Cool Patch Pumpkins corn maze, in Dixon, California, is officially the biggest corn maze in the world. The gigantic 63-acre Halloween attraction is the creation of brothers Matt and Mark Cooley, who personally hand-cut five miles of winding paths, twists, turns and loops. This year, the maze finally broke the Guinness Record for the world’s largest maze.
The maze might appear easy to navigate when you first set foot in it, but visitors soon realize it is far more complicated than they originally thought. Believe it or not, a few visitors have actually resorted to calling 911 for help! “When it’s dark, all you see is corn,” Matt said. “A lot of people have been telling us that it has taken them a couple of hours to get through the corn.”
“There’s a concern; there’s a bit of fear involved,” said Deputy Daryl Snedeker from the Solano County Sheriff’s department. “I think they are overwhelmed. You can get a little worked up when you can’t get out of a place and everything looks the same. We don’t laugh, it’s not a comedy to us, and our dispatchers have a very serious job, and they take every call to 911 seriously.”
Photo: Atlas Obscura
According to Snedeker, the reason the corn maze bogs people down is the sheer amount of time it takes to get through. Most people who enter the maze don’t realize that it’s going to take several hours to get out of it. The longer they’re in there, the more they start to panic. And Snedeker adds that the maze has managed to confuse dispatchers as well.
But Matt says that getting lost is the whole point of the maze : “They are afraid and they are tired. They are tired of being lost, which is the whole idea.” He reminds visitors that it isn’t a real emergency, and that everybody gets out eventually, so they should just enjoy the experience of being lost. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
The freeway-side maze has been around since 2007, when it was originally certified as the world’s largest maze at 43.5 acres. Since then, the Cooleys have been adding a few acres every year, and they officially bagged the title of ‘record breaker’ this year.
The maze was open all through October as a Halloween attraction, with an admission fee of $12. The Cooley brothers will have it open again next year, but they aren’t interested in increasing the size, now that they’ve made the world record. “We would have to be pretty crazy to even try,” said Matt. “Wait a minute – we’ve always been crazy.”
In reality, the maze cannot get any bigger than it is, because of the orchards and pumpkin patches that surround it. The pumpkin patches are actually just as popular as the maze, with over 50 bizarre varieties to choose from: including Cinderella, Caveman Club, Birdhouse, and Turk’s Turban.