Halloween

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>.

Tales of the Walking Meds: Shopping Zombies Attack Local Retail Store

Venues & Businesses
University Mall


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
If you’ve ever been to the University Mall Exercise Walking Track and Shopping Emporium (and what so
Chris Barron
Video Comentary

If you’ve ever been to the University Mall Exercise Walking Track and Shopping Emporium (and what sophisticate hasn’t?), you’ve seen us lurching toward old age like addled-brained undead on chemical assistance. We are the Walking Meds.

Hoping against hope (after sixty-five-plus years of life) that profuse exercise might lengthen our luxurious existence on Medicare and Social Security, we have opted to amble up and down the air-conditioned halls of that air-hangar-sized building in search of life-after-working-days’ death.

Before I was thrown into this condition by my so-called retirement, I was a working stiff full of unthinking, living-for-today fizz. Now I’m just stiff— and fizzled out.

This mall is where my fellow glazy-eyed stiffs and I circle about, like George Romero’s slow-paced zombies did in Dawn of the Dead, experiencing the flow of what now substitutes for a real life. This is just one slice-of-death-style chapter in my erstwhile existence among my adopted brethren.

I was ambling along with my Walking Med partner Bill last week, heading west past what live humans call Hollister, when we both heard a hubbub. It was a mob of World War Z warp-speed Shopping Dead causing the ruckus.

The Shopping Dead are the sworn enemies of we relatively slower Walking Meds. As in that recent film about their type, these scavengers sometimes move at the breakneck speed of a freight train bearing down on a 1967 Ford pickup stuck at a road crossing when they smell a sale.

Unlike most of the Carbondale-based Waking Meds I have met, the Shopping Dead hail from many contiguous communities. Somehow they can sense the blood of a boffo sale from many counties away. Nothing excites them more than unnaturally low prices for any item, no matter how little function the sale item has to their existence.

But perhaps their existence is defined by the function of shopping itself. After all, we live in a society that sells the slogan “Shop Till You Drop” on T-shirts and buttons.

Whatever the societal antecedents of their odd behavior, it appeared as though these shopping zombies didn’t need any outside incentive to engage in their fire-ant behavior. It comes naturally.

Last week, they were using their patented swarming technique at a place called Old Navy. Ironically, the Shopping Dead’s target of lust is located right next to the nutritional additive store GNC, whose slogan, as advertised on the store sign, is “Live Well.” Whoops! Too late for that option, my friends.

The policeman trying to control the mess of voracious, undead shopping humanity told me that several hundred of the creatures had congealed at the Old Navy front entrance several hours before the official opening of the store. They had immediately formed a clamoring, noisy line that stretched clean across the Mall walkway— much to the dismay of my buddy Bill and the rest of the Walking Meds’ contingent.

“Lining up two hours before a store opens, all for the privilege of purchasing $1 flip-flops,” Bill said sarcastically.

“But don’t forget the $2 tank tops,” I added cheerfully.

Bill was not amused— and neither were any of our Walking Med buddies as they pushed their way through the swarming multitude again and again.

But we survived this chapter of our lurching-along life. Yes, we lived to walk another day. That’s the way it is for Walking Meds zombies. You can slow us down, but you can never really stop us.

Boo! Halloween 2013-- UPDATED

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.

This year, however, the Carbondale City Council voted to allow nightclubs on the Strip to open for Halloween weekend for the first time in years. If all goes well-- 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 one-year experiment into an ongoing institution. Please, then, 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, many nightclubs and restaurants will continue to celebrate Unofficial Halloween by holding costume contests and parties the weekend before.

And while 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 next week for continuing coverage-- for a taste of the tricks and treats of the season.

 

About Our Cover

This year, Nightlife created our cover out of Helena, a piece by Carbondale resident and world-famous artist Brad Moore.

Moore’s work has taken him around the globe— for example, the great H.R. Giger personally selected his painting Dwellers in the Horrorscope for an exhibit at his castle in Switzerland in 2006.

Moore’s bread and butter has been writing horror comics and crafting cover and poster art for heavy-metal bands. He’s currently hard at work on album art for a solo release by Ed Mundell, the former lead guitarist for Monster Magnet. He worked on art for records by seminal death-metal band Morpheus Descends, and a reissue program and reunion album are in the works that will feature Moore’s talents. New or imminent releases by Argus (Beyond the Martyrs), the Swill (Thirst for Misery), and Foghound will bear Moore’s art.

He is, however, an art teacher at Carbondale Middle School, and perhaps most proud of The Mobile Murals Project, a series of panels his students created to decorate the school’s hallways for graduation. Afterward, they were moved to the visual buffers east of the Amtrak station. Based on a Roger Penrose concept of interlocking shapes, any given panel can be replaced by a new one without destroying the harmony of the whole— and as new students create them, the result is not static but an almost organic piece of art. Local businesses and citizens, incidentally, can “adopt” the old panels.

If that’s not enough, Moore’s also working on art and music for Platypossum, a comic horror film by Carbondale director Roger Trexler. A Kickstarter campaign just began to help finance the film. “The movie is about the horrors of hydraulic fracturing, fracking, and will be a throwback to the science-fiction films of the fifties and sixties as well,” Trexler tells Nightlife. The (for a local, independent production) special-effects-laden film will mix live action with animation. Those who want a sneak peek or to contribute should search for the film on Kickstarter, while a music video streams on Youtube.

Find out more about Moore’s surreal and macabre work— which completely belies his jovial, boisterous personality— at <https://www.BradMooreArtWizard.com>.

 

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. 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 (which some local churches may celebrate).

Locally, the Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance holds traditional Samhain and other holiday rituals. For more information, visit <http://www.SIPaganAlliance.com>.

Costumes

Popup stores like Spirit, on East Main Street by Ashley Furniture, 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.

SIU students who want to make their own costumes can set up appointments with a Student Center Craft Shop sewing expert at (618) 453-3636 and learn Halloween costume-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 $2.50 per day. For more information, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org> and click on the link to the Craft Shop.

In addition, SIU students can prepare for Halloween parties Thursday, October 31 from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Student Center Craft Shop. The cost is $2 for face- and body-painting and Henna tattoos. Students can also make masks and wax hands for $4, and vintage Halloween costumes will sell for various prices.

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

UPDATE: Due to the possibility of severe weather, Mayor Joel Fritzler has moved Trick or Treat hours to Friday, November 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 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 Kimberly McCutchen Brooks at (618) 457-3200 ext. 471 or <KMcCutchen@ci.carbondale.il.us>.

Meanwhile, those ages thirteen and younger who want to trick-or-treat may stop by the Carbondale Public Library until 7:30 p.m. on Halloween to receive candy from costumed librarians.

Trick-or-treating will take place Thursday, 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.

Trick-or-treat hours for Carterville are Thursday, October 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In Murphysboro, trick-or-treating takes place Thursday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A trunk-or-treat event-- sort of a Halloween trick-or-treat tailgate party-- will take place Thursday, 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 hot chocolate, popcorn, chili, other treats, and fellowship activities. 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>.

For those boos and ghouls who have enough and would like to give something to the less fortunate, Carbondale Interfaith Council members will participate in reverse trick-or-treat events-- children, accompanied by adults, will collect donations on behalf of UNICEF. Participating churches include the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, the Church of the Good Shepherd, Epiphany Lutheran Church, First Christian Church, and First Presbyterian Church. Each will work on their own schedules, though most will go through adjacent neighborhoods Sunday, October 27. Find out more at <http://www.CdaleInterfaith.org>.

Other area trick-or-treat hours: Thursday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Marion for ages twelve and younger.

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

The Anna Arts Center will hold a series of Halloween activities, starting with the Fire Station of Horrors Haunted House, which runs every Friday and Saturday in October, plus Halloween, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 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>.

Plans are still brewing, but it looks as if the landmark Liberty Theater in downtown Murphysboro will screen a series of classic horror movies Monday through Wednesday, October 28 through October 30 at 7 p.m.; organizers have yet to select the titles. Beforehand, the decidedly not-scary 1958 film classic Auntie Mame will play Saturday, October 26.

Proceeds will support the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Liberty, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which will celebrate its one-hundredth anniversary Friday, November 1 with a concert by singer/songwriters Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin-- decidedly unterrifying music that will soothe any Halloween-frayed nerves. Find out more about the Liberty at (618) 684-5880.

Nearly every day is Halloween at Castle Perilous, where patrons often take the form of elves, dwarves, wizards, and the like. Halloween, however, always makes the store far more special than usual.

As part of Carbondale Main Street’s activities, Castle Perilous will give away treats and special merchandise to those who come in costume Saturday, October 26 during the zombie walk and Tricks or Treats on Main.

A costume contest will take place Thursday, October 31 at 8 p.m. at the Castle.

Meanwhile, Scott Thorne, Castle Perilous’s owner, often conducts a walking tour of local haunted locations. Thorne has collected local ghost stories for more than twenty years and always has a few new ones that he’s happy to share. About this time of year, his blog, at <http://CarbondazeGazette.blogspot.com>, usually contains entries about some of the region’s haunted locations and a few of the legends associated with them.

Thorne’s remaining tour takes place on Sundays October 26 at 7 p.m. Additional tours will take place by appointment. Admission is a $5 donation to the Humane Society. For details, call the Castle at (618) 529-5317 or visit <http://www.CastlePerilous.com>.

The Marion Carnegie Library will hold four days of Halloween events starting Monday, October 28 at 6 p.m. with a screening of the film Hocus Pocus. Children can paint miniature pumpkins Tuesday, October 29 at 4 p.m., though space is limited and registration is required. The Halloween Story Hour runs Wednesday, October 30 at 10 a.m.; kids are invited to come in costume, then join a Halloween parade around the library. Finally, children can trick-or-treat at the Library Thursday, October 31 at 5 p.m., followed by scary storytelling at 6:30 p.m.

Student ensembles, including the Rend Lake Community Orchestra, Concert Band, and Concert Choir, will play a Halloween show Tuesday, October 29 at 6 p.m. at Rend Lake College. Look for selections from The 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 more information, visit <http://www.rlc.edu>.

The Carbondale PetCo will host the Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest and Photo Spooktacular Saturday, October 26 at 2 p.m. 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.

Cape Girardeau is a center of Halloween activity this year.

The Haunted Hall of Horror, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department, runs October 25 and 26 and October 30 and 31 at the A.C. Brase Arena, with a Light Fright Night-- a less-frightening, more child-friendly presentation-- October 26. Call (573) 339-6340 for more information, or visit <http://www.CityOfCapeGirardeau.org> and follow the links to the Parks and Rec page.

For those interested in paranormal research and history, the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Continuing Education will hold several programs in October.

Tom Neumeyer and Christy Mershon will lead haunted downtown walking tours October 25 through October 30 at various times, while private tours are also available for groups of eight or more with at least seven days notice. Admission is $20, or $30 per couple.

Murder-mystery theater events with three-course dinners are also available at the Rosebed Inn through SEMO Continuing Ed for $75 per person.

For more information about any of SEMO’s Halloween events, visit <http://www.semo.edu/ContinuingEd>, go to Personal Enrichment, and then to Halloween Horrors.

The Pumpkin Patch exhibit and contest takes place Saturday, October 27 at 6 p.m. at the Glenn House. Those who come may enjoy apple cider and cookies in the Carriage House while voting for their favorite pumpkins, while prizes by age group will be awarded by 9 p.m.

Boo at the Zoo takes place Saturday, October 26 at 10 a.m. at the Lazy L. Safari Park. Admission is $5. Cape-area businesses usually sponsor booths in the zoo where all children ages twelve and younger can paint pumpkins, win prizes, and fill their complimentary trick-or-treat bags as they enjoy a chance to see exotic animals and enjoy features like a straw maze, kiddie corral, and parakeet jungle. Get details at <http://www.LazyLSafari.com>.

The Discovery Playhouse children’s museum will hold the Tracker's Halloween Party Friday, October 25. A pancake breakfast takes place Saturday, October 26 at 8:30 a.m. (cost of which is $10 for adults and $7 for children), followed by a fall crafts festival at 10:30 a.m. Find details at <http://www.DiscoveryPlayhouse.org>.

The annual Southeast Showcase raises money for the Cancer Center Patient Experience Fund with a Halloween-themed party. This year’s event takes place Wednesday, October 30 at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. The event includes food and beverages from more than forty local vendors and live music by Shades of Soul. Tickets are $30, and the event is restricted to those ages twenty-one and older. For tickets, call (573) 986-6622 or visit <http://www.SEHealth.org>.

A guided hike to the Bollinger family cemetery will offer information about nineteenth century burial traditions Saturday, October 26 at 2 p.m. at the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site in Burfordville, northwest of Cape and almost due west of Jackson. Call (573) 243-4591 for more information.

Carbondale Main Street will host Halloween on Main Street with a series of events for children and adults.

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 26 at 1 p.m. under the Town Square Pavilion, where makeup artists will help living participants transform into living-dead brain-eaters. The Zombie Walk itself begins at 3:45 p.m. Registration is $15, and zombies get a free zombie makeover, discounts at participating local businesses (Castle Perilous, for example, will give away free treats and comics), free admission to a 5 p.m. horror movie at the Varsity Center for the Arts (the great Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow), a chance to win prizes, and all the human flesh they can consume along the way.

A post-film zombie pub crawl and scavenger hunt will follow the film. The cost is $5. Zombies, individuals and teams of as many as three, will receive maps, rules, and a scavenger-hunt list at 6:30 p.m. at the Varsity. They will need digital cameras to photograph their finds, which they will need to email to organizers that evening to rack up points.

In addition, zombies should bring two canned or boxed goods for donation to a local food pantry.

The Zombie Walk is open to all ages, but the film and some of the zombies may overly frighten young children, while participants in the pub crawl must be twenty-one or older. Proceeds will benefit Carbondale Main Street’s efforts to revive and promote the city’s downtown.

To register for the Zombie Walk, or for more information about other downtown Halloween activities or Carbondale Main Street’s many great endeavors, visit <http://www.CarbondaleMainStreet.com>, call (618) 529-8040, or stop in at the Carbondale Zombie Walk Facebook page.

The Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast, working with Main Street, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, and Carbondale Tourism, will hold the first annual Pumpkin Race Saturday, October 26 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. Check out how other communities have done this at <http:// www.PumpkinRace.com>.

The annual Downtown Paducah Zombie Walk takes place Saturday, November 2 at 5 p.m. The undead will gather at Ninth Street and Broadway-- those who need a zombie makeover can get one from organizers if they get there early enough-- and then the brain-eating horde will shamble toward the city’s historic riverfront. Organizers are asking participants to bring a donation of cash or canned food for charity. For more information, including a list of rules for the event, visit <http://www.PaducahZombieWalk.com>.

The Zombie Walk concludes at 7 p.m. at the Maiden Alley Cinema, where a costume contest will take place amid a performance by dancing zombies. The horde then may head inside for a screening of Shaun of the Dead. Admission is $7.25, or $5 for those in zombie garb. An afterparty takes place at J.P.’s.

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

Another place for trick-or-treat fun is the Safe Halloween Saturday, October 26 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.

Carbondale Crimestoppers will bring McGruff the Crime Dog to the event, and the Carbondale Police Department will sell hotdogs, hamburgers, and bison burgers, the proceeds of which will fund antidrug-educational programs for youth. Children will also have the chance to meet with police officers and get to know the people who protect them.

Other concessions stands will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale. Those who wish to sign up to help can contact Randy Osborn at (618) 457-8877 ext. 1 or <ROsborn@bgc-cdale.org>.

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

The Rotary Club will provide lessons for how to make racing pumpkins for the Great Pumpkin Race downtown later that day. (See the separate entry about that event.) Those who want to make their own can purchase supplies from Murdale True Value. No doubt the Farmers’ Market next door at Westown Mall will have plenty of pumpkins for sale.

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,” says Murdale True Value owner George Sheffer. “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.”

A costume contest and other Halloween festivities called the Boo Bash will take place Saturday, October 26 at 3:30 p.m. at Marion’s Illinois Star Centre Mall. Trick-or-treating will follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at participating stores and vendors. The event will raise funds for GumDropKids, a wonderful organization that helps bring nutritious food to hungry local children.

The Science Center’s Monster Mash Halloween party takes place Thursday, October 31 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Highlights include 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 also hold building-wide festivities on Halloween, including a costume contest at 4 p.m. and trick-or-treating at participating stores from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Sundry, heavily costumed covens from the SIU School of Music-- usually it’s the Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Studio Jazz Orchestra, Civic Orchestra, and smaller ensembles-- will perform at the annual Halloween Pops concert and costume contest Thursday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Shryock Auditorium.

This annual tradition features a fun, family friendly atmosphere, while local celebrities usually narrate mildly chilling stories. A contest with prizes for the best adult and best child costumes will take place, and all children will receive treat bags after the show.

Tickets are $15 for adults, or $6 for students and senior citizens. Proceeds from the concert usually benefit School of Music scholarships. Tickets are on sale now at <http://SouthernTicketsOnline.com>, at (618) 453-6000, or at any Southern Tickets Online walkup location, including McLeod Theater and the SIU Arena box offices. Tickets also go on sale at Shryock one hour before performances. Find out more at <http://music.siuc.edu>.

The Vaudeville Vagabond Twilight Twitterpaters will play a Halloween kickoff show Thursday, October 24 at 7 p.m. at the Varsity Center for the Arts. This crazy local troupe blends bawdy, audience-participatory original music and theater in the vein of 1920s burlesque shows, and performs with a group of jugglers called the Flying Balls Society. Admission is $5, a costume contest will take place, and the show is open to all ages, though beer and wine are available at the Varsity and the subject matter probably is best suited for adults.

SIU Student Center Marketing will celebrate Halloween with a costume contest for SIU faulty, staff, and students. Competitors need to drop by in costume Thursday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The top winners in each category will earn prizes, including gift certificates, tickets to McLeod Theater, and tailgate chairs.

Also on Halloween proper, the SIU community can come in to the Craft Shop to receive henna tattoos, get their faces painted, or make wax and plaster hands, masks, and other seasonal crafts. Costs vary from $2 to $4.

Cosmic bowling will take place Wednesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Student Center Bowling and Billiards; those in costume can play for $1, plus $1 for shoe rental. 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.

Dawgs Night Out almost always takes place the first weekend before or after the fall semester gets underway at the Student Center. It’s hard to think that SIU would reprise the program on Friday, November 1 at the Student Recreation Center, except as Halloween counter-programming. Looks for movies, games, a pajama party, and more.

Take a walk along the Carterville Pumpkin Path Thursday, October 31 at 4:30 p.m. A costume contest with awards in four age categories starts at 5 p.m., with a huge parade at 5:30 p.m. Participants must bring a canned good to donate to the Carterville Food Pantry. The Pumpkin Path 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 Trail of Treats takes place Thursday, 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. There a chili dinner, games, and baked-good raffle takes place, with a costume contest at 6 p.m. where prizes will go to first through third place in four ages groups. Those who would like to help out with the effort can call John Homan at (618) 925-0563 for volunteer information.

Creepy artwork gets a spotlight through October 31 at the Little Egypt Arts Centre in Marion. Weird Places and Weird Faces will feature seasonal art in various media created by Little Egypt Arts Association members. And at a reception on Halloween night at 5 p.m., Bob Barnfield will the discuss the history of and fun facts about Halloween.

The SIU Student Programming Council will screen James Wan’s fairly recent horror film The Conjuring Thursday through Saturday, October 31 through November 2 at the Student Center Auditorium.

And then....

Lips! Lips! Lips!

Halloween festivities continue beyond the unofficial and official Halloween weekends when, as Gawd intended, The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9 at midnight in the Student Center Ballrooms, and on the big screen. Students pay $3 and the public $4. SPC also sells prop bags for $3 for the virgins who forget to bring their own. Hot patootie!

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 Halloween at midnight and Friday and Saturday, November 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. and midnight. Tickets will sell for $15, and prop bags are extra. 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 Halloween Spooktacular Pool Party takes place Saturday, October 26 at 1 p.m. at the Carbondale Park District’s LIFE Community Center. Since the event takes place in the water, the Spooktacular Pool Party is not a costume contest or party. But the Park District often dims the lights, drops glowing bling into the pool, and creates a creepy swamp theme for water games and relay races. Those who attend will receive a holiday surprise-- maybe the Loch Ness monster, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or just free hot chocolate. Regular admission fees and pool rules apply.

For more information, visit <http://www.cpkd.org> or call (618) 549-4222.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

Jason and Tina Winkleman have operated haunts in Southern Illinois for fifteen years, starting when they created the old Haunted Barn southeast of Marion. They’ve gone on to build Wolf Creek Hollow Scream Park in Crainville with a host of helpers, including Pete Homoya, who pioneered Southern Illinois Halloween attractions with his three-mile-long Hurricane Creek Haunted Hayride.

Jason’s parents operated haunts when he was a child-- haunting is in his blood, so to speak-- while experiencing Homoya’s pioneering, massive attractions inspired him to take it to a whole new level. Between the Winklemans’ and Homoya’s inventories, Wolf Creek has a bottomless pit of evil to unleash.

This year, the Winklemans are turning a lot of the work over to their sons, Anthony and Justin, who in their twenties already have a lifetime of experience between them in creating haunted houses.

At the same time as a new generation is taking the lead, the haunt they’ve created, Prison X: Rise of the Clowns, harks back to the Winklemans’ roots.

“We did a lot of new things on the inside and we’ve some new props in there and such, but the real neat thing is the theme this year is Rise of the Clowns,” Jason Winkleman tells Nightlife. “And that’s something I used to focus on years ago was clowns.... And I’ve gotten away from it the last few years, but I brought it back this year, and I believe we’ve turned it up with the clowns. These are actors I’ve had for over ten years, and these are skill actors.... We’ve gone back to that theme, and I believe we’re really going to put some fear into people.... I know people will get scared big-time this year. The boys and some friends”-- Jason specifically mentions his old partner in the Haunted Barn, John Long-- “went out of their way and did a good job on the inside of that haunt this year.”

The Winklemans have invested as much as $500,000 a year in Wolf Creek, with high-tech, high-quality animatronics alone costing anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 each.

But money isn’t the motivator. “You know, if I did it for the money, I’d’ve quit a long time ago,” Jason says. “You just enjoy doing it because it’s just like adrenaline. You’re scaring people and such, somebody gets scared, you get excited about it.... It’s fun, we get excited about it every year, and the people enjoy it.... I want people to say they’ve had a good time. That’s all I’m out for.... We’re there to entertain. We’re going to give them their money’s worth, and they’re going to enjoy it.”

Wolf Creek is open every Friday and Saturday in October, plus Halloween itself. Visit <http://SouthernIllinoisHaunts.com> for directions, hours of operation, tickets, and more information.

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. But this year, archeologists unearthed the sewer lines, which-- Shawshank Redemption-style-- were used by prisoners to escape their fates. Many were trapped, and their ghosts still haunt the dank pipes in wait for victims.

The Cellblock Haunted House, created by Ray Elam’s Slaughterhouse Productions, operates every Saturday through Sunday through November 2, with an additional tour on Halloween. Elam named Wakefield Prison after the penitentiary in the classic Robert Redford film Brubaker.

“It’s one of those deals where you have to see it with the lights on,” Elam says when asked what all goes into scaring people. “It’s more than just throwing money at it. It’s not just thrown together. There’s an actual science to where and when you scare someone.”

Though the variables that go into each haunt may vary, the ideal outcome remains consistent. “Every haunt has a different style and creates a different experience, but the results are the same-- you all get scared,” Elam says.

Accomplishing this goal, however, required constant evolution. Haunters who worked hard to scare people ten years ago created increasingly sophisticated audiences who are ever-harder to scare. But the trick isn’t to surpass boundaries and create more extreme experiences, Elam says, or to rely on more gruesome special effects. It’s the overall atmosphere of the haunt. “When they submerse themselves into the environment,” Elam says, “that’s what scares them.... They expect more, and we’re doing our very best to make sure they get it.... Here at the Cellblock you will not be disappointed.”

In fact, Elam says, he and his crew have built a modular haunt that they will modify throughout the month. Everytime someone goes through, the Cellblock will provide slightly different terrors.

Their best has consumed a six-figure budget-- among other things, the entire place is wired for surround sound-- and thousands of man-hours during a five-and-a-half-month span where they completely recreated the Cellblock experience.

And, without giving away too much, this year patrons will delve into the maze of pipes beneath the Cellblock for encounters with sewer-dwellers. They can’t just walk out of the Cellblock-- they must escape from it.

Elam says he and other haunters walk a fine line. “It you make it too scary, people don’t come. If it’s not scary enough, people don’t come,” he says. “Haunters are kind of like an evil Walt Disney. It’s not real-- we create an illusion.... Notice that everyone who goes in comes out.... When they’re inside, you hear them screaming, and when they come out, they’re laughing-- that’s when you know you’ve done your 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 Fridays through Sundays through November 2, plus Wednesday and Thursday, October 30 and 31.

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.

Owner Sammie King actually attended elementary school there, and says that many years later, one of his chief volunteers, another Chittyville alumnus, still refuses to use the haunt’s bathroom due to a scare he received there as a child.

King says he bought Chittyville and turned it into a haunt because when he grew up in Southern Illinois, he had to travel to Saint Louis or Paducah to go to a high-quality haunted house.

Building a haunt on this scale requires “a lot of sweat and labor and imagination,” King says. “We revamp it every year. I’m not going to give you the dollar amount, but it’s enormous.”

The haunt is populated by a crew of thirty to forty volunteers, many of whom return to staff the haunt year after year, people King affectionately calls “crazy people who like to scare people.” King is quick to add that Chittyville offers good, clean fun, however terrifying.

For 2013, King and company have split Chittyville into three sections: The Haunting of Chittyville School, the main attraction that they have again expanded, and The Lair, which King calls a short but very intense experience. 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.

“We try to be a very detailed haunted house,” King says. And while it’s not brightly lit-- that would diffuse any sense of dread-- there’s enough light to see the intricately costumed actors and carefully constructed sets, details that heighten the frightening effect and contribute to Chittyville’s whole, terrifying atmosphere. (This doesn’t apply to the total-blackout nights, which run from October 30 through November 2, where 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.

Also in Carterville, the annual Haunted Hayride runs Thursday through Saturday, October 24 through October 26 at 7 p.m. from James Street Park to Cannon Park. Rides are $4, all-ages, and “guaranteed to scare the bejabbers out of people,” Dale Poiter of the Carterville Lions Club told Nightlife. Even though Poiter helps put the whole thing together and knows what to expect and where, when he takes the tour, “I about jump out of my hide,” he says.

Many such rides are pulled by trucks on flatbed trailers, but Poiter says the Lions Haunted Hay Rides take place on real haywagons pulled by classic farm tractors, from which those on the tour can dangle their legs off the edges. Many customers, according to Poiter, are thrilled just to enjoy the ride on the vintage machinery-- the scary part is just a bonus for them. Others ride more than once to see the frights from different angles. And each forty-five-minute ride is a little different.

The Haunted Hayride benefits a great deal from longtime volunteer John “Doc” Finley, who died in 2010. Finley collected a whole barn-full of Halloween-appropriate items, including a hearse that he donated to the Lions for the Hayride. “Halloween was his favorite time of the year,” says new event chair Larry Motsinger, who started volunteering for the event when he was a freshman in high school.

The Haunted Hayride has taken place for more than thirty years, making it one of the longest-running Halloween traditions in Southern Illinois. It’s also one of the Carterville Lions Club’s biggest moneymakers, a project that funds community charities and other necessities, ranging from hearing aids and eye glasses to more individual-specific needs.

Those who volunteer for the hayride all three days can win cash prizes.

To join the cast, help design some of the frights, or more information, call Motsinger at (618) 967-6429 or visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com>.

Big Muddy Monster Hayrides will take place Thursday through Saturday, October 24 through October 26 at 7 p.m. at Riverside Park in Murphysboro. Parents, students, Key Club members, and everyday citizens have volunteered to staff and construct the event, which will include a bunch of new features this year, and-- if participants are truly unlucky-- an attack by the Big Muddy Monster, a Bigfoot-like creature that reliable witnesses, including police, reported seeing on the outskirts of Murphysboro in 1973.

Proceeds from tickets, apparel sales, and concessions will benefit the Murphysboro Park District and Carruthers Elementary School. Advance tickets will sell for $3.50 at the Murphysboro Kroger. Tickets are $5 at the gate.

Studio 84 will haunt the Riverside Park’s historic bandshell for additional frights and an additional fee.

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

For those who want a little more of a scientific and historical view of local haunts, the Little Egypt Ghost Society will conduct a series of Big Muddy Walking Tours of haunted Carbondale Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.

Those who take the tour will learn 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, Sunset Haven, and other locations.

Tour guides will include Bruce Cline (author of the new book Even More History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois).

Tours take about two hours and depart from the Old Train Depot, itself reportedly haunted. Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, search for Big Muddy Tours on Facebook.

The scariest places at SIU are still the meal halls during dining hours, but two haunts aim to create far more frightening experiences.

The resident assistants at SIU are hosting the University Hall Fright Night and Halls of Horror Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at University Hall. A crew of more than twenty volunteer residents and resident assistants have transformed the study area into a haunted house with six terrifying rooms featuring clowns, evil doctors, darkness, zombies, and more. Admission is free, and the haunt is open to the public. Those who want to contribute to this super-scary but fun time can come to organizational meetings Thursdays at 8 p.m. at U-Hall.

The Residence Hall of Horrors comes Friday, November 1 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. to Pierce Hall. Discover all the skeletons the editor of this newspaper left behind when living in that Thompson Point dorm as an SIU student! Meanwhile, enjoy a terrifying time created and haunted by student organizations and campus groups while contributing to good causes. Admission is free with a canned good or $1 without a canned good. Organizers will donate the canned goods to a local food pantry and cash proceeds to Habitat for Humanity. Afterward, survivors can enjoy candy, hot cocoa, and cider. The event is best suited for those ages twelve and older. Park at the Communications Building lot.

Find out more at <http://www.housing.siu.edu/rha>.

The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale’s annual Haunted House and Carnival takes place Thursday, October 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The theme this year is Monsters Around the World.

Each room of the haunted house is adopted and staffed by community members, SIU groups and Registered Student Organizations, and Boys and Girls Club club members.

Those who escape the haunted house may enjoy the games and food available on the other side. The club will also create a kid-friendly room for those who do not wish to be frightened but want to enjoy a visit with friendly monsters.

Admission to the haunted house is $1.50. Game tickets are ten-cents each or twelve for $1. Concessions for sale will include hotdogs, chips, drinks, and cookies.

For more information, visit <http://www.bgc-cdale.org> or call Tina Carpenter (any relation to John Carpenter?) at the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale at (618) 457-8877 ext. 23.

The John A. Logan Concert Band and Southern Illinois Concert Band, under the direction of David Wicks and Mike Hanes, will not hold a Halloween concert this year, but a fall concert with a Halloween highlight. The show takes place Sunday, October 27 at 2 p.m. in John A. Logan College’s O'Neil Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

Selections will include Jerry Bilik's “American Civil War Fantasy,” Richard Rogers's music from the classic World War II documentary television series Victory at Sea, “Saints Hallelujah,” “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” and a Halloween number entitled “The Devil's Bridge.”

The SIU Inter-Greek Council’s annual Safe Halloween will take place Thursday, October 31 at 5 p.m. in the SIU Student Center’s Ballroom D. 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 as many as thirty SIU Registered Student Organizations. A costume contest begins at 6:30 p.m.

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

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 appears to pay tribute to the spirit of 1776-- though perhaps it’s a Second Amendment or even teabagger motif.

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 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>.

Haunted Hollow promises spooky good times Sunday, November 3 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 nature hikes and hayrides. A treasure hunt will take place, and this being Halloween weekend, those who attend can enjoy 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 November 1 at (618) 453-1121, 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, visit <http://www.ton.siu.edu>.

The Southern Illinois SCARE Association will operate Nightmare, a haunted house in the original Masonic Lodge in West Frankfort. The haunt will run every Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. through October, plus Halloween.

SCARE Association founder Tara Fasol-Chambers told Nightlife that the building, on the north corner of Ida and Main, is a spooky building with a lot of original fixtures and a legion of rumors about terrifying events that transpired there.

The haunt is created by SCARE staff and a volunteer crew of thirty high-school students.

Not everything SCARE does is frightening-- Nightmare is not a commercial enterprise but a benefit. The organization will use Nightmare proceeds to buy Thanksgiving turkeys for the Crosswalk Community Action Agency’s food pantry-- the kids who labored on the haunt will get a chance to go shopping and deliver the food, giving them a chance to see the benefit of their labors. SCARE members also serve as mentors to at-risk children in Franklin County and participate in the Relay for Life. They contribute to coat-donation drives, sponsor a Shop with a Cop program, purchase fans for senior citizens’ cooling needs, and replace household items lost in fires.

Nightmare is the group’s major fundraiser-- they’ve done it since 2002-- and proceeds enable many of SCARE’s other activities. Tickets are $5 for kids twelve and younger and $10 for adults.

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

The Zeigler Boo Bash and Halloween Parade takes place Thursday, October 31 at 6 p.m., with free kids’ activities and live music by area youth bands, an outhouse bonfire, soup, chili, contests, hayrides, and prizes. City commissioner Jim Flood tells Nightlife that in the six years that the Boo Bash has taken place, Zeigler has suffered not one incidence of Halloween vandalism or violence. In 2012 it drew as many as 1,300 people.

The annual Zeigler Zombie Walk may also take place, though no further information was available as of press time.

For more information about the Boo Bash, call Jim Flood at (618) 596-6195 or visit <http://www.ZeiglerIl.com>.

Those whose corpses end up as animal feed during tours of the 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.

But proceeds will benefit the Fowler-Bonan Foundation, which provides new clothes to low-income schoolchildren, as well as Court Appointed Special Advocates of Saline County and Choisser Kitchen. Operated by David Dickey and his family, last year’s Haunted Barn raised $5,000 for charity.

For directions and more information, search for HauntedBarn2011 on Facebook.

Talon Falls near Paducah, Kentucky, has a series of big, related haunted houses (Talon Falls Scream Park, Dead End Haunted House, Blood Creek Haunted Hayride, and Sinister Circus in 3D) staffed by more than one-hundred actors operating Friday through Sunday nights through November 2, with extra events Wednesday and Thursday, October 30 and 31.

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

A zombie mud run takes place Saturday, November 9 at Talon Falls. Attacking zombies populate this five-kilometer, cross-country obstacle-course race. Find out more at <http://www.TalonFalls.com>.

The Market House Theatre will hold a major fundraiser Friday, October 25 at the Julian Carroll Convention Center-- a Masquerade Ball, which will benefit the troupe’s children’s programming. The program will include dinner, dancing, live entertainment by the NashVegas Allstars, a costume contest, and an auction.

For more information or tickets to Market House events, visit <http://www.MHTPlay.com> or call the box office at (270) 444-6828.

Adult Fun

Cowboy hats and boots are the style Friday, October 25 at the Copper Dragon Brewing Company when central Illinois country band Brushfire burns it down. But then it’s time for the Dragon’s official unofficial Halloween party, which takes place Saturday, October 26 with a hip-hop and party-rock soundtrack provided by the Hot Sauce Committee, a band that specializes in the Beastie Boys. A costume contest with cash prizes will take place.

Pinch Penny Pub will hold a Halloween costume contest Thursday, October 31.

The Hangar 9’s unofficial Halloween kickoff party takes place Saturday, October 26 when local jam band Spread headlines the Night of the Living Spread II Zombie Dance Party. Those who come in costume will receive $2 off the admission fee.

The official Halloween Freak Out party takes place Thursday, October 31 with live music by electronica artists Future Rock and Doctor Fameus (Allen Aucoin from the Disco Biscuits). The costume contest that evening will include the categories of scariest, sexiest, best group or couple, and most original costumes, with prize packages awarded by expert guest judges.

Stix will hold an Unofficial Halloween Party Friday, October 25 and an Official Halloween party Thursday, October 31.

Two 13 will hold the Girls’ Night Out Halloween kickoff party Friday, October 25, then host an official Halloween party Saturday, October 26, where the bar will hold a costume contest with prizes, a drag show will take place, and a DJ will spin tunes in the specially darkened venue.

A Halloween Music Night featuring Jon E. Rector and Travis Newton will take place Friday, November 1 at Fat Patties. Rector mainly plays in a singer / songwriter style these days, but he has deep punk-rock roots, so don’t be surprised to hear acoustic songs by the Misfits or Ramones about B-movie monsters. Newton, meanwhile, frequently plays songs inspired by true Southern Illinois events and historical figures-- the skeletons in this region’s closet.

Where it started is anyone’s guess, 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 31 at PK's. “[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!”

If any local band trumps the Raw Flesh Eaters for sheer metal headbanging heaviness, it’s Annihilate the Hero, who will release a new CD, Oracle, Friday, November 1 at PK's. More on that in a separate article.

A Halloween costume party and contest takes place Saturday, November 2 at the Blue Martin with a 1980s throwback theme. Prizes and giveaways will go to lucky winners.

Community-radio station WDBX will hold a Halloween Costume Ball Saturday, October 26 at 7 p.m. at the Garden Grove Event Center. Local bands the Well Well Wells and Hobo Knife will perform, a costume contest and games will take place with prizes, and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Tickets are $30 at Plaza Records and Dayshift Botique.

Cali's and the Saluki Bar and Grill will hold an Unofficial Halloween Party Friday, October 25 and an Official Halloween party Thursday, October 31.

A night of terror takes place Thursday, October 31 at Tres Hombres, when the costume contest will reward the best-dressed participants in categories including scariest, sexiest, most original, and best group costume. Prizes include cash, and one lucky winner will earn dinner for two for a year at Tres. Skinny Jim and the Number Nine Blacktops will turn the place into a 1950s hotrod rockabilly dragstrip, and the Mudsills will transform Tres into a north Mississippi juke joint.

Von Jakob’s Halloween bash takes place Sunday, October 27 at the Orchard location in Alto Pass. Classic rockers the Dave Caputo Duo will perform, the restaurant will serve up a Halloween-themed menu, and a costume contest will take place with prizes for best couple costume, funniest costume, and most original costume.

StarView Vineyards will hold the Hallowine party Friday, November 1, complete with a costume party and contest, where prizes will go to the best individual, couple, and group costumes. A nacho and chili bar will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Rising local country artist Eli Tellor will perform.

N-Kahootz in Herrin will hold an entire series of events, the Eight Nights of Halloween, from Saturday, October 26 through Saturday, November 2. The staff will dress in costume throughout the week, serving Halloween drink specials, and horror films will play on a twelve-foot by sixteen-foot screen. The Unofficial Halloween party takes place Saturday, October 26, and Hashtag Pop will perform.

The official Halloween costume party and contest takes place Saturday, November 2; Heavy J. will spin tunes and the three best-costumed patrons will win prizes.

John Brown's on the Square in Marion will have a costume contest with a $100 first prize Friday, November 1, while Brown's will serve a drink called baby’s blood and the Number Nine Blacktops will play hotrod rockabilly.

Blue Sky Vineyard and Winery will hold a two-day festival Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27. The Blue Sky party often draws as many as one-thousand costumed customers, and the winery usually vints a special Witches’ Brew for the event.

On both days, artists will display and sell their work. Barry Cloyd will perform a mix of blues, folk, roots, and Celtic music Saturday starting at 2 p.m.

The festival resumes with live music Sunday from 2 p.m. to the bewitching hour with classic rockers the Natives featuring a rare appearance with the band by original member Bill Harper. The costume contest Sunday will award a stay in the winery’s Tuscan Suite for best adult costume, with Blue Sky gift certificates of $75, $50, and $25 for second through fourth places. All children who come in costume will win a prize, and the child in the best costume will win a special award.

The Rustle Hill costume party and contest requires participants to not just dress up but sing out. The party comes to unlife Thursday, October 31 at 6 p.m.

In addition to a traditional costume contest, performers may enter a karaoke contest. Individual and group contestants are welcome to perform to any song they wish, though they may need to provide digital copies of unusual songs.

Awards will go to the best-costumed contestant(s) and best karaoke performer(s), with a combined best-costumed singer grand champion.

A costume contest with free party favors will take place Saturday, October 26 at the Old Feed Store in Cobden with live blues by Cairo band the Phonics.

In Herrin, the Other Place, formerly the C.C. Club, will hold Halloween costume parties on Saturday, October 26 and Saturday, November 2, with tunes by DJ Majik Myke.

The Transpoetic Playground is billing the early set of literary readings and performances on Monday, November 4 at the Global Gourmet as UnHallowe'en. Performers and the audience alike will almost certainly dress up for readings of poetry and literature about spirits, magick, and the dead.

Sidetracks will celebrate Unofficial Halloween Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26, with costume contests and cash prizes. Sidetracks will return with an official Halloween party, date(s) and time(s) to be announced.

A Halloween costume party takes place Saturday, November 2 at Trail’s End Lodge with live music by Stax / Atlantic / Motown revue Soul Glo.

Corso’s Place in Marion-- the mansion at the old Fairway Golf Course-- will hold the Hell Freezes Over Halloween party Saturday, October 26 with live music by longtime Southern Illinois headbangers Metal Toyz and Ten Story. A costume competition will take place with cash prizes for the best male and best female contestants.

The Freaky at the Tiki costume party takes place Wednesday, October 30 at the Tiki Hut by East Cape Girardeau.

The Pony’s nearest regional location in McClure, Illinois, near Cape Girardeau, will hold three nights of Halloween action. Halloween night, they’ll recreate Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video live. The Midnight Masquerade Ball takes place Friday, November 1, and the Cos-tomb Mummy Contest takes place Saturday, November 2.

Of course, the paid entertainment will also perform in-- and then gradually out of-- costume.

Dress smashing at the Cellar’s Halloween costume party and contest Thursday, October 31, complete with live classic rock by the Venturis.

Halloween 2013 Approaches at Three High-end Haunts: Get Scared

Those who want big-city, high-production, heavily detailed scares need not leave Southern Illinois.
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

 

Those who want big-city, high-production, heavily detailed scares need not leave Southern Illinois. Dozens of excellent haunted houses and Halloween activities dot the region (and Nightlife will spotlight as many of them as possible during the coming weeks), but an especially unholy trinity of haunts operate throughout October along a ten-mile radius inside Williamson County. Chittyville on the north end of Herrin to the Cellblock Haunted House on the city’s south side, then west a hair to Wolf Creek Hollows Scream Park in Crainville, turns a stretch of Route 148 and Route (of course) 13 into one of the most elaborately haunted patches of highway in Illinois. They aren’t inexpensive to experience, but the cost is minimal when measured against the hundreds of thousands of dollars the owners invest and reinvest in them every year.

Jason and Tina Winkleman have operated haunts in Southern Illinois for fifteen years, starting when they created the old Haunted Barn southeast of Marion. They’ve gone on to build Wolf Creek Hollow Scream Park in Crainville with a host of helpers, including Pete Homoya, who pioneered Southern Illinois Halloween attractions with his three-mile-long Hurricane Creek Haunted Hayride.

Jason’s parents operated haunts when he was a child-- haunting is in his blood, so to speak-- while experiencing Homoya’s pioneering, massive attractions inspired him to take it to a whole new level. Between the Winklemans and Homoya’s inventories, Wolf Creek has a bottomless pit of evil to unleash.

This year, the Winklemans are turning a lot of the work over to their sons, Anthony and Justin, who in their twenties already have a lifetime of experience between them in creating haunted houses.

At the same time as a new generation is taking the lead, the haunt they’ve created, Prison X: Rise of the Clowns, harks back to the Winklemans’ roots.

“We did a lot of new things on the inside and we’ve some new props in there and such, but the real neat thing is the theme this year is Rise of the Clowns,” Jason Winkleman tells Nightlife. “And that’s something I used to focus on years ago was clowns.... And I’ve gotten away from it the last few years, but I brought it back this year, and I believe we’ve turned it up with the clowns. These are actors I’ve had for over ten years, and these are skill actors.... We’ve gone back to that theme, and I believe we’re really going to put some fear into people.... I know people will get scared big-time this year. The boys and some friends”-- Jason specifically mentions his old partner in the Haunted Barn, John Long-- “went out of their way and did a good job on the inside of that haunt this year.”

The Winklemans have invested as much as $500,000 a year in Wolf Creek, with high-tech, high-quality animatronics alone costing anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 each.

But money isn’t the motivator. “You know, if I did it for the money, I’d’ve quit a long time ago,” Jason says. “You just enjoy doing it because it’s just like adrenaline. You’re scaring people and such, somebody gets scared, you get excited about it.... It’s fun, we get excited about it every year, and the people enjoy it.... I want people to say they’ve had a good time. That’s all I’m out for.... We’re there to entertain. We’re going to give them their money’s worth, and they’re going to enjoy it.”

Wolf Creek is open every Friday and Saturday in October, plus Halloween itself. Visit <http://SouthernIllinoisHaunts.com> for directions, hours of operation, tickets, and more information.

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. But this year, archeologists unearthed the sewer lines, which-- Shawshank Redemption-style-- were used by prisoners to escape their fates. Many were trapped, and their ghosts still haunt the dank pipes in wait for victims.

The Cellblock Haunted House, created by Ray Elam’s Slaughterhouse Productions, operates every Saturday through Sunday through November 2, with an additional tour on Halloween. Elam named Wakefield Prison after the penitentiary in the classic Robert Redford film Brubaker.

“It’s one of those deals where you have to see it with the lights on,” Elam says when asked what all goes into scaring people. “It’s more than just throwing money at it. It’s not just thrown together. There’s an actual science to where and when you scare someone.”

Though the variables that go into each haunt may vary, the ideal outcome remains consistent. “Every haunt has a different style and creates a different experience, but the results are the same-- you all get scared,” Elam says.

Accomplishing this goal, however, required constant evolution. Haunters who worked hard to scare people ten years ago created increasingly sophisticated audiences who are ever-harder to scare. But the trick isn’t to surpass boundaries and create more extreme experiences, Elam says, or to rely on more gruesome special effects. It’s the overall atmosphere of the haunt. “When they submerse themselves into the environment,” Elam says, “that’s what scares them.... They expect more, and we’re doing our very best to make sure they get it.... Here at the Cellblock you will not be disappointed.”

In fact, Elam says, he and his crew have built a modular haunt that they will modify throughout the month. Everytime someone goes through, the Cellblock will provide slightly different terrors.

Their best has consumed a six-figure budget-- among other things, the entire place is wired for surround sound-- and thousands of man-hours during a five-and-a-half-month span where they completely recreated the Cellblock experience.

And-- without giving away too much-- this year patrons will delve into the maze of pipes beneath the Cellblock for encounters with sewer-dwellers. They can’t just walk out of the Cellblock-- they must escape from it.

Elam says he and other haunters walk a fine line. “It you make it too scary, people don’t come. If it’s not scary enough, people don’t come,” he says. “Haunters are kind of like an evil Walt Disney. It’s not real-- we create an illusion.... Notice that everyone who goes in comes out.... When they’re inside, you hear them screaming, and when they come out, they’re laughing-- that’s when you know you’ve done your 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 starting this weekend. The haunt will run Fridays through Sundays through November 2, plus Wednesday and Thursday, October 30 and 31.

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.

Owner Sammie King actually attended elementary school there, and says that many years later, one of his chief volunteers, another Chittyville alumnus, still refuses to use the haunt’s bathroom due to a scare he received there as a child.

King says he bought Chittyville and turned it into a haunt because when he grew up in Southern Illinois, he had to travel to Saint Louis or Paducah to go to a high-quality haunted house.

Building a haunt on this scale requires “a lot of sweat and labor and imagination,” King says. “We revamp it every year. I’m not going to give you the dollar amount, but it’s enormous.”

The haunt is populated by a crew of thirty to forty volunteers, many of whom return to staff the haunt year after year, people King affectionately calls “crazy people who like to scare people.” King is quick to add that Chittyville offers good, clean fun, however terrifying.

For 2013, King and company have split Chittyville into three sections: The Haunting of Chittyville School, the main attraction that they have again expanded, and The Lair, which King calls a short but very intense experience. 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.

“We try to be a very detailed haunted house,” King says. And while it’s not brightly lit-- that would diffuse any sense of dread-- there’s enough light to see the intricately costumed actors and carefully constructed sets, details that heighten the frightening effect and contribute to Chittyville’s whole, terrifying atmosphere. (This doesn’t apply to the total-blackout nights, which run from October 30 through November 2, where 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.

 

Boo! Halloween 2012, Book II

NOTE: This version of our annual Halloween roundup is revised and updated from last week’s online ve
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 probably rivaled Mardi Gras in size and excitement. Sadly, the city of Carbondale continues to shut down bars on the Strip during Halloween weekend. The annual bar closings were instituted to curtail unwanted behavior. The time for such extreme measures, if they ever could be justified, is long past. Of course, Nightlife has said that many times before, but it bears repeating. Until citizens make this a political issue and demand change, the status quo will remain municipal policy.

Meanwhile, the loophole in the law allows nightclubs on the Strip to hold costume contests and parties before Halloween, which spreads out the number of days on which to celebrate the holiday across two weekends.

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 next week for continuing coverage-- for a taste of the tricks and treats of the season.

About Our Cover

This week’s cover consists of a modified illustration by Carbondale resident and world-famous artist Brad Moore, whose painting Dwellers in the Horrorscope the great H.R. Giger personally selected for an exhibit at his castle in Switzerland in 2006. That show alone kept Moore busy for three years with commissions.

Moore’s bread and butter has been working on horror comics and cover and poster art for heavy-metal bands. Currently he’s working on projects for an Italian metal label Cruz Del Sur Records (which handles epic-metal band Argus and frequent Carbondale visitors Bible of the Devil).

Find out more about Moore’s surreal and macabre work-- which completely belies his jovial, boisterous personality-- at <http://InTheHouseOfTheDrawingMaster.com>.

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. 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 holds traditional Samhain and other holiday rituals. For more information, visit <http://www.SIPaganAlliance.com>.

Costumes

Sure, anyone can pick up a crappy vinyl costume and plastic mask at a national chain. 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.

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

In addition, SIU students can prepare for Halloween parties by decorating their faces and bodies with paintings and Henna tattoos Wednesday, October 31 from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Student Center Craft Shop. The cost is $2. Students can also make wax hands for $4.

Those looking for a more functional outfit-- you know, for a real apocalypse, like the one scheduled for later in 2012 as prophesied by the Mayans-- 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 Joel Fritzler has proclaimed Wednesday, 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 officer Amber Goddard at (618) 457-3200 ext. 465 or <AGoddard@ci.carbondale.il.us>.

Trick-or-treating will take place Wednesday, 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.

Trick-or-treat hours for Carterville are Wednesday, October 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In Murphysboro, trick-or-treating takes place Wednesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A trunk-or-treat event-- sort of a Halloween trick-or-treat tailgate party-- will take place Wednesday, October 31 at 5 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. 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>.

For those boos and ghouls who have enough and would like to give something to the less fortunate, Carbondale Interfaith Council members will participate in reverse trick-or-treat events-- children, accompanied by adults, collect donations in the neighborhood on behalf of UNICEF, most on Sunday, October 28. Participating churches include the Church of the Good Shepherd, First Christian, First Presbyterian, Epiphany Lutheran, the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, and First United Methodist. The Church of the Good Shepherd in Carbondale will not only welcome kids in costume at the 10:30 a.m. worship service and provide lunch, but will also hold a costume party after collecting donations in the neighborhood. Find out more at <http://www.CdaleInterfaith.org>.

Other area trick-or-treat hours: Wednesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Marion.

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.

Add this to the list: SIU Housing’s Residence Hall Association is sponsoring a big game of Humans versus Zombies. Essentially a giant game of tag with a role-playing element, the event began Wednesday, October 17 and continues through Wednesday, October 24.

While the registration deadline for Humans versus Zombies already passed, innocent bystanders may still want to know the reasons for all the chaos around them. Basically, the organizers will divide participants into zombies and humans. After a series of boot camps, the humans will receive a series of survival missions, stunning zombies along the way (with ordinary socks-- a method that Max Brooks’s The Zombie Survival Guide probably would not recommend). Zombies will look for and try to tag them, turning humans into hordes of brain-eating, walking undead.

Find out more about the local event at <http://siu.HVZSource.com>, and about the national phenomenon at <http://www.HumansVsZombies.org>. And read on for information about more zombie-related activities in the area.

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 20 at 10 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, though the seeds are far less tasty.

Seriously, don’t eat the seeds.

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.

The Anna Arts Center will hold a series of Halloween activities, starting with the Old Haunted City Hall Spooktacular, which runs October 19 and 20 and October 26 and 27 at 6 p.m. Admission is $5, or $20 per family, and if the younger ones can’t handle the frights, they can quickly transport to a gentler arts-and-crafts room in the Performing Arts Center next door.

The Anna Fall Arts Festival takes place October 26 through October 28. The Monster Mash Ball opens activities Friday, October 26 at 6 p.m. with dinner, entertainment by singer Brian Caraker and a DJ, and a costume contest. Admission is $10, with discounts for those who double up and go through the Old Haunted City Hall Spooktacular. All proceeds go toward renovating the Anna Arts Center buildings.

A goblin walk takes place Saturday, October 27-- a one-half kilometer run in which competitors must avoid an attacking horde of zombies. A carnival fairway with hayrides and craft activities opens at 10 a.m., and a $5 wristband provides unlimited rides. A poetry contest takes place at 1 p.m.; competitors will have twenty minutes to create their works based on a provided theme. A pumpkin-painting contest starts at 2 p.m., and a costume contest at 3 p.m.

The festival concludes Sunday, October 28 at 2 p.m. with an afternoon of Halloween storytelling where audience members are welcome to share a chilling tale or two.

For more information, search for the Anna Arts Center on Facebook.

Flashback, a program of music by the Murphysboro High School Concert Choir, takes place in conjunction with a Halloween costume party Wednesday, October 24 at 7 p.m. at the Liberty Theater in downtown Murphysboro. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for students, and children younger than five may enter free, but those younger than twelve must come with an adult. Proceeds will support the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Liberty, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Route 13 Halloween Sing takes place Friday, October 26 at 5:15 p.m. at the Varsity Center for the Arts. The event is the Carbondale Community High School choral program’s major fundraiser, and the school’s chorus will perform along with the Little Egypt Barbershop Chorus. Admission is $5.

Nearly every day is Halloween at Castle Perilous, where patrons often take the form of elves, dwarves, wizards, and the like. The holiday will make the store far more special than usual.

As part of Carbondale Main Street’s activities, Castle Perilous will give away treats and special merchandise to those who come in costume Saturday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, October 29, the Castle will host a booksigning and lecture by the Little Egypt Ghost Society, two of whose members have authored new books: Bruce Cline’s More History, Mystery and Hauntings of Southern Illinois provides additional stories about local paranormal activity, while Kale Meggs’s Ninety-nine Nooses details, in chronological order, nearly one-hundred Illinois hangings.

Meanwhile, Scott Thorne, Castle Perilous’s owner, often conducts a walking tour of local haunted locations. Thorne has collected local ghost stories for more than twenty years and always has a few new ones that he’s happy to share. About this time of year, his blog, at <http://CarbondazeGazette.blogspot.com>, usually contains entries about some of the region’s haunted locations and a few of the legends associated with them.

This year Thorne’s conducting a private tour Sunday, October 21, and a second tour for local Girl Scout troops Saturday, October 27. He’ll lead additional tours by appointment. For details, call the Castle at (618) 529-5317 or visit <http://www.CastlePerilous.com>.

Student ensembles, including the Rend Lake Community Orchestra, Concert Band, and Concert Choir, will play a Halloween show Tuesday, October 23 at 7 p.m. at Rend Lake College. Look for selections from The Corpse Bride, Phantom of the Opera, and Harry Potter, plus tunes like "Thriller." A costume party and contest and DJ dance will follow at 8 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit <http://www.rlc.edu>.

The SIU Student Programming Council will hold the Pumpkin Palooza pumpkin-painting party Wednesday, October 24 at 11 a.m. on the Student Center South Patio. Supplies, including pumpkins, are free but limited, so participants should arrive early.

The SIU Department of Theater will present Big Muddy Shorts: Monster Edition (rawr), a series of staged readings by student playwrights Thursday, October 25 at 7 p.m. in the Communications Building Studio Room 0023. That’s in the basement, and lord knows what’s buried down there-- but maybe the playwrights will address this through the event’s theme, which will deal with scary, odd, strange, weird, and frightening monsters.

Admission is free and open to the public, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The plays are likely to contain strong language, adult content, and terrifying subject matter. In other words, perfect for the season.

A costume party for children will take place Friday, October 26 at 6 p.m. at the Vine Community Church in Carbondale. The sci-fi Star Mission: Finding the Way Through Space theme will incorporate games, inflatable bounce houses, popcorn, movies, and candy for children through the fifth grade. Find out more at <http://www.VineChurch.net/CostumeParty>.

The Bay Bay Kids Halloween festival will take place Friday, October 26 at 7 p.m. at the Boyton Street Community Center in Marion. Organizers will set up trunk-or-treating in the parking lot. A costume parade, games, and haunted house will also take place. The event is free, and all children are welcome. For more information, call (618) 997-1113.

The League of Art and Design, an SIU Registered Student Organization, will hold the annual HalLOADween Art Exhibit and Party Night of the Living Doug Friday, October 26 at the Douglass School Arts Place in Murphysboro. Psycho-surf trio These Magnificent Tapeworms will provide musical entertainment, a mini-film festival, and various art exhibits will take place.

Admission is $7, or $5 for those in costumes. The cover will benefit Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment.

Those who wish to submit art-- from fine arts like paintings and sculptures to films-- may drop them off at the Glove Factory Wednesday and Thursday, October 24 and 25 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Glove Factory. The submission fee is $5 for the first three pieces and $5 per piece thereafter.

The Carbondale PetCo will host the Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest and Photo Spooktacular Saturday, October 27 at 2 p.m. 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.

Cape Girardeau is a center of Halloween activity this year.

The Haunted Hall of Horror, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department, runs October 19 and 20, October 25 through October 28, and October 30 and 31 at the A.C. Brase Arena. Admission is $7 except on October 28, when the cost drops to $3 for the Light Fright Night-- a less-frightening, more child-friendly presentation. Call (573) 339-6340 for more information, or visit <http://www.CityOfCapeGirardeau.org> and follow the links to the Parks and Rec page.

For those interested in paranormal research and history, the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Continuing Education will hold several programs in October. Haunted downtown walking tours take place October 5, 6, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 28, while private tours are also available for groups of eight or more with at least seven days notice. Admission is $20, or $30 per couple. The Ghost Hunting 101 classes take place Friday, October 26 at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 27 at 8 p.m. in Dempster Hall, and introduce students to different types of hauntings, the equipment paranormal investigators use, and the safe conduct of investigations. Participants should bring their notebooks flashlights, and cameras or recording equipment. Class tuition is $50. Halloween Science Night takes place Saturday, October 27 at 3:30 p.m. at a Dempster Hall packed with Halloween-themed activities that cleverly hide the evil of... learning science. Costumes are optional; the event is free but registration is required. For more information about any of SEMO’s Halloween events, visit <http://www.semo.edu/ContinuingEd>.

Cape Girardeau theater troupe the River City Players and the Cape Area Historical Association will present An Evening of Spirits with the Spirits: Ghost Stories Saturday, October 20 at 7 p.m. at the Glenn House. Actors will take visitors on a tour of the historic (and reportedly long-haunted) Glenn House, with ghost-storytelling performances in each room. New tours begin every ten minutes until 8:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy hors d'oerves, wine, beer, and a cash bar in the Carriage House at the end of each tour. Tours are $25 and available in advance at the Cape Visitors Bureau.

Boo at the Zoo takes place Saturday, October 20 at 10 a.m. at the Lazy L. Safari Park. Admission is $5. Cape-area businesses will sponsor booths in the zoo where all children ages twelve and younger can paint pumpkins, win prizes, and fill their complimentary trick-or-treat bags as they enjoy a chance to see exotic animals. Get details at <http://www.LazyLSafari.com>.

At Beggs’, formerly Pioneer Pick ‘Ur Own Orchards in Jackson, wagon rides, hayrides, tours of a straw maze, and bonfires will take place seven days a week through Wednesday, October 31. Reservations are required for hayrides and bonfires at (573) 243-8008. For more information, visit <http://pioneermktnpuo.com>.

The Discovery Playhouse children’s museum will hold the Pumpkin Days festival Saturday, October 20 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, October 21 at 1 p.m. Kid-friendly halloween activities will include a costume contest and pumpkin-cookie decorating. Find details at <http://www.DiscoveryPlayhouse.org>.

The annual Southeast Showcase raises money for the Southeast Missouri Hospital with a Halloween theme party. This year’s event carries a 1980s theme and takes place Thursday, October 25 at 6 p.m. at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. The event includes food and beverages from more than forty local vendors and live music by Shades of Soul. Tickets are $35 in advance, or $40 at the door, and the event is restricted to those ages twenty-one and older. For tickets, call (573) 986-6622 or visit <http://www.SEHealth.org>.

Marilyn Kinsella will tell Halloween stories Friday, October 19 at 7 p.m. at the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site in Burfordville, northwest of Cape and almost due west of Jackson. Audiences should bring a blanket or lawnchair. Call (573) 243-4591 for more information.

Down in Paducah, the Maiden Alley Cinema will screen Drew Goddard’s version of The Cabin in the Woods and Fred Dekker’s Night of the Creeps Friday, October 26 on the big screen.

The annual Downtown Paducah Zombie Walk takes place Saturday, October 27 at 5:45 p.m. The undead will gather at Ninth Street and Broadway-- those who need a zombie makeover can get one from organizers if they get there early enough-- and then the brain-eating horde will shamble tword the city’s historic riverfront. Organizers are asking participants to bring a donation of cash or canned food for charity. For more information, including a list of rules for the event, visit <http://www.PaducahZombieWalk.com>.

The Zombie Walk afterparty takes place at the Maiden Alley with a great live-music showcase featuring Yeah Dakota!, These Magnificent Tapeworms, and Shark Week. Classic horror flicks will play in the background during the music.

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

Carbondale Main Street will host Halloween on Main Street with a series of events for children and adults.

The Downtown Candy Walk runs Saturday, October 27 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Families can meet at the Carbondale Main Street office in the Old Train Depot to begin decorating and filling their bags with treats and goodies from participating downtown businesses.

A zombie horde will begin to assemble Saturday, October 27 at 1 p.m. under the Town Square Pavilion, where makeup artists will help living participants transform into living-dead brain-eaters. The October 2012 Zombie Walk itself begins at 4 p.m. Preregistration runs through October 22, with a fee of $8, which includes a commemorative T-shirt (designed by Zesty Flyers and printed by Attitude Designs), discounts at participating local businesses, free admission to a 5 p.m. zombie movie at the Varsity Center for the Arts (George A. Romero's great Land of the Dead), a chance to win prizes, and all the human flesh they can consume along the way. After October 22, registration is $10, and latecoming zombies get all the other amenities save for the T-shirt. The Zombie Walk is open to all ages, but some of the zombies may overly frighten young children. Zesty Flyers, Wolf Creek Hollows Scream Park, Castle Perilous Games and Books, and Attitude Designs will cosponsor the Zombie Walk and film. Proceeds will benefit Carbondale Main Street’s efforts to revive and promote the city’s downtown.

To register for the Zombie Walk, or for more information about other downtown Halloween activities or Carbondale Main Street’s many great endeavors, visit <http://www.CarbondaleMainStreet.com> or call (618) 529-8040.

Another place for trick-or-treat fun is the Safe Halloween Costume Crawl and Candy Walk Saturday, October 27 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.

Carbondale Crimestoppers will bring McGruff the Crime Dog to the event, and the Carbondale Police Department will sell hotdogs, hamburgers, and drinks, the proceeds of which will fund antidrug-educational programs for youth.

Other concessions stands will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale. Those who wish to sign up to help can contact Randy Osborn at (618) 457-8877 ext. 1 or <ROsborn@bgc-cdale.org>.

The event is now more than twenty years old (although organizers have lost the exact count). And according to one business owner at Murdale, it “in part is designed to remind folks that, unlike big-box stores and shopping malls, Murdale Shopping Center is populated with stores that are actually locally owned-- by their friends and neighbors-- many of whom will be there in person, in costume, to hand out the candy to children.”

Locally, few bands have probably ever sung so much about evil, demons, possession, or Satan himself than the Woodbox Gang-- and few have ever done so with both the joyous irreverence of this self-described trashcan Americana group (see “665” from their Born With a Tail CD for evidence) and dark, dead seriousness (for example, the title track of Born With a Tail). Woodbox Gang music is filled with references to vampires, creepy crawlies, dragons, and other creatures of the night, and what better time for them to return to life after three years of inactivity? The group will release their new CD, Glorious Scars, at a live show Saturday, October 27 at Shryock Auditorium with warmup act Chicago Farmer.

Tickets range in price from $10 to $20. For tickets, visit <http://SouthernTicketsOnline.com>, call (618) 453-6000, or stop by any Southern Tickets Online walkup location, including Shryock Auditorium, McLeod Theater, and Walker's Bluff General Store. There are no service charges for in-person purchases, though phone and online purchases will carry $2 charges.

The Boo Bash will open up Marion’s Illinois Star Centre Mall for trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities Saturday, October 27 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Science Center’s Monster Mash Halloween party takes place Wednesday, October 31 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Highlights include spooky science experiments and activities. The program is free to children who come in costume, or with paid admission to the Science Center.

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

The heavily costumed SIU Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Studio Jazz Orchestra, Civic Orchestra, and sundry smaller covens will hold their annual Halloween Pops concert and costume contest Wednesday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Shryock Auditorium.

This annual tradition features performances by several School of Music ensembles in a fun, family friendly atmosphere, while local celebrities usually narrate mildly chilling stories. A costume parade with prizes for the most outstanding costumes often takes place, and children can trick-or-treat in Shryock before and after the show.

Tickets are $15 for adults, or $6 for students and senior citizens, while children ages five and younger get in free. Proceeds from the concert usually benefit School of Music scholarships. Tickets are on sale now at <http://SouthernTicketsOnline.com>, at (618) 453-6000, or at any Southern Tickets Online walkup location, including Shryock Auditorium and McLeod Theater. Find out more at <http://music.siuc.edu>.

The SIU Student Center Craft Shop will celebrate Halloween with a costume contest for SIU faulty, staff, and students. Competitors need to drop by in costume Wednesday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The top two winners in each category will will earn prizes, and all competitors will get a chance to make a set of wax hands.

Also on Halloween proper, the SIU community can come in to the Craft Shop to receive henna tattoos, get their faces painted, or make wax and plaster hands, masks, and other seasonal crafts. Cost varies from $2 to $4.

Cosmic bowling will take place Wednesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Student Center Bowling and Billiards. Those who bowl in costume will pay only $2 (which includes shoe rental) and can receive other discounts throughout the Student Center.

For details, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org> and click on links to the Craft Shop or Bowling and Billiards.

Take a walk along the Carterville Pumpkin Path Wednesday, October 31. A costume contest starts at 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church parking lot on Division Street, with a huge parade (as many as one-thousand children participate) at 5:30 p.m. The Pumpkin Path runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and participants must bring a canned good to donate to the Carterville Food Pantry. For more information, contact the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942 or visit <http://www.CartervilleChamber.com>.

The Trail of Treats takes place Wednesday, 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. There a costume contest, chili dinner, games, and baked-good raffle takes place at 6 p.m. Those who would like to help out with the effort can call John Homan at (618) 925-0563 for volunteer information.

Also in Carterville, the annual Haunted Hay Rides run November 1 to November 3 at 7 p.m. in James Street Park. Rides are $4, all-ages, and “guaranteed to scare the bejabbers out of people,” according to Dale Poiter of the Carterville Lions Club. Even though Poiter helps put the whole thing together and knows what to expect and where, when he takes the tour, “I about jump out of my hide,” he says.

Many such rides are pulled by trucks on flatbed trailers, but Poiter says the Lions Haunted Hay Rides take place on real haywagons pulled by classic farm tractors, from which those on the tour can dangle their legs off the edges. Many customers, according to Poiter, are thrilled just to enjoy the ride on the vintage machinery-- the scary part is just a bonus for them. Others ride more than once to see the frights from different angles. And each forty-five-minute ride is a little different.

The Haunted Hay Rides benefit a great deal from longtime volunteer John “Doc” Finley, who died in 2010. Finley collected a whole barn-full of Halloween-appropriate items, including a hearse, that he donated to the Lions for the Hay Ride.

The Haunted Hay Rides have taken place for more than thirty years, making them one of the longest-running Halloween traditions in Southern Illinois. It’s also one of the Carterville Lions Club’s biggest moneymakers, a project that funds community charities and other necessities, ranging from hearing aids and eye glasses to more individual-specific needs.

Those who volunteer for the hayride all three days can win cash prizes.

To join the cast, help design some of the frights, or more information, call Poiter at (618) 525-7084, or visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com>.

Lips! Lips! Lips!

As Gawd intended, the SIU Student Programming Council will screen The Rocky Horror Picture Show Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3 at midnight in the Student Center Ballrooms, and on the big screen. Students pay $3 and the public $4. SPC also sells prop bags for $3 for the virgins who forget to bring their own. Hot patootie!

The transsexual Transylvanian parties, gorgeous gals, thrills and chills, and lotsa larfs and sex continue beyond the unofficial and official Halloween weekends when Skyline Creek Productions presents Richard O’Brien’s classic musical The Rocky Horror Show. This live-action version takes place Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. and midnight on both evenings. Tickets will sell for $12, and prop bags are extra. 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.

But for a sneak peek, a good number of the cast will come out Saturday, October 27 to Two 13 East. There, along with the club’s regular drag performers, the troupe will perform a revue of scenes and songs from the play. It’s just a jump to the left...

School is out Friday, November 2 for parent/teacher conferences in the Carbondale District Ninety-five school system. To fill afternoon hours, the Spooktacular Halloween Pool Party takes place at 1 p.m. at the Carbondale Park District’s LIFE Community Center. Since the event takes place in the water, the Spooktacular Pool Party is not a costume contest or party. But the Park District will dim the lights, drop glowing bling into the pool, and create a creepy swamp theme. Those who attend will receive a holiday surprise-- maybe the Loch Ness monster, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or just a treat. Regular admission fees and pool rules apply.

For more information, visit <http://www.cpkd.org> or call (618) 549-4222.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

Two enormous horrors unleashed in Southern Illinois at Wolf Creek Hollows Scream Park continue this year courtesy of a great team with years of experience in providing the area with frightening thrills.

Wolf Creek is a collaboration between Jason and Tina Winkleman, two creators of the old Haunted Barn southeast of Marion; Jim Fishback, owner of Marion radio station WGGH AM 1150, the man behind 2010’s Fear: The Haunted House in the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion, and a voice actor on Masters of Horrors and Grand Theft Auto; and Pete Homoya, who pioneered Southern Illinois Halloween attractions with his three-mile-long Hurricane Creek Haunted Hayride.

For Jason Winkleman, it’s in the blood, so to speak-- Jason’s parents ran a haunted house in Marion when he was a child, but going through Homoya’s hayride gave him the inspiration to create a haunted attraction with Tina and later to partner with Fishback and Homoya himself.

The result, Jason says, is the largest haunted attraction in Southern Illinois. Wolf Park took more than an entire year to design and construct, with help from heavy equipment from Homoya’s construction company, at an estimated cost of about $500,000, Jason tells Nightlife. The high-tech, high-quality animatronics alone cost from $4,000 to $10,000 each; Wolf Creek has about fifteen of them and adds more every year.

Prison X, where a zombie apocalypse reportedly is already in progress, is a full, indoor haunted house. Haunted Hollows Woods runs a full mile along an outdoor forested trail. Jason doesn’t recommend Prison X for children younger than twelve, and says flatly, “Kids can’t make it through the woods.”

Both parts of Wolf Creek were completely upgraded from last year-- among other new features, Prison X now contains a twenty-six-foot vortex tunnel, the largest in the Midwest, according to Jason-- so those who survived a previous trip through Wolf Creek won’t know what to expect.

For those who want an aerial view, albeit shrouded in darkness, a giant ferriswheel will spin them above the mayhem.

The organizers see Wolf Creek as not merely a haunted attraction. “We’re looking at this as more of a festival,” Jason says, noting the food vendors and other amenities Wolf Creek provides. “We want people to say ‘Wow! That was impressive!’ We want them to get their money’s worth. It’s all about making people happy.”

Happy... but terrified.

Wolf Creek is located just south of Route 13 in Carterville and open every Friday and Saturday in October, plus Sunday, October 28 and Halloween itself. Tickets are $16 for either tour, or $24 for those strong enough to survive one and brave enough to attempt the other. Those eleven and younger can enter for a $4 discount, though, again, organizers plainly state that the tours are not designed for those younger than twelve. Those who bring a canned good for the Murphysboro Food Pantry can receive $3 off per ticket.

Visit <http://SouthernIllinoisHaunts.com> for hours of operation, group rates and other discounts, directions, and more information.

Want the Chitt scared out of you? The Haunting of Chittyville School runs Fridays through Sundays through October 28, plus Tuesday and Wednesday, October 30 and 31.

According to legend, the school, at 410 Chittyville Road north of downtown Herrin off Freeman Spur, 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 costumes and set are intricately detailed, having been crafted and constructed for months. The work shows. And it’s scary-- probably not suitable for younger children. That’s especially true of the blackout editions (Friday through Sunday, October 26 through October 28) and the Gore Fest editions (Tuesday and Wednesday, October 30 and 31). A matinee will take place for younger children Sunday, October 28.

Tickets are $15, or $20 for an express ticket ($8 and $13 for children twelve and younger). Matinee tickets are $8.

For directions and a detailed account of the haunting (including a short video documentary), plus discount and group-rate information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com>, or call (618) 942-6111.

Satan has taken over Wakefield Prison, right off Route 148 in Herrin, where spirits of evil inmates and sadistic guards roam the dark cells and narrow hallways for eternity.

Actually, Slaughterhouse Productions out of Las Vegas, Nevada has created Cell Block 666, and Wakefield Prison is a construct from the 1980 film Brubaker. But Ray Elam of Slaughterhouse Productions, who brought the Dungeon of Darkness into Herrin three years ago, described his earlier production as dark, intense, and not for the timid, using sight and sound (and depravation thereof) and incorporating confined areas where people need to work their ways out.

“I want to scare you,” Elam told Nightlife in 2008. “Some people are tough to scare, but I’m going to get you to jump at least a couple of times.... The hardest man, the toughest woman to scare, if I don’t hear them scream or shriek, I’ll get them to jump at least once.”

Wakefield Prison is open Fridays through Sundays in October, plus Halloween.

It’s part of a fine line Elam likes to walk: “They need to leave laughing and screaming at the same time,” he told Nightlife in 2011. “If they leave just white-faced and quiet, you’ve gone too far, and if they leave bored, you’ve gone too far in the other direction.”

Cell Block 666 is only open to adults, and admission is $12. But this year introduces a second component, a black-light maze dubbed The Chamber, open to all. Admission to The Chamber is $10 for adults and $8 for children younger than twelve. Matinees lower the scare factor for younger victims.

For more information-- including those who would like to haunt Wakefield Prison as volunteer ghosts-- visit <http://cellblock666.com>.

For those who want a little more of a scientific and historical view of local haunts, the Little Egypt Ghost Society will conduct a series of Big Muddy Walking Tours of haunted Carbondale Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through October, plus Sunday, October 28 through Wednesday, October 31.

Those who take the tour will learn about the Carbondale Anomaly Corridor, the Illinois Central Railroad Death Vortex, and hauntings at Hundley House, Woodlawn Cemetery, Sunset Haven, and other locations.

Tour guides will include Bruce Cline (author of the new book More History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois) and Kale Meggs (author of the forthcoming Ninety-nine Nooses, a sequential arrangement of Illinois hangings). Cline, by the way, will sign copies of his new book Saturday, Noivember 3 at the Bookworm.

Tours take about ninety minutes and depart from the Old Train Depot. Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, search for Big Muddy Tours on Facebook.

In addition, the group will hold a seminar Monday, October 29 at 6 p.m. at the Marion Carnegie Library, and try to search for paranormal and ghostly activity in the building.

The resident assistants at SIU’s Thompson Point are hosting the Residence Hall of Horrors Friday, October 19 at 7 p.m. at Pierce Hall. Discover all the ghosts the editor of this newspaper left behind when living in that building as an SIU student! (Of course, the scariest place in Thompson Point is still Lentz Hall during meal time.)

The event allows everyone to contribute to a good cause while they enjoy a terrifying time. Admission is free with a canned good or $1 without a canned good. (SIU students can use meal points to get canned goods at Lakeside Express or Eastside Express.) Organizers will donate the canned goods to a local food pantry, while cash proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity.

The event is best suited for those ages twelve and older. But children younger than ten are welcome and may experience a toned-down version of the event with the lights on. Parents ought to accompany their children, and everyone will sign a waiver before entering.

Sponsors include 710 Bookstore, the Residence Hall Association, the West Campus Area Council, and the National Residence Hall Honorary. Find out more at <http://www.housing.siu.edu/rha>.

Big Muddy Monster Haunted House and Hayrides will take place October 24 through October 27 at 7 p.m. at Riverside Park in Murphysboro. Parents, students, Key Club members, and everyday citizens have volunteered to staff and construct the event, which will include a wagon fashioned into a creepy hearse, an electric chair, a gallows, and-- if participants are truly unlucky-- an attack by the Big Muddy Monster, a Bigfoot-like creature that reliable witnesses, including police, reported seeing on the outskirts of Murphysboro in 1973.

Any monsters who would like to populate the house or woods and scare those who dare to enter can earn cash prizes.

Proceeds from tickets, T-shirt sales, and concessions will benefit the Murphysboro Park District and Carruthers Elementary School. Advance tickets will sell for $3.50 at the Murphysboro Kroger. Tickets are $5 at the gate.

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

The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale’s annual Haunted House and Carnival takes place Friday, October 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Each room of the haunted house is adopted and staffed by community members, SIU groups and Registered Student Organizations, and Boys and Girls Club club members.

Those who escape the haunted house may enjoy the games and food available on the other side.

Admission to the haunted house is $1.50. Game tickets are ten-cents each or twelve for $1. Concessions for sale will include hotdogs, chips, drinks, and cookies.

For more information, visit <http://www.bgc-cdale.org>.

The John A. Logan Concert Band and Southern Illinois Concert Band, under the direction of David Wicks and Mike Hanes, present It Happened on Halloween: A Symphonic Spooktacular II Friday, October 26 at 7 p.m. at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. Children who attend in costume may participate in the costume parade and receive goody bags loaded with candy and coupons. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for teens, and free to costumed children twelve and younger. Tickets are available at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center box office at (618) 997-4030, online at <http://www.MarionCCC.org>, and from any band member.

The SIU Inter-Greek Council’s annual Safe Halloween will take place Wednesday, October 31 at 5 p.m. in the SIU Student Center’s Ballroom D. 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 as many as thirty SIU Registered Student Organizations.

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

For the last several years, Bandy's Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Colp Road, has cut mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes-- an Egyptian pharaoh and John A. Logan or the Southern Illinois Miners’ baseball-team logo.

This year’s maze honors the one-hundredth anniversary of the Girl Scouts. The path through the maze 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 are available by appointment. The maze is open every day through October 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the maze is $5 for those older than ten, $3 for children five through nine, and free for children younger than five. Admission to the play barn is $2 for those eight and younger, and hayrides cost $1. For more information, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

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

Thrilling features include paddleboat and pontoon rides (possibly with the Loch Ness Monster or the Creature from the Black Lagoon beneath), face painting, trivia-or-treating, a campfire, and an environmental-education component about creepy crawlers.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children older than five, and free to children five and younger for those who register by November 2 at (618) 453-1121. Admission at the gate is by cash only, for $9 and $7.

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

The Haunted Forest will come Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20 to Ridgway Park. The sequel, a haunted house, moves the carnage to the city Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27 at the Coleman Tri-County Services building in Harrisburg.

Coleman Tri-County Services Incorporated provides developmental-training, social-rehabilitation, and rehabilitation services to people with disabilities in Gallatin, Saline, and White Counties. Clients, staff, and volunteers assist in creating and staffing this haunted house.

Admission is $6 per car for the Haunted Forest (with addition fees for busses or hayrides) and $5 for the haunted house. Admission fees will benefit a holiday banquet, dance, and other activities for the agency’s clients.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit <http://TheHauntedForest_1.tripod.com> or call Coleman at (618) 252-2954.

The Southern Illinois SCARE Association will operate Nightmare, a haunted house on the thirty-two-room second floor of the West Frankfort Elk's Lodge Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. through October. The space, SCARE Association founder Tara Fasol-Chambers told Nightlife, once was a Masonic Lodge and actually has long held a reputation for being haunted.

Not everything SCARE does is frightening. The organization will use Nightmare proceeds to buy turkey and side dishes for an area food pantry and help fund a local Meals on Wheels program. SCARE members serve as mentors to at-risk children in Franklin County and participate in the Relay for Life. They conduct coat-donation drives and sponsor a Shop with a Cop program, purchase fans and help pay for senior citizens’ heating and cooling bills, and replace household items lost in fires.

Nightmare is the group’s major fundraiser-- they’ve done it since 2002-- and proceeds enable many of SCARE’s other activities. Tickets are $5 for kids twelve and younger and $10 for adults.

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

The Zeigler Boo Bash and Halloween Parade takes place Saturday, October 27 at 6 p.m., with kids’ activities and live music by area youth bands, an outhouse bonfire, soup, chili, contests, hayrides, and prizes. City commissioner Jim Flood tells Nightlife that in all the years that the Boo Bash has taken place, Zeigler has suffered not one incidence of Halloween vandalism or violence. It draws as many as 1,100 people.

The annual Zeigler Zombie Walk will also take place, though no further information was available as of press time.

For more information about the Boo Bash, call Jim Flood at (618) 596-6195 or visit <http://www.ZeiglerIl.com>.

Those whose corpses end up as animal feed during tours of the Haunted Barn, which opens outside Harrisburg every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in October, plus Sunday, October 28 at 6 p.m., need to know they gave their lives for a great cause. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children thirteen and younger. Raffle tickets are also available... for those who think they’ll live to collect the winnings.

But proceeds will benefit the Fowler-Bonan Foundation, which provides new clothes to low-income schoolchildren, as well as Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the United Way, and local food pantries. Operated by David Dickey and his family, last year’s Haunted Barn raised $2,600 for charity.

For more information, including directions, visit <http://hauntedbarn2012.wix.com/haunted-barn>.

Talon Falls in Paducah, Kentucky, has a series of big, related haunted houses (Zombie Outbreak: The Beginning, Blood Creek Haunted Hayride, Dead End Haunted House, and Big Top Carnival Freakshow) staffed by more than one-hundred actors operating Friday through Sunday nights through November 3, with extra events Tuesday and Wednesday, October 30 and 31.

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

The Market House Theatre, meanwhile, offers haunted, lantern-lit walking tours of the Historic Downtown, Lowertown, and Oak Grove Cemetery October 12, 13, and 19, and October 26 through October 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages six to twelve.

Then the Market House will hold a major fundraiser Saturday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Julian Carroll Convention Center-- a Masquerade Ball, which will benefit the troupe’s children’s programming. The program will include dinner, dancing, live entertainment, and an auction. Tickets are $75, with special prices for young adults and groups. A costume contest will take place, so all should dress up. All Masquerade Ball guests must be twenty-one or older.

For more information or tickets to Market House events, visit <http://www.MHTPlay.com> or call the box office at (270) 444-6828.

Running With the Devil

Those who won’t need the extra fat for winter hibernation can prepare for the incoming Halloween candy with the annual Joyce Sheets Halloween Race. The thirteen-kilometer course will take runners from Hedman Vineyards-- near the Alto Pass valley-- up Bald Knob Mountain to the Cross of Peace-- one of the tallest peaks in Illinois-- then back down. Walkers will stride for only four miles, a little less than half the running route.

Onsite registration for the race takes place Saturday, October 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $18 for runners and $16 for walkers. The Cobden Runners’/Walkers’ Club administers the race, and proceeds will benefit the Cobden school system’s cross-country program.

Overall men and women winners in the run and walk will earn plaques, while medals will go to first- to third-place winners in various categories. All participants will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt.

Runners can dress in costume for the run and eat a Swedish breakfast at Hedman's afterward. In addition, organizers will commemorate the late Joyce Sheets with a clean-joke contest.

Look for registration forms in the Running Reporter local magazine.

For more information, including directions to Hedman, visit <http://www.PeachBarn.com>.

Camp Ondessonk in Ozark, Illinois, will hold the Moccasin Gap ten-mile run and Heepwah five-kilometer Halloween fun run and walk Saturday, October 20, with same-day registration for the races ending at 9:30 a.m. A portion of race fees will benefit the Camp Ondessonk Campership Fund, which helps pay the way for children to attend summer camps.

These semi-cross-country races are part of the annual Free Fall Fest, which kicks off at the finish line with pony rides, hayrides, a climbing wall, and face-painting. Put some weight back on with pork barbecue and hot dogs, then really put it back on at the carmel-apple buffet. Those who come in costume may compete for prizes.

Find out more at <http://www.ondessonk.com> or (877) 659-CAMP.

Burn off more calories from that Halloween candy at the Grand Avenue Pumpkin Run, which takes place Sunday, October 28 at 3 p.m. at Carbondale Middle School. The event-- created by the Butterfly Effect, a group founded by Ellen Esling, Lacey Gibson, and Brooke Patton-- will include a two-mile competitive race and walk for adults, and a one-mile fun run for kids.

The fee is $15 for those who register by October 23, and $19 thereafter, or $5 for the fun run. Team rates are also available. Onsite registration opens at 1:30 p.m.

In addition, the race will feature face-painting, a costume contest, live music, and seasonal refreshments.

The Active Ministry and Green Earth will split proceeds.

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

Adult Fun

Because the city of Carbondale closes bars on the Strip every Halloween weekend, those bars have long held costume contests and parties the weekend before their forced shuttering turns the downtown into a graveyard. But who says Halloween is dead in Carbondale? In 2010, marketing the weekend previous to All Hallow’s as Unofficial Halloween found serious traction. And because Halloween 2012 falls on a Wednesday, many adult-oriented costume parties and contests in other parts of the region will continue to take place into the first weekend of November.

The Hangar 9’s unofficial Halloween kickoff party begins Thursday, October 18 with a slamgrass showcase featuring Hot Buttered Rum and Head for the Hills. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

The unofficial Halloween party proper takes place Saturday, October 20, when a local jam band renames themselves Night of the Living Spread in honor of George Romero.

The intergalactic Halloween party brings in a DJ and electronic-music showcase featuring the Polish Ambassador, the Samples, and Elfkowitz Thursday, October 25.

The Copper Dragon Brewing Company and Pinch Penny Pub won’t exactly boast five nights of Halloween promotions, but certainly five nights that encourage dressing up to various themes.

Bust out the Spandex and hairspray Friday, October 19 for 1980s hair-metal tribute Hairbangers’ Ball Friday, October 19. The Dragon’s official unofficial Halloween party takes place Saturday, October 20 to a party-rock soundtrack provided by Rod Tuff Curls and the Bench Press.

Cowboy hats and boots are the style Thursday, October 25 when rising country star David Nail performs with Drake White. Tickets are $16 in advance at Pinch Penny Liquors.

Then it’s fur and feathers and wide-brimmed hats Friday, October 26, when Saint Louis neo-soul singer and American Idol finalist Nikko Smith plays during the annual pimps and 'hos night.

The Dragon’s official Halloween bash will feature live music by Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute the Funky Monks Saturday, October 27.

Gatsby's will hold two consecutive nights of costume contests in conjunction with the Southern Illinois Celebration of Us Arts and Music Expo.

First up, a hip-hop showcase will take place Friday, October 19 sponsored by Little Dreddy Boy Productions.

Three local bands-- Wei Zhongle, Blue Fruit Snacks, and the Justin Torres Loop Project-- perform Saturday, October 20.

Sidetracks will celebrate Unofficial Halloween with the Southern Illinois Celebration of Us Arts and Music Expo. Day one takes place Friday, October 19, and features performances by local bands Two Speed, Manx, and the Hakks. The costume party and contest takes place Saturday, October 20 with live music by Perpetual Days, Blue Confusion, That's Rite, and Cherry Street Volcano.

Stix will hold an Unofficial Halloween costume party and contest Friday, October 20 complete with prizes.

Two 13 East will get unofficial Halloween underway Saturday, October 20 with the Girls’ Night Out Monster Mash Show, featuring the Live Monster King Show. Performers will include Ryder Reeves, Titan Fierce, Freako Sauve, and Ryan Divine. Blanche DuBois will host, and DJ Kent will spin tunes.

The gigantic annual Hell on Heels Halloween drag show-- which usually features performances by more than one-hundred drag queens, this year including Blanche DuBois, Tova Uravich, Diva DeParis, Sasha Moore, and Faim Lee Jewls-- takes place Sunday, October 28 at Two 13 East. DJ Kent will provide music.

Finally, the Twisted Night of Mayhem Halloween party will feature DJ Kent spinning deep house, techno, and hits Wednesday, October 31.

The Monster Bash Costume Party takes place Saturday, October 20 at 8 p.m. at Walker’s Bluff. Club V.I.P. will spin modern classics, and a costume contest will take place with cash prizes for the winners. The $10 cover will benefit Myranda's Child and Family Foundation.

The SIU School of Music will present The Phantom of the Opera at a masquerade dinner Friday, October 26 at 6 p.m. at Walker’s Bluff. The $100 ticket includes a five-course meal and entertainment.

Barnacle Billy and the Zebra Mussels always put together a special set of music for Halloween-- a night of Kiss, or The Jungle Book-- and dress the part to boot. This year’s theme is simply Halloween, and the band will play seasonal classics, spooky movie and TV-show theme songs, and costumes that will indicate how little ghosts scare them. Hopefully the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man won’t prove them incorrect. A dance contest and Zebra Mussels panty exchange will also take place. It all goes down Thursday, October 25 at PK’s.

A Halloween costume party and contest takes place Friday, October 26 at the Blue Martin, complete with prizes and giveaways.

A Halloween party takes place Friday, October 26 with live music by three bands-- Mister McGooey, Perpetual Daze, and Wolfhound.

The Gallery Showclub in DeSoto will hold a Halloween costume party and contest Saturday, October 27, complete with prizes.

JB’s Place in DeSoto will also hold a Halloween costume party and contest Saturday, October 27, complete with a cash prize.

The Halloween XXXtravaganza Freakend Bash takes place Saturday, October 27 at the Pony’s four regional locations-- in McClure, Illinois, near Cape Girardeau; Metropolis, Illinois; Paducah, Kentucky; and Evansville, Indiana.

Of course, the paid entertainment at all of these establishments will also perform in-- and then gradually out of-- costume.

Cali's will hold an Official Halloween party Saturday, October 27 with crazy prizes for the winner.

An unholy trinity of Halloween parties will kick off with the Hard Rock Halloween costume party and contest Friday, October 26 at the Premiere Lounge. Saturday, October 27, the Premiere will hold the Hip-hop Halloween costume party and contest, and Wednesday, October 31 the SIU Dub Club presents a Dubstep Halloween costume party and contest. Each night, the Premiere will give away $100 in prizes.

Two nights of terror take place at Tres Hombres, starting Friday, October 26 with Zombies on the Dance Floor, a pre-party costume party. DJ Nasty Nate will spin the tunes.

The the big mamou takes place Wednesday, October 31, when the costume contest will reward the best-dressed participants in categories including scariest, sexiest, most original, funniest, and best group costume. Prizes include cash, and one lucky winner will earn dinner for two for a year at Tres. County Graves-- very appropriate-- will play that evening along with two other groups, each of which will cover an entire album.

The Cellar’s Halloween costume party and contest takes place Saturday, October 27, complete with cash prizes.

Von Jakob’s Halloween bash takes place Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28 at the Orchard location in Alto Pass. Singer / songwriter duo As Girls Go perform Saturday, and the Dave Caputo Duo plays Sunday.

The Bluffs winery will hold a costume party Saturday, October 27 all day. Dirtwater Fox will play southern rock.

The Halloween in the Hollow bash will take place Saturday, October 27 at the Blue Boar Lodge in Cobden. Costumed patrons can compete in various categories for prizes; the best-costumed patron will win $250, while a band will provide live entertainment.

StarView Vineyards will hold the annual Halloween Harvest Celebration Saturday, October 27, complete with a costume party and contest and free hot dogs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The winery will shoot off the drought prevented on July 4, and the Swamp Tigers will perform their blend of honkytonk country and rockabilly.

N-Kahootz in Herrin will hold a Halloween costume party and contest Saturday, October 27; the grand prize is $100 plus half of the cover charge collected at the door.

John Brown's on the Square in Marion will have a costume contest with a $100 first prize Saturday, October 27, while Brown's will serve a drink called baby’s blood.

An Evening Behind the Masque will benefit the Williamson County Child Advocacy Center Saturday, October 27 at 6 p.m. at the Kokopelli Country Club in Marion.

The costume party will include hor d’oeuvres, Marie Antoinette cakes (some with prizes hidden in them), live entertainment, and drawings for prizes as well as a costume contest with awards for most creative, most imaginative, best fit to costume, and best couple. Tickets are $50 each or $90 per couple and include a free glass of wine and five-by-seven photograph.

Buy tickets at the Williamson County Child Advocacy Center in Herrin, Kokopelli in Marion, Latta Java in Marion, and Herrin Security Bank. For more information, call (618) 942-3800.

The official Blue Sky costume contest and party takes place Sunday, October 28 at noon. The Blue Sky party often draws as many as one-thousand costumed customers, and the winery usually vints a special Witches’ Brew for the event. The costume contest that day will award more than $500 worth of prizes, including a stay in the winery’s Tuscan Suite and Blue Sky gift certificates. Local classic rockers the Natives will perform. Artists will set up their work Saturday, October 27 for those who want a preview of the exhibits.

Global Gourmet will hold a Halloween party Monday, October 29, during the standing fortnightly performance of the Transpoetic Playground. Performers and audience often dress up for readings of Halloween-themed poetry and literature.

Show Me’s will hold a Halloween party Wednesday, October 31, with prizes for the best men’s and women’s costumes and entertainment by a live DJ.

The Rustle Hill costume party and contest requires participants to not just dress up but sing out-- for pretend, anyway. The party comes to unlife Wednesday, October 31 at 6 p.m.

In addition to a traditional costume contest, performers have the option of entering a karaoke / lip-sync contest. Individual and group contestants are welcome to perform to any song they wish, though they may need to provide digital copies of unusual songs. To sign up, call Rustle Hill at (618) 893-2700 or email Teri Hammond at <teri@RustleHillWinery.com>.

 

Halloween 2012: A Preview

Venues & Businesses
Castle Perilous
Chittyville
Wolf Creek Hollow/Winkleman


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
Nightlife’s definitive, detailed guides to great local Halloween events and traditions will come out
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

Nightlife’s definitive, detailed guides to great local Halloween events and traditions will come out later this month, but in the meantime, here’s a handful of great haunted houses and other seasonal activities that either opened last week or will fire up this weekend.

Wolf Creek Hollows Scream Park runs every Friday and Saturday in October, plus Sunday, October 28 and Halloween itself. Located just south of Route 13 in Carterville, Wolf Creek Hollows Scream Park boasts an indoor haunted house; Prison X, where a zombie apocalypse reportedly is already in progress; and the outdoor acres of Haunted Hollows Woods.

Tickets are $16 for either tour, or $24 for those strong enough to survive one and brave enough to attempt the other. Those eleven and younger can enter for a $4 discount, though organizers plainly state that the tours are not designed for those younger than twelve. Visit <http://SouthernIllinoisHaunts.com> for hours of operation, group rates and other discounts, directions, and more information.

The Haunting of Chittyville School runs Fridays through Sundays through October 28, plus Tuesday and Wednesday, October 30 and 31.

Tickets are $15, or $20 for an express ticket ($8 and $13 for children twelve and younger). Matinee tickets are $8.

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

Slaughterhouse Productions out of Las Vegas, Nevada has created Cell Block 666 at Wakefield Prison, right off Route 148 in Herrin.

Wakefield Prison is open Fridays through Sundays in October, plus Halloween. Cell Block 666 is only open to adults, and admission is $12. But this year introduces a second component, a black-light maze dubbed The Chamber, open to all. Admission to The Chamber is $10 for adults and $8 for children younger than twelve. Matinees lower the scare factor for younger victims.

For more information-- including those who would like to haunt Wakefield Prison as volunteer ghosts-- visit <http://cellblock666.com>.

For those who want a little more of a scientific and historical view of local haunts, the Little Egypt Ghost Society will conduct a series of Big Muddy Walking Tours of haunted Carbondale Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through October, plus Sunday, October 28 through Wednesday, October 31.

Those who take the tour will learn about the Carbondale Anomaly Corridor, the Illinois Central Railroad Death Vortex, and hauntings at Hundley House, Woodlawn Cemetery, Sunset Haven, and other locations.

Tour guides will include Bruce Cline (author of the new book More History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois) and Kale Meggs (author of the forthcoming Ninety-nine Nooses, a sequential arrangement of Illinois hangings).

Tours take about ninety minutes and depart from the Old Train Depot. Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, search for Big Muddy Tours on Facebook.

Scott Thorne, Castle Perilous’s owner, often conducts a walking tour of local haunted locations. Thorne has collected local ghost stories for more than twenty years and always has a few new ones that he’s happy to share. About this time of year, his blog, at <http://CarbondazeGazette.blogspot.com>, usually contains entries about some of the region’s haunted locations and a few of the legends associated with them.

This year Thorne’s conducting a tour for local Girl Scout troops Saturday, October 27. He’ll lead additional tours by appointment. For details, call the Castle at (618) 529-5317 or visit <http://www.CastlePerilous.com>.

SIU Housing’s Residence Hall Association is sponsoring a big game of Humans versus Zombies. Essentially a giant game of tag with a role-playing element, the event begins Wednesday, October 17 and continues through Wednesday, October 24.

Basically, the organizers will divide participants into zombies and humans. After a series of boot camps, the humans will receive a series of survival missions, stunning zombies along the way (with ordinary socks-- a method that Max Brooks’s The Zombie Survival Guide probably would not recommend). Zombies will look for and try to tag them, turning humans into hordes of brain-eating, walking undead.

For registration and more information about the local event, visit <http://siu.HVZSource.com>, and for more about the national phenomenon log on to <http://www.HumansVsZombies.org>.

For the last several years, Bandy's Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Colp Road, has cut mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes. This year’s maze honors the one-hundredth anniversary of the Girl Scouts. The path through the maze 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 are available by appointment. The maze is open every day through October 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the maze is $5 for those older than ten, $3 for children five through nine, and free for children younger than five. Admission to the play barn is $2 for those eight and younger, and hayrides cost $1. For more information, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

The Southern Illinois SCARE Association will operate Nightmare, a haunted house Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. through October on the thirty-two-room second floor of the West Frankfort Elk's Lodge. The space, SCARE Association founder Tara Fasol-Chambers told Nightlife, once was a Masonic Lodge and actually has long held a reputation for being haunted.

Nightmare is the group’s major fundraiser, and proceeds enable many of SCARE’s other activities. Tickets are $5 for kids twelve and younger and $10 for adults.

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

The Haunted Barn opens outside Harrisburg every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in October, plus Sunday, October 28 at 6 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children thirteen and younger, and proceeds will benefit the Fowler-Bonan Foundation, which provides new clothes to low-income schoolchildren, as well as Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the United Way, and local food pantries. Operated by David Dickey and his family, last year’s Haunted Barn raised $2,600 for charity.

For more information, including directions, visit <http://hauntedbarn2012.wix.com/haunted-barn>.

For those interested in paranormal research and history, the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Continuing Education will hold several programs in October. Haunted downtown walking tours take place October 5, 6, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 28, while private tours are also available for groups of eight or more with at least seven days notice. Admission is $20, or $30 per couple. For more information about any of SEMO’s Halloween events, visit <http://www.semo.edu/ContinuingEd>.

At Beggs’, formerly Pioneer Pick ‘Ur Own Orchards in Jackson near Cape Girardeau, wagon rides, hayrides, tours of a straw maze, and bonfires will take place seven days a week through Wednesday, October 31. Reservations are required for hayrides and bonfires at (573) 243-8008. For more information, visit <http://pioneermktnpuo.com>.

Talon Falls in Paducah, Kentucky, has a series of big, related haunted houses (Zombie Outbreak: The Beginning, Blood Creek Haunted Hayride, Dead End Haunted House, and Big Top Carnival Freakshow) staffed by more than one-hundred actors operating Friday through Sunday nights through November 3, with extra events Tuesday and Wednesday, October 30 and 31.

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

Boo! Halloween 2011

Boo! Halloween 2011
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

Boo!

Halloween 2011

Chris Wissmann

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 probably rivaled Mardi Gras in size and excitement. Sadly, the city of Carbondale continues to shut down bars on the Strip during Halloween weekend. The annual bar closings were instituted to curtail unwanted behavior. The time for such extreme measures, if they ever could be justified, is long past. Of course, Nightlife has said that many times before, but it bears repeating. Until citizens make this a political issue and demand change, the status quo will remain municipal policy.

Meanwhile, the loophole in the law allows nightclubs on the Strip to hold costume contests and parties before Halloween, which spreads out the number of days on which to celebrate the holiday across two weekends.

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 next week for continuing coverage-- for a taste of the tricks and treats of the season.

About Our Cover

This week’s cover consists of a modified painting by Carbondale resident and world-famous artist Brad Moore, whose painting Dwellers in the Horrorscope the great H.R. Giger personally selected for an exhibit at his castle in Switzerland in 2006. That show alone kept Moore busy for three years with commissions.

Moore’s bread and butter has been working on horror comics and cover and poster art for heavy-metal bands. Currently he’s working on projects for German label High Roller Records (home to releases by local metal band Zuul) and Cruz Del Sur Records (which handles epic-metal band Argus and frequent Carbondale visitors Bible of the Devil). Moore is also working on the Death Shriek graphic book series (which is based on lyrics by prominent death-metal songs) and Stain Resurrected.

In addition, Moore, along with Roger Trexler, Sandy Wright, and Skazz Wooldrigde, is part of the local Annihilation Press collective, which just released the second volume of their Sad Iron Meat comic series.

Find out more about Moore’s surreal and macabre work-- which completely belies his jovial, boisterous personality-- at <http://InTheHouseOfTheDrawingMaster.com>.

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. 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 holds traditional Samhain and other holiday rituals. For more information, contact Tara Nelson at (618) 924-0263 or <TaraCatGirl@yahoo.net> or Beth Lake at <beth_15_@hotmail.com>, or search for the group on Facebook.

Costumes

Sure, anyone can pick up a crappy vinyl costume and plastic mask at a national chain. 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.

Students can prepare for Halloween parties by decorating their faces and bodies with paintings and Henna tattoos Friday, October 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Halloween day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Student Center Craft Shop. A mask-making workshop will also take place at the Craft Shop on Halloween day. Customers and participants should register in advance.

Those who want to make their own costumes can set up appointments with the Student Center Craft Shop sewing expert at (618) 453-3636, and learn Halloween costume-sewing basics. In addition, a workshop will take place Tuesday, October 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the Craft Shop; tuition is only $5. Prospective tailors should register in advance. For more information, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org> and click on the link to the Craft Shop.

Trick-or-Treating

Mayor Joel Fritzler has proclaimed Monday, 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 officer Amber Goddard at (618) 457-3200 ext. 465 or <AGoddard@ci.carbondale.il.us>.

A trunk-or-treat event-- sort of a Halloween trick-or-treat tailgate party-- will take place Monday, October 31 at 5 p.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church 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. 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>.

Trick-or-treating will take place Monday, 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. People are welcome to trunk-or-treat in Downtown Park near the shelter and to stop by the Cobden Fire Department for treats.

Other area trick-or-treat hours, courtesy of the Williamson County Tourism Bureau: Saturday, October 29 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Creal Springs, Hurst, and Pittsburg, and Monday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Marion. Trick-or-treat hours for Carterville are Monday, October 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In Murphysboro, trick-or-treating takes place Monday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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.

Add this to the list: SIU Housing’s Residence Hall Association and the National Residence Hall Honorary are sponsoring a big game of Humans versus Zombies. Essentially a giant game of tag with a role-playing element, the event began Wednesday, October 12 and continues through Saturday, October 22.

While the registration deadline for Humans versus Zombies already passed, innocent bystanders may still want to know the reasons for all the chaos around them. Basically, the organizers will divide participants into zombies and humans. After a series of boot camps, the humans will receive a series of survival missions, stunning zombies along the way (with ordinary socks-- a method that Max Brooks’s The Zombie Survival Guide probably forgot to mention). Zombies will look for and try to tag them, turning humans into hordes of brain-eating, walking undead.

Find out more about the local event at <http://siu.HVZSource.com>, and about the national phenomenon at <http://www.HumansVsZombies.org>. And read on for information about more zombie-related activities in the area.

Few things say Halloween like chocolate-- and, unfortunately, few things say exploitation and child slavery like chocolate. Find out more during a screening of Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano’s forty-five-minute film The Dark Side of Chocolate, Saturday, October 22 at 7 p.m. at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship. The good news-- careful shopping can support sustainable agriculture and decent treatment of the human beings who farm cocoa. After the film screens, River Cook, an Equal Exchange representative, will answer questions about the chocolate industry and fair-trade practices.

Cosmic bowling will take place Thursday and Friday, October 20 and 21 and Thursday, October 27 in Student Center Bowling and Billiards. Costumed cosmic bowling takes place Monday, October 31 at 5 p.m., and costumes are mandatory on Halloween eve. For details, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org> and click on the link to Bowling and Billiards.

Lips! Lips! Lips!

As Gawd intended, the SIU Student Programming Council will screen The Rocky Horror Picture Show Friday and Saturday, October 21 and 22 at midnight in Student Center Ballroom A, and on the big screen. Students pay $3 and the public $4. SPC also sells prop bags for $3 for the virgins who forget to bring their own. Hot patootie!

The SIU Student Programming Council will present Night Visions: The Masters of Horror III, the third annual series of short, locally made horror films, Thursday, October 27 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium. Filmmakers include Matt Packman and Tye Wilson, and audiences will probably recognize many of the featured performers.

Plenty of Halloween activities take place at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro. At the end of every week in October, the Fright Night Friday film series brings classic horror films to the big screen. The remainder of the schedule is thrilling, and not particularly for children. The film on October 21 is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, and on October 28 it’s George A. Romero’s original version of Night of the Living Dead. Viewers should come in costume and visit local area merchants before and after the shows.

Movies begin at at 8 p.m. Admission is by donation, with $2 the suggested contribution, and concessions will sell for $1. Proceeds go to the continued restoration and maintenance of the Liberty as a performance and film-screening space.

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

Nearly every day is Halloween at Castle Perilous, where patrons often take the form of elves, dwarves, wizards, and the like. The holiday will make the store far more special than usual.

Wednesdays in October, the store will feature The Necron Invasion, a series of horror-themed miniatures games. Christa Bourbeax will present a murder-mystery theater performance Saturday, October 22 at 6 p.m.; tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

Thursday, October 27 will feature a Halloween-themed HeroClix game.

As part of Carbondale Main Street’s activities, Castle Perilous will give away treats and special merchandise to those who come in costume Saturday, October 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a drawing taking place at 5 p.m.

The Castle will host a booksigning and lecture by the Little Egypt Ghost Society, whose Bruce and Lisa Cline authored a new book, History, Mystery and Hauntings of Southern Illinois, Sunday, October 30 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Finally, the Castle will offer candy and comics to anyone coming into the store in costume on Halloween proper, and hold a costumed Magic: The Gathering Innistrad draft tournament at 6 p.m.

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

Meanwhile, Scott Thorne, Castle Perilous’s owner, often conducts a walking tour of local haunted locations. Though he’s taking 2011 off, Thorne has collected local ghost stories for more than twenty years and always has a few new ones that he’s happy to share. About this time of year, his blog, at <http://CarbondazeGazette.blogspot.com>, usually contains entries about some of the region’s haunted locations and a few of the legends associated with them.

Every year art students in the SIU glass program make gourds for the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale, which this year takes place Saturday, October 22 at 3 p.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, though the seeds are far less tasty.

Seriously, don’t eat the seeds.

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.

An October day camp will take place for children Saturday, October 22 at 10 a.m. at the Science Center in the University Mall. The five-hour Special Spooky Night program of crafts, activities, games, science experiments, and healthy snacks will cost $25 for Science Center members, and $30 for nonmembers.

The Spooky Science Halloween Activity Day takes place Saturday, October 29 at noon at the Science Center. Kids and parents can wear Halloween costumes and enjoy crafts, games, and fun with the science of Halloween. The program is free with paid admission to the Science Center.

The Science Center’s Monster Mash Halloween party takes place Monday, October 31 at 5 p.m. Highlights include spooky science experiments, activities, and a Monster Mash dance lesson. The program is also free with paid admission to the Science Center.

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

The Carbondale Public Library will present Creepy Critters: Arachnids, Insects, Snakes Saturday, October 22. Part of the Animal Tales: Programs Providing EdZOOcation series, the event will give children a chance to see up close the critters that frequently terrify us, and hopefully help them to realize that they’re really not so scary, but just another important thread in the web of life. But for those who can’t get over their fears, the hands-on portion of the program is optional. Free tickets to the event are available at the circulation desk.

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

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

The Little Egypt Ghost Society is always busy this time of year; reading through this roundup, readers will no doubt see the group’s name multiple times. The local paranormal researchers will discuss Southern Illinois’s haunted places Sunday, October 23 at 11 a.m. at the Giant City State Park Visitor Center. The presentation is free and open to the public, and the organization’s founders, Bruce and Lisa Cline, will sell copies of their new book, History, Mystery and Hauntings of Southern Illinois. In addition, LEGS will sell T-shirts and Ghost Meter EMFs, devices designed to detect energy fluxuations that the manufacturer claims could indicate spiritual presences. Search for the group on Facebook for more information about their extensive goings on.

The heavily costumed SIU Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Studio Jazz Orchestra, Civic Orchestra, and sundry smaller covens will hold their annual Halloween Pops concert and costume contest Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Shryock Auditorium.

This annual tradition features performances by several School of Music ensembles in a fun, family friendly atmosphere, while local celebrities usually narrate mildly chilling stories. A costume parade with prizes for the most outstanding costumes often takes place, with adults and children winning prizes for the best costumes in various categories, including funniest, scariest, and best group.

Tickets are $15 for adults, or $6 for students and senior citizens, while children ages five and younger get in free. Proceeds from the concert usually benefit School of Music scholarships. Tickets are on sale now at <http://SouthernTicketsOnline.com>, at (618) 453-6000, or at any Southern Tickets Online walkup location, including Shryock Auditorium and McLeod Theater. Find out more at <http://music.siuc.edu>.

The Marion Carnegie Library will screen Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller The Birds Thursday, October 27.

A costume party for children will take place Friday, October 28 at 6 p.m. at the Vine Community Church in Carbondale. The Ocean Adventure will take kids in fifth grade and younger on a journey though reefs, sunken ships, and ruins, where they will participate in treasure hunts and manta-ray races on hovercrafts. Games (including dunk tanks), inflatable slides, skits, movies, and candy are also part of the program. Different areas of the venue will cater to specific age groups.

Carbondale Main Street will host Halloween on Main Street with a series of events for children and adults.

The Route 13 Halloween Sing takes place Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 29 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. This talent showcase will feature several high-school choirs, the Little Egypt Barbershop Chorus, and other local musical acts.

The final Community Friday Night Fair of 2011 takes place Friday, October 28 at 6 p.m., with live music by honkytonk band the Swamp Tigers. Those who come in costume get a Friday Night Fair dollar to spend at the event. Nightlife writer Jennifer "Jay" Bull will will perform tarot readings.

And at the Friday, October 21 Community Friday Night Fair, the League of Women Voters of Jackson County will register citizens to vote. Those who wish to register should bring a driver license and a piece of official mail (like a utility bill) to document a current address. As this is not Cook County, the dead may not vote.

The Downtown Candy Walk starts Saturday, October 29 at noon and runs until 2 p.m.-- conveniently, right as the matinee Route 13 Halloween Sing begins. The Candy Walk starts in the 710 Bookstore parking lot, where kids can receive a trick-or-treat bag that they can decorate with their parents, a list of participating businesses, and information about other Halloween events.

A zombie horde will begin to assemble Saturday, October 29 at 1 p.m. under the Town Square Pavilion, where makeup artists will help living participants transform into living-dead brain-eaters. The October 2011 Zombie Walk itself begins at 4 p.m. Preregistration runs through October 24, with a fee of $8, which includes a commemorative T-shirt, discounts at participating local businesses, free admission to a 5 p.m. zombie movie at the Varsity Center for the Arts (Mystery Science Theater 3000’s viewing of Jack Bravman’s Zombie Nightmare, starring the great Adam West), free admission to the 7:30 p.m. Route 13 Halloween Sing at the Varsity, and all the human flesh they can consume along the way. After October 24, registration is $10, and latecoming zombies get all the other amenities save for the T-shirt. The Zombie Walk is open to all ages, but some of the zombies may overly frighten young children. Zesty Flyers will cosponsor the Zombie Walk and film, and Mike’s Music will raffle off a guitar. Proceeds will benefit Carbondale Main Street’s efforts to revive and promote the city’s downtown.

To register for the Zombie Walk, or for more information about other downtown Halloween activities or Carbondale Main Street’s many great endeavors, visit <http://www.CarbondaleMainStreet.com> or call (618) 529-8040.

The Anna Arts Center will hold the Fall Arts Festival October 28 through October 30, complete with a carnival, costume contest, games, and cake walk. For more information, search for the Anna Arts Center on Facebook.

Another place for trick-or-treat fun is the Safe Halloween Costume Crawl and Candy Walk Saturday, October 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 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, enjoy carnival games, and get their faces painted. A flash mob will perform at noon. Parents should bring a camera for special photo opportunities.

The event is now more than twenty years old (although organizers have lost count). And according to one business owner at Murdale, it “in part is designed to remind folks that, unlike big-box stores and shopping malls, Murdale Shopping Center is populated with stores that are actually locally owned-- by their friends and neighbors-- many of whom will be there in person, in costume, to hand out the candy to children.”

Murdale will provide reusable shopping bags and stores will offer special sales.

The Carbondale Fire Department will bring out a smokehouse to demonstrate the need for fire prevention.

Project Eco ROVER will host hands-on science experiences, including two river simulators, a composting activity, and take-home science experiments. There, the group will also launch a fundraiser for Project Eco ROVER, a coach bus that will become a mobile science classroom designed to travel to local schools. Find out more at <http://www.ProjectEcoRover.org>.

The Carbondale Police Department will sell hotdogs, hamburgers, and drinks, the proceeds of which will fund antidrug educational programs for youth.

Other concessions stands will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale. Those who wish to sign up to help can contact Randy Osborn at (618) 457-8877 ext. 1 or <ROsborn@bgc-cdale.org>.

The Bay Bay Kids Halloween festival will take place Saturday, October 29 at 7 p.m. at the Boyton Street Community Center in Marion. Organizers will set up trunk-or-treating in the parking lot. A costume parade, games, and haunted house will also take place. The event is free, and all children are welcome. For more information, call (618) 997-1113.

The annual Downtown Paducah Zombie Walk takes place Saturday, October 29 at 5:45 p.m. The undead will gather at Ninth Street and Broadway-- those who need a zombie makeover can get one from organizers starting at 4:15 p.m.-- and then the brain-eating horde will shamble around the city’s historic riverfront. Organizers are asking participants to bring a donation of cash or canned food for charity. For more information, including a list of rules for the event, visit <http://www.PaducahZombieWalk.com>.

The Zombie Walk afterparty takes place at the Maiden Alley Cinema and features a punk-rock showcase with Big Red Button, Animal Crackers, Uncle Skunkle and the Scarecrow Family Band, Shark Week, and the Wish You Weres. Classic horror flicks will play in the background during the music. Akasha Dance Company’s zombie belly-dancing troupe will also perform, and a costume contest will take place.

Again, as Gawd intended, the Maiden Alley will screen The Rocky Horror Picture Show Friday, October 28 at 9 p.m., on the big screen. Moviegoers need to bring their own prop bags, which staff will inspect. No hotdogs are allowed because of the mess they make, and those who try to bring in hotdogs will find themselves banned from the theater.

It’s just a jump to the left....

Saturday, October 30 at 4 p.m., the Maiden Alley will screen Joel Schumacher’s masterpiece, the campy, schlocky, but still quite frightening 1987 vampire flick The Lost Boys.

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

For those boos and ghouls who have enough and would like to give something to the less fortunate, the Carbondale Interfaith Council will hold a reverse trick-or-treat Sunday, October 30-- children, accompanied by adults, collect donations in the neighborhood on behalf of UNICEF.

The Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship is among the participating churches. The Church of the Good Shepherd in Carbondale will not only welcome kids in costume at the 10:30 a.m. worship service and provide lunch, but will also hold a costume party after collecting donations in the neighborhood. Find out more at <http://www.CdaleInterfaith.org>.

The SIU Student Center Craft Shop will celebrate Halloween with a costume contest for SIU faulty, staff, and students. Competitors need to drop by in costume Monday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The top two winners in each category will will earn prizes.

Also on Halloween proper, the SIU community can come in to the Craft Shop to make wax and plaster hands, masks, and other seasonal crafts.

For all the details, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org> and click on the link to the Craft Shop.

The SIU Inter-Greek Council’s annual Safe Halloween will take place Monday, October 31 at 5 p.m. in the SIU Student Center’s Ballroom D. This event provides a safe environment for children and their parents to trick-or-treat in the Student Center (and perhaps some of the residence halls) and play games (like Bozo buckets) at tables staffed by as many as thirty SIU Registered Student Organizations.

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

The John A. Logan Concert Band and Southern Illinois Concert Band present It Happened on Halloween: A Symphonic Spooktacular Monday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. Tickets are available at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center box office at (618) 997-4030 and online at <http://www.MarionCCC.org>.

Take a walk along the Carterville Pumpkin Path Monday, October 31. A costume-parade lineup starts at 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church parking lot on Division Street, with the parade and costume contest at 6:15 p.m. The Pumpkin Path runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and participants must bring a canned good to donate to the Carterville Food Pantry. For more information, contact the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942 or visit <http://www.CartervilleChamber.com>.

The Trail of Treats takes place Monday, October 31 at 4 p.m. in downtown Herrin. Kids 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. There a costume contest, chili dinner, games, and baked-good raffle will takes place at 6 p.m. Those who would like to help out with the effort can call John Homan at (618) 925-0563 for volunteer information.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

Jason and Tina Winkleman, two creators of the old Haunted Barn southeast of Marion, as well as Jim Fishback, owner of Marion radio station WGGH AM 1150 and the man behind last year’s Fear: The Haunted House in the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion, have a new horror to unleash on Southern Illinois: Wolf Creek Hollows Scream Park, open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October, as well as Halloween itself. Located just south of Route 13 in Carterville, Wolf Creek Hollows Scream Park boasts an indoor haunted house, Prison X, where a zombie apocalypse reportedly is already in progress, and the outdoor acres of Convict Cornfield. Both combine animatronics, audio and voiceovers by Jimmyfish (heard on Masters of Horrors and Grand Theft Auto), and professional actors. Or are they... real monsters?

Tickets are $12 for either tours, or $20 for those strong enough to survive one and brave enough to attempt the other. For a $1 discount, bring a canned-food item for the Wolf Creek Hollows food drive. Visit <http://SouthernIllinoisHaunts.com> for hours of operation, group rates and other discounts, directions, and more information.

Want the Chitt scared out of you? The Haunting of Chittyville School runs Fridays and Saturdays through October 29, with special tours Sunday, October 23; Thursday, October 27; Sunday, October 30; and Monday, October 31.

According to legend, the school, at 410 Chittyville Road north of downtown Herrin off Freeman Spur, 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 costumes and set are intricately detailed, having been crafted and constructed for months. The work shows. And it’s scary-- probably not suitable for younger children.

Take the terrifying tour for $12, or $17 for an express ticket. A matinee will take place for younger children Saturday, October 29 at 2 p.m. for $5. On the other hand, a blackout tour lit only by glowsticks will amp up the terrors Sunday, October 30.

For directions and a detailed account of the haunting (including a short video documentary), plus discount and group-rate information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com>, or call (618) 942-6111.

The Haunted Warehouse will fill the old One-hundred Building behind Walt’s Pizza in Marion Thursdays through Saturdays through October, as well as Sunday, October 30, and Monday, October 31.

Patrons can get in the mood by watching horror films in the lobby before touring the twenty-five-room haunted house filled with a vortex tunnel and a dark-room maze, plus an outdoor cemetery and crash scene, populated by thirty to thirty-five killer clowns, spirits, and monsters. Admission is $15, and those who survive can complete the tour in about thirty minutes.

For more information, call Lee at General Services at (618) 922-0610 or Mike at (618) 922-0533.

Satan has taken over Wakefield Prison, right off Route 148 in Herrin, where spirits of evil inmates and sadistic guards roam the dark cells and narrow hallways for eternity.

Actually, Slaughterhouse Productions out of Las Vegas, Nevada has created Cell Block 666, and Wakefield Prison is a construct from the 1980 film Brubaker. But Ray Elam of Slaughterhouse Productions, who brought the Dungeon of Darkness into Herrin three years ago, described his earlier production as dark, intense, and not for the timid, using sight and sound (and depravation thereof) and incorporating confined areas where people need to work their ways out.

“I want to scare you,” Elam told Nightlife in 2008. “Some people are tough to scare, but I’m going to get you to jump at least a couple of times.... The hardest man, the toughest woman to scare, if I don’t hear them scream or shriek, I’ll get them to jump at least once.”

Wakefield Prison is open Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m. in October, and at 6 p.m. on Halloween.

It’s part of a fine line Elam likes to walk: “They need to leave laughing and screaming at the same time,” he tells Nightlife this year. “If they leave just white-faced and quiet, you’ve gone too far, and if they leave bored, you’ve gone too far in the other direction.”

For those who like to lean toward the former side, the event will go into haunted overload Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29, when Elam and company bring in another level of special effects from Las Vegas to up the ante.

Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children younger than twelve.

For more information-- including those who would like to haunt Wakefield Prison as volunteer ghosts-- visit <http://cellblock666.com>.

For those who thought circus clowns more frightening than funny, there’s the Haunted Daycare, which operates out of the old Big Top Daycare Center on Industrial Park Road in Murphysboro. But those who dare to pay the $5 fee will know their potential demise will fund a great cause.

The Haunted Daycare will benefit Supporting People in Need, a Murphysboro-based disaster-relief organization that raises money through a thrift store. Funds from the Haunted Daycare will support restoration of the old Big Top Daycare Center building so that Supporting People in Need can move in there, and expand operations to include a soup kitchen and homeless shelter to the public services it performs.

The Haunted Daycare runs every Friday and Saturday, plus Sunday, October 30, all from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Depending on whether they get lost in the maze, those who survive the Haunted Daycare need about fifteen minutes to navigate the terrors.

Nicolette Dolan, one of the Haunted Daycare’s organizers, tells Nightlife that she’s grateful that SIU has donated costumes and props to the effort, and to the fraternities and sororities who are helping to construct and act in the production. Supporting People in Need, however, has volunteer needs that go beyond Halloween. Those who wish to help with anything from serving on the board to day-to-day operations may call Dolan for more information at (618) 319-0813.

The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale’s annual Haunted House and Carnival takes place Friday, October 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Each room of the haunted house is adopted and staffed by community members, SIU groups and Registered Student Organizations, and Boys and Girls Club club members.

Those who escape the haunted house may enjoy the games available on the other side.

Admission to the haunted house is $1.50. Game tickets are ten-cents each or twelve for $1. Concessions for sale will include hotdogs, chips, drinks, and cookies.

For more information, visit <http://www.bgc-cdale.org>.

Big Muddy Monster Haunted Hayrides will take place October 26 through October 29 at 7 p.m. at Riverside Park in Murphysboro. Parents, students, Key Club members, and everyday citizens have volunteered to staff and construct the event, which will include a wagon fashioned into a creepy hearse, an electric chair, a gallows, and-- if participants are truly unlucky-- an attack by the Big Muddy Monster, a Bigfoot-like creature that reliable witnesses, including police, reported seeing on the outskirts of Murphysboro in 1973.

Any monsters who would like to populate the woods and scare those who dare to enter can earn cash prizes ranging from $50 to $100.

Proceeds from tickets, T-shirt sales, and concessions will benefit the Murphysboro Park District, Carruthers Elementary School, and Relay for Life. Advance tickets will sell for $3.50 at the Murphysboro Kroger. Tickets are $5 at the gate.

For more information, or to volunteer, call Mary Kay Campbell at (618) 559-6989, email <MaryKay.Campell@yahoo.com>, or search for the Big Muddy Monster Haunted Hayrides on Facebook.

Also in Carterville, Haunted Hay Rides run October 27 to October 29 at 7 p.m. in James Street Park. Rides are $4, all-ages, and “guaranteed to scare the bejabbers out of people,” according to Dale Poiter from the Carterville Lions Club. Even though Poiter helps put the whole thing together and knows what to expect and where, when he takes the tour, “I about jump out of my hide,” he says.

Many such rides are pulled by trucks on flatbed trailers, but Poiter says the Lions Haunted Hay Rides take place on real haywagons pulled by classic farm tractors, from which those on the tour can dangle their legs off the edges. Many customers, according to Poiter, are thrilled just to enjoy the ride on the vintage machinery-- the scary part is just a bonus for them. Others ride more than once to see the frights from different angles. And each forty-five-minute ride is a little different.

The Haunted Hay Rides benefit a great deal from longtime volunteer John “Doc” Finley, who died in 2010. Finley collected a whole barn-full of Halloween-appropriate items, including a hearse, that he donated to the Lions for the Hay Ride.

The Haunted Hay Rides have taken place for more than thirty years, making them one of the longest-running Halloween traditions in Southern Illinois. It’s also the Carterville Lions Club’s second-biggest moneymaker, a project that funds community charities and other necessities, ranging from hearing aids and eye glasses to more individual-specific needs.

Those who volunteer for the Hay Ride all three days can win a prize.

For more information, call Poiter at (618) 525-7084, or visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com>. To join the cast or help design some of the frights, email <jflora1947@yahoo.com>.

The resident assistants at SIU’s Thompson Point are hosting the Residence Hall of Horrors Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m., beginning at Steagall Hall and ending at Brown Hall. (Hint: The scariest place is Lentz Hall during meal time.)

The event allows everyone to contribute to a good cause while they enjoy a terrifying time. Admission is $2 with a canned good or $5 without a canned good. (SIU students can use meal points to get canned goods at Lakeside Express or Eastside Express.) Organizers will donate the canned goods to a local food pantry, while cash proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity.

The event is best suited for those ages twelve and older. But children younger than ten are welcome, will pay a discounted fee of $1 or a canned good, will experience a toned-down version of the event with the lights on, and will receive candy at the end. Parents ought to accompany their children, and everyone will sign a waiver before entering.

Sponsors include the Residence Hall Association, the Area Council at West Campus, University Housing Residence Life, the National Residence Hall Honorary, the College of Business, and (gulp!) the School of Mortuary Science. Find out more at <http://www.housing.siu.edu/rha>.

The sequel to the Haunted Forest, which took place earlier in the month in the woods, comes to the city Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29 at the Coleman Tri-County Services building in Harrisburg.

Coleman Tri-County Services Incorporated provides developmental-training, social-rehabilitation, and rehabilitation services to people with disabilities in Gallatin, Saline, and White Counties. Clients, staff, and volunteers assist in creating and staffing this haunted house.

The $5 admission fee will benefit a holiday banquet, dance, and other activities for the agency’s clients.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit <http://TheHauntedForest_1.tripod.com>.

For the last several years, Bandy's Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Colp Road, has cut mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes-- an Egyptian pharaoh and John A. Logan or the Southern Illinois Miners’ baseball-team logo.

This year’s maze in in the shape of a Halloween-themed farm, with a scarecrow, cats, and moon. The path through the maze 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 are available by appointment. The maze is open every day through Monday, October 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the maze is $5 for those older than ten, $3 for children five through nine, and free for children younger than five. Admission to the play barn is $2 for those eight and younger, and hayrides cost $1. For more information, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

Haunted Hollow promises spooky good times Sunday, October 29 at 1 p.m. at SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

Thrilling features include a haywagon ride, face painting, trick-or-treating, games, and an environmental-education component.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children older than five, and free to children five and younger. Participants must register in advance by calling Touch of Nature at (618) 453-1121. For more information, visit <http://www.ton.siu.edu>.

The Royalton Lions will hold their annual haunted Hayride Saturday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the old school. Those who embark on the journey will see headless horsemen, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, witches, werewolves, zombies, and much more. The fare is $5, which will fund Lions charities. Call (618) 984-4744 or visit <http://www.HauntedIllinois.com> for more information.

The Zeigler Boo Bash and Halloween Parade takes place Saturday, October 29 at 6 p.m., with kids’ activities and live music by area youth bands, an outhouse bonfire, soup, chili, contests, hayrides, and prizes. City commissioner Jim Flood tells Nightlife that in all the years that the Boo Bash has taken place, Zeigler has suffered not one incidence of Halloween violence. It draws as many as 1,100 people.

The annual Zeigler Zombie Walk will also take place, though no further information was available as of press time.

For more information about the Boo Bash, call Jim Flood at (618) 596-6195 or visit <http://www.ZeiglerIl.com>.

Paducah, Kentucky, has a series of big, related haunted houses (The Talon Falls Asylum, the Blood Creek Haunted Hayride, and Dead End Haunted House) staffed by more than one-hundred actors operating on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights through October 31, with extra events Thursday, October 27 and Monday, October 31. A ScreamFest Combo ticket allows admission to all events for one price. Proceeds in past years have benefitted local charities. For admission, directions, and more information, call the Screamfest hotline at (270) 674-5690 or visit <http://www.TalonFalls.com>.

The Market House Theatre, meanwhile, offers haunted, lantern-lit walking tours of the Historic Downtown and Lowertown during the October 8, 15, and 21. The tours are based on hours of research by Market House Theatre board members, and conducted by actors who will tell terrifying true tales along the route. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages six through twelve.

Then the Market House will hold a major fundraiser Saturday, October 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Julian Carroll Convention Center-- a Masquerade Ball, which will benefit the troupe’s children’s programming. The program will include dinner, dancing, live entertainment by the Nash Vegas All Stars, and an auction. Tickets are $75, with special prices for young adults and groups. A costume contest will take place, so all should dress up, but those who don’t can purchase masks at the door. All Masquerade Ball guests must be twenty-one or older.

Finally, the Market House will hold special moonlight walking tours Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29 in Oak Grove Cemetery; tours begin at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets $15 for adults and $5 for children ages six through twelve.

For more information or tickets to Market House events, visit <http://www.MHTPlay.com> or call the box office at (270) 444-6828.

Cape Girardeau is a center of Halloween activity this year.

The Haunted Hall of Horror, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department, runs Fridays and Saturdays at the A.C. Brase Arena, with an additional terrifying tour Monday, October 31. Admission is $5, except on October 30, when the cost drops to $3 for a less-frightening, more child-friendly presentation. Call (573) 339-6340 for more information, or visit <http://www.CityOfCapeGirardeau.org> and follow the links to the Parks and Rec page.

At Pioneer Pick ‘Ur Own Orchards in Jackson, tours of a straw maze, bonfires, wagon rides, and hayrides will take place seven days a week through Sunday, October 31. Reservations are required at (573) 243-8008. For more information, visit <http://pioneermktnpuo.com>.

Tours of a Haunted Ghost Town take place Fridays and Saturdays through the end of the month at Black Forest Village, four miles north of Cape. Tours run from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children younger than twelve. For directions and more information, call (573) 335-0899.

For those interested in paranormal research, the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Continuing Education will hold Ghost Hunting 101: The Basics of Ghost Hunting Friday October 21 and Saturday, October 22 at 6 p.m. Tuition is $50. Register at <http://www.semo.edu/ContinuingEd>.

Cape Girardeau theater troupe the River City Players will present An Evening of Spirits with the Spirits: Ghost Stories Saturday, October 22 at 7 p.m. at the Glenn House. The River City Players will take visitors on a tour of the historic (and long reportedly haunted) Glenn House, with five-minute ghost-storytelling performances in each room. Guests can enjoy hors d'oerves, wine, and beer. A raffle will also take place, with the winners getting to spend a night in the Glenn House on Saturday, October 29. Tours are $25, and proceeds will benefit the River City Players and the Glenn House.

Boo at the Zoo takes place Saturday, October 22 at 10 a.m. at the Lazy L. Safari Park. Admission is $5. All guests get a door prize and can tour the zoo, while costumed children twelve and younger get a trick-or-treat bag that they can fill at the zoo. Get details at <http://www.LazyLSafari.com>.

Wop-bop-a-lou-bop! Slick back that hair, don the bobbie socks, and prepare for the annual Southeast Showcase, which raises money for the Southeast Missouri Hospital with a Halloween theme party every year at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. This year’s event, The 1950s: A Blast from the Past, takes place Thursday, October 27 at 6 p.m. The event includes food and beverages from more than thirty local vendors and live music by the Intention. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $35 at the door, and the event is restricted to those ages twenty-one and older. For tickets, call (573) 986-6622 or visit <http://www.SEHealth.org>.

Bollinger Mill will hold a Halloween storytelling event Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m. in Burfordville, northwest of Cape and almost due west of Jackson. Audiences should bring a blanket or lawnchair. Call (573) 243-4591 for more information.

The Southern Illinois SCARE Association will operate Nightmare, a haunted house on the second floor of the West Frankfort Elk's Lodge Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. through October. The space, SCARE Association founder Tara Fasol-Chambers tells Nightlife, once was a Masonic Lodge and actually has long held a reputation for being haunted.

Not everything SCARE does is frightening. The organization will use Nightmare proceeds to buy turkey and side dishes for an area food pantry. They conduct coat-donation drives and sponsor a Shop with a Cop program, purchase fans and help pay for senior citizens’ heating and cooling bills, and replace household items lost in fires. They also hold free and low-cost youth activities like Movies in the Park and Kids Block party in the Park.

Nightmare is the group’s major fundraiser, and proceeds enable many of SCARE’s other activities. Tickets are $5 for kids twelve and younger and $8 for adults.

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

Run Like Hell

Those who won’t need the extra fat for winter hibernation can prepare for the incoming Halloween candy with the annual Joyce Sheet Halloween Race. The thirteen-kilometer course will take runners from Hedman Vineyards-- near the Alto Pass valley-- up Bald Knob Mountain to the Cross of Peace-- one of the tallest peaks in Illinois-- then back down. Walkers will only stride for only four miles, a little less than half the running route.

Onsite registration for the race takes place Saturday, October 22 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $18 for runners and $16 for walkers. The Cobden Runners’/Walkers’ Club administers the race, and proceeds will benefit the Cobden school system’s cross-country program.

Overall men and women winners in the run and walk will earn plaques, while medals will go to first- to third-place winners in various categories. All participants will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt.

Runners can dress in costume for the run and eat breakfast at Hedman's afterward. In addition, organizers will commemorate the late Joyce Sheets with a clean-joke contest. At 1 p.m., Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin will perform at a benefit at Hedman for Pets Are Worth Saving.

For more information, including directions to Hedman, visit <http://www.PeachBarn.com>.

Camp Ondessonk in Ozark, Illinois, will hold the Moccasin Gap ten-mile run and Heepwah five-kilometer Halloween fun run and walk Saturday, October 22, with same-day registration for the races ending at 9:30 a.m. Race fees will benefit the Camp Ondessonk Campership Fund, which helps pay the way for children to attend summer camps.

These semi-cross-country races are part of the annual Free Fall Fest, which kicks off at the finish line with pony rides, hayrides, a climbing wall, and face-painting. Put some weight back on with pork barbecue and hot dogs, then really put it back on at the carmel-apple buffet. Those who come in costume may compete for a $100 prize.

Find out more at <http://www.ondessonk.com> or by calling (877) 659-2267.

Burn off more calories from that Halloween candy at the Grand Avenue Pumpkin Run, which takes place Sunday, October 30 at 3 p.m. in the Carbondale Superblock. The event-- created by the Butterfly Effect, a group founded by Ellen Esling, Lacey Gibson, and Brooke Patton-- will include a two-mile competitive race and walk for adults, and a one-mile fun run for kids.

The fee is $12 for those who register by October 23, and $17 thereafter, or $5 for the fun run. Onsite registration opens at 1:30 p.m.

In addition, the race will feature face-painting, a costume contest, live music, and seasonal refreshments. Organizers will raffle off a weekend getaway at the Blue Sky Suite at Blue Sky Winery and Vineyard.

The Active Ministry and Green Earth will split proceeds.

For more information, email <PumpkinRun@yahoo.com>, or visit <http://TheButterflyyEffect.webs.com>.

Adult Fun

Because the city of Carbondale closes bars on the Strip every Halloween weekend, those bars have long held costume contests and parties the weekend before their forced shuttering turns the downtown into a graveyard. But who says Halloween is dead in Carbondale? In 2010, marketing the weekend previous to All Hallow’s as Unofficial Halloween found serious traction. And because Halloween 2011 falls on a Monday, many adult-oriented costume parties and contests in other parts of the region will continue to take place October 28 through October 30.

Where it started is anyone’s guess, 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 contain 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?

A heavy-metal showcase will take place Thursday, October 20 at PK’s featuring Sacrifice the Gods, the Washco Lowlifes, and Baked Zombie. The latter is Dan Jones’s latest project, he of longtime scatological metal group Poor King. Both Baked Zombie and Sacrifice the Gods will make their Carbondale debuts that evening, and the unholy metal trinity has arranged for backing by a revue of undead, bloody dancers.

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 Friday, October 28 at PK's. “The band will eat the first fifty people in the door,” guitarist Tim Whiteford tells Nightlife. “Hopefully more show up. But on a serious note, we would like to warn people that this show will not be for the squeamish. 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!”

In addition, the Halloween Hoedown will take place with the Whistle Pigs on Monday, October 31.

The Copper Dragon will celebrate Unofficial Halloween Friday and Saturday, October 21 and 22. Rod Tuff Curls and the Bench Press will perform party rock at the costume party on the former date. A costume contest with prizes will take place on the latter date, with the Wedding Banned no doubt uniting many boos and ghouls in unholy matrimony.

Local modern-rock band 30-Aut-6 will release their new CD with Against the Tide warming up Friday, October 28. Patrons are welcome to dress in seasonal attire.

One of the biggest local Halloween bashes takes place Saturday, October 29 at the Dragon, with the spandex and big-hair metal of 1980s tribute Hairbangers Ball. If the Chicago-based band is no stranger to Carbondale, this is the one time of year when audiences are more heavily decked out than the performers-- and the incentive is $500 in cash prizes.

The SIU Dub Club and Crazylegz Productions will bring in Brooklyn producer and DJ Eliot Lipp to entertain at the Hangar 9’s unofficial Halloween party Friday, October 21. Lipp is touring in support of his How We Do: Moves Made CD. FRESH2DEATH and Papa Skunk from Colorado and Stratus from Chicago will join him. The performers will play not just dubstep, but hip-hop, house, glitch-hop, crunk-hop, and bass. “This is the show that we have been waiting for, all our work, all the support from the community, and it falls on a great day/weekend,” Zach Schimelpfenig of the Dub Club says.

Country attire make sense when western-swing band the Giant City Slickers perform Saturday, October 22 at the Hangar’s Halloween honkytonk party.

Costume contests will also take place at the above shows. The musicians will judge, awarding goodie bags for the best group costume, as well as the sexist and scariest costumes.

Last but not least, moptops and psychedelic military regalia are the theme Thursday, October 27, when Beatles tribute Pepperland performs, and the final installment of the Hangar’s costume-contest trilogy takes place. Judges will award $50 cash prizes and goodie bags for the best group costume, as well as the sexist and scariest costumes. In addition, the band will award $50 and a goodie bag for the best Beatles-related costume.

Sidetracks will hold an Unofficial Halloween costume contest with cash prizes and more Saturday, October 22.

In addition, Digital Dog Records-- an SIU Registered Student Organization that operates as a record label, producing and releasing music-- will should a showcase that night with three bands-- Orleanna from Chicago, Auto (formerly Hotbed) from Carbondale, and headliners That's No Moon from Champaign.

Stix will hold the Unofficial Halloween Night of Mayhem Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22. The Saturday-night costume contest will bring a $500 cash prize for the best costume-- one of the largest awards of the year, it should promote especially creative, elaborate costumes.

Cali's will hold the Taking Back Halloween party Thursday, October 27 through Saturday, October 29. The Saturday-night costume contest will result in prizes for the winner.

Three nights of terror take place at Tres Hombres, starting with the big mamou Thursday, October 27, when the costume contest will reward the best-dressed participants with big cash prizes, and one lucky winner will earn dinner for two for a year at Tres. Barnacle Billy and the Zebra Mussels will play their third-annual theme show that evening, “an ultra-psychedelic show in tribute to Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters and--of course-- the Grateful Dead,” according to the band’s Tim Whiteford. “Our costumes will go along with that theme, ranging from members of the Grateful Dead, Merry Pranksters, and the Bozos who attended the acid tests in the early and mid-1960s.”

Costume contests will continue Friday, October 28, with a Zombies on the Dance Floor party thrown by Andy B. and DJ Nasty Nate, and Saturday, October 29, with music by Chicago bluegrass band Sexfist and Carbondale’s own Alex Kirt.

Show Me’s will hold a Halloween party Friday, October 28, with a prize for the best costume and entertainment by a live DJ.

A Halloween masquerade ball takes place Friday, October 28 at the Blue Martin, followed by another seasonal event Saturday, October 29 when the Blue Martin goes country. Rural and western themes are encouraged but not required on the latter date, when a costume contest takes place.

Masquerade 4 Kids is actually a way for adults to support the activities of Mentors 4 Kids, an organization that provides caring, volunteer adult mentors to children who want and need a positive roles model in their lives. The masquerade party will take place Friday, October 28 at 6 p.m. at Blue Sky Vineyard and Winery, with dinner and dessert, music by a cappella doo-wop group Blend, and photography by Shawnee Dreams. Tickets are $50. Get tickets at <http://SouthernTicketsOnline.com>, at (618) 453-6000, or at any Southern Tickets Online walkup location, including Shryock Auditorium and McLeod Theater.

The official Blue Sky costume contest and party takes place Sunday, October 30 at noon. The Blue Sky party often draws as many as one-thousand costumed customers, and the winery vints a special Witches’ Brew for the event. The costume contest that day will award more than $500 in prizes in various children’s and adult categories. Local classic rockers the Venturis will perform, and Nightlife writer Jennifer "Jay" Bull will will perform tarot readings.

The League of Art and Design, an SIU Registered Student Organization, will hold the annual HalLOADween Art Exhibit and Party-- which this year is titled Night of the Living Doug-- Friday, October 28 at the Douglass School Arts Place in Murphysboro. The Moon Buggy Kids, the Black Fortys, and Dolphin Logic will provide musical entertainment. Those who come in costume will pay $2 less than everyone else.

The Halloween XXXtravaganza takes place Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29 at the Pony in McClure, Illinois, near Cape Girardeau; Metropolis, Illinois; Paducah, Kentucky; and Evansville, Indiana. Cash prizes will go to those with the scariest and sexiest costumes.

JB’s Place in DeSoto will also hold a Halloween costume party (but not a contest) Saturday, October 29, where employees and patrons alike will probably dress up.

Saturday, October 29 at the Gallery in DeSoto, a Halloween costume party will take place, with a $200 cash prize for best patron costume, a $50 prize for the runnerup, and third place gets $25.

Of course, the paid entertainment at all of these establishments will also perform in-- and then gradually out of-- costume.

The Cellar’s Halloween costume contest takes place Saturday, October 29. Awards will go at midnight for the best costume and funniest costume.

Beyond the Norm Investigations, a local organization that investigates paranormal activity, will hold a party Saturday, October 29 at the Sports Blast. “We will be having a DJ, finger foods, and several door prizes as well as a costume contest,” says Beyond the Norm’s Jamie Fred. “We may also be having a lady perform tarot readings at a small extra cost. Costumes are mandatory and we hope to just have a good time. The ticket price goes towards the cost of the party and any extra money-- if any-- will go for the cost of our equipment, since our group is not-for-profit and does not charge for any of our services.

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

The Bluffs winery will hold a costume party Saturday, October 29 all day. Judging and the awarding of prizes will take place at 7 p.m. The Swamp Tigers will play honkytonk country starting at 4 p.m.

A costume contest will take place for children and pets Saturday, October 29 at 5 p.m. at the Walker’s Bluff Gazebo in Carterville. Prizes will go to the best-costumed pet, plus the prettiest, scariest, most unique, and funniest children’s costumes. The family with the best costume will also win an award.

In addition, Walker’s Bluff will offer Belgium horse-drawn hayrides every Saturday and Sunday from noon p.m. to 6 p.m. in October and November.

The Halloween in the Hollow bash will take place Saturday, October 29 at the Blue Boar Lodge in Cobden. Costumed patrons can compete in various categories for prizes; the best-costumed patron will win $250. Classic-rock band the Infidels will provide live entertainment.

The Rustle Hill costume party and contest requires participants to not just dress up but sing out-- for pretend, anyway. The party comes to unlife Saturday, October 29 at 6 p.m.

The more traditional costume contest will see prizes awarded in categories including best individual costume and best group costume.

In addition, a lip-sync contest will take place with prizes for best performance and most accurate lip sync. Individual and group contestants are welcome to perform to any song they wish, but there’s only room for fifteen acts. Contestants must provide digital copies of their song, but the winery will provide the sound equipment. To sign up, call Teri Hammond at (618) 893-2700 or email <teri@RustleHillWinery.com>.

Singer / songwriter Roxie Randle will perform earlier in the day.

Trail’s End Lodge in Cobden will hold a Halloween party Saturday, October 29. Barnacle Billy and the Zebra Mussels will provide live entertainment.

Mase’s Place Bar and Grill in Pomona will hold a costume contest Saturday, October 29 with the winners winning restaurant gift certificates. The Memory Lane DJ and karaoke show will also take place.

Fuzzy’s in Cobden will hold a Halloween costume contest with cash prizes Saturday, October 29.

A Harleyween bash takes place Saturday, October 29 at 2 p.m. at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion. Festivities will include a costume contest, a chili cookoff, and the Devil's Breath Chile Company Greatest Bloody Mary Throwdown. To register for the latter two components of Harleyween, visit <http://www.BlackDiamondHD.com>.

Hotrod-rockabilly trio Skinny Jim and the Number Nine Blacktops will turn John Brown's on the Square in Marion into a 1950s dragstrip Saturday, October 29, while Brown's will give away free T-shirts, hold drawings and giveaways throughout the night, and award $100 in a costume contest

Local band Crossroads will entertain at a Halloween costume contest (with cash prize) Saturday, October 29 at Kip and Traci’s in Marion.

The Monster Mash party takes place Friday, October 28 at Club Traz.

The gigantic annual Hell on Heels Halloween drag show-- which will feature performances by more than one-hundred drag queens-- takes place Sunday, October 30 at Club Traz. That night, a costume contest complete with surprise prizes for the winners and Halloween games for all will also take place.

Von Jakob’s Halloween bash takes place Sunday, October 30 at the Orchard location in Alto Pass. The Dave Caputo Duo will perform.

Global Gourmet will will hold a Halloween party Monday, October 31. The fortnightly performance of the Transpoetic Playground may consist of readings of Halloween-themed poetry and literature, and a costume contest will take place.

Boo! Halloween 2010, Book II

Boo! Halloween 2010, Book II
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

Though some activities listed in last week’s issue do carry over into this article, a whole, horrific host of Halloween happenings were announced since then, and appear here for the first time. Read on, and read carefully.

But first, to reiterate a few points from last week.

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 probably rivaled Mardi Gras in size and excitement. Sadly, the city of Carbondale continues to shut down bars on the Strip during Halloween weekend. The annual bar closings were instituted to curtail unwanted behavior. The time for such extreme measures, if they ever could be justified, is long past. Of course, Nightlife has said that many times before, but it bears repeating. With city-council elections taking place in spring 2011, citizens need to once again make this a political issue and demand change.

Meanwhile, starting Friday, the Strip will die its annual death, and revelers must look elsewhere for Halloween fun. Luckily, the options are many, and monstrous.

Some activities are geared toward children, some toward adults, some fun, some spiritual, and plenty of it scary. If you dare, read on here-- and online for more, 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. 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.

The Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance will hold a traditional Samhain ritual Saturday, October 30 at 4 p.m. at Lake Murphysboro. The event begins with a potluck, then the ritual starts at 7 p.m. Participants should bring astrologically determined dishes for the potluck, as well as tiki torches and carved pumpkins. For the ritual, organizers recommend photos, urns, or other objects that represent and honor ancestors. Those who wish to camp out should bring proper gear (the camping fee is $3 a night), and everyone should dress for the weather.

For questions and directions, contact Tara Nelson at (618) 924-0263 or <TaraCat@earthlink.net> or Beth Lake at <beth_15_@hotmail.com>, or visit <http://sipa.timerift.net>.

Costumes

Sure, anyone can pick up a crappy vinyl costume and plastic mask at a national chain. 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.

Those who want to make their own costumes can set up appointments with the Student Center Craft Shop sewing expert at (618) 453-3636, and learn Halloween costume-sewing basics.

Trick or Treating

Mayor Brad Cole has proclaimed Sunday, 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 Officer Randy Mathis at (618) 457-3200 ext. 428.

Carbondale Main Street will host Halloween on Main Street Saturday, October 30 with a series of events for children and adults.

A craft fair will take place from 8 a.m. to noon in the Town Square.

Tricks or Treats Downtown begins at 2 p.m. at the Old Train Depot. An open-air tram will whisk little costumed ghosties to downtown businesses for treats. Parents may accompany their kids. The tours end with a party at the Varsity Center for the Arts at 3:30 p.m. This is a free event.

A zombie walk will assemble at 10 a.m. in the 710 Bookstore parking lot, when makeup artists will help participants transform into living dead brain-eaters. The walk itself begins at noon. Cost to participate is $10, which will grant zombies twenty percent discounts at several zombie-friendly establishments (including, at press time, Fat Patties, Thai Taste, and Longbranch) and enter them into drawings for downtown prizes. Those who register by October 25 pay $8 and receive a zombie walk T-shirt. A zombie film fest follows the walk in the Town Square Pavilion, featuring the 1978 George Romero original version of Dawn of the Dead, and the hilarious spoofs Shaun of the Dead by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg, and Evil Dead III: Army of Darkness by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Cambell. A children’s movie will screen at Longbranch at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to all ages, but some of the films may not suit young children. Zesty Flyers will cosponsor the zombie walk and film fest.

A professional ghost hunt will take place at 10 p.m. in the Old Train Depot. The Little Egypt Ghost Society will bring professional ghost seekers to help with experiments, including searching for cold spots, reading electronic waves, and more. Admission is $25, and spaces are limited, so register now.

Visit <http://www.CarbondaleMainStreet.com> or call (618) 529-8040 for more information.

The SIU Inter-Greek Council’s annual Safe Halloween will take place Sunday, 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 and play games (like Bozo buckets) at tables staffed by as many as thirty SIU registered student organizations.

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

The Science Center’s Monster Mash Halloween party will take place Sunday, October 31 at 2 p.m. The event is part of a University Mall-wide series of events that will include storytelling, trick-or-treating, a costume contest, a scavenger hunt, and possibly a haunted house. For details, see <http://YourScienceCenter.org>.

Another place for trick-or-treat fun is the Safe Halloween Costume Crawl and Candy Walk Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 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 get their faces painted. Parents should bring a camera for special photo opportunities.

The event is now more than twenty years old (organizers have lost count). And according to one business owner at Murdale, it “in part is designed to remind folks that, unlike big-box stores and shopping malls, Murdale Shopping Center is populated with stores that are actually locally owned-- by their friends and neighbors-- many of whom will be there in person, in costume, to hand out the candy to children.”

The Carbondale Police Department will grill hotdogs and burgers to raise funds for the DARE program. Those who wish to sign up to help can contact Randy Osborn at (618) 457-8877 ext. 1 or <ROsborn@bgc-cdale.org>. Other concessions stands will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale, which will kick off the Green Light Campaign, part of a national runaway prevention initiative.

A trunk-or-treat event-- sort of a Halloween trick-or-treat tailgate party-- will take place Sunday, October 31 at 4 p.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church in Carbondale. People will decorate their vehicle, stuff their trunks with candy, park out in the lot, and feed the wee beasties as they come by. Those who want to hand out candy at the event should call the church office at (618) 457-8785 to sign up.

The Bay Bay Kids Halloween festival will take place Friday, October 29 at 7 p.m. at the Boyton Street Community Center in Marion. Organizers will set up trunk-or-treating in the parking lot. A costume parade, games, and haunted house will also take place. The event is free, and all children are welcome. For more information, call (618) 997-1113.

Trick-or-treating will take place Sunday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Cobden. The village and the Cobden High School Beta Club will give treats in the downtown park shelter. Make donations of candy or money for candy at Village Hall. People are welcome to trunk or treat in Downtown Park near the shelter.

The Trail of Treats takes place Friday, October 29 at 4 p.m. in downtown Herrin. Kids 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, where a costume contest and baked-good raffle will take place.

For those boos and ghouls who have enough and would like to give something to the less fortunate, a Youth Halloween Party/Trick-or-Treat to benefit UNICEF will take place Sunday, October 31 at 12:30 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

The Carbondale PetCo will host the Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest and Photo Spooktacular Saturday, October 23 and Saturday, October 30, both at 1 p.m. The first date offers prizes for costumed pets in various categories, while the second date will invite people to dress up with their pets and enjoy a spooky reptile show. The store will also sell framed digital photos in conjunction with the Howl-o-ween parties.

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

Haunting Music, Movies, Theater, 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.

Add this to the list: SIU Housing’s Residence Hall Association and the National Residence Hall Honorary are sponsoring a big game of Humans versus Zombies. Essentially a giant game of tag with a role-playing element, the event begins Monday, October 25 and continues through Saturday, October 30.

A kickoff Blackout Party takes place Friday, October 22 at 9 p.m. in the lower level of Grinnell Hall with DJ Dean spinning tunes, and games like root-beer pong.

The registration deadline for Humans versus Zombies already passed, but innocent bystanders may still want to know the reasons for all the chaos around them. Basically, the organizers will divide participants into zombies and humans. Throughout the week, humans will receive a series of missions. Zombies will look for and try to tag them, turning humans into hordes of brain-eating, walking undead.

Both survivors and victims of the game of zombie-tag, and all SIU students, for that matter, can attend a free zombie film fest Saturday, October 30 at 4 p.m. in the the lower level of Grinnell Hall.

Nearly every day is Halloween at Castle Perilous, where patrons often take the form of elves, dwarves, wizards, and the like. The holiday will make the store far more special than usual, starting Saturday, October 30. Castle Perilous will offer a free selected comic or role-playing game supplement to those who come in costumes or wear Zombie Walk T-shirts. Those who come in costumes will also earn free entry into the 1 p.m. Yu Gi Oh! tournament. The Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy will pose for pictures, while comic artists Justin Holman and Joe Dodd will sign autographs and show their work. Patrons may earn chances to win free merchandise by wearing costumes or Zombie Walk T-shirts, or by contributing to a canned-food drive.

Similar sales and promotions will continue Sunday, October 31, with a $20 gift certificate to the two patrons wearing the best costumes, and an apple-bobbing contest with the winner receiving ten percent off purchases that day.

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

Meanwhile, Scott Thorne, Castle Perilous’s owner, will lead his annual walking tour of local haunted locations Sunday, October 31 at 10:30 a.m., ending at noon at the Hundley House, site of one of the city’s more notorious murders and hauntings (the Discovery Channel's Ghost Lab filmed an episode there in August 2010). The Hundley House will open from noon to 2 p.m. for tours.

Thorne has collected local ghost stories for more than twenty years and always has a few new ones to share. Anthony Hall and Hundley House are among the places about which Thorne has provided parapsychological legends to past tourgoers.

Admission is $5, with all money going to the Jackson County Humane Society.

For a preview, read Thorne’s blog at <http://CarbondazeGazette.blogspot.com>, which contains entries about some of the region’s haunted locations and a few of the legends associated with them.

The heavily costumed SIU Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Studio Jazz Orchestra, Chamber Ensembles, and sundry smaller covens will hold their annual Halloween Pops concert and costume contest Thursday, October 28 in Shryock Auditorium.

This annual tradition features performances by several School of Music ensembles in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, while local celebrities usually narrate mildly chilling stories. A costume parade with prizes for the most outstanding costumes will take place, with adults and children winning prizes for the best costumes in various categories.

Tickets are $15 for adults, or $6 for students and senior citizens, while children ages five and younger are free. Proceeds from the concert will benefit School of Music scholarships. Purchase advance tickets at the SIU ticket offices at the SIU Arena and in the Student Center, or at <http://www.SouthernTicketsOnline.com> or (618) 453-6000.

Avast, ye maties! Strike yer colors and prepare ta be boarded!

The SIU Museum, located in the north wing of Faner Hall, will hold a whole host of Halloween hordes Sunday, October 31 at 4 p.m.

The event is open to people of all ages (though adults should accompany their children), costumed or not-- but what scurvy dawg would come without dressing for the occasion?

Activities begin with a costume contest (categories include superest hero, cutest costume, silliest costume, most prim and proper princess, most original costume, scariest costume, best TV/movie character, and best couple) and games.

Then Halloween pirates and other characters will participate in a scavenger hunt, learning how to use a treasure map where X marks the spot of some of the campus’s unique sculptures.

The is a project of SIU’s Art and Design 447 class, which was charged with developing and implementing a museum activity.

Those who would like to volunteer for the event may email Lorilee Huffman at <curator@siu.edu> or Amanda Urbanski at <urbanski.amanda@gmail.com>, or call either at (618) 453-5388.

Lips! Lips! Lips!

As Gawd intended, the SIU Student Programming Council will screen The Rocky Horror Picture Show Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30 at midnight in Student Center Ballroom A, and on the big screen. Students pay $3, and the public $4. SPC also sells prop bags for $3 for the virgins who forget to bring their own. Hot patootie!

The SIU Student Center will celebrate Halloween Friday, October 29.

The Craft Shop will hold a costume contest for SIU faulty/staff and another for students from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Winners for best costume in both categories will receive $25 Student Center gift cards, and runnersup will earn free Craft Shop workshops (not including materials).

The Craft Shop will also provide free face painting and frightening makeup, and patrons can make wax hands or paint wooden pumpkins for $3, from noon to 4:30 p.m., or make Halloween cards for $1 apiece from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Face-painting and other workshops will take place Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cosmic bowling and other events and specials will also take place throughout the Student Center during the Halloween holiday season, for those who dare to enjoy them.

For all the details, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org>.

Plenty of Halloween activities take place at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro, starting Friday, October 22 with a screening of John Carpenter’s highly influential 1978 slasher flick Halloween.

A wild variety show, The Vaudeville Vamp, takes place Saturday, October 23 at 7 p.m. Local blues group the J. Brown Band will perform, and back the Vaudeville Vagabond Twilight Twitterpaiters, a 1930s-style corset-clad cabaret theatrical troupe, and the Flying Balls Society, a local juggling and unicycling group. The audience is welcome to come in costume. Tickets are $5 in advance, or $8 at the door, and proceeds will benefit the Liberty.

Finally, a Halloween costume contest will take place Sunday, October 31 in conjunction with a screening of the great 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff, the still frightening yet poignant film brims with subtext and allegory-- see the 1988 biopic about Whale, Gods and Monsters, for insight. Winners of the costume contest, meanwhile, will earn free passes to the Liberty, and first prize is a one-year pass with concessions. Admission is $5.

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

School is out on Friday, October 29 for parent/teacher conferences in the Carbondale District Ninety-five school system. To fill afternoon hours, the Spooktacular Halloween Pool Party takes place at 1 p.m. at the Carbondale Park District’s LIFE Community Center. Since the event takes place in the water, the Spooktacular Pool Party is not a costume contest or party. But the Park District will dim the lights, drop glowing bling into the pool, and create a creepy swamp theme. Those who attend will receive a holiday surprise­ -- maybe the Loch Ness monster, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or just a treat. Regular admission fees and pool rules apply.

For more information, visit <http://www.cpkd.org> or call (618) 549-4222.

The annual Downtown Paducah Zombie Walk takes place Saturday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. The undead will gather at Ninth Street and Broadway-- those who need a zombie makeover can get one from organizers starting at 4:30 p.m.-- and then the brain-eating horde will shamble around the city’s historic riverfront.Organizers are asking participants to bring a donation of cash or canned food for charity. For more information, including a list of rules for the event, visit <http://www.PaducahZombieWalk.com>.

Then, as Gawd intended, the Maiden Alley will screen The Rocky Horror Picture Show October 29 and 30, on the big screen. Moviegoers need to bring their own prop bags, which staff will inspect. No hotdogs are allowed because of the mess they make, and those who try to bring in hotdogs will find themselves banned from the theater.

It’s just a jump to the left....

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

The Zeigler Boo Bash and Halloween Parade takes place Saturday, October 30, with the first annual Zeigler Zombie Walk kicking things off at 3 p.m. Participants can register and get help with makeup, then begin the walk at 5 p.m. The $10 registration fee will support live music and kids’ activities at the Boo Bash, and zombies get chances to win prizes. For more information, call Joe Chance at (618) 218-4248, email <ZeiglerZombieWalk@yahoo.com>, or search Facebook for Zeigler Zombie Walk.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

The resident assistants at SIU’s Thompson Point are hosting the Residence Hall of Horrors Friday, October 22 at 7 p.m., beginning at Steagall Hall and ending at Brown Hall. (Hint: The scariest place is Lentz Hall during meal time.)

The event allows kids to contribute to a good cause while they enjoy a terrifying time. Admission is $2 with a canned good or $5 without a canned good. (SIU students can use meal points to get canned goods at Lakeside Express or Eastside Express.) Organizers will donate the canned goods to a local food pantry, while cash proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity.

The event is best suited for those ages twelve and older. Parents ought to accompany their children; in 2009, they were required to sign waivers for their kids.

Sponsors include the Residence Hall Association, the Thompson Point Area Council, the National Residence Hall Honorary, the College of Engineering, and (gulp!) the School of Mortuary Science.

Want the Chitt scared out of you? The Haunting of Chittyville School runs Thursdays through Sundays from October 21 through October 31.

According to legend, the school, at 410 Chittyville Road north of downtown Herrin off Freeman Spur, 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 costumes and set are intricately detailed, having been crafted and constructed for months. The work shows. And it’s scary-- probably not suitable for younger children.

Take the terrifying tour for $12, or $8 for children ten and younger. A matinee will take place for younger children Saturday, October 23 at 2 p.m. for $5.

For directions and a detailed account of the haunting (including a short video documentary), plus discount and group-rate information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com> (and give the site time to load), or call (618) 988-9131.

Big Muddy Monster Haunted Hayrides will take place October 26 through October 29, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Riverside Park in Murphysboro. Parents, students, Key Club members, and everyday citizens have volunteered to staff and construct the event, which will include a wagon fashioned into a creepy hurst, a gallows and noose, and-- if participants are truly unlucky-- an attack by the Big Muddy Monster, a Bigfoot-like creature that reliable witnesses, including police, reported seeing on the outskirts of Murphysboro in 1973.

Proceeds from the $5 ticket, T-shirt sales, and concessions will benefit the Murphysboro Park District and Carruthers Elementary School.

Skeen’s Trail of Terror-- at 126 Melody Lane in Murphysboro, where North Fourteenth Street and Ava Road intersect-- will take patrons on a dead man’s walk to, and, maybe, all the way through an old haunted barn. They’ll need to get to the barn first, however-- and good luck with that.

Skeen’s Trail of Terror will operate every Friday and Saturday through the end of October, with extra tours October 27 and 28. Admission is $10, with all proceeds going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Two haunted houses in Marion will raise funds for the Night’s Shield in West Frankfort, which provides shelter to children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment.

Fear: The Haunted House may operate every Friday and Saturday in October in the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion-- but just because it’s in a mall doesn’t make it cheesy, says organizer Jim Fishback.

Fishback’s relatives owned the Haunted Barn in Marion, but evil spirits consumed the place and drove the owners out of state. Fishback partnered with the remaining cast and crew to create Fear, which takes up about fifteen-thousand square feet in the mall.

Fishback, also the owner of Marion radio station WGGH AM 1150, says the cast of about fifteen will tailor the experience for each tour-- they’ll tone it down for a group with children, and amp it up for a more jaded audience. And as for the latter, he’s already seen people book out of Fear after just the first scene.

“I know it sounds like I’m tooting my own horn here, but a lot of people helped to make it happen,” Fishback tells Nightlife, giving enormous credit to his actors as well as the set, audio, and video artists who helped create Fear.

And they’re doing it for a great cause. A portion of the proceeds from the $8 ticket will go to the Night’s Shield. As scary as this haunted house is, Fishback says, it’s even scarier to think about what happens to the children who need Night’s Shield services. Fishback sees the work going into Fear as “turning darkness into light.”

Enter Fear: The Haunted House near the Man-tra-con location, and exit near Pirate Pete’s.

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

Meanwhile, a portion of the proceeds raised by the Nightmare Factory, due east aways from Fear on Princeton Avenue, will also benefit the Night’s Shield. Put together by Skyline Creek Productions, the Nightmare Factory takes place in the factory owned by the late father of Milton Creedy. Legend has it that Creedy embarked on a series of grisly, deranged murders and long periods of institutionalization at age thirteen. After his release, he killed three teenagers. Police chased him to his father’s abandoned factory, which exploded in flames. Authorities found at least twenty ashen bodies there, but could not determine whether any of them belonged to Creedy. Today, employees at the rebuilt factory sometimes hear screams or see Creedy walking through-- but has a living Creedy returned to reclaim his family’s factory, and more victims, or does his spirit haunt the grounds?

The ten-thousand-square-foot haunted house runs Fridays and Saturdays through October, with extra events Sunday, October 24, Thursday, October 28, and Halloween night. It operates from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and stays open for an extra hour on weekends, depending on the crowd. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $6 for children ten and younger when accompanied by adults. Black Diamond Harley-Davidson will sell advance tickets for adults.

For directions and more, visit <http://www.NightmareFactory2010.com>.

And visit <http://www.NightsShield.org> for more about the beneficiary.

Haunted Hollow promises spooky good times Sunday, October 24 at 4:30 p.m. at SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

Thrilling features include a haunted cabin, trick-or-treating, face painting, and campfire ghost stories.

Haunted Hallow is geared toward youngsters ages five to twelve and their families, but everyone is welcome. Parents must sign permission/waiver forms. Participants should wear costumes. The event goes on rain or shine.

While Haunted Hallow is free and open to the public, participants must register no later than Friday, October 22 by calling Touch of Nature at (618) 453-1121. For more information, visit <http://www.ton.siu.edu>.

A Haunted House and Carnival takes place Friday, October 29 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale. SIU registered student organizations and community groups are contributing.

Young children and the faint of heart will enter the first room, Fantasia, then return to the carnival upstairs. Others can enter the World of 'Ween... but will they ever return?

Club members enter for free, and others pay $1 admission, and all should bring canned goods or nonperishable items that the club will collect for Thanksgiving baskets for local families.

The club will also sell food and beverages at the carnival.

For more information, visit <http://www.bgc-cdale.org>.

Take a walk along the Carterville Pumpkin Path Friday, October 29. A costume-parade lineup starts at 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church parking lot on Division Street, with the parade and costume contest at 6:15 p.m. The Pumpkin Path runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and participants must bring a canned good to donate to the Carterville Food Pantry. For more information, contact the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942 or visit <http://www.CartervilleChamber.com>.

Also in Carterville, Haunted Hay Rides run October 28 to October 30 at 7 p.m. at the James Street Park. Rides are $3.50, all-ages, and “guaranteed to scare people,” according to Dale Poiter from the Carterville Lions Club. Even though Poiter helps put the whole thing together, when he takes the tour, “I about jump out of my hide,” he says.

Many such rides are pulled by trucks on flatbed trailers, but Poiter says the Lions Haunted Hay Rides take place on real haywagons pulled by classic farm tractors, from which those on the tour can dangle their legs off the edges. Many customers, according to Poiter, are thrilled just to enjoy the ride on the vintage machinery-- the scary part is just a bonus for them. Others ride more than once to see the frights from different angles. And each ride is a little different.

The 2010 Haunted Hay Rides are dedicated to longtime volunteer John “Doc” Finley, who died about a month ago. Finley collected a whole barn-full of Halloween-appropriate items, including a hearse, that he donated to the club for the Hay Ride.

The Haunted Hay Rides have taken place for more than thirty years, making them one of the longest-running Halloween traditions in Southern Illinois. It’s also the Carterville Lions Club’s second-biggest moneymaker, a project that funds community charities and other necessities, ranging from hearing aids and eye glasses to more individual-specific needs.

Those who volunteer for the Hay Ride all three days can win a prize.

For more information, call Poiter at (618) 525-7084, or visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com>. To join the cast or help design some of the frights, email <jflora1947@yahoo>.

For the last few years, Bandy's Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Johnston City Road, has cut mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes-- an Egyptian pharaoh and John A. Logan or the Southern Illinois Miners’ baseball-team logo. This year, they pay tribute to youth-development organization 4-H. (Owner J.T. Bandy was a product of 4-H.)

The path through the maze winds through about three miles of corn, and takes at least an hour to walk. Six posts, featuring 4-H trivia questions, are hidden within the 4-H corn maze. Those who find and answer all the questions will receive a free commemorative collectable keepsake maze pin.

In addition, Bandy’s offers a play barn for younger children, hayrides, and pumpkins galore. Group tours of the pumpkin patch are available by appointment. The maze is open through Friday, October 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the maze is $5 for those older than ten, $3 for children five through nine, and free for children younger than five. Admission to the play barn is $2, and hayrides cost $1. For more information, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

For those who want a larger selection of pumpkins, visit McLaughlin Pumpkin Farm, located north of Murphysboro, then west off of Route 127/13. McLaughlin’s has a hayride that will take customers out through the pumpkin patch to pick their own. The hayrides take place Saturdays from noon to 5:30 p.m. through October.

Every year art students in the SIU glass program make gourds for the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale, which this year takes place Saturday, October 23 at 10 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, though the seeds are far less tasty.

Seriously, don’t eat the seeds.

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.

Walker’s Bluff in Carterville will offer Belgium horse-drawn hayrides every Saturday and Sunday from noon p.m. to 6 p.m. in October.

The Haunted Warehouse will fill the old One-hundred Building by Walt’s Pizza in Marion Fridays and Saturdays through the end of the month, as well as Thursday, October 29, and Sunday, October 31. The Haunted Warehouse opens at 7 p.m., and operates until it exhausts the evening’s supply of victims.

Patrons can get in the mood by watching horror films in the lobby before touring the ten-room haunted house, filled with saws, a cemetery, a meat shop, a jail cell, and a maze, and populated by fifteen to twenty killer clowns, spirits, and monsters. Admission is $10, and those who survive can complete the tour in about fifteen minutes. For more information, call General Services at (618) 922-0610.

Bev Shofstall from Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will guide participants on an owl prowl Saturday, October 30 at 5 p.m. at the War Bluff Valley Sanctuary near Golconda, Illinois. Shofstall will bring some feathered owl friends for people to see up close while she explains the natural history and habits of these fascinating and mysterious creatures of the night. After the presentation, a chili, hot cider, and potluck dinner will take place, then a tour will head into the night to listen for and perhaps see wild owls. Those whooo head into the forest should bring a flashlight and wear appropriate shoes and clothes for walking in the wilderness at night.

Children should wear costumes; parents and others should register for the event by calling War Bluff Sanctuary at (618) 683-2222.

The owl prowl is sponsored by the Shawnee Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society. For directions and more information, visit <http://www.ShawneeAudubon.org>.

The Southern Illinois SCARE Association will operate Nightmare Park Fridays and Saturdays through October near the Frankfort Community Park Bandshell in West Frankfort. Each year, and with some irony, the organization holds both a haunted house and a Relay for Life.

But seriously, SCARE, despite its name, is a charitable organization that raises money for cancer research, purchases turkeys and fixings for the Crosswalk Community Action Agency Food Pantry at Thanksgiving, and supports numerous area not-for-profits.

There’s still time for fun, however, as SCARE holds movie screenings, sponsors the work of the Southern Illinois Paranormal Investigators, and runs the haunted Nightmare Park. But fun is ultimately about helping others, as proceeds go to charity.

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

The Jaycees will hold a haunted house at the old downtown movie theater in Christopher, Illinois. The civic organization will scare people Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. through October. Admission is $5, or $4 with a canned good that the Jaycees will donate to the Christopher Angel Tree Food Basket program. The twenty-room haunted house takes about fifteen minutes to complete.

In addition, a Halloween parade takes place Saturday, October 30 before the haunted house opens.

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

Paducah, Kentucky, has a series of big, related haunted houses (The Talon Falls Asylum, the Blood Creek Haunted Hayride, and Dead End Haunted House) staffed by more than one-hundred actors operating on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights through October 31, with extra events Wednesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 28. A ScreamFest Combo ticket allows admission to all events for one price. Proceeds in past years have benefitted local charities. For admission, directions, and more information, call the Screamfest hotline at (270) 674-5690 or visit <http://www.TalonFalls.com>.

The Market House Theatre, meanwhile, has offered bus and walking tours of the Historic Downtown and Lowertown during the first three Fridays and Saturdays in October. The tours are based on hours of research by Market House Theatre board members, and conducted by actors who will tell terrifying true tales along the route.

Then the Market House will hold a special moonlight and mystery event Saturday, October 22 in Oak Grove Cemetery; three tours begin between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and include seasonal treats.

The Market House wraps up Halloween with a series of tours of Oak Grove Cemetery that run Saturday, October 23 and Thursday and Friday, October 28 and October 29. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for youth ages six to twelve, and six is the minimum age.

For tickets to Market House holiday tours, visit <http://www.MHTPlay.com> or call the box office at (270) 444-6828.

Cape Girardeau is a center of Halloween activity this year.

The Haunted Hall of Horror, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department, runs Fridays and Saturdays at the A.C. Brase Arena, with an additional terrifying tour on Sunday, October 31. Admission is $5 for those six and older, and free to those five and younger. Call (573) 339-6340 for more information, or visit <http://www.CityOfCapeGirardeau.org> and follow the links to the Parks and Rec page.

At Pioneer Pick ‘Ur Own Orchards in Jackson, tours of a straw maze, bonfires, wagon rides, and hayrides will take place seven days a week through Sunday, October 31. Reservations are required at (573) 243-8008.

Tours of a Haunted Ghost Town take place Fridays and Saturdays through the end of the month (October 15 and 16, 22 and 23, and 29 and 30) at Black Forest Village, four miles north of Cape. Tours run from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children younger than twelve. For directions and more information, call (573) 335-0899.

The annual Southeast Showcase raises money for the Southeast Missouri Hospital with a Halloween theme party every year at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. This year’s event, The Glamorous Vampire and Vixen Ball, takes place Thursday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m., and includes food, beverages, live music, and a costume contest. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $35 at the door, and the event is restricted to those ages twenty-one and older. For tickets, call (573) 986-6622 or visit <http://www.SoutheastMissouriHospital.com>.

Run Like Hell

Those who won’t need the extra fat for winter hibernation can prepare for the incoming Halloween candy with the annual Joyce Sheet Halloween Race. The thirteen-kilometer course will take runners and walkers from Hedman Vineyards-- near the Alto Pass valley-- up Bald Knob Mountain to the Cross of Peace-- one of the tallest peaks in Illinois-- then back down.

Onsite registration for the race takes place Saturday, October 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $18 for runners and $16 for walkers. Proceeds will benefit the Cobden school system’s cross-country program.

Overall men and women winners in the run and walk will earn plaques, while medals will go to first- to third-place winners in various age categories. All participants will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt.

Runners can dress in costume for the run, and eat breakfast at Hedman's afterward. In addition, organizers will commemorate the late Joyce Sheets with a clean-joke contest.

For directions to Hedman, visit <http://www.PeachBarn.com>.

Burn off more calories from that Halloween candy at the Grand Avenue Pumpkin Run, which takes place Sunday, October 31 in the Carbondale Superblock. The event will include a two-mile competitive race and one-mile fun run / walk at 3 p.m.

Pre-registration for the race ends on October 23, with a $12 fee bringing runners and walkers goodie bags and T-shirts. The entry fee is $17, or $5 for the fun run, thereafter. Onsite registration opens at 1:30 p.m.

In addition, face- and pumpkin-painting, a costume contest, and a silent auction will take place.

The Grand Avenue Christian Church and Green Earth will split proceeds.

For more information, email <PumpkinRun@yahoo.com>, or visit <http://PumpkinRun.GrandAvenue.cc>.

Adult Fun

Sidetracks will hold a costume contests Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23.

In addition, four bands will perform Saturday night-- Little Pizza, That's No Moon, Crayolala, and HotBizzle-- with proceeds from the door helping to benefit the Midwest Music Festival, which SIU’s student record label, Digital Dog Records, holds every spring. Costume contest winners on Saturday will earn tickets to see Bruno Mars. Admission is $5, or $4 for those in costumes.

The unofficial Halloween Spooktacular will take place Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23 from 9 a.m. to close at the Sky Bar above the Sports Blast behind the University Mall. Each night will feature three musical acts or more (Friday’s lineup will include Hobo Knife, Neighborhood Flavor, and the Royal We, a.k.a. the Tree House Band, while Saturday will feature Spread, Another Dead Cover Band, and DJ Wendy Darling) while light and laser technicians and projectionists will add a visual element to the event, and fine artists will create works throughout. Costume contests will take place both nights.

Admission is $10 per night, or $15 for a two-night ticket. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit efforts to restore wildlife still suffering from the impact of the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. For those who don’t want to drive, free shuttles will run every half-hour to and from the Old National Bank parking lot starting at 10 p.m.

Gatsby's II will hold an Unofficial Halloween Party with DJ F-Bomb spinning the tunes Friday and Saturday, October 22 and 23. The costume contest will offer a frightening $800 in cash and prizes.

Break out the mullet wigs-- the Blue Martin will hold a Jersey Shore lookalike Halloween costume contest Saturday, October 23, with cash prizes. DJ A.D.E. will play some appropriately fist-pumping tunes.

Stix will hold two Halloween costume contests. The first takes place Saturday, October 23; at midnight, the winner will receive a $500 grand prize. A second Halloween costume contest takes place Thursday, October 28 at midnight, with a $250 grand prize.

Get the party started Tuesday, October 26 at the Show Me’s dress rehearsal for Halloween. Music in Motion will DJ the event.

Two nights of terror take place at Tres Hombres, starting Thursday, October 28. Local funk group Hotbed played a blacklight show last spring at Tres, and figured that Halloween is an incredibly appropriate time for an encore of the concept. Ryne Teston from Hotbed says the group will decorate Tres pretty extensively with ultraviolet bubble machines and other bling that blacklights will eerily illuminate. The show will also feature hip-hop act the Belle Hooks and DJ King David.

Barnacle Billy and the Zebra Mussels will play their second annual Halloween show Saturday, October 30 at Tres. Last year the group dressed up as Kiss, and this year they will perform Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book during the first set. The band will dress as characters from the movie and perform all the songs from the soundtrack, plus bits of dialogue and narration-- and, according to vocalist Tim Whiteford, Barnacle Billy himself will make his first-ever public appearance. Meanwhile, a costume contest will net the winner free dinner for two for a year at Tres, and runners up will receive other prizes.

Where it started is anyone’s guess, 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 contain 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?

The unholy trinity of Zuul, Bible of the Devil, and the Shakes will thrash away Thursday, October 28 at Da-Nite in Murphysboro. A Halloween bash will take place that night as well, with $100 in cash prizes for the best costumed male and female.

Whether it’s an official costume party or not, a surreal pagan wildness takes over when Slappin’ Henry Blue and frontman Tawl Paul perform at PK’s, which they will Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30. Paul often goes all-out for the holiday, making the show extra special.

What Carbondale band better represents the spirit of the season that 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 Sunday, October 31 at PK's with an opening act to be announced. A costume party will also take place.

Alternative-country band Dallas Alice will perform at a Halloween costume party Friday, October 29 at John Brown's on the Square in Marion.

Fuzzy’s in Cobden will hold a Halloween costume contest Friday, October 29.

Local classic-rock band Big Hurry and the Wait will play the Halloween costume party Friday, October 29 at the Tower Square Pub in Marion.

The Corner Dance Hall in Whittington will hold a country-western Halloween costume party and square dance featuring local band Nice and Easy Friday, October 29. The Corner is a no-alcohol venue.

Classic-rock band White Gold Centerfold will perform Saturday, October 30 at the Cellar’s Halloween costume contest. The best-dressed customers will compete for cash prizes.

The Copper Dragon will hold a Halloween bash Saturday, October 30. The main attraction is Chicago party band the Personnel, with a special appearance by the Rockford electropop group the Poets Dance, who perform the commercials for FreeCreditScore.com (not to be confused with the hilariously cheesy “group” that plays on the FreeCreditReport.com ads). A costume contest kicks off at the witching hour with prizes for best male and female costumes.

The Bone Dry River Band will perform at the Halloween costume party Saturday, October 30 at Key West. The costume-contest winner will earn $200, while the runnerup takes home $100.

Club Traz will hold a costume contest complete with Halloween games Saturday, October 30. Winners will receive surprise prizes.

Then the gigantic annual Hell on Heels Halloween drag show-- which will feature performances by more than one-hundred drag queens-- takes place Sunday, October 31.

Global Gourmet will will hold a Halloween party Saturday, October 30.

Cali’s will hold a costume contest Saturday, October 30 with a $500 grand prize awarded at midnight.

The Rustle Hill costume party and contest takes place Saturday, October 30. Local classic-rock band the Natives will headline, with up-and-coming Nashville country-western singer Roxie Randle warming up.

Trail’s End Lodge in Cobden will hold a Halloween party Saturday, October 30. The costume contest winner will receive a free dinner coupon. Larry Dillard and Blues Therapy will provide the live entertainment.

A Halloween costume party takes place Saturday, October 30 at StarView Vineyards from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., with judging for the costume contest getting underway at 5 p.m. The vineyard will award StarView gift certificates for best male costume, best female costume, and best couple/group costume. The Swamp Tigers will provide a traditional country and rockabilly soundtrack, and Whiffle Boys will offer pizza by the pie and by the slice.

The Halloween in the Hollow bash will take place Saturday, October 30 at the Blue Boar Lodge in Cobden. Costumed patrons can compete in various categories for a total of $250 in prizes. Jeff Mears and the Cache River Band will provide live entertainment.

Saturday, October 30 at the Gallery in DeSoto, a Halloween costume party will take place, with a $200 cash prize for best patron costume and a $50 prize for the runnerup.

JB’s Place in DeSoto will also hold a Halloween costume party (but not a contest) Saturday, October 30, where employees and patrons alike will probably dress up.

Of course, the paid entertainment at both establishments will also perform in-- and then gradually out of-- costume.

Go down to the Crossroads in Herrin for the Wild Ride Halloween Party Saturday, October 30, with DJ B. presiding over the tunes. A costume contest will take place with prizes for the winners.

A Harleyween bash takes place Saturday, October 30 at noon at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion with a chili cookoff, costume contest, free entertainment, and much more.

Saturday, October 30, Whisker Willy's in Marion will hold their annual Halloween costume party, with a $100 prize for best costume. Metal Toyz will perform at the Halloween bash.

The Blue Sky Halloween festival will feature live music by local blues and classic-rock band the Saloonatics Sunday, October 31 at noon.

The Blue Sky party often draws as many as one-thousand costumed customers, and the winery vints a special witches’ brew for the event.

The costume contest that day will award prizes to four winners. The first-place winner will earn a one-night stay in Blue Sky’s Tuscan Suite. Second through fourth prizes are Blue Sky gift certificates-- $75, $50, and $25, respectively. The child in the best costume will snag a $25 Blue Sky gift certificate.

In addition, tarot-card readers, artists and artisans, and Sam the Balloon Artist will contribute to the festivities.

A Halloween party takes place Sunday, October 31 at the Blue Martin, with a new alternative / punk band, Civil Disobedience, performing.

Von Jakob’s Halloween bash takes place Sunday, October 31 at 3 p.m. at the Orchard location in Alto Pass. The Dave Caputo Duo will perform.

Boo! Halloween 2010, Book I

Boo! Halloween 2010, Book I
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 probably rivaled Mardi Gras in size and excitement. Sadly, the city of Carbondale continues to shut down bars on the Strip during Halloween weekend. The annual bar closings were instituted to curtail unwanted behavior. The time for such extreme measures, if they ever could be justified, is long past. Of course, Nightlife has said that many times before, but it bears repeating. With city-council elections taking place in spring 2011, citizens need to once again make this a political issue and demand change.

Meanwhile, the loophole in the law allows nightclubs on the Strip to hold costume contests and parties before Halloween, which spreads out the number of days on which to celebrate the holiday across two weekends.

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 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. 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.

The Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance will hold a traditional Samhain ritual Saturday, October 30 at 4 p.m. at Lake Murphysboro. The event begins with a potluck, then the ritual starts at 7 p.m. Participants should bring astrologically determined dishes for the potluck, as well as tiki torches and carved pumpkins. For the ritual, organizers recommend photos, urns, or other objects that represent and honor ancestors. Those who wish to camp out should bring proper gear (the camping fee is $3 a night), and everyone should dress for the weather.

For questions and directions, contact Tara Nelson at (618) 924-0263 or <TaraCat@earthlink.net> or Beth Lake at <beth_15_@hotmail.com>, or visit <http://sipa.timerift.net>.

Costumes

Sure, anyone can pick up a crappy vinyl costume and plastic mask at a national chain. 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.

Those who want to make their own costumes can set up appointments with the Student Center Craft Shop sewing expert at (618) 453-3636, and learn Halloween costume-sewing basics.

Trick or Treating

Mayor Brad Cole has proclaimed Saturday, 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 Officer Randy Mathis at (618) 457-3200 ext. 428.

Arnold’s Market, Lipe Orchards, and other businesses in the South 51 Business District will collect canned goods and promote safe trick-or-treating by hosting the South 51 Candy Crawl and Food Drive Saturday, October 30. Costumed children ages fourteen and younger may trick-or-treat, and kids should bring nonperishable food items. (Forget a canned good? Start the candy crawl at Arnold’s!) All food donations will be given to the Good Samaritan House. The idea is to temper the traditional Halloween-candy gluttony with thoughts for the less fortunate.

Carbondale Main Street will host Halloween on Main Street Saturday, October 30 with a series of events for children and adults.

A craft fair will take place from 8 a.m. to noon in the Town Square.

Tricks or Treats Downtown begins at 2 p.m. at the Old Train Depot. An open-air tram will whisk little costumed ghosties to downtown businesses for treats. Parents may accompany their kids. The tours end with a party at the Varsity Center for the Arts at 3:30 p.m. This is a free event.

A zombie walk will assemble at 10 a.m. in the 710 Bookstore parking lot, when makeup artists will help participants transform into living dead brain-eaters. The walk itself begins at noon. Cost to participate is $10, which will grant zombies twenty percent discounts at several zombie-friendly establishments (including, at press time, Fat Patties, Thai Taste, and Longbranch) and enter them into drawings for downtown prizes. Those who register by October 25 pay $8 and receive a zombie walk T-shirt. A zombie film fest follows the walk in the Town Square Pavilion, featuring the 1978 George Romero original version of Dawn of the Dead, and the hilarious spoofs Shaun of the Dead by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg, and Evil Dead III: Army of Darkness by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Cambell. A children’s movie will screen at Longbranch at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to all ages, but some of the films may not suit young children. Zesty Flyers will cosponsor the zombie walk and film fest.

A professional ghost hunt will take place at 10 p.m. in the Old Train Depot. The Little Egypt Ghost Society will bring professional ghost seekers to help with experiments, including searching for cold spots, reading electronic waves, and more. Admission is $25, and spaces are limited, so register now.

Visit <http://www.CarbondaleMainStreet.com> or call (618) 529-8040 for more information.

The SIU Inter-Greek Council’s annual Safe Halloween will take place Sunday, 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 and play games (like Bozo buckets) at tables staffed by as many as thirty SIU registered student organizations.

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

The Science Center’s Monster Mash Halloween party will take place Sunday, October 31 at 2 p.m. The event is part of a University Mall-wide series of events that will include storytelling, trick-or-treating, a costume contest, a scavenger hunt, and possibly a haunted house. For details, see <http://YourScienceCenter.org>.

Another place for trick-or-treat fun is the Safe Halloween Costume Crawl and Candy Walk Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 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 get their faces painted. Parents should bring a camera for special photo opportunities.

The event is now more than twenty years old (organizers have lost count). And according to one business owner at Murdale, it “in part is designed to remind folks that, unlike big-box stores and shopping malls, Murdale Shopping Center is populated with stores that are actually locally owned— by their friends and neighbors— many of whom will be there in person, in costume, to hand out the candy to children.”

The Carbondale Police Department will grill hotdogs and burgers to raise funds for the DARE program. Those who wish to sign up to help can contact Randy Osborn at (618) 457-8877 ext. 1 or <ROsborn@bgc-cdale.org>. Other concessions stands will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale, which will kick off the Green Light Campaign, part of a national runaway prevention initiative.

A trunk-or-treat event— sort of a Halloween trick-or-treat tailgate party— will take place Sunday, October 31 at 4 p.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church in Carbondale. People will decorate their vehicle, stuff their trunks with candy, park out in the lot, and feed the wee beasties as they come by. Those who want to hand out candy at the event should call the church office at (618) 457-8785 to sign up.

The Bay Bay Kids Halloween festival will take place Friday, October 29 at 7 p.m. at the Boyton Street Community Center in Marion. Organizers will set up trunk-or-treating in the parking lot. A costume parade, games, and haunted house will also take place. The event is free, and all children are welcome. For more information, call (618) 997-1113.

Trick-or-treating will take place Sunday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Cobden. The village and the Cobden High School Beta Club will give treats in the downtown park shelter. Make donations of candy or money for candy at Village Hall. People are welcome to trunk or treat in Downtown Park near the shelter.

The Trail of Treats takes place Friday, October 29 at 4 p.m. in downtown Herrin. Kids 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, where a costume contest and baked-good raffle will take place.

For those boos and ghouls who have enough and would like to give something to the less fortunate, a Youth Halloween Party/Trick-or-Treat to benefit UNICEF will take place Sunday, October 31 at 12:30 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

The Carbondale PetCo will host the Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest and Photo Spooktacular Saturday, October 23 and Saturday, October 30, both at 1 p.m. The first date offers prizes for costumed pets in various categories, while the second date will invite people to dress up with their pets and enjoy a spooky reptile show. The store will also sell framed digital photos in conjunction with the Howl-o-ween parties.

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

Haunting Music, Movies, Theater, 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.

Add this to the list: SIU Housing’s Residence Hall Association and the National Residence Hall Honorary are sponsoring a big game of Humans versus Zombies. Essentially a giant game of tag with a role-playing element, the event begins Monday, October 25 and continues through Saturday, October 30.

A kickoff Blackout Party takes place Friday, October 22 at 9 p.m. in the lower level of Grinnell Hall with DJ Dean spinning tunes, and games like root-beer pong.

The registration deadline for Humans versus Zombies already passed, but innocent bystanders may still want to know the reasons for all the chaos around them. Basically, the organizers will divide participants into zombies and humans. Throughout the week, humans will receive a series of missions. Zombies will look for and try to tag them, turning humans into hordes of brain-eating, walking undead.

Both survivors and victims of the game of zombie-tag, and all SIU students, for that matter, can attend a free zombie film fest Saturday, October 30 at 4 p.m. in the the lower level of Grinnell Hall.

Nearly every day is Halloween at Castle Perilous, where patrons often take the form of elves, dwarves, wizards, and the like. The holiday will make the store far more special than usual, starting Saturday, October 30. Castle Perilous will offer a free selected comic or role-playing game supplement to those who come in costumes or wear Zombie Walk T-shirts. Those who come in costumes will also earn free entry into the 1 p.m. Yu Gi Oh! tournament. The Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy will pose for pictures, while comic artists Justin Holman and Joe Dodd will sign autographs and show their work. Patrons may earn chances to win free merchandise by wearing costumes or Zombie Walk T-shirts, or by contributing to a canned-food drive.

Similar sales and promotions will continue Sunday, October 31, with a $20 gift certificate to the two patrons wearing the best costumes, and an apple-bobbing contest with the winner receiving ten percent off purchases that day.

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

Meanwhile, Scott Thorne, Castle Perilous’s owner, will lead his annual walking tour of local haunted locations Sunday, October 31 at 10:30 a.m., ending at noon at the Hundley House, site of one of the city’s more notorious murders and hauntings (the Discovery Channel's Ghost Lab filmed an episode there in August 2010). The Hundley House will open from noon to 2 p.m. for tours.

Thorne has collected local ghost stories for more than twenty years and always has a few new ones to share. Anthony Hall and Hundley House are among the places about which Thorne has provided parapsychological legends to past tourgoers.

Admission is $5, with all money going to the Jackson County Humane Society.

For a preview, read Thorne’s blog at <http://CarbondazeGazette.blogspot.com>, which contains entries about some of the region’s haunted locations and a few of the legends associated with them.

The heavily costumed SIU Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Studio Jazz Orchestra, Chamber Ensembles, and sundry smaller covens will hold their annual Halloween Pops concert and costume contest Thursday, October 28 in Shryock Auditorium.

This annual tradition features performances by several School of Music ensembles in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, while local celebrities usually narrate mildly chilling stories. A costume parade with prizes for the most outstanding costumes will take place, with adults and children winning prizes for the best costumes in various categories.

Tickets are $15 for adults, or $6 for students and senior citizens, while children ages five and younger are free. Proceeds from the concert will benefit School of Music scholarships. Purchase advance tickets at the SIU ticket offices at the SIU Arena and in the Student Center, or at <http://www.SouthernTicketsOnline.com> or (618) 453-6000.

Lips! Lips! Lips!

As Gawd intended, the SIU Student Programming Council will screen The Rocky Horror Picture Show Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30 at midnight in the Student Center Ballrooms, and on the big screen. SPC usually sells prop bags for the virgins who forget to bring their own. Hot patootie!

The SIU Student Center will celebrate Halloween Friday, October 29.

The Craft Shop will hold a costume contest for SIU faulty/staff and another for students from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Winners for best costume in both categories will receive $25 Student Center gift cards, and runnersup will earn free Craft Shop workshops (not including materials).

The Craft Shop will also provide free face painting and frightening makeup, and patrons can make wax hands or paint wooden pumpkins for $3, from noon to 4:30 p.m., or make Halloween cards for $1 apiece from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Face-painting and other workshops will take place Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cosmic bowling and other events and specials will also take place throughout the Student Center during the Halloween holiday season, for those who dare to enjoy them.

For all the details, visit <http://www.SIUStudentCenter.org>.

Plenty of Halloween activities take place at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro, starting Friday, October 22 with a screening of John Carpenter’s highly influential 1978 slasher flick Halloween.

A wild variety show, The Vaudeville Vamp, takes place Saturday, October 23 at 7 p.m. Local blues group the J. Brown Band will perform, and back the Vaudeville Vagabond Twilight Twitterpaiters, a 1930s-style corset-clad cabaret theatrical troupe, and the Flying Balls Society, a local juggling and unicycling group. The audience is welcome to come in costume. Tickets are $5 in advance, or $8 at the door, and proceeds will benefit the Liberty.

Finally, a Halloween costume contest will take place Sunday, October 31 in conjunction with a screening of the great 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff, the film brims with subtext and allegory— see the 1988 biopic about Whale, Gods and Monsters, for insight.

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

School is out on Friday, October 29 for parent/teacher conferences in the Carbondale District Ninety-five school system. To fill afternoon hours, the Spooktacular Halloween Pool Party takes place at 1 p.m. at the Carbondale Park District’s LIFE Community Center. Since the event takes place in the water, the Spooktacular Pool Party is not a costume contest or party. But the Park District will dim the lights, drop glowing bling into the pool, and create a creepy swamp theme. Those who attend will receive a holiday surprise­ — maybe the Loch Ness monster, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon, or just a treat. Regular admission fees and pool rules apply.

For more information, visit <http://www.cpkd.org> or call (618) 549-4222.

The annual Downtown Paducah Zombie Walk takes place Saturday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. The undead will gather at Ninth Street and Broadway— those who need a zombie makeover can get one from organizers starting at 4:30 p.m.— and then the brain-eating horde will shamble around the city’s historic riverfront.Organizers are asking participants to bring a donation of cash or canned food for charity. For more information, including a list of rules for the event, visit <http://www.PaducahZombieWalk.com>.

Then, as Gawd intended, the Maiden Alley will screen The Rocky Horror Picture Show October 29 and 30, on the big screen. It’s just a jump to the left....

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

The Zeigler Boo Bash and Halloween Parade takes place Saturday, October 30, with the first annual Zeigler Zombie Walk kicking things off at 3 p.m. Participants can register and get help with makeup, then begin the walk at 5 p.m. The $10 registration fee will support live music and kids’ activities at the Boo Bash, and zombies get chances to win prizes. For more information, call Joe Chance at (618) 218-4248, email <ZeiglerZombieWalk@yahoo.com>, or search Facebook for Zeigler Zombie Walk.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Mazes, and Tours

The resident assistants at SIU’s Thompson Point are hosting the Residence Hall of Horrors Friday, October 22 at 7 p.m., beginning at Steagall Hall and ending at Brown Hall. (Hint: The scariest place is Lentz Hall during meal time.)

The event allows kids to contribute to a good cause while they enjoy a terrifying time. Admission is $2 with a canned good or $5 without a canned good. (SIU students can use meal points to get canned goods at Lakeside Express or Eastside Express.) Organizers will donate the canned goods to a local food pantry, while cash proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity.

The event is best suited for those ages twelve and older. Parents ought to accompany their children; in 2009, they were required to sign waivers for their kids.

Sponsors include the Residence Hall Association, the Thompson Point Area Council, the National Residence Hall Honorary, the College of Engineering, and (gulp!) the School of Mortuary Science.

Want the Chitt scared out of you? The Haunting of Chittyville School runs Thursdays through Sundays from October 21 through October 31.

According to legend, the school, at 410 Chittyville Road north of downtown Herrin off Freeman Spur, 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 costumes and set are intricately detailed, having been crafted and constructed for months. The work shows. And it’s scary— probably not suitable for younger children.

Take the terrifying tour for $12, or $8 for children ten and younger. A matinee will take place for younger children Saturday, October 23 at 2 p.m. for $5.

For directions and a detailed account of the haunting (including a short video documentary), plus discount and group-rate information, visit <http://www.chittyville.com> (and give the site time to load), or call (618) 988-9131.

Big Muddy Monster Haunted Hayrides will take place October 26 through October 29, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Riverside Park in Murphysboro. Parents, students, Key Club members, and everyday citizens have volunteered to staff and construct the event, which will include a wagon fashioned into a creepy hurst, a gallows and noose, and— if participants are truly unlucky— an attack by the Big Muddy Monster, a Bigfoot-like creature that reliable witnesses, including police, reported seeing on the outskirts of Murphysboro in 1973.

Proceeds from the $5 ticket, T-shirt sales, and concessions will benefit the Murphysboro Park District and Carruthers Elementary School.

Skeen’s Trail of Terror— at 126 Melody Lane in Murphysboro, where North Fourteenth Street and Ava Road intersect— will take patrons on a dead man’s walk to, and, maybe, all the way through an old haunted barn. They’lll need to get to the barn first, however— and good luck with that.

Skeen’s Trail of Terror will operate every Friday and Saturday through the end of October, with extra tours October 27 and 28. Admission is $10, with all proceeds going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Two haunted houses in Marion will raise funds for the Night’s Shield in West Frankfort, which provides shelter to children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment.

Fear: The Haunted House may operate every Friday and Saturday in October in the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion— but just because it’s in a mall doesn’t make it cheesy, says organizer Jim Fishback.

Fishback’s relatives owned the Haunted Barn in Marion, but evil spirits consumed the place and drove the owners out of state. Fishback partnered with the remaining cast and crew to create Fear, which takes up about fifteen-thousand square feet in the mall.

Fishback, also the owner of Marion radio station WGGH AM 1150, says the cast of about fifteen will tailor the experience for each tour— they’ll tone it down for a group with children, and amp it up for a more jaded audience. And as for the latter, he’s already seen people book out of Fear after just the first scene.

“I know it sounds like I’m tooting my own horn here, but a lot of people helped to make it happen,” Fishback tells Nightlife, giving enormous credit to his actors as well as the set, audio, and video artists who helped create Fear.

And they’re doing it for a great cause. A portion of the proceeds from the $8 ticket will go to the Night’s Shield. As scary as this haunted house is, Fishback says, it’s even scarier to think about what happens to the children who need Night’s Shield services. Fishback sees the work going into Fear as “turning darkness into light.”

Enter Fear: The Haunted House near the Man-tra-con location, and exit near Pirate Pete’s.

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

Meanwhile, a portion of the proceeds raised by the Nightmare Factory, due east aways from Fear on Princeton Avenue, will also benefit the Night’s Shield. Put together by Skyline Creek Productions, the Nightmare Factory takes place in the factory owned by the late father of Milton Creedy. Legend has it that Creedy embarked on a series of grisly, deranged murders and long periods of institutionalization at age thirteen. After his release, he killed three teenagers. Police chased him to his father’s abandoned factory, which exploded in flames. Authorities found at least twenty ashen bodies there, but could not determine whether any of them belonged to Creedy. Today, employees at the rebuilt factory sometimes hear screams or see Creedy walking through— but has a living Creedy returned to reclaim his family’s factory, and more victims, or does his spirit haunt the grounds?

The ten-thousand-square-foot haunted house runs Fridays and Saturdays through October, with extra events Sunday, October 24, Thursday, October 28, and Halloween night. It operates from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and stays open for an extra hour on weekends, depending on the crowd. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $6 for children ten and younger when accompanied by adults. Black Diamond Harley-Davidson will sell advance tickets for adults.

For directions and more, visit <http://www.NightmareFactory2010.com>.

And visit <http://www.NightsShield.org> for more about the beneficiary.

Haunted Hollow promises spooky good times Sunday, October 24 at 4:30 p.m. at SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

Thrilling features include a haunted cabin, trick-or-treating, face painting, and campfire ghost stories.

Haunted Hallow is geared toward youngsters ages five to twelve and their families, but everyone is welcome. Parents must sign permission/waiver forms. Participants should wear costumes. The event goes on rain or shine.

While Haunted Hallow is free and open to the public, participants must register no later than Friday, October 22 by calling Touch of Nature at (618) 453-1121. For more information, visit <http://www.ton.siu.edu>.

A Haunted House and Carnival takes place Friday, October 29 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale. SIU registered student organizations and community groups are contributing.

Young children and the faint of heart will enter the first room, Fantasia, then return to the carnival upstairs. Others can enter the World of 'Ween... but will they ever return?

Club members enter for free, and others pay $1 admission, and all should bring canned goods or nonperishable items that the club will collect for Thanksgiving baskets for local families.

The club will also sell food and beverages at the carnival.

For more information, visit <http://www.bgc-cdale.org>.

Take a walk along the Carterville Pumpkin Path Friday, October 29. A costume-parade lineup starts at 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church parking lot on Division Street, with the parade and costume contest at 6:15 p.m. The Pumpkin Path runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and participants must bring a canned good to donate to the Carterville Food Pantry. For more information, contact the Carterville Chamber of Commerce at (618) 985-6942 or visit <http://www.CartervilleChamber.com>.

Also in Carterville, Haunted Hay Rides run October 28 to October 30 at 7 p.m. at the James Street Park. Rides are $3.50, all-ages, and “guaranteed to scare people,” according to Dale Poiter from the Carterville Lions Club. Even though Poiter helps put the whole thing together, when he takes the tour, “I about jump out of my hide,” he says.

Many such rides are pulled by trucks on flatbed trailers, but Poiter says the Lions Haunted Hay Rides take place on real haywagons pulled by classic farm tractors, from which those on the tour can dangle their legs off the edges. Many customers, according to Poiter, are thrilled just to enjoy the ride on the vintage machinery— the scary part is just a bonus for them. Others ride more than once to see the frights from different angles. And each ride is a little different.

The Haunted Hay Rides have taken place for more than thirty years, making them one of the longest-running Halloween traditions in Southern Illinois. It’s also the Carterville Lions Club’s second-biggest moneymaker, a project that funds community charities and other necessities, ranging from hearing aids and eye glasses to more individual-specific needs.

For more information, call Poiter at (618) 525-7084, or visit <http://CartervilleLionsClub.webs.com>. To join the cast or help design some of the frights, email <jflora1947@yahoo>.

For the last few years, Bandy's Pumpkin Patch, a half mile west of Johnston City on Pumpkin Patch Road just off Herrin/Johnston City Road, has cut mazes through a cornfield in local thematic shapes— an Egyptian pharaoh and John A. Logan or the Southern Illinois Miners’ baseball-team logo. This year, they pay tribute to youth-development organization 4-H. (Owner J.T. Bandy was a product of 4-H.)

The path through the maze winds through about three miles of corn, and takes at least an hour to walk. Six posts, featuring 4-H trivia questions, are hidden within the 4-H corn maze. Those who find and answer all the questions will receive a free commemorative collectable keepsake maze pin.

In addition, Bandy’s offers a play barn for younger children, hayrides, and pumpkins galore. Group tours of the pumpkin patch are available by appointment. The maze is open through Friday, October 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the maze is $5 for those older than ten, $3 for children five through nine, and free for children younger than five. Admission to the play barn is $2, and hayrides cost $1. For more information, call (618) 983-8676 or visit <http://www.BandysPumpkinPatch.com>.

For those who want a larger selection of pumpkins, visit McLaughlin Pumpkin Farm, located north of Murphysboro, then west off of Route 127/13. McLaughlin’s has a hayride that will take customers out through the pumpkin patch to pick their own. The hayrides take place Saturdays from noon to 5:30 p.m. through October.

Every year art students in the SIU glass program make gourds for the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale, which this year takes place Saturday, October 23 at 10 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, though the seeds are far less tasty.

Seriously, don’t eat the seeds.

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.

Walker’s Bluff in Carterville will offer Belgium horse-drawn hayrides every Saturday and Sunday from noon p.m. to 6 p.m. in October.

The Haunted Warehouse will fill the old One-hundred Building by Walt’s Pizza in Marion Fridays and Saturdays through the end of the month, as well as Thursday, October 29, and Sunday, October 31. The Haunted Warehouse opens at 7 p.m., and operates until it exhausts the evening’s supply of victims.

Patrons can get in the mood by watching horror films in the lobby before touring the ten-room haunted house, filled with saws, a cemetery, a meat shop, a jail cell, and a maze, and populated by fifteen to twenty killer clowns, spirits, and monsters. Admission is $10, and those who survive can complete the tour in about fifteen minutes. For more information, call General Services at (618) 922-0610.

Bev Shofstall from Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will guide participants on an owl prowl Saturday, October 30 at 5 p.m. at the War Bluff Valley Sanctuary near Golconda, Illinois. Shofstall will bring some feathered owl friends for people to see up close while she explains the natural history and habits of these fascinating and mysterious creatures of the night. After the presentation, a chili and potluck dinner will take place, then a tour will head into the night to listen for and perhaps see wild owls. Those whooo head into the forest should bring a flashlight and wear appropriate shoes and clothes for walking in the wilderness at night.

The owl prowl is sponsored by the Shawnee Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society. For directions and more information, visit <http://www.ShawneeAudubon.org>.

The Southern Illinois SCARE Association will operate Nightmare Park Fridays and Saturdays through October near the Frankfort Community Park Bandshell in West Frankfort. Each year, and with some irony, the organization holds both a haunted house and a Relay for Life.

But seriously, SCARE, despite its name, is a charitable organization that raises money for cancer research, purchases turkeys and fixings for the Crosswalk Community Action Agency Food Pantry at Thanksgiving, and supports numerous area not-for-profits.

There’s still time for fun, however, as SCARE holds movie screenings, sponsors the work of the Southern Illinois Paranormal Investigators, and runs the haunted Nightmare Park. But fun is ultimately about helping others, as proceeds go to charity.

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

The Jaycees will hold a haunted house at the old downtown movie theater in Christopher, Illinois. The civic organization will scare people Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. through October. Admission is $5, or $4 with a canned good that the Jaycees will donate to the Christopher Angel Tree Food Basket program. The twenty-room haunted house takes about fifteen minutes to complete.

In addition, a Halloween parade takes place Saturday, October 30 before the haunted house opens.

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

Paducah, Kentucky, has a series of big, related haunted houses (The Talon Falls Asylum, the Blood Creek Haunted Hayride, and Dead End Haunted House) staffed by more than one-hundred actors operating on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights through October 31, with extra events Wednesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 28. A ScreamFest Combo ticket allows admission to all events for one price. Proceeds in past years have benefitted local charities. For admission, directions, and more information, call the Screamfest hotline at (270) 674-5690 or visit <http://www.TalonFalls.com>.

The Market House Theatre, meanwhile, has offered bus and walking tours of the Historic Downtown and Lowertown during the first three Fridays and Saturdays in October. The tours are based on hours of research by Market House Theatre board members, and conducted by actors who will tell terrifying true tales along the route.

Then the Market House will hold a special moonlight and mystery event Saturday, October 22 in Oak Grove Cemetery; three tours begin between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and include seasonal treats.

The Market House wraps up Halloween with a series of tours of Oak Grove Cemetery that run Saturday, October 23 and Thursday and Friday, October 28 and October 29. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for youth ages six to twelve, and six is the minimum age.

For tickets to Market House holiday tours, visit <http://www.MHTPlay.com> or call the box office at (270) 444-6828.

Cape Girardeau is a center of Halloween activity this year.

The Haunted Hall of Horror, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department, runs Fridays and Saturdays at the A.C. Brase Arena, with an additional terrifying tour on Sunday, October 31. Admission is $5 for those six and older, and free to those five and younger. Call (573) 339-6340 for more information, or visit <http://www.CityOfCapeGirardeau.org> and follow the links to the Parks and Rec page.

At Pioneer Pick ‘Ur Own Orchards in Jackson, tours of a straw maze, bonfires, wagon rides, and hayrides will take place seven days a week through Sunday, October 31. Reservations are required at (573) 243-8008.

Tours of a Haunted Ghost Town take place Fridays and Saturdays through the end of the month (October 15 and 16, 22 and 23, and 29 and 30) at Black Forest Village, four miles north of Cape. Tours run from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children younger than twelve. For directions and more information, call (573) 335-0899.

The annual Southeast Showcase raises money for the Southeast Missouri Hospital with a Halloween theme party every year at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. This year’s event, The Glamorous Vampire and Vixen Ball, takes place Thursday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m., and includes food, beverages, live music, and a costume contest. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $35 at the door, and the event is restricted to those ages twenty-one and older. For tickets, call (573) 986-6622 or visit <http://www.SoutheastMissouriHospital.com>.

Run Like Hell

Those who won’t need the extra fat for winter hibernation can prepare for the incoming Halloween candy with the annual Joyce Sheet Halloween Race. The thirteen-kilometer course will take runners and walkers from Hedman Vineyards— near the Alto Pass valley— up Bald Knob Mountain to the Cross of Peace— one of the tallest peaks in Illinois— then back down.

Onsite registration for the race takes place Saturday, October 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $18 for runners and $16 for walkers. Proceeds will benefit the Cobden school system’s cross-country program.

Overall men and women winners in the run and walk will earn plaques, while medals will go to first- to third-place winners in various age categories. All participants will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt.

Runners can dress in costume for the run, and eat breakfast at Hedman's afterward. In addition, organizers will commemorate the late Joyce Sheets with a clean-joke contest.

For directions to Hedman, visit <http://www.PeachBarn.com>.

Burn off more calories from that Halloween candy at the Grand Avenue Pumpkin Run, which takes place Sunday, October 31 in the Carbondale Superblock. The event will include a two-mile competitive race and one-mile fun run / walk at 3 p.m.

Pre-registration for the race ends on October 23, with a $12 fee bringing runners and walkers goodie bags and T-shirts. The entry fee is $17, or $5 for the fun run, thereafter. Onsite registration opens at 1:30 p.m.

In addition, face- and pumpkin-painting, a costume contest, and a silent auction will take place.

The Grand Avenue Christian Church and Green Earth will split proceeds.

For more information, email <PumpkinRun@yahoo.com>, or visit <http://PumpkinRun.GrandAvenue.cc>.

Adult Fun

Sidetracks will hold a costume contests Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23.

In addition, four bands will perform Saturday night— Little Pizza, That's No Moon, Crayolala, and HotBizzle— with proceeds from the door helping to benefit the Midwest Music Festival, which SIU’s student record label, Digital Dog Records, holds every spring. Costume contest winners on Saturday will earn tickets to see Bruno Mars. Admission is $5, or $4 for those in costumes.

The unofficial Halloween Spooktacular will take place Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23 from 9 a.m. to close at the Sky Bar above the Sports Blast behind the University Mall. Each night will feature three musical acts or more (Friday’s lineup will include Hobo Knife, Neighborhood Flavor, and the Royal We, a.k.a. the Tree House Band, while Saturday will feature Spread, Another Dead Cover Band, and DJ Wendy Darling) while light and laser technicians and projectionists will add a visual element to the event, and fine artists will create works throughout. Costume contests will take place both nights.

Admission is $10 per night, or $15 for a two-night ticket. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit efforts to restore wildlife still suffering from the impact of the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. For those who don’t want to drive, free shuttles will run every half-hour to and from the Old National Bank parking lot starting at 10 p.m.

Gatsby's II will hold an Unofficial Halloween Party with DJ F-Bomb spinning the tunes Friday and Saturday, October 22 and 23. The costume contest will offer a frightening $800 in cash and prizes.

Break out the mullet wigs— the Blue Martin will hold a Jersey Shore lookalike Halloween costume contest Saturday, October 23, with cash prizes. DJ A.D.E. will play some appropriately fist-pumping tunes.

Stix will hold a Halloween costume contest Saturday, October 23. At midnight, the winner will receive a $500 grand prize.

Get the party started Tuesday, October 26 at the Show Me’s dress rehearsal for Halloween. Music in Motion will DJ the event.

Two nights of terror take place at Tres Hombres, starting Thursday, October 28. Local funk group Hotbed played a blacklight show last spring at Tres, and figured that Halloween is an incredibly appropriate time for an encore of the concept. Ryne Teston from Hotbed says the group will decorate Tres pretty extensively with ultraviolet bubble machines and other bling that blacklights will eerily illuminate. The show will also feature hip-hop act the Belle Hooks and DJ King David.

Barnacle Billy and the Zebra Mussels will play their second annual Halloween show Saturday, October 30 at Tres. Last year the group dressed up as Kiss, and this year they will perform Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book during the first set. The band will dress as characters from the movie and perform all the songs from the soundtrack, plus bits of dialogue and narration— and, according to vocalist Tim Whiteford, Barnacle Billy himself will make his first-ever public appearance. Meanwhile, a costume contest will net the winner free dinner for two for a year at Tres, and runners up will receive other prizes.

Where it started is anyone’s guess, 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 contain 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?

The unholy trinity of Zuul, Bible of the Devil, and the Shakes will thrash away Thursday, October 28 at Da-Nite in Murphysboro. A Halloween bash will take place that night as well, with $100 in cash prizes for the best costumed male and female.

Whether it’s an official costume party or not, a surreal pagan wildness takes over when Slappin’ Henry Blue and frontman Tawl Paul perform at PK’s, which they will Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30. Paul often goes all-out for the holiday, making the show extra special.

What Carbondale band better represents the spirit of the season that 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 Sunday, October 31 at PK's with an opening act to be announced. A costume party will also take place

Alternative-country band Dallas Alice will perform at a Halloween costume party Friday, October 29 at John Brown's on the Square in Marion.

Fuzzy’s in Cobden will hold a Halloween costume contest Friday, October 29.

The Corner Dance Hall in Whittington will hold a country-western Halloween costume party and square dance featuring local band Nice and Easy Friday, October 29. The Corner is a no-alcohol venue.

The Copper Dragon will hold a Halloween bash Saturday, October 30. The main attraction is Chicago party band the Personnel, with a special appearance by the Rockford electropop group the Poets Dance, who perform the commercials for FreeCreditScore.com (not to be confused with the hilariously cheesy “group” that plays on the FreeCreditReport.com ads). A costume contest kicks off at midnight with prizes for best male and female costumes.

The Bone Dry River Band will perform at the Halloween costume party Saturday, October 30 at Key West. The costume-contest winner will earn $200, while the runnerup takes home $100.

Club Traz will hold a costume contest complete with Halloween games Saturday, October 30. Winners will receive surprise prizes.

Then the gigantic annual Hell on Heels Halloween drag show— which will feature performances by more than one-hundred drag queens— takes place Sunday, October 31.

The Rustle Hill costume party and contest takes place Saturday, October 30. Local classic-rock band the Natives will headline, with up-and-coming Nashville country-western singer Roxie Randle warming up.

Trail’s End Lodge in Cobden will hold a Halloween party Saturday, October 30. The costume contest winner will receive a free dinner coupon. Larry Dillard and Blues Therapy will provide the live entertainment.

A Halloween costume party takes place Saturday, October 30 at StarView Vineyards from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., with judging for the costume contest getting underway at 5 p.m. The vineyard will award prizes in various categories, and the Swamp Tigers will provide a traditional country and rockabilly soundtrack.

The Halloween in the Hollow bash will take place Saturday, October 30 at the Blue Boar Lodge in Cobden. Costumed patrons can compete in various categories for a total of $250 in prizes. Jeff Mears and the Cache River Band will provide live entertainment.

Saturday, October 30 at the Gallery in DeSoto, a Halloween costume party will take place, with a $200 cash prize for best patron costume and a $50 prize for the runnerup. Of course, the paid entertainment also performs in— and then gradually out of— costume.

Go down to the Crossroads in Herrin for the Wild Ride Halloween Party Saturday, October 30, with DJ B. presiding over the tunes. A costume contest will take place with prizes for the winners.

A Harleyween bash takes place Saturday, October 30 at noon at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion with a chili cookoff, costume contest, free entertainment, and much more.

Saturday, October 30, Whisker Willy's in Marion will hold their annual Halloween costume party, with a $100 prize for best costume. Metal Toyz will perform at the Halloween bash.

The Blue Sky Halloween festival will feature live music by local blues and classic-rock band the Saloonatics Sunday, October 31 at noon.

The Blue Sky party often draws as many as one-thousand costumed customers, and the winery vints a special witches’ brew for the event.

The costume contest that day will award prizes to three winners. The first-place winner will earn a one-night stay in Blue Sky’s Tuscan Suite. Second through fourth prizes are Blue Sky gift certificates— $75, $50, and $25, respectively. The child in the best costume will snag a $25 Blue Sky gift certificate.

In addition, tarot-card readers, artists and artisans, and Sam the Balloon Artist will contribute to the festivities.

Halloween Is Coming!


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Halloween Is Coming!
Nightlife staff
Video Comentary

Hard to believe, but Halloween is coming fast. Those who will organize haunted houses, trails, theatrical productions, or other seasonal events should email the particulars to Nightlife at <nightlif@midwest.net>, attn: So Ill Halloween— that way, we can include them in our annual roundup of frights and chills!

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