At haunted houses last weekend, the scariest thing was the weather.
After a two-day storm drenched the region in about 9 inches of rain and flooded many parts of York County, seasonal attractions suffered water damage and slow sales.
Nestled between two creeks, the Terror Trail at Haunted Mill was covered in about 3 feet of water on Friday, said Margaret Sterner, marketing and advertising manager for the venue at 5932 Colonial Valley Road in Heidelberg Township.
Though Haunted Mill's indoor attractions were spared, there wasn't much of a crowd to enjoy them, she said.
"Only the brave came out," Sterner said.
The 21 road closures and standing water throughout the county likely deterred guests from going out to get spooked, she said.
When weather conditions are normal, Haunted Mill typically sees thousands of visitors. "The Columbus Day weekend would've been one of our busiest weekends. The storm was a huge impact for our business," she said.
Haunted Mill opened its season on Friday, Sept. 27 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 3. Because it has a permit from the township to operate only during that period, there's really no chance for Haunted Mill to make up the business, Sterner said.
"But this is not our first rodeo. We faced snow three years ago, Hurricane Sandy last year and heavy rain this year," she said. "We'll dry off and get going this weekend. Our monsters are all psyched."
Sitting along Conewago Creek, Halloween Park is also no stranger to high water.
The attraction at 100 Hykes Mill Road in Conewago Township also sustained damage during weather events the last three years.
Halloween Park had to close last weekend because much of it was flooded.
By Monday, the water had receded, and most of the mud and debris had been removed, said owner Stacey Eckenrode.
Some TVs, DVD players, amplifiers and speakers remain damaged, but the park will reopen this weekend, he said.
It's unclear how much business Halloween Park lost, Eckenrode said.
"We'll have the cost of replacing some equipment, but we lost a whole weekend. I have no idea what it will cost us in the end," he said.
Barefoot Farms, at 6621 Bluebird Lane in Dover, also lost two days of business to the weather.
The farm closed Thursday and Friday, and reopened Saturday.
But the hayrides were still canceled Saturday for safety reasons, said co-owner Lora Hartzell.
"You typically don't recoup that business. You lose what you lose and go on," she said.
By Monday there were few signs of a soggy weekend. Children, who had the day off school for Columbus Day, were at the farm, crawling through tunnels, and picking pumpkins and sunflowers.
"We're getting back to a busier time, a fun time," Hartzell said.
Flinchbaugh's Orchard & Farm Market at 110 Ducktown Road in Hellam Township also had a busy Monday.
The farm didn't close during the weekend, but it did have to cancel school tours, and change schedules and routes for its corn maze and wagon rides, said co-owner Julie Flinchbaugh.
Flinchbaugh's also saw a dip in sales.
"We had about two thirds of our usual business until about 1 p.m. Saturday, when people seemed excited to get out of the house," she said. "We're thankful to have the bigger crowds today."
The farm expects to be operating normally the rest of the week.
"As long as we don't get another 9 or 10 inches of rain, we should be good this weekend," Flinchbaugh said.
Stan Brown is also keeping his eye on the weather.
There's a 50 percent chance of rain Wednesday through Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
"We don't want that. We're still drying out," said Brown, owner of Brown's Orchards & Farm Market, 8892 Susquehanna Trail South, Loganville.
Because of wet and muddy conditions, Brown's closed its orchards and hayrides last weekend, bringing to a halt its popular pick-your-own apples and pumpkins.
"Those of us in retail farming don't want a rainy weekend in October. It was a bummer," he said.
Seasonal business never really recoups from a bad weekend, but it does help that Brown's has a year-round market, he said.
"We were unusually busy at the market. Instead of going to the orchards, a lot of people came to the store for their pumpkins and apples," Brown said.
He said he's hoping the rain holds off this week and the farm has a good weekend.
"We don't want bad weather the next two weekends," Brown said. "There are two weekends left before Halloween, so we will do everything possible to open up this weekend - weather permitting."
- Candy Woodall can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.