by Lorie Lewis Ham
Hobb’s Grove in Sanger has been a Halloween staple in the Valley and beyond since 1999. People travel from all over to go there during the Halloween season. They have won awards and been listed consistently in the top haunts in the nation! Every year at KRL, we have written something about Hobb’s Grove. This year we have a fun and interesting interview with owner Lore Callahan about how they came to be and what to expect this season. Halloween isn’t complete without a trip to Hobb’s Grove!
KRL: How did Hobb’s Grove come to be?
Lore: My friend Morgan was asked to set up something for the kids at the Dunlap school library in 1988 and after three seasons there we met the Satterstrom’s and asked to set up the forest as a night haunt at their Pumpkin Patch on the river near Kingsburg. By the third year, we had two hour lines. I couldn’t believe it. We added the Hayride, then the House. In 1999, we needed be able to grow so we made the jump to Sanger and Hobb’s Grove began.
KRL: What are the different parts of Hobb’s Grove?
Lore: The Midway area with food and fun and Zombie Paintball, plus The Curiosity Shop and the Haunted Hayride, House and Forest.
KRL: How do you come up with the ideas for scaring people each year?
Lore: There is a core group of seven that brainstorms often. We also go see other haunts every chance we get during October and at spring time conventions. It’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it.
KRL: How does one become involved with Hobb’s Grove?
Lore: “Interview with the Vampires” is usually the last Sunday of August where we get to know folks who want to join the madness and bring them on as we have room.
KRL: Tell us about the Midway?
Lore: The Midway is where you can take a break between haunts, get some good food, check out the curiosity shop and enjoy some of the best people watching anywhere while being entertained by Hobb’s Grove’s crazy characters. Many nights have bands or shows including the official Next Elvira the 10th & 11th, aerial silk performances by NOCO the 26th & 30th and The Enigma Live! on the 29th.
KRL: You mentioned bands–can you tell us a bit more?
Lore: The last 2 nights – The Hallows Eve party and the Bitter End, Last Night of Fright Party. Uncle Effus will be there too but I don’t know what nights yet.
KRL: How many people does it take to run the place each Halloween season?
Lore: There are about 150 there working each night.
KRL: What have you enjoyed the most about owning/running Hobb’s Grove?
Lore: The tight knit crew that has developed over the years and seeing so many people lovin’ what we do.
KRL: Anything new this year?
Lore: We change things every year but the over all is the same…Hayride, House and Forest.
KRL: Dates, times, ticket prices, and where can they be purchased?
Lore: That info is on the website. (the Grove is open from October 3-November 1) Tix can be purchased at The Grove when we’re open OR online OR at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis, Roller Towne in Visalia and Tower T-shirt Factory in Fresno.
KRL: Where are you located?
Lore: 14265 E. Goodfellow, Sanger.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Lore: Hobb’s Grove is a very unique haunted attraction and it’s a rare thing to be able to experience such a cool place. We have ALL ages coming out and having a great time with friends and family. Kids, parents, and grandparents have a blast laughing at each other get scared. Even the lines are fun and it’s “time” spent together in the autumn night air rather than at home in front of one screen or another. We have folks say every year, “I wish we had started coming out sooner. This place is awesome!” Hobb’s Grove has been on several lists of best places to go and it’s well deserved national attention. The Crew at Hobb’s Grove is second to none.
Check out one of our many Halloween event pages for even more Halloween fun, and watch for more articles during the month of October here in KRL!