Corn Mazes—A corn maze is a type of HALLOWEEN ATTRACTION, although corn mazes aren’t always exclusively tied to Halloween— they may simply be a form of “agri-tourism” or “agri-tainment,” or a way of turning part or all of a farm into a tourist destination. Corn mazes are similar to the hedge mazes found in European gardens for centuries; however, the first modern corn maze, “The Amazing Maize Maze,” was designed in the 1990s by maze designer Adrian Fisher (with Don Frantz). Corn mazes have become increasingly widespread in the U.S. over the last 20 years, as companies such as Fisher’s firm in Britain, The MAiZE (in Utah) and Corn Mazes America have sprung up, offering farmers and corn field owners complete packages, which include design, cutting (using GPS technology), and operation of seasonal corn mazes. The crops used in corn mazes are usually a hybrid chosen spe – cifically for this purpose, and they’re planted later than corn grown for harvest, so they won’t ripen until Halloween. Corn mazes can generate spectacular profits for farmers, returning nearly 200 times the amount of profit to be made from simply harvesting the corn, and many farmers attribute corn mazes to saving their farms. There are now hundreds of corn mazes operating annually, with most being between 1 and 5 acres (the largest on record is Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, California, with nearly 43 acres). Designs rarely feature Halloween imagery, but instead focus on either local happenings (a sports team, a state flag) or a depiction of the farm itself. Corn mazes are often combined with PUMPKIN PATCHES, Halloween face painting, HAYRIDES, and other Halloween attractions; occasionally a corn maze is also a haunted attraction, with actors and scares stationed throughout the maze. However, corn mazes are considered more “family-friendly” than haunted houses, and thus attract more children and elderly customers than haunted attractions.
The Halloween Encyclopedia Second Edition written by Lisa Morton © 2011 Lisa Morton. All rights reserved