Ghosts that have stayed hidden in the walls of area businesses, pathways and a racetrack will be unleashed in the days leading up to Halloween.
Some of the spooktacular events in Jefferson County include the “Classic Creepy Creatures Haunted House” in the Paddock Arcade in Watertown; the Haunted House at the former jail in Antwerp; the Haunted Walk of Sackets Harbor; and the Terror at the Tracks at the Evans Mills Speedway.
The haunted house at the Paddock Arcade is organized and haunted by members of the American Kang Duk Won Karate club and the Downtown Business Association.
“Be prepared for hidden spirits in the hallways,” said organizer Rosemarie J. Carpenter. Mrs. Carpenter said there will be elaborate sets, costumes and fun. The halls of the arcade will be haunted by such characters as Dracula, King Kong, Frankenstein and the Swamp Monster from the Creature of the Black Lagoon. Visitors also should be cautious of the pirates.
“Those scurvy little thieves will take anything, so be careful,” Mrs. Carpenter said. A gypsy fortune teller will also foretell visitors’ futures.
Organizer Eva J. Marino said the skits along the way will change for each audience.
“The actors will adapt the skits for the audience; if it’s a group of teenagers, adults or kids it will be different,” Mrs. Marino said.
She said the groups brought through will also be limited to about four or five to give each visitor a chance to get close and see the monsters in all 12 exhibits.
The haunted house will be held Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.
Admission is $5 and goes to support the American Kang Duk Won Karate Club.
“It is about getting scared, having fun doing it and helping out the karate club,” Mrs. Marino said.
SACKETS HARBOR WALK
The Haunted Walk of Sackets Harbor will explore the terror and the ghoulish past of the small waterfront town aside from the Battle of 1812.
“There is more to Sackets Harbor history than just the battle,” said parent volunteer Buffy S. Peterson.
The Haunted Walk, which took the place of the Sackets Harbor Central School student-run haunted house in the former theater at Maddison Barracks, will begin at the St. Andrew’s Church Parish Center, 200 East Main Street, and make various stops through downtown Sackets Harbor.
“The walking tour will be a series of storytelling that reflects Sackets Harbor’s darkest past, ghosts, graves and hangings,” Ms. Peterson said.
Guests will experience ghostly takes of people who have lived and died in the village. Ms. Peterson said a paranormal investigation will be done to try to bring back a special ghostly guest from last year’s Haunted Walk. The spirit of Agnes met with visitors of the walk last year through a seance.
Evans Mills resident George D. Stadalski, who hosts a weekly Internet radio show, “Parascience Journal,” has been invited to conduct a paranormal investigation at one of the historic sites where something disturbing and creepy occurred. One of the storytellers held a seance that riled up a mysterious ghost last year, organizers said.
As in past years, organizers are not saying what might happen, only to expect the unexpected.
“The spirits can raise the hair on the back of your neck and make you look over your shoulder,” Ms. Peterson said.
Ms. Peterson said the tales and theatrics are recommended for walkers age 10 and up.
Tours will be held from 6 to 9 tonight and from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students age 17 and younger. All proceeds will support the Sackets Harbor Central School Marching Band and the art club.
ANTWERP HAUNTED HOUSE
A haunted house will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Antwerp Town Hall, 45 Main Street.
“The haunted house is a guided tour through multiple rooms in the basement of the Antwerp Town Hall, including where the jail was in the old days,” said event organizer Michael Stoffel. “The haunted house is pretty scary, which is why we added a youngsters’ safer tour this year.”
Little Monsters Haunted House will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday for children 12 and younger.
“We are having a tamer, friendlier haunted house event for the 12-and-under crowd,” said Mr. Stoffel.
He said the Little Monsters Haunted House will include a costume contest with prizes.
Volunteers will accept monetary donations and non-perishable food items to benefit the Antwerp Food Pantry.
EVANS MILLS SPEEDWAY
“Terror at the Tracks” at the Evans Mills Speedway will simulate the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust with visitors entering, if they dare, a haunted hay ride through a stretch of zombie-infested tracks. Visitors can also go through the haunted tower.
It will be open from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday.
The Rock Shanty Haunted Trail, 65 Pinner Road, Harrisville, will be held Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m.
The trail begins outside the home of Nichole L. Baker at 65 Pinner Road, where the only thing visible from the road is a bonfire and a white tent flooded with people of all ages ready for a good scare.
A dungeon-style door with the words “Nightmare on Rock Shanty Hill” and a guide with a flashlight will welcome groups of about 15 people.
The trail weaves first through a mildly scary section designed for children. Spooks include a graveyard and Scooby Doo’s Daphne alongside a crashed mystery machine. Occasionally, someone leaps from the darkness; although with almost 50 volunteers out on the trail, where that spook comes from is anyone’s guess.
Admission is $3 for children under age 12, $5 for those 12 and older and $10 for a family of four. An unlimited “scream” pass is also available for $15 and allows for entry on any night the trail is open.
OGDENSBURG HAUNTED HOUSE
In Ogdensburg, there will be screams, thrills, chills and a whole lot of fun at this year’s Step-by-Step Haunted House.
Crews were busy Wednesday transforming the 5,000 square-foot Step-by-Step offices at 103 Ford St. into a house of horrors. The transformation takes about four days altogether, office assistant Skye M. Sharp said.
“We have walking dead, Carrie and the exorcist,” Ms. Sharp said. “We’ve added more stuff this year. There are lots of new scary little surprises. It will be pretty intense and scary.”
The 10- to 12-minute haunted tour, which takes visitors through a hospital with deranged doctors and an ambulance with zombies, is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday.
Admission is $3.
For more information about haunted events throughout the north country, see the Watertown Daily Times Community Calendar.
By Katherine Clark Ross, Times Staff Writer