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by Al Williams
Blood, guts and baffling turns return to the fields of Studholme this weekend along with a whole lot of nasty surprises.
The Maize Maze, brainchild of farmer Rory Foley, is back for a fifth year, as actors, make-up artists and horror buffs converge on the settlement for another dose of fear.
A new extended course of baffling twists and turns opens tomorrow with all proceeds going to Plunket.
The maze raised more than $21,000 for charity last year through open days for families and R16 horror-themed night-time events.
Mr Foley said this year’s maze had grown to 5ha, up from 2ha in previous years.
“There is also a new experience at the front gate, guaranteed to scare the pants off people. We are going for a darker theme this year.”
Punters work their way through the densely planted maize, trying to avoid wrong turns, dead ends and loops.
A horror experience is added to the after-dark sessions, when a cast of creepy characters lurk in the undergrowth as visitors navigate by torchlight.
This year’s edition will be open to the public from 9.30pm to midnight tomorrow. The maize will be high enough to shut out the rest of the world.
Months of work had gone into making this year’s maze, Mr Foley said. He uses a scrub cutter to carve the paths, makes the horror costumes and props and works with a team of volunteer actors to plot their appearances.
Other charities have also benefited from events masterminded by Mr Foley, such as the Waimate Hospital Horror Asylum, the Waimate Zombie Run and the St John Clutha fundraiser Disturbia.
The R16 event runs from 9.30pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays from tomorrow to March 11.
The family-friendly maze runs from 11am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays from tomorrow to March 11.
The Courier has a double pass to give away to the event.
Email al.williams@timarucourier.co.nz with your contact details.