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>.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>, or search for the group on Facebook.
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.
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 <email@example.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>.
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.