Haunted farm and corn maze
In 2012, Joann Farrell and Betsy Nichols started an annual Halloween tradition, a haunted 2-acre corn maze at the Nichols’ Grey Goose Farm on Cleveland Road in Dalton — to benefit teen suicide prevention. Their families became volunteers and actors in each year’s Halloween scenario, and Berkshire organizations joined in.
Visitors walk through the fields at night and look out for spirits in the dark. Monsters and ghouls and renegade hospital staff have taken over the mountainside. The story changes each year — in 2019, a ouija board is coming to life to call the spirits home. (Farrell and Nichols recommend the maze for children 12 and older and adults.)
Purgatory Road has become a community effort and a family reunion, Farrell and Nichols told me as they planned for its second year. Their kids brought in friends, and they became actors and supervised the music. Locals chipped in to feed the volunteer crews.
And in the event’s first eight years, they have raised $150,000 for teen suicide prevention programming in the Berkshires, and in 2019 they will donate the whole of their proceeds to benefit the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention.