MAPLEWOOD, Minn. -- The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office is resurrecting a horror from the area's past as the theme at its annual Haunted House.

The so-called Fright Farm in Maplewood has a different theme every year. It opened for the season this weekend with a focus on an institution that used to stand on the same grounds: the former Ramsey County Poor Farm. People who fell into debt were sent to live there and work in the fields.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Randy Gustufson says plenty of things that happened at the Poor Farm could inspire a haunted house.

"In the 1930s," he said, "there was a doctor who was arrested at the Poor Farm who was conducting medical experiments on the residents there and was sentenced as being insane."

Gustufson said a delivery boy looking for someone to sign his receipt found a barrel of body parts on the Poor Farm, prompting an official inquiry.

The discovery of the barrel "set off this great big investigation into the types of things that were going at poor farm back in the '30s," Gustafson said.

The Fright Farm is open weekends throughout October.

by Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio