By day, the Harris Farm looks like any typical farm in the country. Rows of alfalfa and soybeans sprout in the lower fields, while black angus cattle graze in the open pastures above.
But during nights in October, the farm in Harrisburg takes on an uneasy aura.
The blinking red light from the cell tower beyond the hills becomes an unnerving bloodshot eye.
The rusty metal barns and silos on both sides of the dirt path turn into a creaking, deserted village.
Black shadows move slowly behind the fences, like spirits. Their grunts by day seem harmless, but by dark sound like pained moans.
For the next few weekends in October, Harris Farms will change from raising beef cattle and crops to raising the hair on your head.
This is the third year the farm will host Scary Dairy, a 35-minute haunted trail that takes the brave over sections of the 150-acre farm.
The idea was spawned by Kristen Harris and her friends, who loved to go through haunted trails throughout high school and college.
With the coming of each fall, the trail grows longer and draws more and more people; they're eager to hand over $10 for a nail-biting experience. Last year's event drew 600 people in two days, a number that startled even Harris.
"There was a line a mile long," she said. "We were not prepared."
But this year, they are ready.
Rehearsals started last week for the 50 goblins and ghouls who signed up to play a part in one of the 20 scenes along the darkened trail.
Dustin Genebacher, a family friend who used to milk cows when the farm was a dairy, helps novice spooks find their inner ghoul.
The biggest problem, Genebacher said, is timing. The inexperienced often jump out prematurely.
"That throws a lot of people off," he said.
Harris found most of this year's goblins studying algebra and English at local high schools.
"I sent a letter out to all the schools," she said, "and they needed to e-mail me about why they think they would be good."
Harris herself has hobbled around in the past as an old woman bent over a cane.
Not everything goes according to scripts, Harris said, but that's part of the fun. When noisemakers rattled goats in a nearby barn one year, the sight at first frightened even her.
"All the goats in the barn just scattered," she said. "It looked like a bunch of little white goblins just flying across the field."
In the family home, beneath the oil paintings and fine furniture in the living room, a pool table sits in the basement, piled high withmasks, from old witches to bloodied skeletons. An orange tabby cat springs up from its nap among the masks and jumps off the table.
"Anyone can be a spook," Harris said.
Later, outside, as the old dusty hay wagon creaked up to the homestead and stopped, Linda Harris, Kristen's mother, waited as folks boarded for their journey across the farmland.
Soon they would disappear into the woods, stirring up the reflection of the slivered moon as the wheels rolled through Reedy Creek.
She slammed the tailgate up and looked sympathetically at the crowd.
"We've only lost two tonight, so take care of yourself."