2018 USA Today Readers' Choice Winner (Cider Doughnuts)

USA Today names 10 Best Cider Doughnuts in New Hampshire

usatodayApple picking is a fall family tradition in New Hampshire, where more than 24.5 million pounds of the fruit are produced each year. Picking season is also known for another sweet treat, apple cider donuts. Farm stands and bakeries across the state fry them up fresh. Eat them plain, glazed or cinnamon sugared, and for the ultimate autumn snack, dip them in a cup of the same fresh pressed cider used to give them their distinct apple flavor.

“At DeMeritt Hill Farm, apple cider donuts come in several varieties, including blueberry, chocolate, classic apple cider and pumpkin. On a cool fall afternoon, nothing beats a fresh donut dunked in a cup of hot cider”.




The top 10 winners in the category Best Cider Donuts in New Hampshire are as follows:

  1. Meadow Ledge Farm – Loudon
  2. Emery Farm – Durham
  3. Cider Bellies Doughnuts – Meredith
  4. McKenzie’s Farm – Milton
  5. DeMeritt Hill Farm – Lee
  6. Stonehouse Baking Co. – Barrington
  7. Applecrest Farm Orchards – Hampton Falls
  8. Chichester Country Store – Chichester
  9. Gould Hill Farm – Contoocook
  10. Cardigan Mountain Orchard – Bristol

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Taylor Hicks (State Plate), Susan Laughlin and Colleen Westcott and Jonathan Carrigan (Portsmouth Eats Restaurant Tasting Tours) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the state food scene.

Congratulations to all these winning farms, stores and restaurants!

Seacoast Scene – Special Halloween Ethan’s Adventure

Where I went: My friend Amy and I went to Haunted Overload (20 Orchard Way, Lee) to experience an outdoor haunted attraction. Haunted Overload is different from a haunted house because it is an outdoor trail that takes you through several houses and other creepy locations. The attraction won the ABC television competition The Great Halloween Fright Fight in 2014.

What it is: A $25 ticket gets you access to the full haunted trail experience. Guests walk for 20 to 30 minutes through a trail of terrifying themed location with unsettling and unrelenting pathways connecting the various locations. Visit hauntedoverload.com for dates and times.

My Experience: Before we even checked in, Amy and I were clutching each other; as we were trying to find the line to get out tickets checked. there was a half human, half monster that paced up and down the line on its arm stilts. When I went to get a closer look with my phone, it snapped at me and the whole line jumped back.
The main entrance area is an eyeful of production design that let’s everyone know right away why Haunted Overload has gained national attention. A massive skull, larger than a house, overlooks the pumpkin lined waiting area. The skull is so large it makes the surrounding woods fade away and we felt like we were in a Halloween village. The waiting line passes several other larger-than-life structures, including a pumpkin man, taller than the trees, that looms over the crowd and guards a stone castle that funnels the guests into the trail.

The castle’s gatekeeper was a Marilyn Manson-esque pale-faced woman with an undead cat on her lap. After a short chat with the woman, her zombie cat awoke, snarled at us, and we entered the trail.

A green-lit tunnel, growing impossibly narrow, was the first thing we saw. And at the end of the tunnel, waiting patiently, was a silhouette of a crouched figure that we were clearly going to have to confront before we could pass. Just as we got close enough to touch it, it jumped up, screamed and pointed us to the trail.

There was a terrifically troubling amount of jump-scares throughout the haunted trail, but I particularly appreciated the mini world building that the designers had dreamed up. Each themed hut had its own story and unique inhabitants. The first location, for example, was a demented take on a carnival tent. Seemingly lifeless acrobats hung from the ceiling of the tent and suddenly sprang to life just as Amy and I had decided they were fake. Carnival music swirled around the tent as various carnies approached us and spoke chilling things into our ears. Then a harlequin jumped down from her perch with a bucket of her own guts to show us before we pushed open the exit flap of the tent. “Come on, it’s a delicacy in France,” she said as we left.

Between locations was a fenced-in dirt trail that zig-zagged through the woods. The wooden fences were about 8 feet tall so we couldn’t see much outside the dirt path. But the trails are no place to feel relieved because cage headed, nuclear waste ridden, woodland wanderers waited around random corners. And the worst part was we couldn’t tell which stoic figures leaning against the fences were real. I accepted that the only way to find out who was real was to wait and see which ones woke up and followed us down the path.

With our arms interlocked, Amy and I hobbled through each haunted location. It seemed to me that each location was more dilapidated and scary that the last. Starting with a mansion, which acted as its own mini haunted house, we made our way down into a hut filled with children’s toys and populated with seemingly inept caretakers who continued to torment our thoughts with scary details about what had happened to the last visitors.

The scariest location for me was an unassuming wooden hut whose inhabitants were mostly dead. Bodies hung in dirty potato sacks from the ceiling and the corners of the hut were too dark to see. Suddenly, we felt the caretaker of the building approach us from out of the darkness. Then we heard a chilling sound fill our ears: a chainsaw starting up. I lost my sense of direction and pulled Amy into a dead end. The bodies clobbered us as we swung around and tried to find the exit. The chainsaw got closer and felt like it was going to cut the hairs standing up on the back of my neck.

The trail went on and on, each location with its own unique theme, as the forest people kept us moving forward.

Who should try this: Anyone who thinks haunted houses are too short or not scary enough. You can also take kids (and anyone who doesn’t like to be terrified) during the day when there are no monsters or ghouls around for a $5 Day Haunt.

Ethan Hogan

Check out the original article Special Halloween Ethan’s Adventure

Hauntworld releases it’s 2017 Top 13 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

#6 Haunted Overload – Lee, New Hampshirewww.hauntedoverload.com:  Haunted Overload has that name for a reason. Over-the-top gigantic, original set designs propel this haunt into a class of its own. Described as The Ultimate Halloween Experience, Haunted Overload seeks to give its loyal fans an all-out assault on their senses. Immersing them in a traditional Halloween themed environment like no other.

Hundreds of hand carved Jack-O-Lanterns light the way through massive looming faces and creatures—and that’s just the queue! Patrons will encounter terror around every twist in the wooded trail. Intense sound, professional actors, mind-blowing costumes, creative lighting and dense fog all come together in the New England forest to make it an unforgettable experience.

Haunted Overload can be found every year on various best haunts lists both nationally and internationally and won the grand prize on The Great Halloween Fright Fight on ABC. At the end of the 2014 season, they hosted guests from the entire haunt industry on the Legendary Haunt Tour. It has been featured on the Weather Channel, NH Chronicle, Haunters The Movie, and even an upcoming coffee table book titled HAUNT. Every year the dedicated Haunted Overload crew works tirelessly to improve the experience and takes each added scene to unimagined new heights—literally as well as figuratively.

Scenes like the Victorian-themed Abaddon Hall and giant Sinister Circus stun patrons with their detail. Many surprises await fans for Haunted Overload’s 10th year of fear anniversary this season. Haunted Overload is partnered with the Cocheco Valley Humane Society and gives a percentage of its proceeds to help local animals. It’s located at DeMeritt Hill Farm, a traditional stop for apple picking, blueberries, pumpkins and home-made goodies from the farm store. The farm also offers seasonal holiday hayrides and classes.

You can find the entire 2017 list from hauntworld here.


Seacoast Scene – Fall for Fests

Pumpkinfest at DeMeritt Hill Farm

DeMeritt Hill Farm is proud to be included in the most recent issue of Seacoast Scene (10/5/17).  DeMeritt Hill Farm is dedicated to all things pumpkin on Sunday, Oct 8 and M0nday, Oct 19.  The fruit and vegetable farm specializes in the pick-your-own experience where guests can go into the fields and find the produce they want, right off the plant.

Pumpkinfest celebrates the theme of doing it yourself with pumpkin patches open throughout the day and pumpkin themed events for families.  Organizer Meg Wilson said in an email that picking your own pumpkins as a child is a memory she wants to give others.

“Pumpkinfest is specifically geared toward children and families.  We remember the joy of hunting and finding just the right pumpkin to decorate and that is why we offer an expanded pick your own pumpkin field,” Wilson wrote.

The two pumpkin patches equal five acres and are overflowing with orange during the fall season, according to Wilson.  The field has pumpkins ranging from 1 to 100 pounds.

Guests can search all day for the pumpkin that’s right for them, and once they’ve found it they have a few choices.  The can play a game where they guess the weight of their pumpkin and earn bragging rights if they guess correctly.  They can also decorate their pumpkin with paint and other crafts at the art table.

Guests who are particularly proud of their painted pumpkins can enter them into the pumpkin painting contest.  The winner will be featured on the farm’s website and have the option of having their pumpkin as part of Pumpkin Alley, an areas of the farm’s Haunted Overload.

“Pumpkin Alley features about 500 carved pumpkins of different shapes and sizes”, said Wilson.

Other pumpkins are used for ingredients in the farm’s commercial kitchen.  Wilson said they use the pumpkins for baked goods including pies, cookies and pumpkin bread.  This years, there is an expanded menu of gluten-free baked goods.

Wilson said that the festival is in its eighth year of operation and has grown every year it’s been held.  The farm is expanding its pumpkin fields to accommodate the increasing number of customers and they are working to add more pick your own pumpkin fields in the future.

There will also be Halloween Storybook hayrides, pony rides, a petting zoo and a bounce house throughout the harvest season.

“My favorite aspect of Pumpkinfest is seeing families return each year making a tradition out of visiting the farm.  It’s fun to watch children grow up each year and pick the perfect pumpkin.” said Wilson.

Check out the article here https://issuu.com/seacoastscene/docs/sea_171005_000book

Haunted Overload Earns 2017 Top Fan Voted “Must See” Haunt

#1 Haunted Overload – Lee, New Hampshirewww.hauntedoverload.com:  Haunted Overload has been named by www.thescarefactor.com as the 2017 “Must See” Haunted Attraction in New Hampshire.  Over the past summer, thescarefactor.com hosted their second annual nation-wide poll, where haunted house-goers could vote for their favorite “Must-See” haunted attractions in New Hampshire.

Haunted Overload is celebrating 10 years of fear for 2017! They offer 3 levels of terror to accommodate to all audiences. Haunted Overload is known for their amazing sets and giant monsters that they build, with some of them reaching upwards of 34 feet tall!

Seacoast Scene – Bountiful Blues

DeMeritt Hill Farm is proud to be included in the most recent issue of Seacoast Scene (7/27/17).  It’s Blueberry picking time and what better place to pick blueberries than at DeMeritt Hill Farm?  Our blueberry patches are located with great views of the pond!

There are so many reasons to enjoy ripe blueberries all summer.  Ryan talks about the health benefits that blueberries provide along with growing them and how you can get started growing in your own backyard.  If you don’t have a chance to make it to the farm in August to pick your own, you can also enjoy them in our homemade pies and breads.

Check out the article https://issuu.com/seacoastscene/docs/sea_170727_000book

Hauntworld releases it’s 2016 Top 13 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

hauntworld#10 Haunted Overload – Lee, New Hampshirewww.hauntedoverload.com:  Haunted Overload is a haunt like no other. Described  as The Ultimate Halloween Experience, it blends spectacular handmade sets and oversize creatures with lush sound, lighting and award-winning costumes for a terrifying experience that is utterly unique. Haunted Overload can be found every year on various best haunts lists both nationally and internationally, and in 2014 won the grand prize on America’s Great Halloween Fright Fight on ABC. in 2015 it was listed as Hauntworld’s #1 haunt. Set in an eerie forest in New England, it brings to life the true feel of vintage Halloween terror.

Every Halloween the dedicated Haunted Overload crew creates entirely new twists to its trails, and takes each added scene to unimagined heights. Last year the Victorian-themed Abaddon Hall stunned patrons with its detail. In 2016, its incredibly over-the-top Sinister Circus will give horrifying new meaning to the term “Big Top”. Haunted Overload is partnered with the Cocheco Valley Humane Society and gives a percentage of its proceeds to help local animals. It’s located at DeMeritt Hill Farm, a traditional stop for apple picking, blueberries, pumpkins and home-made goodies from the farm store. The farm also offers seasonal holiday hayrides and classes.

You can find the entire 2016 list from hauntworld here.

USA Today names 10 Best Haunted Attractions

usatodayHalloween means costumes, horror movies, haunted houses, and a celebration of all things scary. ‘Tis the season for terror, and 10 Best set out on a mission to find the best haunted attractions in the U.S.

These 10 haunted houses, selected by 10 Best Local Experts and the Haunted Attraction Association and voted to the top by our readers, offer the best actors, set designs, special effects and value for money out there.

“While Halloween will always have all the traditional haunted houses, hayrides and other favorites, we are seeing more and more attractions offer some level of interactivity for guests and an increase in personal experiences that get customers more involved in their events,” says John R. Eslich, President of the Haunted Attraction Association, on what’s trending in 2016. “Specifically, we are seeing new products such as laser tag within attractions and an explosion of problem solving and scavenger hunting activities.”

The top 10 winners in the category Best Haunted Attraction are as follows:

  1. Nashville Nightmare – Nashville
  2. Haunted Overload – Lee, N.H.
  3. Hobb’s Grove – Sanger, Calif.
  4. Dark Hour Haunted House – Plano, Texas
  5. Factory Of Terror – Canton, Ohio
  6. The Shallow Grave – Winer Haven, Fla.
  7. Fear Fair – Seymour, Ind.
  8. Netherworld – Norcross, Ga.
  9. RISE Haunted House – Hammond, La.
  10. House of Horrors -Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Additional nominated haunted attractions included The 13th Gate, Enigma Haunt, Field of Screams, Fright Kingdom, Ghostly Manor, Headless Horseman, Shocktoberfest, Terror Behind the Walls, Wisconsin Fear Grounds and Woods of Terror.

Congratulations to all our winning haunted attractions!

Edible New Hampshire releases its Apple and Pumpkin picking guide


Sept_Oct%2016DeMeritt Hill Farm is proud to sponsor the Apple and Pumpkin picking guide from Edible New Hampshire.

As Edible New Hampshire writes, “New Hampshire is home to farmers determined to work with our rolling hills and harsh winters, fishermen invested in sustainability, chefs crafting menus dedicated to New Hampshire cuisine, and a community invested in supporting our small businesses by turning inward, sustaining families with the fruits of our own backyards”.

The DeMeritt Hill Farm family couldn’t be prouder to support such a worthy cause in helping to write such worthwhile articles and bring awareness to our fine state.

To order your copy of Edible New Hampshire click here.

Yankee Magazine reveals guide to PYO Pumpkin Patches

yankeeThe September/October 2016 issue of Yankee Magazine has included DeMeritt Hill Farm in the Yankee’s Guide to Pick-Your-Own pumpkin patches.  DeMeritt Hill Farm is thrilled to be the only farm representing the great state of New Hampshire.

Yankee Magazine writes “Pick your own from not just one but two patches at this beautiful farm.  You can either walk or ride out there, but if you’re in a rush, stop by the store to select a pumpkin.  A wide variety of painted pumpkins and gourds are available too.  Hop aboard a hayride or hike the trail network for more family fun”.

Thank you Yankee Magazine for including us in your Fall guide!