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Capital District residents in search of a scare can find plenty of options

The Giffords do their cutting in June, spending about a week in the fields with a special mower and other tools. In August, they have a helicopter fly over to make sure the design has grown in properly -- "We haven't made a mistake yet," Cynthia Gifford said with a laugh.

When autumn rolls around, the corn maze, which features an election theme this year, is open to the public and school groups during the week. But on weekends in October, it transforms into a haunted corn maze that Gifford recommends is suitable only for those 10 and older, noting that the maze's fear factor has gotten high marks from participants in years past.

"It's the anticipation when you're out in the corn," Cynthia said. "You never know if somebody's going to be jumping out around the next corner."

The Giffords have hired more than 25 actors to staff the maze at 29 Bevis Road. They will serve up scares each Friday and Saturday night until Saturday, Nov. 1. Admission is $15 and includes the "Forest of Fear" and the "Fort Hunter Stockade," a labyrinth of fences.""

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