Freehold has spooky season fun planned through multiple attractions

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The fall season is approaching as leaves all around us turn from green to an orange crisp, inviting local residents to enjoy interesting fall-based attractions and events in Freehold Borough. From an old historical home that was once in a 1990s sitcom, to haunted hayrides and a burial ground, Freehold Borough offers everything to fulfill your seasonal desires.

The Spellman Manor, or notably the Victorian house seen in the 1990s sitcom, “Sabrina The Teenage Witch,” pays homage to Freehold Borough. The house, which sits on the corner of 64 E. Main St. was once the outside exterior of the house of teenage witch Sabrina Spellman.

The house is said to originally date back to the 1870s, according to the historic preservation office records of the house’s history, and is an italianate style home later receiving Queen Anne altercations.

The house now serves as an office building but can still be the perfect place to reminisce on your once aspiring-witch nostalgia.

In addition to the historical house on Main Street, the Wikoff Burial Ground resides in Freehold Township and can be an interesting place to visit as Halloween approaches.

The Wikoff Burial Ground, located on a bluff overlooking Route 79 (Broadway) holds graves of multiple local residents and families and even holds the history of a rooted family in Freehold.

Some notable graves at the burial ground include Aeltie Wikoff who died in 1740, Anne Conover who died in 1857, Capt. Jacob Forman, and the grave of Capt. Peter Wikoff who was a guide to George Washington during the Battle of Monmouth.

The Wikoff family reunion was held in the graveyard in 1904, where a paper on the history of the Wikoff family was read to all by the family’s historian and genealogist, James Steen.

In present-day Freehold, there are still Wikoff relatives in the area, who are known historically as the first group of parishioners at Old Tennent Church in Manalapan dating back before the 1730s.

In regards to if the Wikoff Burial Ground will fulfill your spooky-related interests during the month of October, the burial ground might be of perfect interest to you. According to the Research Librarian and Archivist of Monmouth County Historical Association Dana Howell, there are several infants buried at the burial site that went unrecorded and can be seen as unmarked graves, leaving the interpretation of if the burial ground is haunted up to those who visit.

Haunted hayrides are also coming back to Freehold Borough. The Freehold Spooktacular Committee and local community members are coming together for the long-time Halloween favorite Haunted Hayride event, after the COVID-19 pandemic put activities on pause last year.

According to a volunteer on the Spooktacular Committee, Toni Field, the Haunted Hayride event is an old Freehold Borough tradition where members of the community come together to decorate, haunt and do live spooky scenes along the hayride route, and is just one of the free events hosted by the Freehold Spooktacular during October.

Other events include window painting, a movie night, a scarecrow decorating contest, Monster Mash, and the Halloween parade.

The Haunted Hayride event begins at Wells Fargo Bank and travels through Kiawah, Lincoln, Cottage, Hull, South, Brinkerhoff and Main streets. The hay wagons and tractors are driven by members of the local community, picking up residents at 72 W. Main St. in Freehold and travel through the route escorted by Freehold Borough police.

During the route, haunters who walk along the hayride try to frighten the hay riders as they see decorated houses and scenes play out by other members of the community.

Field also expressed her hopes for the Haunted Hayride tradition during this year’s Spooky-Season after the past year.

“We are hoping that this event shows people that our community is resilient and that we know the importance of community and teamwork. We also hope people recognize that our strength in numbers is what it takes to make wonderful events like this possible,” Field said. “Coming together as a community during these times is exactly what we all need and we hope this event, along with all our others, makes people smile again.”

The Freehold Spooktacular Committee is currently looking for houses on the Haunted Hayride route that provide live action scenes, Halloween house decorating, spooky street walkers and hosting your yard for a scene. The event will take place Oct. 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and those looking to earn community service hours will receive them for  participating in the event.

For more information about how to get involved in the upcoming Haunted Hayrides event and other events the committee hosts, contact Toni Field.