An Urban Legend That Came True in Sparta, Michigan
There's an Urban Legend that goes around every so often about a Halloween display that actually features a dead body. This, unfortunately, came true back in 2001. Keep this story in mind if you plan on hosting any kind of scary or Halloween attraction this year.
14-year-old Caleb Rebh volunteered to be a part of a Haunted Hayride attraction at Alpine Ridge Farms in Sparta. They already had enough people, but he was intent on being involved. He told the owners that he would do it for free as long as they let him work the hayride. They put Caleb at a post with a coffin, but it didn’t really give him much to do except shout “boo” at customers.
Unsatisfied, he talked another worker into switching posts with him. This time, Caleb was hosting a skeleton hanging from a tree by a noose. Still wanting to go a step further, he thought it would be scarier if the noose was around his own neck. He pulled the tree branch down, took the noose off the skeleton, and put it around his neck.
Unworried, since his feet were still able to touch the ground, he let go of the branch. But Caleb wasn’t heavy enough to keep the branch from springing up and choking him. The noose tightened and began to suffocate him, as he desperately attempted to get the noose off his neck. Customers and workers watched, thinking it was all an act to prank everyone. After it was too late, hayride employees and visitors attempted to resuscitate him, but it was too late…he was pronounced dead. His father, according to the Washington Post, said "To have people right there watching him die, choking to death and not do anything – I don't know if I can ever get over that. They just thought he was doing his scene. But he wasn't doing his scene – he was dying."
The death was ruled an accident.
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