Missing their signature event, organizers of the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo chose to take advantage of the ghost-town atmosphere created by COVID-19 restrictions.
“Haunted Hills” offers a drive-through experience at the Santa Maria Elks/Unocal Event Center, 4040 Highway 101, for six nights this month. The rodeo grounds sit east of Highway 101 at Santa Maria Way.
With the warning “drive thru if you dare,” Haunted Hills features a 3-mile route where cowboys of past rodeos and “restless equipment” come to life, serving up about 20 fear-inducing scenes, creepy sounds and scary interactions, according to organizers.
“For opening night, we’re super excited, and I think it will just build,” spokeswoman Johnna Clark said as vehicles lined up to enter Haunted Hills.
Haunted HIlls features a creepy farm scene along the route. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
Those creating the fright night scenes are “normal Elks Rec volunteers,” Clark added.