By Amanda Joerndt
Pumpkin carving, haunted houses and corn mazes are traditional Halloween activities for many, but a fairly new Halloween activity in Youngstown allows people of all ages to experience some spooky entertainment this season.
The Youngstown Pedicab travel service has been carting customers around downtown Youngstown for over a year from the $5 “bar to car” service to the $20 trip to Wick Park.
Jacob Harver, owner of Youngstown Pedicab, decided to add a twist to his service by offering a Halloween premium special with a tour through Youngstown’s Oak Hill Cemetery.
Harver said the idea stemmed from purchasing a hat to match his jacket; it spiraled from there.
“When a good friend, Barry Silver, finally closed after 50 years of business, I saw this hat there and I had the jacket already. That kind of evolved [to] thinking about doing the haunted tours,” Harver said.
Harver said being able to use a Youngstown landmark to offer Halloween special services makes the experience enjoyable for both the passengers and himself.
“It’s such a cool cemetery we have here, and it’s a cool way to see it without wandering by yourself,” Harver said. “There’s also the motion of the ride. … Once we get some speed going down the hills, it provides a cerebral and physical experience.”
The Halloween tour is $50 for a trip through the entire cemetery and will continue until Nov. 2, which is the Saturday after Halloween.
For inquiries about the tours and the Halloween special, visit the Youngstown Pedicab Facebook page.
Two Jambar TV anchors, Amanda Joerndt, a senior journalism major, and Dominic Joseph, a senior sports broadcasting major, experienced the Oak Hill Cemetery tour firsthand.
For Harver’s first Halloween tour of the season, he took Joerndt and Joseph on a 30-minute ride, adding in some spooky tricks to the hillside cemetery extravaganza.
Read Joerndt and Joseph’s experience below:
Amanda Joerndt: Although I do love the fall season and Halloween holiday, I have never been a fan of the scary, gory or spooky aspects of Halloween time.
Riding through a dark cemetery at night just days before Halloween definitely gave me chills and sparked my curiosity about what exactly was going to happen during the Oak Hill Cemetery experience.
Being with Dom and Collin Headley, assistant videographer for Jambar TV, helped calm my nerves because I wasn’t alone on this journey.
Harver drove the pedicab up and down monstrous hills while pointing out historical headstones within the cemetery, such as the founders of Youngstown, along with the Stambaugh and Wick family memorials.
Having to walk down the grass hill, touch the headstones and hear the wind whistle in the background gave me an eerie feeling. During some parts of the tour, Harver would spontaneously play haunting or screeching music, making us both jump out of our seats.
For this being my first experience on a pedicab cemetery tour, I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to try a new Halloween activity and get into the holiday spirit. Although I wouldn’t consider it a gory experience, it makes you feel a sense of fright driving through one of the oldest cemeteries in Youngstown.
Dom Joseph: My experience on the Youngstown Pedicab was great. Unfortunately, I was under the weather during the tour, but I was still able to enjoy it.
I’m not a big fan of jump scares and haunting-themed activities — honestly, it terrifies me. However, it was a heart-racing experience in the Oak Hill Cemetery.
If you’ve never gone into a cemetery at night, it’s truly a nerve-wracking time.
While the headstones went by, it was eerily silent, almost as if the entire city’s sounds were drowned out. You could hear a pin drop in the deeper parts of the cemetery, which only made it more frightening. Would I recommend the tour? Yes. It’s spooky, it’s fun and it’s a great time for everyone.