Halloween

Boo! Halloween 2016

Carbondale is legendary for Halloween celebrations, though the present-day revelry doesn’t come even
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

Carbondale is legendary for Halloween celebrations, though the present-day revelry doesn’t come even close to approximating the wild pagan excesses of yore, which per capita rivaled Mardi Gras in size and excitement.

In 1989, however, worried about the morality of it all and unwilling to take simple steps necessary to tame some of the festival’s more reckless behavior, SIU and the city tried to shut it down.

It didn’t exactly work. Since the Halloween clampdowns began in 1989, the city’s nightclubs and surrounding entertainment venues have held unofficial celebrations and parties the weekencods before Halloween, and sometimes the weekends afterward. This year, several bars and other venues will get a jump on things and start holding Unofficial Halloween costume parties and contests as early as October 14. Tons of Halloween activities will continue the following two weeks, though many places will take next weekend off for SIU homecoming festivities.

As for the holiday proper, three years ago, for the first time in years, the Carbondale City Council voted to allow nightclubs on the Strip to open for Halloween weekend. As frequently predicted in these pages, all went well, and the successful experiment continued in 2014. The council last year voted to make the changes permanent.

If everyone continues to have a good but safe time, Carbondale could well start to reestablish a wonderful tradition. Good behavior is absolutely essential to turn this ongoing experiment into an annual institution. Please be responsible, encourage friends and peers to do the same, and validate the political risks our elected officials took and the faith they placed.

Meanwhile, though Carbondale is ground zero for many Halloween activities, the spirit seizes the entire region, as this article proves.

So there’s always a lot going on in Southern Illinois in celebration of Halloween, some of it for children, some for adults, some fun, some spiritual, and plenty of it scary. If you dare, read on here— and online for more, and the coming weeks for continuing coverage— for a taste of the tricks and treats of the season.

Religion

The original trappings of the Halloween holiday that remain are largely stripped of their religious meanings.

Most pagans refer to Halloween as Samhain— pronounced Sow-en. It is the third harvest celebration on the pagan calendar, as well as the last day of the pagan year— a time when the veil between the living and dead is at its most thin. All Hallows Eve is a time to settle old debts, remember those who passed on, give thanks for good fortune, and have fun. It’s similar to the Day of the Dead, November 1, in Hispanic cultures.

Locally, the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance will hold a traditional Samhain ritual Saturday, October 29 at 4 p.m. at Crab Orchard Campground off of Route 13. The ritual is open to the public. Participants should bring a dish for a potluck dinner, offerings for deceased loved ones (photos, urns, favorite items to help honor, represent, and remember ancestors), a carved pumpkin and candle, and tiki torches. For more information, visit <http://www.SIPagan.com>.

Costumes

Those who want to design something with more originality but remain on a budget should consider hitting Carbondale’s myriad used, vintage, and thrift stores: Tropicana Vintage Clothing, Jane’s Consignment, the Church Women United Thrift Shop, and Goodwill Industries.

SIU students who want to make their own Halloween costumes can set up appointments with a Student Center Craft Shop expert at (618) 453-3636 to learn sewing basics. Individual rates are $12 for thirty minutes, but the price per person drops substantially for group lessons. There are also Introduction to Sewing classes scheduled for October. Those who already sew can rent a machine for a nominal fee. For more information, visit <http://StudentCenter.siu.edu> and click on the link to the Craft Shop.

The Craft Shop can help anyone prepare for Halloween parties in other ways, too. Monday, October 31 from noon to 5:30 p.m., the Craft Shop will apply Henna tattoos and face paint and help with the making of masks and wax hands on a walk-in basis. Costs vary from $2 to $4.

In addition, most local hair salons will do the doo in appropriately frightening fashion.

For those looking for a more functional outfit— you know, for the real zombie apocalypse that we all know is coming— there’s Top Outfitters in Johnston City. The military-surplus store has a ton of great gear that would make for fine Halloween outfits, not to mention general outdoor equipment.

Trick-or-Treating

Mayor Mike Henry has proclaimed the official trick-or-treat hours for Carbondale children: Monday, October 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Residents wishing to welcome trick-or-treaters should light their porch and exterior lights.

Those who want to attract the little candy-starved demons, devils, and monsters for sugar fixes should turn on their porch and exterior lights. Kids, meanwhile, should not dress as the Invisible Pedestrian and should wear reflective clothing or tape so motorists can see them. Parents should inspect all treats for tampering. Those who encounter safety problems while trick-or-treating can look for the volunteer Pumpkin Patrol for help.

Speaking of which, the Carbondale Police Department always needs help keeping trick-or-treating safe in the city. Those who want to volunteer for the long-running Pumpkin Patrol safety program should contact Officer Randy Mathis at <mailto:rmathis@ci.carbondale.il.us> or (618) 457-3200 ext. 402 and fill out the application and waiver.

Trick-or-treaters are welcome at the Carbondale Public Library on Halloween during trick-or-treat hours.

In addition, the library will hold a Pop-in Pumpkin Party Saturday, October 22 at 1 p.m. Kids can decorate pumpkins and enjoy cider and treats. If they dare, they may follow the library’s pumpkin path and listen to SIU’s Sigma Tau Delta members read Halloween tales. Costumed attire is encouraged.

For more information, call (618) 457-0354 or visit <http://CarbondalePublicLibrary.org>.

The annual trunk-or-treat event moves inside Monday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church. Grace will offer treats and games for people of all ages. Those who want to donate candy or other items or volunteer at the event should call the church office at (618) 457-8785 to sign up. For more information, visit <http://CarbondaleGrace.org>.

The SIU Inter-Greek Council’s annual Safe Halloween will take place Monday, October 31 at 6 p.m. in the SIU Student Center. This event provides a safe environment for children and their parents to trick-or-treat and play games (like Bozo buckets) at tables staffed by some of SIU’s Registered Student Organizations.

For more information, visit <http://fsl.siuc.edu>.

Take a walk along the Carterville Pumpkin Path Monday, October 31 at 4:30 p.m., starting at the First Baptist Church parking lot. Participants must bring a canned good to donate to the Carterville Food Pantry. A costume contest with awards in four age categories starts at 5 p.m., and a parade at 5:30 p.m. The Pumpkin Path, where participating businesses will offer trick-or-treat candy, runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and along the way the Carterville High School band, cheerleaders and pom-poms, and Memory Lane will provide entertainment. Citywide trick-or-treating in Carterville runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, contact the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942 or visit <http://www.CartervilleChamber.com>.

In Murphysboro, trick-or-treating takes place Monday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Saint Andrew School in Murphysboro will celebrate Halloween Monday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the annual trunk-or-treat— sort of a Halloween trick-or-treat tailgate party. All children are welcome to visit the participating trunks for candy and fun at the school’s lower parking lot. The school will also give out hotdogs, chips, water, and hot chocolate. For more information, contact Amanda Duffy at <mailto:amammill@hotmail.com> or call Saint Andrew at (618) 687-2013.

Trick-or-treating will take place Monday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Cobden. The Cobden High School Beta Club will give out treats at the Cobden Volunteer Fire Department. Make donations of candy or money for candy at Village Hall or Fire Department.

Run Like Hell

Camp Ondessonk, a Catholic youth camp in Ozark, Illinois, will hold the annual half-marathon Moccasin Gap Trail Run, the Shawnee Hills fifty-kilometer run, and Heepwah Five-kilometer Run Saturday, October 15 at 8 a.m. The event raises money for camp scholarships.

The course is rugged but beautiful, especially for the half-marathon, which takes competitors past Cedar Falls, the highest free-falling waterfall in the state and one of eleven known Native American stone fort sites in Southern Illinois.

Because of the race’s proximity to Halloween, runners often dress in costume. And afterward, the free Fall Festival gives everyone, including non-runners, a chance to explore Camp O. in more leisurely fashion and enjoy hayrides, pony rides, face-painting, a bonfire— and if they still have energy left after running Moccasin Gap, a climbing wall. To put on the pounds lost during the race, Camp O. will sell concessions.

Those who want to arrive early or stay late can rent one of Camp O.’s cabins.

Find out more at <http://www.OndessonkTrailRaces.com> from the News and Events link at <http://ondessonk.com>.

Haunting Music, Movies, Theater, Parties, Festivals, and Games

SIU English professor Tony Williams is Night of the Living Dead director George Romero’s biographer, making all this region’s zombie-related activities either eerily appropriate or an incredibly creepy coincidence. Either way, a zombie horde will begin to assemble Saturday, October 15 at noon at the Gaia House Interfaith Center, where makeup artists will help living participants transform into living-dead brain-eaters. The Zombie Walk itself begins at 4 p.m. This year’s theme is Red Carpet Zombies, so start thinking about celebrities to portray.

Registration is $10, for which participants will get a free zombie makeover, zombie swag, a chance to win prizes, and all the human flesh they can consume along the route.

A zombie pub crawl or some sort of afterparty may follow the walk.

A portion of the entry fee will benefit WDBX.

While the Zombie Walk is open to all ages, some of the zombies may overly frighten young children, and the afterparties could have bar entry-age restrictions.

To register for the Zombie Walk, visit <http://CarbondaleZombieWalk.weebly.com> or stop in at the Carbondale Zombie Walk Facebook page.

For those who want to give children ages five to twelve a chance to decorate pumpkins without the danger of knives or the mess of pumpkin guts, Nest Arts will hold a no-carve pumpkin-decorating event Saturday, October 15 at 2 p.m. Admission is $20 and includes paint, glue, paper, stickers, and other craft materials. Kids can design their own Halloween masks Saturday, October 22 at 11 a.m. and make their own Halloween candy bags Saturday, October 29 at 11 a.m. To register, call the store at (618) 529-3297 during regular business hours or search for the event at <http://www.EventBrite.com>.

Nest will also collaborate with Bella Sofia Threads on the Little Punkin Day event Saturday, October 22. SIU alum and Carbondale native Tim Soluna will sell his blown-glass pumpkins from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nest Arts. Soluna’s work comes in all colors— some of the pumpkins are more traditional in form and design, while others have beautiful, kaleidoscopic red, purple, or white swirls rolling through them. In addition to the sale, patrons may enter a drawing for one of Soluna’s pumpkins. Nest Arts, however, sells one-of-a-kind items, so customers should buy up anything they like, because when items sell they cannot be restocked.

Bella Sofia, meanwhile will offer a storewide sale and hold a drawing for a pair of Plae All Weather Boots for Kids.

Both stores will provide fall treats and refreshments all day.

Not exactly horror but certainly exploring the supposedly supernatural, Eva Baker Watson’s play Golconda’s Mad Stone will look at the legendary local rock that saved people from the hyrda-phoby and snake venom. The Shawnee Hills Arts Council will stage the show Friday through Sunday, October 14 through October 16 at the Anna Arts Center and Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23 at the Golden Circle in Golconda. Tickets are $15.

For tickets and more information, contact Lee Hackney at (904) 625-1109 or email <mailto:vabchlee@gmail.com>.

Every year art students in the SIU glass program, Southern Glass Works, make gourds for the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale, which this year takes place Saturday, October 22 at 9 a.m. in the Carbondale Town Square.

The incredibly beautiful pumpkins range in price from $10 to $100 or more. Students spend months growing them. With a little care, they can easily outlast the farmed variety.

The sale is the glass program’s major fundraiser. Proceeds benefit SIU’s glass program. The sale runs until noon or the pumpkins sell out.

The So Ill Roller Girls will hold the special coed Brawl-o-ween Scrimmageathon Saturday, October 22 at the Pavilion of the City of Marion. Sixty lucky skaters will get the chance to line up against the Roller Girls, each getting to participate in three of the six forty-five-minute scrimmages that will take place throughout the day. Afterward, the top skaters will face off against the So Ill A-team, the Power. Then the Roller Girls’ brother team, the Brigade of Handsome Gentlemen, will duke it out against Detroit Men’s Roller Derby.

Registration is $35 for participants and all registered skaters will receive a black unisex event T-shirt and admission to the bout that evening. Adult spectators get into all of the days’ events for $20 while kids twelve and younger get in free.

Find out more at <http://www.SoIllRollerGirls.com>.

The Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest and Photo Spooktacular takes place Saturday, October 22 and Saturday, October 29 at 2 p.m. at the Carbondale PetCo. The event offers prizes for costumed pets in various categories, and people may dress up with their pets for framed digital photos.

For more information, call (618) 529-5249.

The Trail of Treats in downtown Herrin has morphed into Pumpkins in the Park. The Halloween costume party, contest, and festival takes place Friday, October 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Herrin City Park with games and other activities for youth. A movie will screen at 7 p.m.

Another place for trick-or-treat fun is the Safe Halloween festival Saturday, October 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Murdale Shopping Center, where participating merchants will offer high-quality candy to costumed children ages twelve and younger when accompanied by adults. Kids can also take free hayrides, play on inflatables, and enjoy carnival games. Parents should bring cameras for special photo opportunities.

The Carbondale Police Department and Crimestoppers will bring McGruff the Crime Dog to the event to discuss safety. Children will also have the chance to meet with police officers and get to know the people who protect them.

The Carbondale Fire Department will bring out firetrucks and the fire safehouse to provide fire-safety education.

Carbondale Crime Stoppers and the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale will sell concessions.

For the adults, Murdale True Value will hold a no-tax Saturday on hardware and most major appliances.

Those who want to enter the Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race later that day at the Mill Street Underpass can purchase some supplies from Murdale True Value, and pick up plenty of pumpkins at the Neighborhood Coop or the Farmers’ Market next door at Westown Mall.

During Carbondale Main Street’s Downtown Candy Walk, starting Saturday, October 29 at noon, little costumed ghosties get to trawl the Strip for treats at participating businesses.

Then the Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast, working with Main Street, the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, City of Carbondale, and other sponsors, will hold the annual Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race Saturday, October 29 at 1 p.m. at the Mill Street underpass. Competitors will run axels through decorated pumpkins, attach at least four wheels, and race them, pinewood-derby-style, down the hill. No caster wheels or prefabricated chassis are allowed— the pumpkins have to support the axels, not the other way around. The event is open to all ages and competitors will vie for the $500 grand prize. Don’t cheat— DeAnna Price, SIU’s star hammer-thrower who earlier this semester represented the United States in the Olympic Games in Brazil, will serve as the race’s honorary pumpkin smasher and wield the Mallet-o-Justice.

Carbondale Community Arts will hold a free costume contest at the race.

The Science Center of Southern Illinois will help racers design and construct their pumpkins Sunday, October 23 at noon.

Race proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale.

For more information, visit <http://www.CarbondalePumpkinRace.com>.

The Science Center of Southern Illinois’s Spooky Science Halloween shows take place Saturday, October 29 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., complete with experiments straight out of Frankenstein’s lab, using fire, dry ice, and liquid nitrogen. The programs are free for guests who wear costumes and their parents or guardians.

For details, see <http://YourScienceCenter.org> or call (618) 529-5431.

Local business GeekBetty Vintage is organizing the Halloween Soiree Sunday, October 23 at 2 p.m. at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro. Admission is $14 in advance and $18 at the door, which includes a costume party and contest with prizes and spooky treats, plus a screening of the children’s Halloween comedy Hocus Pocus. A portion of the proceeds and a special collection will benefit the Good Samaritan House homeless shelter.

The annual Halloween concert featuring the Rend Lake College Concert Band and Concert Choir takes place Thursday, October 27 in the Rend Lake College Student Center. Musical selections have generally come from Corpse Bride, Phantom of the Opera, and the Harry Potter films, plus tunes like “Thriller.” A costume party and contest will follow the concert. For more information, visit <http://www.rlc.edu>.

The transsexual Transylvanian parties, gorgeous gals, thrills and chills, and lotsa larfs and sex come to unlife with Skyline Creek Productions’ annual production of Richard O’Brien’s classic musical The Rocky Horror Show. This live-action version takes place Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. Shows run at 7 p.m. and, as Gawd intended, midnight.

For tickets, call the Marion Cultural and Civic Center box office at (618) 997-4030 or visit <http://www.MarionCCC.org>. Search for the event at <http://www.RockyShows.net> for more information.

In addition, look for the fully costumed cast to head out to perform revues at area nightclubs. Right now they’re scheduled to take place Friday, October 14 at the Pin Oak in Carterville and Tuesday, October 22 at the Hangar 9.

It’s just a jump to the left...

Lips! Lips! Lips!

The SIU Student Programming Council’s annual Halloween screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays Friday, October 28 in the Student Center Ballrooms— at midnight and on the big screen as Gawd intended. Students pay $2 with valid identification, and the public gets in for $3. SPC usually sells prop bags for the virgins who forget to bring their own. Hot patootie!

The Buckminster Fuller Geodesic Dome Home on the corner of South Forest Avenue and West Cherry Street will host a unique jack-o-lantern display Monday, October 31 at 5:30 p.m. The exhibit will feature more than seventy lighted pumpkins carved by SIU architecture students with the images of famous buildings. Costumes and trick-or-treaters are welcome.

The SIU Student Center will celebrate Halloween Monday, October 31 with a series of events.

A costume contest for SIU faculty, staff, and students takes place with a chance to win prizes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those who come to the Student Center in costumes can enjoy spooktacular food specials.

Student Center Bowling and Billiards will grant discounts to those in costumes.

Meanwhile, the person who wins the Great Pumpkin Contest by correctly guessing the weight of the giant squash in the Bowling and Billiards display case will win a prize.

For details, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org> and click on the relevant links.

The annual Haunted Hollow festival promises spooky good times Sunday, November 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

Those who come can thrill to the natural beauty— and creepiness— of the area by taking interpretive nature hikes and games, and in the aftermath of Halloween weekend, participants may enjoy costume contests, nature hikes, games, and an environmental-education component about the creepy crawlers that inhabit the wilderness, including snakes, lizards, spiders, and insects. And who knows what dwells beneath the waters of Little Grassy Lake— perhaps the Loch Ness Monster or the Creature from the Black Lagoon?

Because activities will take place at different times throughout the afternoon, those who come should plan to attend the entire event to get their fill.

For more information or to make reservations, call (618) 453-1121 or visit <http://www.ton.siu.edu>.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

You and your friends are trapped in a room with a zombie. And he’s hungry. He’s chained to a wall, but the restraints are slowly failing. You can get out before he breaks free, but first you need to find the key. Discovering where and how it’s hidden will require teamwork, focus, and the ability to move just a little faster than the zombie. A dungeon master of sorts provides vague hints and encouragement but generally allows you to make your own mistakes and earn credit for your successes.

That’s the basic scenario in which groups can find themselves at Carbondale Escape Rooms, a terrifying, thrilling team-building exercise.

Those who wish to participate in Carbondale Escape Rooms adventures need to make advance reservations at <http://www.CarbondaleEscapes.com>. For those who have already gone through one scenario, the owners can present a completely different set of challenges within the same concept.

According to legend, serial killer Otis Hodge lived off of Reed Station Road in DeSoto. A deranged practitioner of the dark arts, Hodge attracted murderers, necromancers, circus clowns and freaks, and even a Nazi surgeon to his abode. Hodge was known to wear the amputated body parts of his victims and his power grew to where he could animate homicidal scarecrows

He was able to bribe local officials into looking the other way, but eventually the Feds followed a suspected killer to the property, where a massive shootout took Hodge’s life— and unveiled the hideous activities that had taken place there.

Abandoned for about fifty years, a group of paranormal investigators recently disappeared while exploring Hodge’s home, which has become known as Sinister House. Now the public can tour the home. It’s open Fridays and Saturdays

from 7 p.m. to midnight through October. And those who crave deeper scares can attend the blackout nights Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5.

Get details, directions, and more information at <http://www.SinisterHouseHaunt.com>.

Chittyville, located on the north end of Herrin, has scared the Chitt out of patrons since 2005.

According to legend, the school, north of downtown Herrin, is built on an old graveyard. Ghosts began to appear to the students and faculty, and a custodian once disappeared into the basement... never to return.

The grounds host three haunts— Chittyville School, the Lair, and, for younger children, Spookytown.

Chittyville is open Fridays and Saturdays in October, plus Sunday and Monday, October 30 and 31. The Lair, an outdoor haunt, only runs when weather permits.

Those frightened by clowns might wish to face their fears during Clown Invasion Friday and Saturday, October 14 and 15.

Usually, there’s enough light to see the intricately costumed actors and carefully constructed sets, but this doesn’t apply to the total-blackout nights, which run October 28 through October 31, when especially brave patrons receive only glowsticks to light their way.

Chittyville also runs an escape-room program by appointment.

For directions, a detailed account of the haunting, and ticket information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com> or call (618) 942-6111.

October ushers in a month of terror at the Anna Arts Center, concluding with the annual Haunted House of Horrors, which runs every Friday and Saturday this month starting October 14, with an extra night on Halloween. There demons and ghouls will chase participants through a maze.

Admission is $5, or $20 per group of five, and proceeds will benefit Anna Jonesboro Community High School’s theater boosters and the Anna Arts Center.

Find out more at <http://AnnaArtCenter.com>, or contact Norma Lee Hackney at <mailto:vabchlee@gmail.com> or (904) 625-1109.

Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tours will send treetop hikers sailing on haunted nighttime ziplines through the dark forest Saturdays at 7 p.m. during October. Costumes can interfere with safety equipment, so leave them at home. The company will furnish lights, harnesses, and everything else needed for safe but exhilarating zips. Participants must weigh between seventy and 270 pounds. Admission is $95 per person. Make reservations and get more information at <http://www.ShawneeZip.com> or (855) 386-9477.

Scott Thorne, owner of Castle Perilous Games and Books, has collected local legends and ghost stories for years, many of which he details on his Carbondale Gazette blog. He will conduct walking tours to haunted locations in and near downtown Carbondale Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. in October, with a special tour on Halloween night. Past tours have offered information about the Carbondale Anomaly Corridor, the Illinois Central Railroad Death Vortex, and hauntings at Hundley House, the B.P.L. Plasma building, Oakland and Woodlawn Cemeteries, Shryock Auditorium, and the recently demolished Sunset Haven.

Tours run about ninety minutes and are wheelchair accessible, except for the old Train Depot. Participants should dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for those ages six to twelve if accompanied by paying adults, and free to those five and younger if accompanied by paying adult. Half the proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Southern Illinois.

For details and tour reservations, call the Castle at (618) 529-5317 or visit <http://www.CastlePerilous.com>.

Castle Perilous itself is often a center of Halloween activity, and this year is no different. Join the Pokemon Go craze every Thursday at 5 p.m. in October, starting at Castle Perilous.

The Halloween Comic Fest takes place all day Saturday, October 29— everyone who comes in gets a free comic, while those who come in costume get a second comic. Those who bring in five canned goods for donation to the Good Samaritan House will get an additional comic, and there’s an additional comic for each stamp earned on the store’s Castle Card. Matt Miller from Capybara Ink will do sketches during the afternoon, and the Southern Illinois Roller Girls and local cosplayer Elisabeth Dennis will stop by as well. The store will hold its annual Halloween drawing at 7 p.m.

Local company Bellwether Games will stop by Sunday, October 30 to hold a game-design workshop, and the Malifaux Miniatures Halloween Tournament will take place that day as well.

The Big Muddy Monster Hayrides, named after the seven-foot, 350-pound creature that terrified Murphysboro in 1973 before suddenly disappearing, run Thursday through Saturday, October 20 to October 22 at dusk in Riverside Park. Organizers keep adding new features to the haunt, which consists of a hayride through the creepy woods down by the Big Muddy River as well as walk through a claustrophobia-inducing darkened maze under the historic, haunted Works Progress Administration bandshell. This year, they’re adding $1,800 in animatronics and special effects, including projections. Perhaps the Big Muddy Monster will appear as well? And on Thursday and Friday nights, the Rhythm Effects dance crew will come out as zombies to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Advance tickets will sell through October 19 at Kroger in Murphysboro, after which tickets are available at the gate (with $1 off for a donated canned good). Proceeds will buy gas cards to help cancer patients get to their treatments.

For more information or to volunteer, call Mary Kay Campbell at (618) 559-6989, or search for the Big Muddy Monster Haunted Hayrides on Facebook.

The Carterville Lions Club Haunted Hayride, a thirty-year tradition, operates Thursday through Saturday, October 20 through October 22, starting at James Street Park.

Unlike many hayrides, which are pulled by trucks, antique farm tractors pull the Lions Club’s haywagons. The frights themselves are provided by high school and college art and theater organizations in addition to Lions Club members.

After seeing the spooky scenes set up in Canon Park, the Hayride returns to James Street Park where the Boy and Girl Scouts sell food and beverages on alternating years.

For more information, visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com> or call the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942.

Every year, Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Colp Road, cuts mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes— an Egyptian pharaoh, John A. Logan, the Southern Illinois Miners’ baseball-team logo, or the Girl Scouts.

This year’s maze commemorates... Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch itself, with a maze celebrating its thirty-year anniversary.

The maze’s path winds through about three miles of corn, and takes at least an hour to walk.

In addition, Bandy’s offers a play barn for younger children. Group tours of the pumpkin patch and hayrides through the farm are available by appointment. For rates, hours of operation, and more, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

Adult Fun

Unofficial Halloween takes place two nights in the Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden (with a rain location inside the Copper Dragon Brewing Company). The Boy Band Review will pay tribute to 1990s heartthrobs N’sync, New Kids on the Block, and the Backstreet Boys Friday, October 14. It’s cowboy hats and boots when the party picks back up Saturday, October 15, when local country greats Murphy500 fire it up and a costume contest with cash prizes takes place.

For official Halloween, get out the hairspray and spandex when Hairbangers’ Ball pays tribute to the MTV pop-metal era Friday, October 28 at the Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden (with a rain location inside the Copper Dragon Brewing Company). The official Red Bull Halloween party comes Saturday, October 29 with a DJ dance party and prizes for the best-costumed male and female.

The Hangar 9 has two Unofficial Halloween parties approaching. Americana band Old Shoe will play Friday, October 14. Immensely popular jam band Aaron Kamm and the One Drops bring it Saturday, October 15.

Friday, October 28, the Hangar 9 will feature the local debut of Saint Louis hip-hop emcee Nite Owl. The prolific Owl has released a ton of albums— at least ten— but for the Halloween show, he’ll play a tribute to 1980s and 1990s hip-hop (LL Cool J, Method Man, Digital Underground) and perform an entire set of music by Jay-Z with his seven-piece band, T.E.A.M. NiTRO, complete with a DJ, violin player, and two-piece horn section. He’s never been to Carbondale for Halloween, so he’s super-excited to see what it’s all about and ready to party. “Gonna be hella dope!” he tells Nightlife. Find out more at <http://NiteOwlHipHop.com>.

The official costume contest takes place Saturday, October 29 at the Hangar 9 with cash prizes for scariest, sexiest, most original, and best group costumes. Clusterpluck and local band Porch Fire will play Americana.

 

The Harvest Moon Ball will raise money for the Williamson-Franklin County Child Advocacy Center and Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center Friday, October 21 at Walker’s Bluff. These organizations help make sure that police, lawyers, and judges, among others, treat children survivors of abuse with sensitivity and find them safe, permanent homes. The ball kicks off at 6 p.m. Costumes are encouraged. Admission is $50 and includes a heavy appetizer and dessert buffet and live music. A silent auction will help raise additional funds. Reservations are required. For tickets, call the Franklin-Williamson Child Advocacy Center at (618) 942-3800 or the Perry-Jackson County Advocacy Center at (618) 357-2990.

Halloween 2016 at CornerStone Cabins, a weekend-long camping and music festival, takes place Thursday through Monday, October 27 through October 31 at CornerStone Cabins near Pomona. The four-day event will feature live music by the Jenny Johnson Band, Hans Predator (peforming a tribute to the terrific Halloween-themed psychobilly band the Cramps), Devin Miller and the Dead or Alives, Buzzzard, Pigeon, Tim Crosby and the Lightning Strikes, and Mystic Shrines. Costume and campsite-decoration contests will take place. The event is open to all ages. One-day passes are $10 and four-day passes are $30. For more information, visit <http://CornerstoneCabins.com> or look for the event on Facebook.

Bluesmen are famous for selling their souls to the devil for great musical prowess— Robert Johnson being the best-known but hardly only example— so how apropos that deep blues is on tap Friday, October 28 at PK’s? The Mudsills play that night— and if the spirit moves you, they want you to jump straight up and down.

Hugh DeNeal’s songs are often populated by Satan, demons, and other macabre characters. The Woodbox Gang frontman will perform with his fairly new Americana band, the People versus Hugh DeNeal, Saturday, October 29 at PK’s.

The annual Monster Bash Costume Party roars to unlife Friday, October 28 at 6 p.m. at Walker’s Bluff. Those in costume may compete for cash prizes while enjoying great music. Batcave tours usually will take place. Admission is free.

The Cellar’s costume party and contest on Saturday, October 29 will bring $100 cash to the best-dressed patron and a $50 gift certificate for second place.

The Newell House will hold a Halloween bash and costume contest Saturday, October 29 in the Grotto Lounge. The prize for best costume is a $100 Newell House/Grotto Lounge gift card, while the runnerup will receive a $50 Gift Card. Classic rockers the Venturis will perform music from the 1960s. Will they break out “Monster Mash” that evening? It was a graveyard smash...

A night of terror takes place Thursday, October 27 at Tres Hombres, when the costume contest will reward the best-dressed participants in categories including scariest, sexiest, most creative, and best group costume. The Ethan Stephenson Band will rock the place.

Then Montego and DJ Nasty Nate’s duo, the Thrill Sneakers, will spin future house bass music at Tres’s Halloween dance party Saturday, October 29.

For those possessed by Carbondale’s Halloween spirit but who can’t stay up till the witching hour to indulge it, Ivas John will headline an evening of blues and Americana Saturday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Varsity Center. Gary and Roberta Gordon, who were big influences on Ivas’s outstanding 2015 album, Good Days a-Comin’, will join him, along with the Dust Covers, Marie Meunier, Robert Bowlin and Wil Maring, and the Free Range Chicks. Ivas is famous for his annual Christmas shows at the Varsity (which last year outgrew the venue for Shryock Auditorium) and he’s hoping to establish a new tradition at the intimate landmark downtown theater.

Tickets are $15 and on sale in advance at the Carbondale Park District’s LIFE Community Center at (618) 549-4222.

The coalition between DiamondBack and the Jungle Dogs, Diamond Dog, will play Saturday, October 29 at 9:30 p.m. at the Blue Boar Restaurant and Bar’s annual Hallow-ween Party. The first, second, and third place winners in the costume contest will earn cash prizes of $150, $75, and $50; look for Halloween-themed giveaways throughout the event.

Two days of Halloween fun come Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30 to Von Jakob Orchard. A costume party and contest with prizes for best single and couples costume takes place both days, while the winery’s restaurant will serve Halloween-themed cuisine. Angel Rhodes comes from Evansville, Indiana to perform Saturday, while local classic rocker Dave Caputo knocks out the hits on Sunday.

Blue Sky Vineyard and Winery will hold a Halloween Bash Sunday, October 30 at noon. Artists will display and sell their work, a tarot reader will channel advice from the spirits, and classic rock band the Natives will provide live entertainment. Forget riding on brooms— helicopter rides will take people soaring over the grounds. A costume contest takes place as well; for adults, first prize is a one-night stay in the Tuscan Suite, while second prize is a $50 Blue Sky gift certificate and third and fourth prize winners receive $15 Blue Sky Vineyard gift cards. All costumed children will win prizes. In addition, the winery will vint a special Witches’ Brew for the event.

Boo! Halloween 2015

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Anna Arts Center
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Carterville Chamber of Commerce
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Carbondale is legendary for Halloween celebrations, though the present-day revelry doesn’t come even
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

Carbondale is legendary for Halloween celebrations, though the present-day revelry doesn’t come even close to approximating the wild pagan excesses of yore, which per capita rivaled Mardi Gras in size and excitement.

In 1989, however, worried about the morality of it all and unwilling to take simple steps necessary to tame some of the festival’s more reckless behavior, SIU and the city tried to shut it down.

It didn’t exactly work. Since the Halloween clampdowns began in 1989, the city’s nightclubs and surrounding entertainment venues have held unofficial celebrations and parties the weekends before Halloween, and sometimes the weekends afterward. This year, several bars and other venues will get a jump on things and start holding Unofficial Halloween costume parties and contests October 16. Tons of Halloween activities will continue the following two weeks, though many places will take next weekend off for SIU homecoming festivities.

As for the holiday proper, two years ago, for the first time in years, the Carbondale City Council voted to allow nightclubs on the Strip to open for Halloween weekend. As frequently predicted in these pages, all went well, and the successful experiment continued in 2014. The council this year voted to make the changes permanent.

If everyone continues to have a good but safe time, Carbondale could well start to reestablish a wonderful tradition. Good behavior is absolutely essential to turn this ongoing experiment into an annual institution. Please be responsible, encourage friends and peers to do the same, and validate the political risks our elected officials took and the faith they placed.

Meanwhile, though Carbondale is ground zero for many Halloween activities, the spirit seizes the entire region, as this article proves.

So there’s always a lot going on in Southern Illinois in celebration of Halloween, some of it for children, some for adults, some fun, some spiritual, and plenty of it scary. If you dare, read on here— and online for more, and the coming weeks for continuing coverage— for a taste of the tricks and treats of the season.

Religion

The original trappings of the Halloween holiday that remain are largely stripped of their religious meanings.

Most pagans refer to Halloween as Samhain— pronounced Sow-en. It is the third harvest celebration on the pagan calendar, as well as the last day of the pagan year— a time when the veil between the living and dead is at its most thin. All Hallows Eve is a time to settle old debts, remember those who passed on, give thanks for good fortune, and have fun. It’s similar to the Day of the Dead, November 1, in Hispanic cultures.

Locally, the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance will hold a traditional Samhain ritual Saturday, October 31 at 4 p.m. at Lake Murphysboro State Park. In the past, participants were asked to bring a dish for a potluck dinner, offerings for the dead (photos, urns, favorite items to help honor, represent, and remember ancestors), a carved pumpkin and candle, and tiki torches, plus donations for local animal shelters. For more information, visit <http://www.SIPagan.com>.

Costumes

SIU students who want to make their own Halloween costumes can set up appointments with a Student Center Craft Shop expert at (618) 453-3636 to learn sewing basics. Individual rates are $12 for thirty minutes, but the price per person drops substantially for group lessons. Those who already sew can rent a machine for a nominal fee. For more information, visit <http://StudentCenter.siu.edu> and click on the link to the Craft Shop.

The Craft Shop can help anyone prepare for Halloween parties in other ways, too. Friday, October 30 from noon to 5:30 p.m., the Craft Shop will apply Henna tattoos and face paint and help with the making of masks and wax hands on a walk-in basis. Costs vary from $2 to $4.

Popup stores like Spirit, on East Main Street, not only carry a large assortment of costumes, but Halloween decorations, party favors, props, and animatronic frights.

Decidedly more graphic apparel is available at the Lion’s Den Adult Superstore, south of Marion.

Those who want to design something with more originality but remain on a budget should consider hitting Carbondale’s myriad used, vintage, and thrift stores: Tropicana Vintage Clothing, Jane’s Consignment, the Church Women United Thrift Shop, and Goodwill Industries.

In addition, most local hair salons will do the doo in appropriately frightening fashion. Hairbrains, for example, will provide professional face-painting and temporary hair-coloring Saturday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For those looking for a more functional outfit— you know, for the real zombie apocalypse that we all know is coming— there’s Top Outfitters in Johnston City. The military-surplus store has a ton of great gear that would make for fine Halloween outfits, not to mention general outdoor equipment.

Trick-or-Treating

Mayor Mike Henry has proclaimed the official Trick-or-Treat hours for Carbondale children: Saturday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Residents wishing to welcome trick-or-treaters should light their porch and exterior lights. Trick-or-treaters should wear reflective tape or clothing and parents should check all treats for potentially harmful objects.

Those who want to attract the little candy-starved demons, devils, and monsters for sugar fixes should turn on their porch and exterior lights. Kids, meanwhile, should not dress as the Invisible Pedestrian and should wear reflective clothing or tape so motorists can see them. Parents should inspect all treats for tampering. Those who encounter safety problems while trick-or-treating can look for the volunteer Pumpkin Patrol for help.

Speaking of which, the Carbondale Police Department always needs help keeping trick-or-treating safe in the city. Those who want to volunteer for the long-running Pumpkin Patrol safety program should contact Officer Randy Mathis and fill out the application and waiver by October 28 at <mailto:RMathis@ci.carbondale.il.us>.

Trick-or-treaters are welcome at the Carbondale Public Library, a stop on the Carbondale Main Street Candy Walk, on Halloween from noon to 2 p.m.

The SIU Inter-Greek Council’s annual Safe Halloween will take place Friday, October 30 at 5 p.m. in the SIU Student Center. This event provides a safe environment for children and their parents to trick-or-treat and play games (like Bozo buckets) at tables staffed by some of SIU’s Registered Student Organizations.

For more information, visit <http://fsl.siuc.edu>.

Take a walk along the Carterville Pumpkin Path Friday, October 30 at 4:30 p.m., starting at the First Baptist Church parking lot. Participants must bring a canned good to donate to the Carterville Food Pantry. A costume contest with awards in four age categories starts at 5 p.m., and a huge parade at 5:30 p.m. The Pumpkin Path, where participating businesses will offer trick-or-treat candy, runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and along the way the Carterville High School band, cheerleaders and pom-poms, Memory Lane, and Arabesque and Rhythm Effects will provide entertainment. Citywide trick-or-treating in Carterville runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, contact the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942 or visit <http://www.CartervilleChamber.com>.

Saint Andrew School in Murphysboro will celebrate Halloween Friday, October 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the annual trunk-or-treat— sort of a Halloween trick-or-treat tailgate party. All children are welcome to visit the participating trunks for candy and fun at the school’s lower parking lot. For more information, please Amanda Duffy at <mailto:amammill@hotmail.com> or call Saint Andrew at (618) 687-2013.

Another trunk-or-treat event will take place Saturday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church parking lot in Carbondale. People will decorate their vehicles, stuff their trunks with candy, park out in the lot, and feed the wee beasties as they come by. In addition to trunk-or-treating, Grace will offer treats and games for people of all ages. Those who want to donate candy or other items or volunteer at the event should call the church office at (618) 457-8785 to sign up. For more information, visit <http://www.gumc.net>.

The Bark and Boo Trunk ‘r Treat will take place Saturday, October 31 from noon to 5 p.m. at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion. Costumed youth can wander the parking lot from vehicle to vehicle in search of Halloween candy, enjoy some actual food, listen to live music, play games, and jump on inflatables. At 3 p.m. judging begins in the pet costume contest. Get the details at <http://www.BlackDiamondHD.com>.

The Trail of Treats will take place Friday, October 30 at 4 p.m. in downtown Herrin. Kids twelve and younger can pick up treasure maps to participating businesses at the Chamber of Commerce office, as well as bags they can fill for the next two hours. The route leads to the Herrin Civic Center. Food and games will take place there from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a contest at 6 p.m., at which the best-costumed participants can win prizes in four age groups. Those who would like to volunteer for the event or donate funds to keep it going may call John Homan at (618) 925-0563.

In Murphysboro, trick-or-treating takes place Saturday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Trick-or-treating will take place Saturday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Cobden for children twelve and younger. The Cobden High School Beta Club will give out treats at the Cobden Volunteer Fire Department. Make donations of candy or money for candy at Village Hall or Fire Department.

Run Like Hell

Camp Ondessonk, a youth camp in Ozark, Illinois, will hold the annual 13.1-mile Moccasin Gap Trail Run, the Shawnee Hills fifty-kilometer run, and Heepwah Five-kilometer Run Saturday, October 17 at 10 a.m. The event raises money for camp scholarships.

The course is rugged but beautiful, especially for the half-marathon, which takes competitors past Cedar Falls, the highest free-falling waterfall in the state and one of eleven known Native American stone fort sites in Southern Illinois.

Because of the race’s proximity to Halloween, runners often dress in costume. And afterward, the free Fall Festival gives everyone, including non-runners, a chance to explore Camp O. in more leisurely fashion and enjoy hayrides, pony rides, face-painting— and if they still have energy left after running Moccasin Gap, a climbing wall. To put on the pounds lost during the race, Camp O. will sell concessions.

Those who want to arrive early or stay late can rent one of Camp O.’s cabins.

Find out more from the News and Events link at <http://ondessonk.com>...

Haunting Music, Movies, Theater, Parties, Festivals, and Games

It’s murder at the Varsity Center for the Arts when the Jackson County Stage Company performs Agatha Christie’s mystery The Unexpected Guest. The show runs October 16 through October 18 and October 23 through October 25 under the direction of local theater legend Christian Moe. Audiences will have a chance to guess the identity of the killer, and those who correctly identify the guilty party will enter a raffle for a special prize.

For tickets and more information, call the box office at (618) 549-5466 on Mondays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and one hour before each performance. The Stage Company also accepts twenty-four-hour ticket reservations at (800) 838-3006 and online at <http://www.StageCompany.org>.

Scratch Microbrewery and Farm in Ava is showing classic horror films every Friday night in October. One of the most visually disturbing vampire movies ever made, F.W. Murnau’s silent but still-terrifying Nosferatu, screens Friday, October 16; bring a crucifix and a couple braids of garlic for this 1922 masterpiece. Dario Argento’s Italian horror movie Deep Red plays Friday, October 23. And those who want to see the birth (or unbirth?) of the modern zombie-apocalypse myth can catch George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead Friday, October 30.

Halloween comes early at John A. Logan College with a musical rendition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde, adapted by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn. The monster emerges from the man Friday through Sunday, October 16 through October 18 in O’Neill Auditorium. Pam Kimball will direct. Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for students. For tickets, contact Logan’s Office of Student Activities at (618) 985-2828 ext. 8287 or visit <http://www.jalc.edu/activities>.

The most important meal of the day starts off with costumes at the Enchanted Princess breakfast Saturday, October 17 at Walker’s Bluff. Several fairytale princesses will dine with the patrons starting at 9 a.m. Call (618) 956-9900 to make reservations.

Later that day, the Harvest Moon Ball will raise money for the Williamson-Franklin County Child Advocacy Center and Perry-Jackson Child Advocacy Center. These organizations help make sure that police, lawyers, and judges, among others, treat children survivors of abuse survive with sensitivity and find them safe, permanent homes. The ball kicks off at 6 p.m. Costumes are encouraged; the servers will all dress up as classic Halloween movie characters. Admission is $50 and includes a heavy appetizer buffet, dessert buffet, and live music. A silent auction will help raise additional funds. For reservations, search for the event at <http://www.EventBrite.com> or visit the Walker’s Bluff General Store or Tasting Room or either Child Advocacy Center.

The transsexual Transylvanian parties, gorgeous gals, thrills and chills, and lotsa larfs and sex come to unlife with Skyline Creek Productions’ annual production of Richard O’Brien’s classic musical The Rocky Horror Show. This live-action version takes place Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. Shows run at 7 p.m. and, as Gawd intended, midnight.

For tickets, call the Marion Cultural and Civic Center box office at (618) 997-4030 or visit <http://www.MarionCCC.org>. Search for the event at <http://www.RockyShows.net> for more information.

In addition, a revue of the show will take place Thursday, October 22 at the Hangar 9.

It’s just a jump to the left...

The SIU Theater Department’s Subscription Series begins Thursday through Sunday, October 22 through October 25 in McLeod Theater with a kooky, mysterious and spooky, altogether ooky seasonal treat: Andrew Lippa, Marshall Brickman, and Rick Elice’s adaptation of The Addams Family.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $6 for students. A free preshow lecture takes place at 1:30 p.m. before the Sunday matinee.

For tickets, call (618) 453-6000 or visit ticket outlets at McLeod or the SIU Arena. To buy online, visit <http://www.SIUSalukis.com>, click on the Tickets popup, and then on the Tickets Home link. There are no service charges for in-person purchases, though phone and online purchases will carry charges in the $2 range.

Who ya gonna call? Ivan Reitman’s classic 1984 comedy Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Rick Moranis, will get the big-screen treatment Friday, October 23 at 7 p.m. at Walker’s Bluff. Music fans can stick around to hear classic rock by the Dave Caputo Band.

In the week leading up to Halloween, the SIU Student Programming Council will screen a series of new, classic, and schlocky scary movies in the Student Center Auditorium.

The recent release, Ciaran Foy’s Sinister II, runs Friday, October 22 through Saturday, October 24. Ruben Fleischer’s great spoof Zombieland, starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Jesse Eisenberg, takes place Monday, October 26, followed Tuesday, October 27 by Bernard Rose’s Candyman, based on Clive Barker’s story. Wednesday, October 28 brings Kenny Ortega’s Hocus Pocus; then the fairly recent The Gallows, by filmmakers Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff, takes place Thursday, October 29.

And then....

Lips! Lips! Lips!

SPC’s annual Halloween screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31 in the Student Center Ballrooms— at midnight and on the big screen as Gawd intended. Students pay $2 with valid identification, and the public gets in for $3, and those who wish to see multiple showings can get bulk discounts. SPC also sells prop bags for $3 for the virgins who forget to bring their own. Hot patootie!

Saint Francis Community Animal Rescue and Education will host the Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest and Photo Spooktacular Saturday, October 24 at 1 p.m. at the Carbondale PetCo. The event offers prizes for costumed pets in various categories, and people may dress up with their pets for framed digital photos.

For more information, call (618) 529-5249.

SIU English professor Tony Williams is Night of the Living Dead director George Romero’s biographer, making all this region’s zombie-related activities either eerily appropriate or an incredibly creepy coincidence. Either way, a zombie horde will begin to assemble Saturday, October 24 at noon at the Gaia House Interfaith Center, where makeup artists will help living participants transform into living-dead brain-eaters. The Zombie Walk itself begins at 4 p.m. This year’s theme is Circus of the Dead.

Registration is $10, for which participants will get a free zombie makeover, zombie swag, a chance to win prizes, and all the human flesh they can consume along the way.

Look for a zombie pub crawl or some sort of afterparty to follow the walk.

A portion of the entry fee will benefit WDBX.

While the Zombie Walk is open to all ages, some of the zombies may overly frighten young children, and the afterparty may have bar entry-age restrictions.

To register for the Zombie Walk, visit <http://CarbondaleZombieWalk.weebly.com> or stop in at the Carbondale Zombie Walk Facebook page.

SIU alum and Carbondale native Tim Soluna will sell his blown-glass pumpkins Saturday, October 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dayshift Boutique. Soluna’s work comes in all colors— some of the pumpkins are more traditional in form and design, while others have beautiful, kaleidoscopic red, purple, or white swirls rolling through them. Search for photos of his work on Facebook. Dayshift only sells one-of-a-kind items, so customers should buy up anything they like, because when items sell they cannot be restocked.

Every year art students in the SIU glass program, Southern Glass Works, make gourds for the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale, which this year takes place Saturday, October 24 at 9 a.m. in the Carbondale Town Square.

The incredibly beautiful pumpkins range in price from $10 to $100 or more. Students spend months growing them. With a little care, they can easily outlast the farmed variety.

The sale is the glass program’s major fundraiser. Proceeds benefit SIU’s glass program. The sale runs while supplies last.

The So Ill Roller Girls will hold the special coed Brawl-o-ween Scrimmageathon Saturday, October 24 at the Pavilion of the City of Marion. Sixty lucky skaters will get the chance to line up against the Roller Girls, each getting to participate in three of the six forty-five-minute scrimmages that will take place throughout the day. Then the top fourteen skaters get to duke it out in a public mixer against the Southern Illinois Roller Girls’ A-team, the Power, that evening. Afterward, the Roller Girls’ brother team, the Brigade of Handsome Gentlemen, will make their debut against the Kentucky Dark Horses.

Registration is $30 and all registered skaters will receive a black unisex event T-shirt and admission to the bout that evening. Spectators get into all of the days’ events for $15. The main event is $8 in advance and $10 at the door with kids twelve and younger getting in free.

Find out more at <http://www.SoIllRollerGirls.com>.

Every spring, SIU art and design students host anti-Valentine’s Day works in the Love at the Glove exhibit. It might be hard to distinguish that show from the new tradition that the United Art Collective launches this fall, Blood at the Glove, which will feature Halloween art. The show runs October 26 through October 30 in the Glove Factory Surplus Gallery on Washington and College Streets. The closing reception takes place Saturday, October 31 at 7 p.m...

The Buckminster Fuller Geodesic Dome Home on the corner of South Forest Avenue and West Cherry Street will host a unique jack-o-lantern display Wednesday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m. The exhibit will feature more than seventy lighted pumpkins carved by SIU architecture students with the images of famous buildings. Costumes are welcome.

Some churches turn into awful buzzkills around Halloween, opening so-called hell houses depicting what will happen to sinners in the afterlife. Colin Whitworth’s Hell House takes a look at the effects of such facilities, as well as religion in general, on apostles and apostates alike. The show runs Thursday through Saturday, October 29 through October 31 at 8 p.m., right in time for All Hallow’s Eve, in the Marion Kleinau Theater on the second floor of the SIU Communications Building. For tickets and other information, call the Kleinau box office at (618) 453-5618 or visit <http://cola.siu.edu/CommunicationStudies> and follow the link to the Kleinau.

The annual Halloween concert featuring the Rend Lake College Concert Band and Concert Choir takes place Thursday, October 29 in the Rend Lake College Student Center. Musical selections have generally come from Corpse Bride, Phantom of the Opera, and the Harry Potter films, plus tunes like “Thriller.” A costume party and contest will follow the concert.

The SIU Student Center will celebrate Halloween Friday, October 30 with a series of events.

A costume contest for SIU faculty, staff, and students takes place with a chance to win prizes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by the first floor north escalators.

Those who come to the Student Center in costumes can enjoy spooktacular food specials.

Cosmic bowling will take place from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Student Center Bowling and Billiards.

Meanwhile, the person who wins the Great Pumpkin Contest by correctly guessing the weight of the giant squash in the Bowling and Billiards display case will win a $50 University Bookstore gift card.

The Student Center Bowling Alley will then hold the Night of the Zombie Apocalypse Saturday, October 31 at 8 p.m. The $5 admission fee includes a live music by Danger Scene, unlimited (zombie) bowling, shoe rentals, billiards, face-painting, and ghost tours of the Student Center. Pizza will be served at 11 p.m.

For details, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org> and click on the relevant links.

The Police and Community Together Halloween festival will take place Friday, October 30 at 2 p.m. at Attucks Park. Children can enjoy games, a hayride, and treats. The Carbondale Park District, police and fire departments, and the Spirit Halloween store will cosponsor activities.

The Spooktacular Costume Party elevates costuming to an art Friday, October 30 at 4 p.m. at the University Museum, in the north wing of Faner Hall. The museum invites the public to come dressed as their favorite works of art.

The museum will also open the Scary Gallery exhibit. “It will feature some of our stranger pieces, the kinds of things museums accumulate, especially one which is 140-plus years old,” museum director Dona Bachman tells Nightlife. For example? SIU alumnus Frederick J. Brown’s painting of a clown, C.C. Rider; Thomas Seward’s creepy Winter Evening at Devil’s Kitchen; or Gregory Pelizzari’s Manifestation of a Young Ghost by Count Volnikoff. Strange and sinister tools and items from the science collection will be on display as well.

“There may also be a wall of upper-administration types reimagined into famous works of art,” Bachman says. Look for University-system president Randy Dunn and campus provost Susan Ford as the American Gothic brother and sister.

Those who attend can also look forward to some ghoulish food and Halloween activities. Admission is free but the museum is asking for a $10 donation.

Another place for trick-or-treat fun is the Safe Halloween festival Saturday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Murdale Shopping Center, where participating merchants will offer high-quality candy to costumed children ages twelve and younger when accompanied by adults. Kids can also take hayrides, play on the new inflatable Boot Camp obstacle course, and enjoy carnival games. Parents should bring a camera for special photo opportunities.

The Carbondale Police Department and Crimestoppers will bring McGruff the Crime Dog to the event to discuss safety. Children will also have the chance to meet with police officers and get to know the people who protect them.

The Carbondale Fire Department will bring out firetrucks and the fire safehouse to provide fire-safety education.

Carbondale Crime Stoppers and the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale will sell concessions.

Those who want to enter the Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race later that day at the Mill Street Underpass can purchase supplies from Murdale True Value, pick up plenty of pumpkins at the Neighborhood Coop or the Farmers’ Market next door at Westown Mall, and get design help from 9 a.m. to noon.

During Carbondale Main Street’s Candy Walk, starting Saturday, October 31 at noon, little costumed ghosties get to trawl the Strip for treats.

Then the Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast, working with Main Street, the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, and Carbondale Tourism, will hold the annual Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race Saturday, October 31 at 1 p.m. at the Mill Street underpass. Competitors will run axels through decorated pumpkins, attach at least four wheels, and race them, pinewood-derby-style, down the hill. No caster wheels or prefabricated chassis are allowed— the pumpkins have to support the axels, not the other way around. The event is open to all ages and competitors will vie for prizes. Carbondale Tourism staff will help racers design and construct their pumpkins Tuesday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the week of the race.

A costume contest— the perfect way to end the Candy Walk— and pie-eating contest will also take place.

For more information, search for the event on Facebook.

Later that evening, and the next day besides, youth can come to the old Shirley Temple theater in the Varsity Center for the Arts to see a not-too-scary family Halloween film from 1993, Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, and a very young Thora Birch. Showtimes are Saturday, October 31 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, November 1 at 1 p.m.

The Science Center’s Spooky Science Halloween show takes place Saturday, October 31 at 6 p.m., complete with spooky science experiments using with fire, dry ice, and liquid nitrogen. The program is free for guests who wear costumes and their parents or guardians.

For details, see <http://YourScienceCenter.org> or call (618) 529-5431.

The University Mall will hold building-wide Mall-o-ween festivities on Halloween, too, including costume contests at 4 p.m., a performance by Mister Twist the Balloon Man at 4:30 p.m., and trick-or-treating at participating stores from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Note: Those older than age twelve may not wear masks to the mall.

The annual Haunted Hollow festival promises spooky good times Sunday, November 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

Those who come can thrill to the natural beauty— and creepiness— of the area by taking interpretive nature hikes and games, and this being Halloween weekend, participants may enjoy haunted hayrides, a costume parade, pumpkin decorating, and an environmental-education component about snakes, lizards, and other creepy crawlers. Younger children may enjoy Harry Potter-themed activities and games. And who knows what dwells beneath the waters of Little Grassy Lake— perhaps the Loch Ness Monster or the Creature from the Black Lagoon?

Because activities will take place at different times throughout the afternoon, those who come should plan to attend the entire event.

For more information or to make reservations, call (618) 453-1121 or visit <http://www.ton.siu.edu>.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

You and your friends are trapped in a room with a zombie. And he’s hungry. He’s chained to a wall, but the restraints are slowly failing. You can get out before he breaks free, but first you need to find the key. Discovering where and how it’s hidden will require teamwork, focus, and the ability to move just a little faster than the zombie. A dungeon master of sorts provides vague hints and encouragement but generally allows you to make your own mistakes and earn credit for your successes.

That’s the current situation in which groups can find themselves at Carbondale Escape Rooms, a terrifying, thrilling team-building exercise.

Those who wish to participate in Carbondale Escape Rooms adventures need to make advance reservations at <http://www.CarbondaleEscapes.com>. For those who have already gone through this scenario, the owners can present a completely different set of challenges within the same concept.

Scott Thorne, owner of Castle Perilous Games and Books, has collected local legends and ghost stories for years, many of which he details on his Carbondale Gazette blog. He will conduct walking tours of haunted locations in and near downtown Carbondale October Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through October 30. Past tours have offered information about the Carbondale Anomaly Corridor, the Illinois Central Railroad Death Vortex, and hauntings at Hundley House, the B.P.L. Plasma building, Oakland and Woodlawn Cemeteries, Shryock Auditorium, and the recently demolished Sunset Haven. Tours run about ninety minutes.

Participants should dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Half of each $10 tour fee will benefit the Humane Society of Southern Illinois.

For details and tour reservations, call the Castle at (618) 529-5317 or visit <http://www.CastlePerilous.com>.

Castle Perilous itself is often a center of Halloween activity, and this year is no different. Friday, October 23 at 12:30 p.m., Bellwether Games will demonstrate and playtest their game Antidote. On two consecutive Sundays, October 18 and 25 at 4 p.m., customers may play Twilight CreationsZombies! boardgame. On three consecutive Fridays, October 16, 23, and 30 at 4 p.m., Fireside GamesDead Panic boardgame is featured.

Finally, the annual Castle Perilous Halloween Comicfest takes place Saturday, October 31. Every customer gets a free comic book, two if they come in costume, one more for each two back issues they buy or for each five cans of food they bring in for donation to the Carbondale Food Pantry. The Humane Society of Southern Illinois will bring adoptable pets, and customers may meet members of the So Ill Roller Girls and Southern Illinois Steampunk Society. Matt Millar from Capybara Ink will draw sketches. A Halloween prize drawing takes place at 8:30 p.m., and contestants must be present to win.

Chittyville, located on the north end of Herrin, has scared the Chitt out of patrons since 2005.

According to legend, the school, north of downtown Herrin, is built on an old graveyard. Ghosts began to appear to the students and faculty, and a custodian once disappeared into the basement... never to return.

“We have a total of three haunts in one location, one of them being geared towards kids, and we have the School, which is the inside haunt, and the Lair, which is mostly outside,” Mike King told Nightlife. “The Lair has actually expanded this year to be bigger than ever before. We’re starting on October 2 and going to be open weekends in October, but if [readers] need any more information, we always want to direct them to our website. We’re looking forward to seeing everybody, and scaring the you-know-what out of everyone. That’s a fun time.”

Usually, there’s enough light to see the intricately costumed actors and carefully constructed sets, but this doesn’t apply to the total-blackout nights, which run October 30 and 31, when patrons receive only glowsticks to light their way.

For directions, a detailed account of the haunting, and ticket information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com> or call (618) 942-6111.

Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tours will send treetop hikers sailing on haunted nighttime ziplines through the dark forest. Costumes can interfere with safety equipment, so leave them at home. The company will furnish lights, harnesses, and everything else needed for safe but exhilarating zips. Participants must weigh between seventy and 270 pounds. Admission is $95 per person. Make reservations and get more information at <http://www.ShawneeZip.com> or (855) 386-9477.

The Carterville Lions Club Haunted Hayride, a thirty-year tradition, operates Thursday through Saturday, October 29 through October 31.

“It’s just strictly at night time in the dark,” organizer Ed Smith told Nightlife. “They go from James Street Park in Carterville, which is right where the intermediate school is. They ride in tractor-pulled wagons that have hay in them to Canon Park, where scenes are set up by not just Lions Club members, but a bunch of groups of people. Some have come from SIU in the past or come from Rend Lake College, they are like theatrical groups, and the good part about that is they get extra credit if they come out and do this work.”

After seeing the spooky scenes set up in Canon Park, the Hayride returns to James Street Park.

For more information, visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com> or call the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942.

October ushers in a month of terror at the Anna Arts Center, concluding with the annual Haunted House of Horrors, which runs every Friday and Saturday this month starting October 16. There demons and ghouls will chase participants through a maze.

Admission is $5, or $20 per group of five, and proceeds will benefit maintenance and renovations of the Anna Arts Center buildings as well as the Anna-Jonesboro Community High School theater boosters.

Find out more at <http://AnnaArtCenter.com>, or contact Norma Lee Hackney at <mailto:vabchlee@gmail.com> or (904) 625-1109.

Find out more at <http://AnnaArtCenter.com>.

Ray Elam’s Slaughterhouse Productions operates the Cellblock Haunted House in Herrin. Unlike so many movie monsters, however, this one won’t rise from the dead next year because Elam will be in Bakersfield, California, building a scream park.

Meanwhile, Elam has designed two terrifying haunts in Herrin for 2015. There’s the Cellblock, which Elam calls “a little more intense than your basic haunted house.” Then, on Halloween weekend, the Cellblock will hold Blood Night. Those who already went through the Cellblock will experience a completely redesigned and far more extreme haunt. Patrons probably shouldn’t wear white clothing.

A more family friendly haunt, Zombie Apocalypse: Warehouse 51, will give younger and more sensitive patrons a chance to go on a zombie paintball safari.

The Big Muddy Monster Hayrides, named after the seven-foot, 350-pound creature that terrified Murphysboro in 1973 before suddenly disappearing, run Thursday through Saturday, October 22 to October 24 at dusk. Organizers have added a ton of new features to the haunt, which consists of a hayride through the woods down by the Big Muddy River as well as walk through a haunted bandshell. Perhaps the Big Muddy Monster will appear as well? And on Friday night, zombies will come out to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

For more information, call Mary Kay Campbell at (618) 559-6989, or search for the Big Muddy Monster Haunted Hayrides on Facebook.

Every year, Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Colp Road, cuts mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes— an Egyptian pharaoh, John A. Logan, the Southern Illinois Miners’ baseball-team logo, or the Girl Scouts.

This year’s maze commemorates... Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch itself, with the maze tracing the image of a pumpkin, ghost, and a spider in her web.

The maze’s path winds through about three miles of corn, and takes at least an hour to walk.

In addition, Bandy’s offers a play barn for younger children. Group tours of the pumpkin patch and hayrides through the farm are available by appointment. For rates, hours of operation, and more, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

Cape Girardeau is a center of Halloween activity, as always.

Haunted tours will take place in Cape Girardeau this year courtesy of the Southeast Missouri State University department of continuing education. Christy Mershon and Tom Neumeyer will lead haunted downtown walking tours every Thursday in October as well as Friday, October 30, with departures getting underway at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The same pair will lead a second tour focusing on the city’s Broadway corridor October 21, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The fee is $20, or $30 per couple. To register, visit <http://www.semo.edu/ContinuingEd>.

Boo at the Zoo takes place Saturday, October 25 at 10 a.m. at the Lazy L. Safari Park. Children can fill their trick-or-treat bags as they enjoy a chance to see exotic animals (giant tarantulas, anyone?) and enjoy crafts, win prizes, and go through a pumpkin patch, kiddie corral, and parakeet jungle. Get details at <http://www.LazyLSafari.com>.

The Haunted Hall of Horror, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department, runs Fridays and Saturdays starting October 16 at the A.C. Brase Arena. For more information, visit <http://www.CityOfCapeGirardeau.org> and click on the Parks and Rec page.

The Market House Theatre in Paducah will offer haunted tours of Oak Grove Cemetery on three consecutive Saturdays starting October 10. Four one-hour tours depart each night starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children twelve and younger. The Market House will also perform a thriller, N.J. Crisp’s Dangerous Obsession, Thursday through Sunday, October 15 to October 18 and Thursday through Sunday, October 22 to October 25. For tickets and more, visit <http://www.MarketHouseTheatre.org>.

Talon Falls near Paducah, Kentucky, has a series of big, related haunted houses (Dead End Haunted House, Sinister Circus, The Harvest, and Blood Creek Hayride: Twisted Tales) staffed by more than one-hundred actors operating Friday through Sunday nights through October 31, plus a few extra days.

A ScreamFest Combo ticket allows admission to all events for one price. For admission, directions, and more information, call the Screamfest hotline at (270) 674-5690 or visit <http://www.TalonFalls.com>.

In addition, Talon Falls offers an escape room and, for younger and more sensitive patrons, an adventure park with hayrides and mazes.

Adult Fun

Unofficial Halloween takes place two nights in the Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden (with a rain location inside the Copper Dragon Brewing Company). It’s a 1980s theme with tights and hairspray Friday, October 16, when Hairbangers’ Ball pays tribute to the MTV pop-metal era. Look for Hello Weekend to bring their huge white rabbit, Bob, back for a night of party anthems Saturday, October 17, where the grand prize in the costume competition is a $250 gift card.

It’s cowboy hats and boots when the party picks back up Friday, October 30 in the Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden (with a rain location inside the Copper Dragon Brewing Company), as the fast-rising country-western six-piece Broseph E. Lee brings their new EP, Fill ‘Em on Up, to their Carbondale debut. Hot Sauce Committee, used to playing big local shows due to their stints at Pinch’s immensely popular Polar Bear Party, will return Saturday, October 31 for a Halloween party and costume contest where the best costumed patron will earn a $500 cash prize.

The Hangar 9 has two Unofficial Halloween parties approaching. Old Shoe and Porch Fire will perform Americana Friday, October 16, followed by the explosive jams of Aaron Kamm and the One Drops Saturday, October 17.

Halloween weekend at the Hangar 9 will feature more Americana during the Hell-o-ween Hoedown with live music by Mountain Sprout and Hobo Knife. The annual Night of the Living Spread Halloween party returns Saturday, October 31, when Carbondale alumni Spread, now based in Chicago, return to jam.

“We’ve had quite a big year,” the band’s Colin Finn tells Nightlife. “Three appearances at the House of Blues Chicago, house band for the Phish VIP Lounge at Alpine Valley in August, played our sixth straight Summer Camp Music Fest, and just headlined the Shiner Fall Fest at Hangar.... We’ll be bringing some special guests down for this show. It should be quite the musical experience.”

A costume contest will also take place on Halloween night.

Costumes are welcome Friday, October 16, but the Wicked Unofficial Halloween costume party takes place Saturday, October 17 at Sidetracks with a contest that will award prizes to the first- and second-place winners.

An official Halloween costume party takes place Saturday, October 31 at Sidetracks with live performances by members of SIU Registered Student Organization Musicians United. Costumes are also welcome Friday, October 30.

A night of terror takes place Thursday, October 29 at Tres Hombres, when the costume contest will reward the best-dressed participants in categories including best-dressed and most original. Contestants will vie for cash and other prizes. The Matchsellers, an incredible rustic bluegrass duo from Kansas City, will provide music.

Where it started, nobody knows, although Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are probably as good a guess as any, but the devil seems to love his heavy metal.

Actually, it’s the other way around— heavy metal loves Mephistopheles, though the affection may not be reciprocated. The late huckster who founded the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, once told Rolling Stone that the devil his bad self prefers old-time circus tunes and pop music, preferably on the calliope and organ, both instruments of which LaVey himself was not incidentally once a master. Perhaps the Great Scam Artist’s assessment came from recognizing a good marketing ruse when he saw one— the supposed satanic connections to most metal acts constitute little more than the same free-publicity-generating shock value LaVey often employed all the way to the bank.

Getting back on track, if Halloween is Satan’s holiday— a belief that most pagans would with good reason dispute— then LaVey be damned (as it were). What better way to celebrate than by having a headbanging good time?

One of the last local, truly heavy metal bands playing original music, Annihilate the Hero, will bash it out Friday, October 30 at PK’s.

StarView Vineyards’ annual HalloWine festival Friday, October 30 at 6 p.m. will feature music by Zola Road as well as a nacho and chili bar, plus a costume party and contest in which prizes will go to the best individual, couple, and group costumes.

Cristaudo’s and 6Pence are hosting a Victorian Halloween fete Saturday, October 31 at 5 p.m., after the Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race and before the Glove Factory’s Blood at the Glove art-exhibit reception. Two different musicians and a spooktacular singer will perform: Tom Bones, Black Scorpion, and Queen of the Dead. Theatrical readings and performances will also take place. Patrons may enjoy appetizers, desserts, and nonalcoholic beverages along with palm-reading, bearded ladies, Spidora the Spider Lady and other characters, and free (temporary) tattoos and masks. Patrons, of course, should come in costumes. Proceeds from the suggested $20 donation will go to Carbondale Community Arts. Make reservations at (618) 529-4303.

A Halloween bash and costume contest will take place Saturday, October 31 at the Newell House Grotto Lounge. First place will earn a $150 Newell House/Grotto Lounge gift card, second place earns a $75 Newell House/Grotto Lounge gift card, and third nets a set of Grotto Lounge pint glasses. A purchase is required for entry in the contest. Cashmere Cobra will provide live entertainment with an opening act to be announced.

Blue Sky Vineyard and Winery will hold a Halloween Bash Saturday, October 31 at 2 p.m. Artists will display and sell their work, a tarot reader will channel advice from the spirits, and Americana band the Storm Crows will provide live entertainment. A costume contest takes place as well; first prize is a one-night stay in the Tuscan Suite, while second prize is a $50 Blue Sky gift certificate. All costumed children will win prizes, with one grand prize going to the best costumed kid. In addition, the winery will vint a special Witches’ Brew for the event.

The Cellar’s costume party and contest on Saturday, October 31 will bring $100 cash to the best-dressed patron and $50 gift certificates for the funniest and sexiest costumes.

Owl Creek Vineyard and Apple Knocker Hard Ciders will hold the annual Punkie Night Bash Saturday, October 31 at 1 p.m. Owl Creek will have a special pumpkin cider on sale throughout the event— hence its name— while local Americana/jazz group Gentle Ben and Saint Louis reggae jam band the Driftaways perform. Six local breweries will be on hand. Admission is $15 and includes a keepsake mug and five tasting tickets, with additional tasting tickets selling for $2 each. Advance tickets are on sale at <http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com>. All patrons must be twenty-one or older.

Tease that hair up big and break out the parachute pants. The Totally 1980s Halloween Bash takes place Saturday, October 31 at Von Jakob Orchard. Doors open at 10 a.m. and the event goes until close. Metal Toyz will play Reagan-era MTV hits (yes, Virginia, that station really did once play music videos) from about 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $8, or $6 for those in costume.

The annual Monster Bash Costume Party roars to unlife Saturday, October 31 at 8 p.m. at Walker’s Bluff. Batcave tours will take place, and those in costume may compete for cash prizes that can reach the $100 range. Admission is free.

Steve Hornbeak and the Mainstreet Players will play Saturday, October 31 at the Blue Boar Restaurant and Bar’s annual Hallow-ween Party. A costume contest will take place with prizes.

Fiddle Rick and the Bourbon Boys will perform Saturday, October 31 at the Brews Brothers Taproom Halloween party. A costume contest will take place at 10 p.m., with prizes for the best men’s and women’s costumes.

The Halloween party at the Saint Nicholas Brewery in Du Quoin takes place Saturday, October 31. Patrons will compete for Saint Nick gift certificates, merchandise, and growlers in the best overall costume, best couples costume, scariest costume, funniest costume, and best group costume categories.

The Rustle Hill costume party and contest comes to unlife Saturday, October 31. The Natives will play classic rock.

Bluesmen are famous for selling their souls to the devil for great musical prowess— Robert Johnson being the best-known but hardly only example— so how apropos that blues is on tap at the Orlandini Vineyard Halloween party? The Ivas John Band, whose leader’s solo album, Good Days a-Comin’, might just prove the best local CD of 2015, will play at 3 p.m. In addition, the event will benefit Pets Are Worth Saving. A contest will take place with prizes for the scariest and funniest costumes. A blind Halloween candy-tasting contest will also take place. The audience will pay a cover charge, to participate in the candy-tasting contest, and to vote in the costume contest, with those proceeds going to PAWS’s no-kill animal shelter. Leashed, well-behaved animals are welcome, especially if they’re in costumes, and their people are encouraged to dress in costumes as well.

Carbondale Escape Rooms: Trapped with a Hungry Zombie

Venues & Businesses
Escape Room Adventures


Who: you
What: Carbondale Escape Rooms (interactive theater)
Where:
When:
Pictured: The creators and cast of Carbondale Escape Rooms.
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

You and your friends are trapped in a room with a zombie. And he’s hungry. He’s chained to a wall, but the restraints are slowly failing. You can get out before he breaks free, but first you need to find the key. Discovering where and how it’s hidden will require teamwork, focus, and the ability to move just a little faster than the zombie. A dungeon master of sorts, Dr. Susanna Gold, joins the group, providing vague hints and encouragement but generally allowing you to make your own mistakes and earn credit for your successes.

That’s the current situation in which groups can find themselves at Carbondale Escape Rooms, the creation of owners Kale Meggs, Frank Dykstra, and Greg Evers. There, a group of seven Nightlife employees and friends recently faced down the zombie and narrowly... lost. We’re now doomed to shamble the world as undead husks, spreading the plague by consuming the brains of the living.

But what a great rush, even if we eventually fell victim to the walker.

Without giving away too much— the fun is as much in trying to discover what the challenges are as it is in overcoming them, and real terror always derives power from the unknown— getting out of the Escape Room requires an assortment of different people. In our case, everyone brought something unique to the table— a skill or perspective that helped advance the cause of escape.

The experience really promoted the values of diversity and teamwork— but without the motivational-speaker clichés or lame exercises often foisted on employees and volunteer boards.

And the implications of failure— getting eaten alive and then joining the ranks of the walking undead— proved a double-edged sword. On one hand, it added a lot of urgency to the effort. Then again, it wasn’t always easy to concentrate in the presence of a voracious, stalking monster. The zombie was extremely realistic... and well-trained. It always seemed to know how and when to raise the group’s anxiety levels. “He’s an easy-to-please employee as long as we keep him fed with live human flesh,” Meggs says. “That’s convenient, because humans pay us to be fed to him.”

Minor-key horror-movie soundbites and music added to the tense atmosphere.

Many hours later, I was still revved up from the experience. I’m pretty sure the entire group was. But I know that when the real zombie apocalypse comes— as we all know it will— there are seven people I’ll want close by to help each other figure out how best to survive.

Those who wish to participate in the Carbondale Escape Rooms adventure need to make advance reservations through the EventBrite website. (A direct link is available at <http://www.CarbondaleEscapes.com>.) For those who have already gone through it, the owners can present a completely different set of challenges within the same concept.

We are working on another zombie room where teams compete, separated by a cage,” Meggs says. “The cage has a zombie that you are trying to unleash onto the other team by opening their cage door on their side before they open yours. It’s called Winners and Dinners.”

Anyone who finds the zombie motif unappealing can watch for additional scenarios, from other horror themes (Frankenstein’s Lab, The Mummy’s Tomb, The Witches’ Coven) to more realistic settings (Hostage Crisis).We also plan on some more kid-friendly rooms,” Meggs says.

Keep an eye on the Carbondale Escape Rooms website and Facebook page for more information.

Meanwhile, Meggs feels happy with what he, Dykstra, and Evers have thus far created.

“We wanted something a bit different than the zombie stories of other escape rooms,” he says. “We think we achieved it.”

who: you

what: Carbondale Escape Rooms (interactive theater)

where: On the Island

 

when: by reservation

Haunted Happenings: Where to Get Scared in October

October is spookily busy month, with many activities celebrating Halloween. Hayrides and haunted hou
Jennifer “Jay” Bull
Video Comentary

October is spookily busy month, with many activities celebrating Halloween. Hayrides and haunted houses are just two of the many activities that people love during the fall, and a few have operated annually for years.

The Carterville Lions Club Haunted Hayride, for example, operates Thursday through Saturday, October 29 through October 31.

“It’s the weekend before Halloween, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday— that way it doesn’t interfere with the stuff the kids do,” organizer Ed Smith told Nightlife. “It’s just strictly at night time in the dark. They go from James Street Park in Carterville, which is right where the intermediate school is. They ride in tractor-pulled wagons that have hay in them to Canon Park, where scenes are set up by not just Lions Club members, but a bunch of groups of people. Some have come from SIU in the past or come from Rend Lake College, they are like theatrical groups and the good part about that is they get extra credit if they come out and do this work.”

After seeing the spooky scenes set up in Canon Park, the Hayride returns to James Street Park.

“It’s a lot of fun and there are a lot of scenes set up,” Smith said of the family friendly event. “This is an annual event that has been going on for probably I guess thirty-some years. It’s grown a lot over the years, with more participation and stuff like that, so it’s a lot of fun for anybody that wants to come.”

The Big Muddy Monster Hayrides, named after the seven-foot, 350-pound creature that terrified Murphysboro in 1973 before suddenly disappearing, run Thursday through Saturday, October 22 to October 24 at dusk.

“It’s pretty much the same as last year, but we might add something this year,” Mary Kay Campbell said, referring readers to the event’s Facebook page.

If your preference is more for a haunted house, a few elaborate offerings terrify Herrin.

Chittyville is located on the north end of Herrin.

“We have a total of three haunts in one location, one of them being geared towards kids, and we have the School, which is the inside haunt, and the Lair, which is mostly outside,” Mike King told Nightlife. “The Lair has actually expanded this year to be bigger than ever before. We’re starting on October 2 and going to be open weekends in October, but if [readers] need any more information, we always want to direct them to our website. We’re looking forward to seeing everybody, and scaring the you-know-what out of everyone. That’s a fun time.”

For more information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com>.

Herrin also offers up a very scary experience in the Haunted Cellblock. Nightlife recently spoke with Ray Elam of Slaughterhouse Productions about his haunts.

“This is our actual final season for the Cellblock,” Elam said. “We have other haunts across the country. This year we are doing something that is family friendly. Also, we are doing something that people have seen on television, on Travel Channel or something like that— we are doing zombie safari paintball this year. It’s called Zombie Apocalypse: Warehouse 51. You go, you get locked in this room, and then you literally have to shoot the live zombies before they escape. It’s geared around the whole family, not just the adults, but the youngsters, too. It’s not over scary, it’s fun.”

Since this will be the last year for Cellblock, the final weekend of the season will be completely different.

“The Cellblock is scarier than most, its environment is darker, and the actors are a little older, so it is a little more intense than your basic haunted house,” Elam said. “On the very final weekend, which is All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween week, we’re doing something that we’ve never done here before that we have done in the West Coast. The finale of the Cellblock is called Blood Night.”

Those who go to the Cellblock before Halloween weekend can return for Blood Night and receive a completely different experience.

“Everything will be different— it will be an entirely different haunt,” Elam said. “We’re even going to explain to people that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring clothes that you don’t really mind getting blood on, because it’s going to be bloody, it’s going to be gory, it’s for the true, hardcore haunted-house people that want to be scared. Of course it’s not real blood, it’s just like Hollywood, all special effects. Some things are water, but you’ll almost be wet, there’ll be blood spray, and that Halloween weekend only. It’s for the not-so-timid, so to speak. That will be a one-time only thing.”

While the Cellblock is not child-friendly, Elam said Zombie Apocalypse: Warehouse 51 should appeal to those with families.

For rates and detailed schedules, search for the Cellblock on Facebook.

Finally, Scott Thorne, owner of Castle Perilous Games and Books, has collected local legends and ghost stories for years, many of which he details on his Carbondale Gazette blog. He will conduct walking tours of haunted locations in and near downtown Carbondale October Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. starting October 9 and concluding October 30. Past tours have offered information about the Carbondale Anomaly Corridor, the Illinois Central Railroad Death Vortex, and hauntings at Hundley House, the D.C.I. Biologicals building, Oakland and Woodlawn Cemeteries, Shryock Auditorium, and the recently demolished Sunset Haven. Tours run about ninety minutes.

 

Participants should dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Reservations are recommended at (618) 529-5317. Half of each $10 tour fee will benefit the Humane Society of Southern Illinois.

Boo! Halloween 2014 Part Two

As we noted last week, Carbondale is legendary for Halloween celebrations, though the present-day re
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

As we noted last week, Carbondale is legendary for Halloween celebrations, though the present-day revelry doesn’t come even close to the huge party in the 1980s when thousands of persons in costumes gathered to celebrate.

In 1989, SIU and the city shut it down. Since then, the city’s nightclubs and surrounding entertainment venues have held unofficial celebrations and parties the weekend before Halloween, and sometimes the weekend afterward.

Last year, however, for the first time in years, the Carbondale City Council voted to allow nightclubs on the Strip to open for Halloween weekend. As frequently predicted in these pages, all went well, and the experiment continues in 2014. If everyone has a good but safe time, Carbondale could well start to reestablish a wonderful tradition. Good behavior is absolutely essential to turn this two-year experiment into an ongoing policy. Please be responsible, and encourage friends and peers to do the same.

Many ongoing events— haunted houses, for example— continue this week, but a fresh witches’ brew of activities begin boiling in the caldron this week. This article will explore many of those frightening festivities. Read on for all the ways you can enjoy the weekend!

Religion

The original trappings of the Halloween holiday that remain are largely stripped of their religious meanings.

Most pagans refer to Halloween as Samhain— pronounced Sow-en. It is the third harvest celebration on the pagan calendar, as well as the last day of the pagan year— a time when the veil between the living and dead is at its most thin. All Hallows Eve is a time to settle old debts, remember those who passed on, give thanks for good fortune, and have fun. It’s similar to the Day of the Dead in Hispanic cultures, more about which in a moment.

In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a part of a three-day celebration that begins with Halloween and ends with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Morris Library will hold a Day of the Dead art exhibit through November 15 in the first-floor rotunda, featuring the work of about twenty-five local arts. The exhibit is inspired by the annual migration of monarch butterflies to Mexico— but environmental pollution and climate change are endangering the beautiful insect, populations of which are decreasingly making that journey. A reception for the exhibit will take place Sunday, November 2 at 2 p.m. Speakers will include SIU anthropology professor Roberto Barrios, whose photographs of Day of the Dead altars in Tocatlan, Mexico, are part of the exhibit, and Asunción Avendaňo Garcia from the Department of Geography at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. For more information, visit <http://www.lib.siu.edu>.

Costumes

SIU students who want to make their own Halloween costumes can set up appointments with a Student Center Craft Shop expert at (618) 453-3636 to learn sewing basics. Individual rates are $12 for thirty minutes, but the price per person drops substantially for group lessons. Those who already sew can rent a machine for a nominal fee. For more information, visit <http://StudentCenter.siu.edu> and click on the link to the Craft Shop.

In addition, the SIU community may prepare for Halloween parties Friday, October 31 from noon to 8:30 p.m. in the Student Center Craft Shop. Henna tattoos, face-painting, mask-making, and the making of wax hands can be done on a walk-in basis. Costs vary from $2 to $4.

Popup stores like Spirit, on East Main Street, not only carry a large assortment of costumes, but Halloween decorations, party favors, props, and animatronic frights.

Decidedly more graphic apparel is available at the Lion’s Den Adult Superstore, south of Marion.

Those who want to design something with more originality but remain on a budget should consider hitting Carbondale’s myriad used, vintage, and thrift stores: Tropicana Vintage Clothing, Jane’s Consignment, the Church Women United Thrift Shop, and Goodwill Industries. In addition, most local salons will do the doo in appropriately frightening fashion.

For those looking for a more functional outfit— you know, for a real zombie apocalypse— there’s Top Outfitters in Johnston City. The military-surplus store has a ton of great gear that would make for fine Halloween outfits, not to mention general outdoor equipment.

Trick-or-Treating

A Trunk ‘r Treat— basically a trick-or-treat tailgate festival— will take place Thursday, October 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson. Costumed youth can wander from vehicle to vehicle in search of Halloween candy, enjoy some actual food, and listen to music by the Life Church band.

Mayor Donald Monty has proclaimed Friday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as the official trick-or-treat hours for Carbondale children.

Those who want to attract the little candy-starved demons, devils, and monsters for sugar fixes should turn on their porch and exterior lights. Kids, meanwhile, should not dress as the Invisible Pedestrian and should wear reflective clothing or tape so motorists can see them. Parents should inspect all treats for tampering. Those who encounter safety problems while trick-or-treating can look for the volunteer Pumpkin Patrol for help.

Speaking of which, the Carbondale Police Department always needs help keeping trick-or-treating safe in the city. Those who want to join the long-running Pumpkin Patrol safety program should contact Sergeant Corey Kemp at (618) 457-3200 ext. 454 or <mailto:ckemp@ci.carbondale.il.us>.

Carbondale Main Street will sponsor a candy walk Friday, October 31 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Parents can pick up a list of participating businesses at the Main Street office and head out from there to collect candy.

Another trunk-or-treat event— sort of a Halloween trick-or-treat tailgate party— will take place Friday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church parking lot in Carbondale. People will decorate their vehicles, stuff their trunks with candy, park out in the lot, and feed the wee beasties as they come by. In addition to trunk-or-treating, Grace will offer treats and games for people of all ages. Those who want to hand out candy at the event should call the church office at (618) 457-8785 to sign up. For more information, visit <http://www.gumc.net>.

Meanwhile, those ages thirteen and younger who want to trick-or-treat may stop by the Carbondale Public Library until 6 p.m. on Halloween to receive candy from costumed librarians.

Trick-or-treating will take place Friday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Cobden. The village and the Cobden High School Beta Club will give treats at the Village Hall. Make donations of candy or money for candy at Village Hall.

In Murphysboro, trick-or-treating takes place Friday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Citywide trick-or-treating in Carterville runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In Marion, trick-or-treating takes place Friday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for ages twelve and younger.

For those boos and ghouls who have enough candy and would like to give something to the less-fortunate, child members of Carbondale Interfaith Council congregations, accompanied by adults, will go door-to-door in costume Sunday, November 2 to collect donations on behalf of UNICEF. Participating churches usually include the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, the Church of the Good Shepherd, Epiphany Lutheran Church, First Christian Church, and First Presbyterian Church. Find out more at <http://www.CdaleInterfaith.org>.

Haunting Music, Movies, Theater, Parties, Festivals, and Games

For those more interested in wasting zombies than becoming them, Tag U.R. Hit offers the chance to play a special Halloween version of lasertag through October on the third floor of the Carbondale Elks Club. Zombies are also welcome to participate, however, and those ages thirteen and older are welcome to create or join team competitions (though parents must sign waivers for minors). For rates and more information, visit <http://www.TagURHit.com>

Student ensembles, including the Rend Lake Community Orchestra, Concert Band, and Concert Choir, will play a Halloween show Thursday, October 30 at 6 p.m. at Rend Lake College. Selections have generally come from Corpse Bride, Phantom of the Opera, and the Harry Potter films, plus tunes like “Thriller.” A costume party and contest will follow at 7 p.m.

For those want even more Halloween chills, the Rend Lake College thespians will present a stage adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame— a nonmusical version based on the Victor Hugo novel and not Disney’s various renditions— Thursday through Saturday, November 6 through November 8 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, November 9 at 2 p.m.

For more information, visit <http://www.rlc.edu>.

The transsexual Transylvanian parties, gorgeous gals, thrills and chills, and lotsa larfs and sex come to unlife when Skyline Creek Productions presents Richard O’Brien’s classic musical The Rocky Horror Show. This live-action version takes place Thursday and Friday, October 30 and 31 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. Shows run at 7 p.m. and, as Gawd intended, midnight.

Why see a stage show when the film is regarded as definitive, and it’s showing this weekend at SIU?

“I tell you what, it can be a real challenging experience to try to marry the two together,” Tony Segretario, founder of Skyline Creek Productions and its director of marketing and events, tells Nightlife. “Because you're right, the movie is so cemented in people’s minds a lot of times, that's what they expect to see when they come to the show, and sometimes if it doesn't follow exactly along lines of the movie I think people can be taken back a bit. We like to have a little bit of creative control, because I think that it helps us communicate the story in a more effective manner, even though sometimes I feel that there's a little bit of pressure to emulate the movie. But ultimately, in the end, the live performance is so intoxicating in a sense that any notion of us having to be exactly like the film was kind of thrown out the window.”

For tickets, call the Marion Cultural and Civic Center box office at (618) 997-4030 or visit <http://www.MarionCCC.org>. Search for the event at <http://www.RockyShows.net> for more information. It’s just a jump to the left...

Lips! Lips! Lips!

SPC’s annual Halloween screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays Friday and Saturday, October 31 and November 1 in the Student Center Ballrooms—at midnight and on the big screen as Gawd intended. Students pay $3 with valid identification, and the public gets in for $4. SPC also sells prop bags for $3 for the virgins who forget to bring their own. Hot patootie!

Take a walk along the Carterville Pumpkin Path Friday, October 31 at 4:30 p.m., starting at the First Baptist Church parking lot. Participants must bring a canned good to donate to the Carterville Food Pantry. A costume contest with awards in four age categories starts at 5 p.m., and a huge parade at 5:30 p.m. The Pumpkin Path, where participating businesses will offer trick-or-treat candy, runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, contact the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942 or visit <http://www.CartervilleChamber.com>.

The 2014 Trail of Treats marks the event’s silver anniversary (and everyone knows that silver is the bane of werewolves and vampires). It will take place Friday, October 31 at 4 p.m. in downtown Herrin. Kids twelve and younger can pick up treasure maps to participating businesses at the Chamber of Commerce office, as well as bags they can fill along the way. The route leads to the Herrin Civic Center. Food and games will take place there from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a contest at 6 p.m. where the best-costumed participants can win prizes. Those who would like to volunteer for the event or donate funds to keep it going may call John Homan at (618) 925-0563 or Liz Lively at (618) 942-5163.

The Science Center’s Monster Mash Halloween party takes place Friday, October 31 at 5 p.m., complete with spooky science experiments and activities. The program is free to all children, even those who don’t come in costume.

For details, see <http://YourScienceCenter.org> or call (618) 529-5431.

The University Mall will hold building-wide Mall-o-ween festivities on Halloween, too, including costume contests at 4 p.m., a performance by Mister Twist the Balloon Man at 4:30 p.m., and trick-or-treating at participating stores from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for those twelve and younger.

Another place for trick-or-treat fun is the Safe Halloween festival Saturday, November 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Murdale Shopping Center, where participating merchants will offer high-quality candy to costumed children ages twelve and younger when accompanied by adults. Kids can also take hayrides, play on inflatable creations, and enjoy carnival games. Parents should bring a camera for special photo opportunities.

The Carbondale Police Department and Crimestoppers will bring McGruff the Crime Dog to the event to discuss safety. Children will also have the chance to meet with police officers and get to know the people who protect them.

The Carbondale Fire Department will bring out firetrucks and the fire safehouse to provide fire-safety education.

The Carbondale Park District will sell concessions (including bison burgers) to benefit the Super Splash Park, while the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale will sell cotton candy and popcorn and staff the inflatables. Those who wish to sign up to help can contact Randy Osborn at (618) 457-8877 ext. 1 or <mailto:ROsborn@bgc-cdale.org>.

Those who want to enter the Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race later that day at the Mill Street Underpass can take lessons, purchase supplies from Murdale True Value, and pick up plenty of pumpkins from the Farmers’ Market next door at Westown Mall. The public may also cast votes for best pumpkin design.

The event has gone on for so long that organizers have lost the exact count, but they believe it’s more than twenty years old.

And the organizers are civic-minded local businesspeople who invest their lives in the community, not faceless entities hustling money from Carbondale to far-flung corporate headquarters. Oftentimes during Safe Halloween they are there, in person, in costume, to hand out candy to children.

“This is our home,” Murdale True Value owner George Sheffer told Nightlife in 2013. “This is what we care about. I know a lot of these people by name. It’s about more than doing business.... You do it because it’s close to your heart and this is your town.”

The SIU Student Center will celebrate Halloween with a costume contest for SIU faculty, staff, and students. Competitors need to drop by in costume Friday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The top three winners in each category will earn prizes.

Also on Halloween proper, the SIU community can come from noon to 8:30 p.m. to the Craft Shop on a walk-in basis for seasonal activities—henna tattoos, face-painting, mask-making, and the making of wax hands. Costs vary from $2 to $4.

Those who come to the Student Center in costumes can enjoy spooktacular food specials.

Cosmic bowling will take place Friday, October 31 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Student Center Bowling and Billiards.

Meanwhile, the person who wins the Great Pumpkin Contest by correctly guessing the weight of the giant squash in the Bowling and Billiards display case will win a prize.

For details, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org> and click on the relevant links.

The SIU Inter-Greek Council’s annual Safe Halloween will take place Friday, October 31 at 6 p.m. in the SIU Student Center’s International Lounge. This event provides a safe environment for children and their parents to trick-or-treat in the Student Center and play games (like Bozo buckets) at tables staffed by some of SIU’s Registered Student Organizations.

For more information, visit <http://fsl.siuc.edu>.

The Paparazzi Costume Party will take place Friday, October 31 at 7 p.m. at the Eurma C. Hayes Center. The event is open to those ages fourteen to nineteen, and admission is $5. Those who attend may purchase food and have pictures taken in a photo booth.

The Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast, working with Main Street, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, and Carbondale Tourism, will hold the annual Great Carbondale Pumpkin Race Saturday, November 1 at 3 p.m. at the Mill Street underpass. Competitors will run axels through decorated pumpkins, attach at least four wheels, and race them, pinewood-derby-style, down the hill. No caster wheels or prefabricated chassis are allowed— the pumpkins have to support the axels, not the other way around. The event is open to all ages and competitors will vie for $100 in prizes. To register or participate in a pumpkin-making workshop (classes will take place through October 30), call Main Street at (618) 529-8040.

A costume contest will also take place, complete with prizes, as well as a pumpkin-carving contest.

Check out how other communities have done this at <http://www.PumpkinRace.com>.

For more information, search for the event on Facebook.

The annual Haunted Hollow festival promises spooky good times Sunday, November 2 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

Those who come can thrill to the natural beauty— and creepiness— of the area by taking interpretive nature hikes and games, and this being Halloween weekend, participants may enjoy haunted hayrides and an environmental-education component about creepy crawlers. And who knows what dwells beneath the waters of Little Grassy Lake— perhaps the Loch Ness Monster or the Creature from the Black Lagoon?

Because activities will take place at different times throughout the afternoon, those who come should plan to attend the entire event.

For those who register by October 31 at 4 p.m. admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children older than five, and free to children five and younger. Admission at the gate is by cash only, for $11 and $7.

For more information or to make reservations, call (618) 453-1121 or visit <http://www.ton.siu.edu>.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

Long ago, evil spirits took over Wakefield Prison, right off Route 148 in Herrin. There, spirits of evil inmates and sadistic guards roamed the dark cells and narrow hallways, transforming it into the Cell Block Haunted House. And this year, haunted hayrides will take place at terrifying nearby Ravenwood Hollows.

Ray Elam’s Slaughterhouse Productions created both Wakefield Prison and Ravenwood Hollows, which operate Fridays through Sundays in Herrin. Every year— in fact, throughout the month— Elam and company revise the haunts to fine-tune and simply change the experience. The prison, for example, contains modules that can move around or switch out, so no two tours are exactly alike. The whole place is wired for surround sound, and the effects consume a six-figure budget. Elam’s philosophy: When people are inside the haunt and you hear them screaming, and when they come out, if they’re laughing, that’s when he knows he’s done his job.

For rates, detailed schedules, and more information, visit <http://cellblock666.com>.

Since 2005, The Haunting of Chittyville School has scared the Chitt out of patrons, and its ghastly inhabitants are preparing to do so again. The haunt will run in October Fridays through Sundays through November 1, plus Sunday, October 26 and Thursday, October 30.

According to legend, the school, north of downtown Herrin, is built on an old graveyard. Ghosts began to appear to the students and faculty, and a custodian once disappeared into the basement... never to return.

Chittyville is divided into three sections: The Haunting of Chittyville School, the main attraction, and The Lair, a short but very intense experience that only runs when weather permits. Then there’s Spooky Town, a toned-down, age-appropriate area (think Scooby-doo) to groom younger kids as the next generation of customers for the more mature horrors they can encounter when they grow up.

Usually, there’s enough light to see the intricately costumed actors and carefully constructed sets, but this doesn’t apply to the total-blackout nights, which run from October 30 through November 1, when patrons receive only glowsticks to light their way.

For directions, a detailed account of the haunting, and ticket information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com> or call (618) 942-6111.

Experts in local paranormal activity and hauntings will combine forces in 2014— Scott Thorne of Castle Perilous Books and Games and Bruce Cline of the Little Egypt Ghost Society and Big Muddy Tours. Thorne has collected local legends and ghost stories for years, many of which he details on his Carbondale Gazette blog. Cline has authored a series of nearly sold-out books, History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois.

Past tours have offered information about the Carbondale Anomaly Corridor, the Illinois Central Railroad Death Vortex, and hauntings at Hundley House, the D.C.I Biologicals building, Oakland and Woodlawn Cemeteries, Shryock Auditorium, the recently demolished Sunset Haven, and other locations. Participants will also learn how to photograph and record spirits and ghosts.

Walking tours will depart every Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. from Castle Perilous. The tours are $15. Call or stop by the store to make reservations, and dress for the weather.

The store will have candy for trick-or-treaters Friday, October 31 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For details, call the Castle at (618) 529-5317 or visit <http://www.CastlePerilous.com>.

The Anna Arts Center will hold a series of Halloween activities, starting with the Fire Station of Horrors Haunted House, which runs Fridays and Saturdays in October and November 1 at 7 p.m. in an abandoned fire station. There demons and ghouls will chase participants through a maze.

Children and the faint at heart can stay in the waiting room and make Halloween crafts. Admission is $5, or $20 per group of six or more, and proceeds will benefit maintenance and renovations of the Anna Arts Center buildings.

Find out more at <http://AnnaArtCenter.com>, or contact Norma Lee Hackney at <mailto:vabchlee@gmail.com> or (904) 625-1109.

Those whose corpses end up as animal feed during tours of the Dickey Family Haunted Barn, which opens outside Harrisburg every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in October, need to know they gave their lives for a great cause.

Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children thirteen and younger, and T-shirts are $12. Proceeds will benefit the Fowler-Bonan Foundation, which provides new clothes to low-income schoolchildren, as well as Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital and other charities.

For directions and more information, search for Haunted Barn 2014 on Facebook.

Every year, Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Colp Road, cuts mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes— an Egyptian pharaoh, John A. Logan, the Southern Illinois Miners’ baseball-team logo, or the Girl Scouts.

With important gubernatorial, state representative, U.S. Congress, and other elections in November, this year’s maze exhorts citizens to vote.

The maze’s path winds through about three miles of corn, and takes at least an hour to walk.

In addition, Bandy’s offers a play barn for younger children, hayrides, and pumpkins galore. Group tours of the pumpkin patch and hayrides through the farm are available by appointment. The maze is open every day through October 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For rates and more information, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

Adult Fun

The Upstage Production Company will present a murder-mystery dinner theater show, Murder at the Haunted Winery, Thursday, October 30 at the expanded Alto Vineyards and Winery banquet hall. Whodunnit? Attend and enjoy a three-course dinner while helping to solve the homicide! Reservations are $50. Meanwhile, those who stop by in costume from October 31 to November 2 will receive a free Alto Vineyards poster.

One-man jam band Jaik Willis will play the Halloween Extravaganza Thursday, October 30 at the Hangar 9. Then the Dead will rise when jam band Spread plays their annual Night of the Living Spread show Friday, October 31 at the Hangar 9 alongside the incredible Aaron Kamm and the One Drops, billed as the Halloween Little Shop of Horrors; this is when the Hangar’s costume party and contest takes place.

Finally, the Vaudeville Vagabond Twilight Twitterpaiters will perform a freaky Halloweenie cabaret revue along with a sideshow act, Don’t Try This at Home, Thursday, November 1 at the Hangar. The show comes complete with a costume contest and prizes.

Where it started, nobody knows, although Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are probably as good a guess as any, but the devil seems to love his heavy metal.

Actually, it’s the other way around— heavy metal loves Mephistopheles, though the affection may not be reciprocated. The late huckster who founded the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, once told Rolling Stone that the devil his bad self prefers old-time circus tunes and pop music, preferably on the calliope and organ, both instruments of which LaVey himself was not incidentally once a master. Perhaps the Great Scam Artist’s assessment came from recognizing a good marketing ruse when he saw one— the supposed satanic connections to most metal acts constitute little more than the same free-publicity-generating shock value LaVey often employed all the way to the bank.

Getting back on track, if Halloween is Satan’s holiday— a belief that most pagans would with good reason dispute— then LaVey be damned (as it were). What better way to celebrate than by having a headbanging good time?

And what Carbondale band better represents the spirit of the season than the Raw Flesh Eaters, a heavy-metal splatter-rock outfit in the tradition of the Misfits, Gwar, and Black Sabbath? They will play an extra spooky Halloween show Thursday, October 30 at PK’s, where a new Raw Flesh Eaters CD will make its horrifying debut. “[W]e would like to warn people that this show will not be for the squeamish,” guitarist Tim Whiteford told Nightlife about a previous Halloween show. “If you are easily disgusted or offended, this show is not for you. However if you are sick in the head, then there will be more than enough blood, guts, and human remains for everyone. Come join in on the massacre— if you dare!”

Cowboy hats and boots are the fashion Friday, October 31 when local country band Murphy500 fires it up at the Copper Dragon’s official Halloween bash. Actually, all styles are welcome in the costume contest, in which the man with the best costume will win $200 cash and a Coors Light Refresherator— sort of a half-minifridge, half-vending machine. The best-costumed woman will earn a Miller Lite Retro Ice Chest and $200 in cash.

Pinch Penny Pub’s Halloween Bash takes place Friday, October 31, complete with a costume contest and prizes.

A night of terror takes place Friday, October 31 at Tres Hombres, when the costume contest will reward the best-dressed participants in categories including sexiest, scariest, funniest, most original, and best group costume. DJ Nasty Nate will spin the tunes.

Then the Black Fortys will reissue their entire catalogue Saturday, November 1 at Tres Hombres. They will repackage their first two EPs, Inana Veda and Kaskaskia Island, into one full-length disc, The Early Years, along with unreleased songs they recorded in 2009. They’ll also have their first proper album, Voodoo Moon, available— and with its atmospheric, gorgeous, but foreboding songs about bayou magic and “Blood Red Moons,” it’s a perfect fit for Halloween. Look for new songs by the band that night as well as the premiere of bandleader Josh Murphy’s surreal horror movie Watersnakes (think Godard or Fellini having a bad acid trip at Dracula’s castle). And by then, Murphy may also have finished his book of surrealistic/absurdist writings, Wall of Sound.

The Cellar’s costume party and contest will bring $100 cash and a $50 gift certificate to the best-dressed patron and a $50 gift certificate for second place. Judging begins at 11 p.m. Local classic rockers the Venturis will provide the soundtrack.

Blues history is replete with myths about selling souls to the devil and hellhounds, so Halloween night is as good a time as any for local bluesman Joey Odum to come out with a new CD. Odum and his band (Joe Beck on bass, Tim Crosby on drums, and Steve Saunders on keyboard) will celebrate the release of his new disc, Mister Bluesman, Friday, October 31 at Curbside.

Local southern rockers DiamondBack will reunite Friday, October 31 at the Blue Boar Restaurant and Bar’s annual Hallow-ween Party. A costume contest will take place with $250 in cash and prizes.

The Rustle Hill costume party and contest comes to unlife Friday, October 31 at 5 p.m. Those in the top three costumes will win prizes. The Natives will play classic rock.

StarView Vineyards’ annual HalloWine festival will feature the Recoil Band Friday, October 31, as well as a chili and nacho bar amid the costume party and contest.

Scratch Brewery in Ava will project two screenings of the great 1922 F.W. Murnau silent film Nosferatu— still one of the most terrifying vampire movies ever made— Friday, October 31 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Bring a crucifix and a couple braids of garlic.

Enjoy a dinner of Halloween-themed cuisine (roast beast, jack o’ lantern pie) Friday, October 31 at 5 p.m. at Von Jakob Winery and Brewery.

A Halloween costume party and contest takes place Friday, October 31 at 9 p.m. at the Restaurant at Trail’s End Lodge. The Ivas John Band will play the blues that evening, and those who prefer the outdoors can enjoy a bonfire.

Brews Brothers Taproom in Murphysboro will celebrate Halloween with a lot of activity Saturday, November 1. Those who want to learn how to whip up their own batches of witch’s brew can join the Southern Illinois Homebrew Club at noon for a beer-making seminar. At 8 p.m., the brewpub will hold a costume party and contest, with prizes at midnight. Local Americana group the Storm Crows will perform.

Community radio station WDBX will hold a Halloween (technically, a Day of the Dead) costume ball Saturday, November 1 at the Garden Grove Event Center. A silent auction and fifty/fifty raffle will take place, with live music by King Juba and Battle Jacket Baby. Tickets are $30 at Arnold’s Market, Dayshift Boutique, the Neighborhood Coop, and Plaza Records; get them online at <http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com>.

Boo! Halloween 2014, Part I

Carbondale is legendary for Halloween celebrations, though the present-day revelry doesn’t come even
Brian Wilson
Video Comentary

Carbondale is legendary for Halloween celebrations, though the present-day revelry doesn’t come even close to the huge party in the 1980s when thousands of persons in costumes gathered to celebrate.

In 1989 SIU and the city shut it down. Since then, the city’s nightclubs and surrounding entertainment venues have held unofficial celebrations and parties the weekend before Halloween, and sometimes the weekend afterward. This year, several bars got a jump on things and held costume parties and contests last weekend. Tons of Halloween activities will continue the next two weeks.

Last year, however, for the first time in years, the Carbondale City Council voted to allow nightclubs on the Strip to open for Halloween weekend. As frequently predicted in these pages, all went well, and the experiment continues in 2014. If everyone has a good but safe time, Carbondale could well start to reestablish a wonderful tradition. Good behavior is absolutely essential to turn this two-year experiment into an ongoing policy. Please be responsible, and encourage friends and peers to do the same.

Meanwhile, though Carbondale is destination number one for many Halloween activities, the spirit seizes the entire region, as this article proves.

So there’s always a lot going on in Southern Illinois in celebration of Halloween, some of it for children, some for adults, some fun, and plenty of it scary. If you dare, read on here— and online for more, and next week for continuing coverage— for a taste of the tricks and treats of the season.

Religion

The original trappings of the Halloween holiday that remain are largely stripped of their religious meanings.

Most pagans refer to Halloween as Samhain— pronounced Sow-en. It is the third harvest celebration on the pagan calendar, as well as the last day of the pagan year— a time when the veil between the living and dead is at its most thin. All Hallows Eve is a time to settle old debts, remember those who passed on, give thanks for good fortune, and have fun. It’s similar to the Day of the Dead in Hispanic cultures, more about which in a moment.

Locally, the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance holds a traditional Samhain ritual Saturday, October 25 at 4 p.m. at Lake Murphysboro State Park overflow area. Participants should bring a dish for a potluck dinner, offerings for the dead (photos, urns, favorite items to help honor, represent, and remember ancestors), a carved pumpkin and candle, and tiki torches. Participants should also bring a donation of pet supplies, which the Pagan Alliance will donate to two no-kill shelters, Wright-way Rescue and Cache Creek Animal Rescue. For more information, visit <http://www.SIPaganAlliance.com>.

Costumes

SIU students who want to make their own Halloween costumes can set up appointments with a Student Center Craft Shop expert at (618) 453-3636 to learn sewing basics. Individual rates are $12 for thirty minutes, but the price per person drops substantially for group lessons. Those who already sew can rent a machine for a nominal fee. For more information, visit <http://StudentCenter.siu.edu> and click on the link to the Craft Shop.

The SIU Department of Theater sells off its surplus at the annual Big Halloween Costume and Prop Sale, which this year takes place Saturday, October 25 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Communications Building’s McLeod Theater lobby and loading dock. It’s a chance to buy custom-made, high-quality costumes, props, set pieces, and other items— perfect for costume parties, haunted houses, and other Halloween activities. Not all the attire is Halloween-y, either— some is great for daily wear. The sale is open to the public. All items are cash only. For more information, call costume shop manager Caitlin Entwistle at (618) 453-7592 or publicist Vincent Rhomberg at (618) 453-7589.

Popup stores like Spirit, on East Main Street, not only carry a large assortment of costumes, but Halloween decorations, party favors, props, and animatronic frights.

Decidedly more graphic apparel is available at the Lion’s Den Adult Superstore, south of Marion.

Those who want to design something with more originality but remain on a budget should consider hitting Carbondale’s myriad used, vintage, and thrift stores: Tropicana Vintage Clothing, Jane’s Consignment, the Church Women United Thrift Shop, and Goodwill Industries. In addition, most local salons will do the doo in appropriately frightening fashion.

For those looking for a more functional outfit— you know, for a real zombie apocalypse— there’s Top Outfitters in Johnston City. The military-surplus store has a ton of great gear that would make for fine Halloween outfits, not to mention general outdoor equipment.

Trick-or-Treating

A Trunk ‘r Treat— basically a trick-or-treat tailgate festival— will take place Thursday, October 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson. Costumed youth can wander from vehicle to vehicle in search of Halloween candy, enjoy some actual food, and listen to music by the Life Church band.

The Carbondale Police Department always needs help keeping trick-or-treating safe in the city. Those who want to join the long-running Pumpkin Patrol safety program should contact Sergeant Corey Kemp at (618) 457-3200 ext. 454 or <mailto:ckemp@ci.carbondale.il.us>.

Haunting Music, Movies, Theater, Parties, Festivals, and Games

SIU English professor Tony Williams is Night of the Living Dead director George Romero’s biographer, making all this region’s zombie-related activities either eerily appropriate or an incredibly creepy coincidence. Either way, a zombie horde will begin to assemble Saturday, October 25 at noon at the Gaia House Interfaith Center, where makeup artists will help living participants transform into living-dead brain-eaters. The Zombie Walk itself begins at 4 p.m. Registration is $10, for which participants will get a free zombie makeover, discounts at participating local businesses, a chance to win prizes (including Fat Patties burger bucks), and all the human flesh they can consume along the way.

Look for a zombie pub crawl or some sort of afterparty to follow the walk.

Zombies should bring two canned or boxed goods for donation to a local food pantry. A portion of the entry fee will benefit WDBX.

While the Zombie Walk is open to all ages, some of the zombies may overly frighten young children, and the afterparty may have bar entry-age restrictions.

To register for the Zombie Walk, visit <http://CarbondaleZombieWalk.weebly.com> or stop in at the Carbondale Zombie Walk Facebook page.

For those more interested in wasting zombies than becoming them, Tag U.R. Hit offers the chance to play a special Halloween version of lasertag through October on the third floor of the Carbondale Elks Club. Zombies are also welcome to participate, however, and those ages thirteen and older are welcome to create or join team competitions (though parents must sign waivers for minors). For rates and more information, visit <http://www.TagURHit.com>.

Every year art students in the SIU glass program, Southern Glass Works, make gourds for the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale, which this year takes place Saturday, October 25 at 9 a.m. in the Carbondale Town Square.

The incredibly beautiful pumpkins range in price from $10 to $100 or more. Students spend months growing them. With a little care, they can easily outlast the farmed variety.

The sale is the glass program’s major fundraiser. Proceeds help buy materials and bring visiting artists to campus. The sale runs while supplies last.

Meanwhile, artist and SIU alum Tim Shepherd will sell his blown-glass pumpkins across the street Saturday, October 25 at 10 a.m. at Dayshift Boutique. Shepherd’s work comes in all sizes, colors— some of the pumpkins are more traditional in form and design, others have beautiful psychedelic swirls rolling through them— and price ranges. Search for photos of his work on Pinterest. Dayshift only sells one-of-a-kind items, so customers should buy up anything they like, because when items sell they cannot be restocked.

Saint Francis Community Animal Rescue and Education will host the Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest and Photo Spooktacular Saturday, October 25 at 10 a.m. at the Carbondale PetCo. The event offers prizes for costumed pets in various categories, and people may dress up with their pets for framed digital photos.

For more information, call (618) 529-5249.

Those who want to put on overalls and cowboy hats for a good cause can attend the Halloween Hoedown Sunday, October 26 at 5 p.m. at the Marion Elks Lodge. The fundraising dinner and auction will benefit Specialized Equine Services, a local not-for-profit organization that offers therapeutic horseback rides for people with mental and physical disorders. Reserve tickets, which cost $20, by calling Giant City Stables at (618) 529-4110.

Student ensembles, including the Rend Lake Community Orchestra, Concert Band, and Concert Choir, will play a Halloween show Thursday, October 30 at 6 p.m. at Rend Lake College. Selections have generally come from Corpse Bride, Phantom of the Opera, and the Harry Potter films, plus tunes like “Thriller.” A costume party and contest will follow at 7 p.m.

For those want even more Halloween chills, the Rend Lake College thespians will present a stage adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame— a nonmusical version based on the Victor Hugo novel and not Disney’s various renditions— Thursday through Saturday, November 6 through November 8 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, November 9 at 2 p.m.

For more information, visit <http://www.rlc.edu>.

The transsexual Transylvanian parties, gorgeous gals, thrills and chills, and lotsa larfs and sex come to unlife when Skyline Creek Productions presents Richard O’Brien’s classic musical The Rocky Horror Show. This live-action version takes place Thursday and Friday, October 30 and 31 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. Shows run at 7 p.m. and, as Gawd intended, midnight. For tickets, call the Marion Cultural and Civic Center box office at (618) 997-4030 or visit <http://www.MarionCCC.org>. Search for the event at <http://www.RockyShows.net> for more information. It’s just a jump to the left...

The SIU Student Programming Council will screen Wes Craven’s original A Nightmare on Elm Street Thursday through Saturday, October 23 through October 25 at the Student Center Auditorium. Don’t fall asleep and let Freddy Krueger invade your dreams...

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

Long ago, evil spirits took over Wakefield Prison, right off Route 148 in Herrin. There, spirits of evil inmates and sadistic guards roamed the dark cells and narrow hallways, transforming it into the Cell Block Haunted House. And this year, haunted hayrides will take place at terrifying nearby Ravenwood Hollows.

Ray Elam’s Slaughterhouse Productions created both Wakefield Prison and Ravenwood Hollows, which operate Fridays through Sundays in Herrin. Every year— in fact, throughout the month— Elam and company revise the haunts to fine-tune and simply change the experience. The prison, for example, contains modules that can move around or switch out, so no two tours are exactly alike. The whole place is wired for surround sound, and the effects consume a six-figure budget. Elam’s philosophy: When people are inside the haunt and you hear them screaming, and when they come out, if they’re laughing, that’s when he knows he’s done his job.

For rates, detailed schedules, and more information, visit <http://cellblock666.com>.

Since 2005, The Haunting of Chittyville School has scared the Chitt out of patrons, and its ghastly inhabitants are preparing to do so again. The haunt will run in October Fridays through Sundays through November 1, plus Sunday, October 26 and Thursday, October 30.

According to legend, the school, north of downtown Herrin, is built on an old graveyard. Ghosts began to appear to the students and faculty, and a custodian once disappeared into the basement... never to return.

Chittyville is divided into three sections: The Haunting of Chittyville School, the main attraction, and The Lair, a short but very intense experience that only runs when weather permits. Then there’s Spooky Town, a toned-down, age-appropriate area (think Scooby-doo) to groom younger kids as the next generation of customers for the more mature horrors they can encounter when they grow up.

Usually, there’s enough light to see the intricately costumed actors and carefully constructed sets, but this doesn’t apply to the total-blackout nights, which run from October 30 through November 1, when patrons receive only glowsticks to light their way.

For directions, a detailed account of the haunting, and ticket information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com> or call (618) 942-6111.

Big Muddy Monster Hayrides will take place October 23, 24, and 25 at Riverside Park in Murphysboro. Visitors will ride on haywagons through the woods down by the Big Muddy River. Along the way they’ll encounter a number of spooky sights, including an old black coach with some frightening inhabitants, chainsaw maniacs, a headless horseman, and the Big Muddy Monster himself. Folks will also be treated to a choreographed dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

There will also be a haunted house, complete with bats and vampires, a psycho hospital patient, an electric chair, and a werewolf.

A concession stand will be open.

Tickets are $6 (with $1 off for those who bring a nonperishable food item for donation to a local food pantry) and free for children younger than four. Tickets will presell for $5 at the Murphysboro Kroger.

For more information, call Mary Kay Campbell at (618) 559-6989, or search for the Big Muddy Monster Haunted Hayrides on Facebook.

Experts in local paranormal activity and hauntings will combine forces in 2014— Scott Thorne of Castle Perilous Books and Games and Bruce Cline of the Little Egypt Ghost Society and Big Muddy Tours. Thorne has collected local legends and ghost stories for years, many of which he details on his Carbondale Gazette blog. Cline has authored a series of nearly sold-out books, History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois.

Past tours have offered information about the Carbondale Anomaly Corridor, the Illinois Central Railroad Death Vortex, and hauntings at Hundley House, the D.C.I Biologicals building, Oakland and Woodlawn Cemeteries, Shryock Auditorium, the recently demolished Sunset Haven, and other locations. Participants will also learn how to photograph and record spirits and ghosts.

Walking tours will depart every Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. from Castle Perilous. The tours are $15. Call or stop by the store to make reservations, and dress for the weather.

Meanwhile, Big Muddy Tours will hold their first-ever bus tour Tuesday, October 28, which will take participants all over Southern Illinois.

For more information, search for Big Muddy Tours and the Little Egypt Ghost Society on Facebook.

In addition, Castle Perilous will celebrate Halloween Comicfest Saturday, October 25. Those who stop in the store can get meet the So Ill Roller Girls and grab a free comic book and a piece of trick-or-treat candy (two of each if they come in costume!). Those who stop in between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. can enjoy a game of Munchkin Zombies. The Castle is also a stop on the Carbondale Zombie Walk.

A Halloween party will take place Sunday, October 26 at 5 p.m. at Castle Perilous, complete with furry visitors from the Jackson County Humane Society. The store will have candy for trick-or-treaters Friday, October 31 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For details, call the Castle at (618) 529-5317 or visit <http://www.CastlePerilous.com>.

The full, nuanced, but absolutely true and horrifying tale is far too complicated to tell in this space, so here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: In 1922 striking coal miners erupted when an out-of-town owner, W.J. Lester, brought in scab labor to work his mine. Union miners rounded up, paraded around, beat, and shot onsite management and scabs. Twenty-one died, with many unceremoniously buried (some still alive) in unmarked graves. It was dubbed the Herrin Massacre.

On Saturday, October 25, three tours (at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m.) will head out to the sites where the Herrin Massacre transpired. Admission is $25.

Organizer Amy Erikson will schedule private Herrin Massacre tours as well at (618) 751-2924. The cost varies— it’s less when groups provide their own transportation and more if the tour company needs to book a bus, for example. Erikson says the best group size ranges from fifteen to forty. Those who don’t have a large group can keep an eye on the website for public tours, which come about once a month (though past tours have sold out fast). For more information, visit <http://www.HerrinMassacreTour.com>.

The Anna Arts Center will hold a series of Halloween activities, starting with the Fire Station of Horrors Haunted House, which runs Fridays and Saturdays in October and November 1 at 7 p.m. in an abandoned fire station. There demons and ghouls will chase participants through a maze.

Children and the faint at heart can stay in the waiting room and make Halloween crafts. Admission is $5, or $20 per group of six or more, and proceeds will benefit maintenance and renovations of the Anna Arts Center buildings.

Find out more at <http://AnnaArtCenter.com>, or contact Norma Lee Hackney at <mailto:vabchlee@gmail.com> or (904) 625-1109.

The Carterville Lions will hold a haunted hayride October 23, 24, and 25 at 7 p.m., starting at James Street Park in Carterville. Visitors will ride on hay wagons to the Haunted Railroad Bed, where they will encounter ghouls, goblins, and ghosts.

Admission is $4. This event is appropriate for children.

For more information, visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com> or call the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942.

Those whose corpses end up as animal feed during tours of the Dickey Family Haunted Barn, which opens outside Harrisburg every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in October, need to know they gave their lives for a great cause.

Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children thirteen and younger, and T-shirts are $12. Proceeds will benefit the Fowler-Bonan Foundation, which provides new clothes to low-income schoolchildren, as well as Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital and other charities.

For directions and more information, search for Haunted Barn 2014 on Facebook.

Every year, Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Colp Road, cuts mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes— an Egyptian pharaoh, John A. Logan, the Southern Illinois Miners’ baseball-team logo, or the Girl Scouts.

With important gubernatorial, state representative, U.S. Congress, and other elections in November, this year’s maze exhorts citizens to vote.

The maze’s path winds through about three miles of corn, and takes at least an hour to walk.

In addition, Bandy’s offers a play barn for younger children, hayrides, and pumpkins galore. Group tours of the pumpkin patch and hayrides through the farm are available by appointment. The maze is open every day through October 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For rates and more information, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

Adult Fun

The annual Monster Bash Costume Party roars to unlife Saturday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at Walker’s Bluff. Those in costume may dance to a DJ and compete for cash prizes that can reach the $150 range. A portion of the $10 cover, meanwhile, will benefit Myranda’s Child and Family Foundation, which helps local families in need.

Owl Creek Vineyard and Apple Knocker Hard Ciders will hold the first Punkie Night Bash Saturday, October 25 at 6:30 p.m. Owl Creek will have a special pumpkin cider on sale throughout the event— hence its name— while totally bluegrass supergroup the Ol’ Fishskins pick. The costume contest prizes include a Punkie Night Hard Cider hoodie for best costume, an Apple Knocker Hard Cider growler for scariest costume, and a choice of Owl Creek T-shirts for most original costume. There’s no cover for the event, but it’s only open to those twenty-one and older.

Blue Sky Vineyard and Winery will hold a Halloween Bash Sunday, October 26 at 2 p.m. Artists will display and sell their work, a tarot reader will channel advice from the spirits, and Mister Twist the Balloon Man will create all kinds of inflatable sculptures for kids of all ages. Classic rock band the Natives will provide live entertainment. A costume contest takes place at 5 p.m.; first prize is a one-night stay in the Tuscan Suite, while second prize is a $50 Blue Sky gift certificate. In addition, the winery usually vints a special Witches’ Brew for the event.

The Upstage Production Company will present a murder-mystery dinner theater show, Murder at the Haunted Winery, Thursday, October 30 at the expanded Alto Vineyards and Winery banquet hall. Whodunnit? Attend and enjoy a three-course dinner while helping to solve the homicide! Reservations are $50. Meanwhile, those who stop by in costume from October 31 to November 2 will receive a free Alto Vineyards poster.

One-man jam band Jaik Willis will play the Halloween Extravaganza Thursday, October 30 at the Hangar 9.

Where it started, nobody knows, although Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are probably as good a guess as any, but the devil seems to love his heavy metal.

Actually, it’s the other way around— heavy metal loves Mephistopheles, though the affection may not be reciprocated. The late huckster who founded the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, once told Rolling Stone that the devil his bad self prefers old-time circus tunes and pop music, preferably on the calliope and organ, both instruments of which LaVey himself was not incidentally once a master. Perhaps the Great Scam Artist’s assessment came from recognizing a good marketing ruse when he saw one— the supposed satanic connections to most metal acts constitute little more than the same free-publicity-generating shock value LaVey often employed all the way to the bank.

Getting back on track, if Halloween is Satan’s holiday— a belief that most pagans would with good reason dispute— then LaVey be damned (as it were). What better way to celebrate than by having a headbanging good time?

And what Carbondale band better represents the spirit of the season than the Raw Flesh Eaters, a heavy-metal splatter-rock outfit in the tradition of the Misfits, Gwar, and Black Sabbath? They will play an extra spooky Halloween show Thursday, October 30 at PK’s, where a new Raw Flesh Eaters CD will make its horrifying debut. “[W]e would like to warn people that this show will not be for the squeamish,” guitarist Tim Whiteford told Nightlife about a previous Halloween show. “If you are easily disgusted or offended, this show is not for you. However if you are sick in the head, then there will be more than enough blood, guts, and human remains for everyone. Come join in on the massacre— if you dare!”

 

Get Scared 2014: A-Haunting We Will Go in Southern Illinois’s Scares!

For those who like a good scare, look no further. Southern Illinois is home to several haunted house
Brian Wilson
Video Comentary

For those who like a good scare, look no further. Southern Illinois is home to several haunted houses every year around Halloween. Here’s a list to get you started.

Anna

The Arts Center of Anna will host the Haunted House of Horrors Fridays and Saturdays from October 10 to Halloween night, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will take place in the old Anna fire station, which was built in the late 1800s. Inside visitors will find a haunted graveyard, a diabolical surgeon, witches, zombies, a house of rats, and much more.

Admission is $5 or five persons for $20. All proceeds will go toward the maintenance and renovations of the Anna Arts Center buildings.

For more information, visit <http://AnnaArtCenter.com>.

Carterville

The Carterville Lions will hold a haunted hayride October 23, 24, and 25 at 7 p.m., starting at James Street Park in Carterville. Visitors will ride on hay wagons to the Haunted Railroad Bed, where they will encounter ghouls, goblins, and ghosts.

Admission is $4. This event is appropriate for children.

For more information, visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com> or call the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942.

Herrin

Every year, The Hauntings at Chittyville treat visitors to one of the most terrifying haunt experiences around. The event plays up the tales surrounding the old Chittyville School, which was built in the 1930s and reportedly has a history of paranormal activity, even being investigated by ghost hunters in 2005.

As if the normal experience weren’t enough, owners will stage a haunted house there on weekends until November 1. From October 30 through November 1, they will turn off all the lights for a total blackout. Guests will walk through with only glow sticks to light their ways.

A second haunted house, the Lair, was added last year, and for those easily scared, there is also the much gentler Spooky Town. The latter is an interactive, kid-friendly monster hunt for preteens and younger, or just those who prefer to be able to sleep at night.

The main haunt will be open from 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays (as well as two Sundays and a Thursday) throughout October. Spooky Town will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on those same days, and the Lair will be open when weather permits.

For directions, a detailed account of the haunting, and ticket information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com> or call (618) 942-6111.

Considered one the scariest haunts around, the Cell Block Haunted House in Herrin, created by Slaughterhouse Productions, is back this year with almost twice the space as last year. Located in an old roller-skating rink that sat abandoned for twenty years, this one is home to countless dead prisoners, zombies, and other frightening sights. Workers say this is the only haunted house in the area that you actually must escape from, finding your path through the thousands of combinations of tunnels within the catacombs.

New to the area this year is another Slaughterhouse Production, Ravenwood Hollows Haunted Hayride, located on about 220 acres on Bandyville Road in Herrin. This forty-minute haunted hayride follows the fictional premise of the evil Doctor Ravenwood, who was arrested for mutilating his patients in the 1950s and sentenced to an institute for the criminally insane from which he escaped. Visitors take a trip through the woods and encounter an evil society that has stayed hidden from humankind for years.

Both the Cellblock and Ravenwood Hollows will be open every weekend in October, from 7 p.m. until the early hours of the morning.

Tickets for each are $15 per person.

Website updates are still coming, but for more information, email <mailto:WeScareU@gmail.com>.

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