polo shirt Ghost Farm of Kingsley offers trio of haunted sites
CADILLAC A little flash. A little pizzazz. A little “Did that really just happen?!?!?” And a whole heckuva lot of Buckley fans and players going wild. Midway into the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s Class D regional title bout at Cadillac High School, Buckley’s Denver Cade picked the pocket of Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart’s Brendan Zeien at the Irish’s 3 point line. The senior Bear took two steps, flung the ball 60 feet to Austin Harris, who skied to snag it above the rim with his arms fully outstretched. The ball’s momentum carried a falling Harris backward out of bounds, but somehow he still managed to tip it back to a trailing Joey Weber for the easy layup. Sure it was just two points, but the play was the dagger that pierced the heart of the Irish (18 6) as the Bears (19 5) went on to a 66 44 win and a second consecutive regional championship.
KINGSLEY Bewitching on her throne of spider webs and spooky anecdotes, Ellen Dine rules over a trick or treat kingdom with a devilish smile.
If surrounded by children she is the good witch “I’m Grandma Farmer,” she delightfully boasts as she whispers heartwarming, heart tugging stories that leave the visiting children laughing.
But if surrounded by adults, she is a witch awaiting a house to be dropped on top of her “I’m the Kentucky Blue Witch Storyteller,” she delightfully boasts as she tells stories that will make a big person’s skin crawl like a lizard on a leaf. One of the hair raising stories she tells is of “two real ghosts” that live on the farm.
“When the older ones come out, I don’t hold anything back,” the 69 year old rural Kingsley woman said with a confessing grin. “If I scare ’em, I’ve had a good night.
“But with the kids, I’m kind. I don’t scare ’em. I make sure they have a good time.”
Dine and her family aided by several friends and the Kingsley 4 H Club have hosted some Halloween trickery all month at their Ghost Farm of Kingsley, located at 5010 Pierce Road, a few miles northeast of Kingsley.
The Ghost Farm is a snake like walking path over which a village of haunted buildings are inhabited by costumed characters witches, zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, scarecrows, aliens, and other haunting Halloween hooligans.
There’s also a small pavilion with benches and a fire pit in which Dine sits on her throne to greet her guests, and tell them scary or silly stories, depending on their ages.
“I’ve been sitting here for years, telling my stories,” said the whimsical matriarch of nine children and five grandchildren. “I’ve always loved Halloween and doing special things for our kids, and then with our kids.
“I met (my husband) Frank when I was 11 years old. We started dating when I was 14 and was married when I was 18. I gotta’ tell you, I’ve had a pretty cool life.”
Frank Dine died March 4, 2009. Born Aug. 21, 1948, in Traverse City, he loved hunting, fishing, baseball, and often helped out with the girls’ softball team.
“Together, we started this Ghost Farm,
” said Dine. “I think he would love the way we’ve built it over the years.”
Daughter Desirae Dine, 39 said her family spends weeks preparing for their annual Halloween haunting.
“This is a unique haunt,” said Desirae. “Many haunts across the United States build on a haunt they create each year with few, if any changes. But at the Ghost Farm, every year there is a complete overhaul of theme and sets.
“(Our) family begins work in January of each year, first building the story lines unique to the Ghost Farm, and then designing the props and sets, followed by an exhausting build of the haunts throughout the summer.
“But all of the stress and hard work is worth it when the our family sees the laughing, scared, or thoroughly entertained guests,” she said.
As they have for the past few years, members of the Kingsley Forever Farmin’ 4 H club team with the Dine family to prepare the Ghost Farm, and then don the many costumes. Last year Ghost Farm of Kingsley helped to raise over $4,000 for the local youth group.
“As our Ghost Farm grows, our family can’t help but be humbled by the support of the community and the enthusiasm and hard work their volunteers put in, even in cold and wet conditions,” said Desirae.
“Last year was a banner year for the Ghost Farm and with our success, the Forever Farmin’ 4 H Club was able to get involved in more educational activities, such as visiting the MSU Expo held in July.”
Ginger Schneider, a 4 H parent, said Ghost Farm is “really awesome,” adding this year will feature “. a werewolf and vampire war.”
“Our group works the haunt as characters as our club fund raiser,” said Schneider, 47 of Kingsley. “The haunt loves to support nonprofit causes and enjoys partnering with our group, and other groups, as well. Our 4 H club was able to make many educational opportunities available to our student members because our fundraiser at the ‘Ghost Farm of Kingsley,’ and we sure appreciate them!
“Our 4 Hers love working there, and so do many of us parents and grandparents. We have a lot of fun getting our scare on and have heard many times over that ours is extremely scary and creepy.”
To one capacity or another, Desirae and her eight siblings Frank Dine II of Traverse City, Michelle Dine of Kingsley, Donald Dine of Traverse City, Christopher Dine of Kingsley, Robyn Dine of Grawn, Shane Dine of Traverse City, Shanna Dine of Grawn and Justin Dine of Kingsley all lend a helping hand to make their parent’s Ghost Farm a haunting success.
“It’s always been a family labor of love,” said Ellen. “We do it for other families to get out and enjoy their time, together. To have fun, together.”
Cost for entering the Ghost Farm of Kingsley’s three adjoining sites “Night of the Blood Moon Haunted Trail,” “Cursed Barn” and “Gravely Greenhouse” is $15 per person.