with anyone showing a valid college ID. For more information, visit thebarnofterror.com.