Spookiness at the Lanier Mansion

by Anne Fairchild, Eastern Region Program Manager

Fall is probably my favorite time of the year with the beautiful fall colors, brisk weather and thoughts of hot cocoa, hayrides and, of course, Halloween! This year’s Spooky Mansion at the Lanier Mansion was great fun! More than 100 children with parents in tow trooped through the mansion which was decorated with skeletons, spiders, ghosts, creepy crawlies, a frightening doll (see picture at left) and, new this year, the King and Queen of Halloween. Trick-or-treaters braved giant spiders and monsters in the basement to get to the candy.

Outside, two Union soldiers and one Confederate replayed a Civil War skirmish on the north lawn, their gunfire sparking the night air and adding unexpected excitement to the evening. Beloved storyteller Bob Hartsaw told Halloween tales and drew applause for his version of James Whitcomb Riley’s “Little Orphant Annie.” To finish the evening, children made flying bats and decorated pictures with foam cutouts. 

The best part is all the creative costumes! Some are homemade, some purchased, but all are better than the plastic mask and garbage bag version of my youth. All and all, it was a successful, fun program that the staff looks forward to each year.

Pirates invade Whitewater Canal!

by Joanne Williams, Program Director and Cultural Administrator at Whitewater Canal State Historic Site

Pirates have invaded the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site and they are taking prisoners! A Spartan general was taken prisoner by the pirate captain, Captain Panther, on Saturday night, Oct. 16. Saturday was a strange and wonderful evening for the site; the Belgian draft horses that normally pull the canal boat the Ben Franklin III were replaced by unicorns and the staff was replaced by witches, pirates, Spartans, mad doctors and men with green faces!

These strange occurrences will happen again on Saturday, Oct. 23, when the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site hosts its annual Spooky Halloween Cruises at 7:30, 8 and 8:30 p.m. A professional storyteller will be on board telling Halloween tales and children will receive a candy treat at the end of the ride, provided by the Brookville IGA and Rosenbergers Market. Admission to the cruise is $4 per person. In addition, the merchants of Metamora are sponsoring a “Haunted Village” at $5 per person for a hayride around Metamora’s “haunted” sights from 7 to 10 p.m. The Whitewater Canal Byway Association is sponsoring a “Haunted Depot” at the Gateway Park on U.S. 52 for $12 per person from 7 to 11 p.m.  Metamora will soon need to change its name to Halloween Town!

Witches, fairies, ninjas, oh my!

Written by Joanne Williams, program developer at Whitewater Canal State Historic Site

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Two "pumpkins" at Whitewater Canal State Historic Site

The Whitewater Canal State Historic Site was magically transformed on Oct. 17 and 24! The Ben Franklin III became a haunted pirate ship and our horses, Mike and Jerry, turned into Jack-O-Lanterns and walking skeletons. We were visited by witches, fairies, ninjas, clowns, princesses and scary monsters! The only way to rid ourselves of these frightening beings was to give them lots of sweet treats.

The Ben Franklin III “pirate ship” also made special evening cruises where the ghoul and goblin passengers were treated to some Halloween tales told by storytellers Jeff Kuehl, also known as ‘Mory Tician,” on Oct. 17 and by Celestine Bloomfield on Oct. 24. The little witches and warlocks loved the stories and also received a sweet treat for their Halloween bags and buckets.

Local business sponsors for this event were the Amalgamated Transit Union Workers, Local 1471, Main Source Bank-Brookville Branch, and the Brookville IGA Store.

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