October’s leaves have all but disappeared, marking the end of fall 2017. One month ago today, Sigma Alpha sorority hosted a haunted corn maze at the Truman State University that helped raise about $3,000 annually for the sorority’s funds and programming such as Agriculture in the Classroom.
Jillian Livingston, co-chair of Sigma Alpha’s Haunted Corn Maze, says the maze has been a fundraiser for the sorority for the past 20 plus years—before Sigma Alpha was even officially an on-campus sorority.
“Before Sigma Alpha was here, we were the sisters of the AGRs,” Livingston says, referring to Alpha Gamma Rho.
The event costs $3 for Truman students and $5 for all non-students.
The sorority sisters vote on a different theme each year for its maze. This year’s theme was “The Fear is Reel,” and included several scenes based on some of their favorite horror movies, including Jeepers Creepers, Friday the 13th and The Ring.
Last year’s theme was “Fear is in the Ears,” and featured terrifying characters based on common fears and phobias such as dolls and clowns.
“We were going to do ‘Children of the Corn’ until one of us actually watched it and realized it’s a bunch of little Amish children running around,” Livingston says. “So it’s kind of hard to actually scare someone when you’re dressed as an Amish child.”
The organizers will plan for next year’s corn maze this coming May, including making sure the corn for the maze is planted. By next July, the sorority starts pulling the corn by hand to form the maze, which can be incredibly grueling work, Livingston says, remembering how she and her sorority sisters devoted about 60 hours this year to pulling the corn.
Costuming starts as soon as the sorority members return from summer break.
“I, personally, really like the makeup and the scaring of the people,” Livingston says. “Last year was my first year I got to do it, and it’s fantastic to watch grown men scream like little girls.”
Livingston says the maze can take up to 45 minutes to complete, although it can be easy to get lost, with so many pathways and dead ends throughout.
Since each year is different, those in attendance never know when a person might jump out at them. Some actors may be seen crawling out of a dark well, ranting and screaming from the shadows of the corn, or lurking close behind, blending in as fellow maze-goers.
The sorority’s corn maze was not the only one in Kirksville, though. Jackson Country Connection, a charming family-owned farm, has also been hosting a corn maze each fall since 2008.