Halloween hauntings and fun events abound in communities this weekend
Whether the goal is to be scared or just have fun, there are plenty of hauntings and benign Halloween activities planned this weekend and next.
Trick or trick, the event children eagerly anticipate, will be held throughout the county from 4 to 7 p.m. on Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31.
The newest addition to county hauntings is at Ozaukee Sports Center in Port Washington, where spooks are roaming the grounds to raise money for a second sheet of ice at the Ozaukee Ice Center in Cedarburg.
Ozaukee 4-H clubs are busy with two hauntings — the dairy barn at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds in Cedarburg, which opens Friday, Oct. 23, for two weekends of frights, and a haunted hike Saturday, Oct. 31, at Harrington Beach State Park in the Town of Belgium.
Less scary events are also planned at the park and fairgrounds.
Gothic History Tours in Cedarburg will take visitors to places reportedly inhabited by spirits with a focus on events that happened in the 1920s.
Paranormal researcher Chad Lewis will offer his insights into unexplained happenings during a talk Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Oscar Grady Library in Saukville.
Beware as you venture forth on some of these Halloween happenings.
• Haunted Hallows at the Ozaukee Sports Center, 955 Maritime Dr., Port Washington, will continue through Saturday, Oct. 31.
A two-hour pass with unlimited tours, mini-golf and laser tag is $15 for adults and $13 for children 12 and younger. A pass for two activities is $10.
Guided tours will take brave visitors through an indoor haunted hospital, then outdoors through a field, forest, graveyard and cornfield. In addition, spooks have turned the miniature golf course into a zombie course and night-time laser tag players should beware of ghostly participants.
Family-friendly tours will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 7 p.m. Sundays.
But when the sun goes down, watch out. Frightful things will occur until the bewitching hour of midnight.
The evening hours are not for the timid, co-owner Dan Wade said.
“I made a kid cry and two people left the tour,” Wade said.
“The scary part is walking along the woods and cornfield with people jumping out and making noises. I don’t know who is having more fun — the volunteers or the people on the tour.”
Youth hockey players, parents, coaches and Concordia University Wisconsin men’s and women’s hockey players are putting on the show. Concordia is helping the Ozaukee Youth Hockey Association, which now owns the Ozaukee Ice Center, build a rink its teams can use for practices and games.
There is definitely a hockey and sports-injury theme to the hauntings.
• 4-H Haunted Barn at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds in Cedarburg will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 23 and 30, Saturdays, Oct. 24 and Nov. 1, and Thursday, Oct. 29.
Admission is $10. The haunted barn is not recommended for children younger than 12. Tickets sales begin at 5:30 p.m.
This is the third year 4-H members, leaders and volunteers have haunted the dairy barn.
“Every year it’s different and every year it gets better,” organizer Nancy Salkowski said. “I think it will take a little longer to get through. There are more mazes inside.”
Visitors in groups of two to six people will go on the self-guided tour.
“We like to keep the groups small and intimate. It makes a better scare,” Salkowski said.
All 4-H clubs in the county and more than 120 families participate in the haunting. It takes about 70 people, including 30 to 40 actors, to put on the show each night.
Last year, 1,500 people went through the haunted barn, which made a profit for the first time.
• Jack-o’-Lantern Jamboree for children 12 and younger will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds in Cedarburg. Admission is $3.
The event will be held in the poultry building and includes a non-scary, mini-tour of the 4-H haunted barn.
A variety of games and crafts are planned. Children are encouraged to wear costumes.
Food and refreshments will be available.
• Gothic History Tours will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, and 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, through the Cedarburg historic district. Tours will start at the Cedarburg Cultural Center, W62 N546 Washington Ave.
Admission is $12 in advance or $15 the day of the tour.
Guides will take visitors on a 90-minute walk that includes haunting experiences in a cemetery, the Washington House Inn, Cedar Creek Settlement, Kuhefuss House Museum, Cedarburg Fire House and other buildings known for ghostly happenings.
• Paranormal researcher and author Chad Lewis will discuss his experiences tracking vampires in Transylvania, chupacabras in Puerto Rico, the Loch Ness monster in Scotland and spirits in haunted castles in Ireland at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Oscar Grady Library in Saukville.
He also has a “Haunted Places” book series, including “Haunted Places in Wisconsin.”
The program is suitable for older youths and adults.
The library is at 151 S. Main St. Seating will be limited.
• Haunted Hike, Candlelight Walk and Stargazing will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Harrington Beach State Park in the Town of Belgium.
A $5 donation for the Friends of Harrington Beach State Park is suggested for the haunted hike. Other events are free, but a state park sticker is required for vehicles to park.
Costume and pumpkin-carving contests will be part of the fun.
Holy Cross and Jay Road 4-H club members will haunt a wooded trail east of the Ansay Welcome Center. Guides will take visitors to a variety of scenes in the dark woods. Visitors will be asked to vote for the scariest, funniest and best-decorated scenes. The haunted hike will
end with carved pumpkins lining the trail.
Only night creatures normally found in the park will be prowling the trail around Quarry Lake, which will be lit by tiki torches.
People may start carving pumpkins at 6 p.m., with judging at 8 p.m. Pumpkins and carving tools will be provided by Friends of Harrington Beach State Park.
Costumes will be judged at 7 p.m. at the Welcome Center.
Winners for both contests will be chosen in four age categories — birth to 4, 5 to 10, 11 to 15 and 16 and older.
Northern Cross Science Foundation will observe the night sky through telescopes beginning at dusk at the Plunkett Observatory near the Puckett’s Pond picnic area.
There will be a bonfire and concessions at the Ansay Welcome Center.
No pets are allowed at the event.
For more information or in case of inclement weather, contact Harrington Beach State Park at 285-3015.
Entrance to the park is off Highway D east of Lake Church in the Town Belgium.
• Farmer’s Market Trick or Treat in Port Washington from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.
Children in costumes are invited to trick or treat at the last farmer’s market of the season and at downtown businesses that display pumpkins in their windows.
Free pumpkins will be available at the market for carving. They will be judged and prizes awarded.
Banfry Bay will provide live music.
Harvest at the Market Bake-Off contest will be judged at 11 a.m. in the lobby of Port Washington State Bank. Foods that contain apples, cranberries and/or pumpkin will be judged in four categories — breads and muffins, coffeecake, cookies and desserts. Baked items should be brought to the bank between 10 and 11 a.m.
Ghoul Nichole Marth prowls the Ozaukee Sports Center’s Haunted Hallows in Port Washington. Photo by Sam Arendt