Must be ghouling season

After a while, you begin to wonder if you’re alone.

All week, Karen Holum has grown fearful of the dark as she, South Whidbey High School PTSA co-chair Kathy Burton and a slew of parent and student volunteers worked to create the St. Eerie Hospital haunted house at the Island County Fairgrounds.

“You begin to hear noises and there’s certain places in here where you can feel, well, things,” Holum said.

The nights are growing darker, and the air colder. And inside the Turner building at the 80-year-old fairgrounds it’s difficult to tell this time of the year if the chilling breeze that blew past Holum’s neck was just the wind, or a fairgoer from the past? It’s hard to tell, after all, All Hallow’s Eve will soon be here. The Day of the Dead is just around the corner.

“It’s already feeling a little scary in here and we haven’t even turned off the lights,” said Burton.

As she gave a tour of the haunted house hospital that promises that patients will check in, and questions whether they’ll check out, Burton said to watch out for “stick, icky things” and any surprises that might be waiting around the corner.

Close to 100 volunteers have worked to decorate the haunted house. Proceeds go towards ensuring the class of 2005 a safe, drug and alcohol free Grad Night Party.

St. Eerie Hospital will be taking new patients beginning with a lights-on matinee 1-3 p.m. today. The hospital — complete with nursery, psych ward, ER, operating room and cafeteria — will continue to haunt with crazed patients and dead doctors 7-10 p.m. tonight, and Oct. 29-31. There will be a lights-on matinee next Saturday, for those who are easily frightened. Admission is $5. There will be treats and refreshments available and additional donations are gladly accepted.

Whether a haunted house is your pace or not, the coming week has something spooky and fun for just about everyone to enjoy. From art to music, events for young and old, Halloween themed or simply celebrating fall — South Whidbey is welcoming the autumn chill.

On South Whidbey

The Day of the Dead art show is back at the Bayview Cash Store and will run now through Halloween in the Front Room. Expect vividly wild paintings, dark sculpture and other bonetickling artistic creations crafted in honor of this Mexican holiday celebrated, ironically, on election day Nov. 2 this year.

The Washington Sate University Extension Autumn Festival and Scarecrow Auction is set for noon to 4 p.m. today at the Greenbank farm. Activities include game booths, a cake walk, kids raffle auction and raffle. Beginning at 6 p.m., the evening’s activities include wine tasting, an auction preview and live and silent auctions. Tickets for the evening’s activities are $34 and include beverage tickets and hor d’ oeuvres. The tickets must be purchased in advance from either any Whidbey Island Bank branches or the WSU extension office in Coupeville.

Ghouls, goblins and other wicked creatures are invited to join the creepy festivities at the Langley Middle School Creepy Concert Oct. 28. Concert admission is $3, children in costume get in free. Evening begins with a carnival that starts at 5:30 p.m. at which kids can win prizes playing games like the Goblin Cake Walk, Monster Bag Toss, Goulie golf, and much more. When the spirits have been stirred, the eighth-grade wind ensemble will perform spooky hits from the past and groovy tunes from the future.

“It’s going to be more than a music performance this is going to be a theater piece with all the things going on,” said Chris Harshman, LMS band instructor. “There will be all kinds of special effects and just a different kind of energy cause the kids can cut loose.”

Expect the far out sounds of “Mars,” music inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” and the “Funeral March of the Marionette” (also known as the theme from Alfred Hitchcock. Beware, there’s always a surprise at this annual creepy concert.

‘It’s going to be way better than last year and last year was really fun,” said Tim Atkinson, eighth-grade band student.

Seniors can get into the Halloween spirit Oct. 29 with festivities and music by the Fun Band beginning at 10:45 a.m. and a wicked lunch at 11:45 a.m. at the Bayview Senior Center.

Teens can put on a costume and have a howling good time Friday evening when the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation district hosts a flashlight egg hunt for grade 6-12 at 7 p.m. in community park.

“There’s not that many things for teens to do around Halloween,” said Dave Hall, recreation coordinator with the district. “They always get stuff with the stereotype that they’re only out causing trouble, but we want to give them options of something to do.”

There won’t be an Easter bunny in sight, just tons of orange and black plastic eggs filled with candy and prize tickets. At stake will be movie passes to the Clyde, gift certificates for Village Pizza, movie rentals, gift certificates to Joe’s Island Music, and tee time at Island Greens.

Dress up because there will be a costume contest, and meet near the community park office.

Local musicians and artists will come together beginning at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at the South Whidbey High School for lots of music, a touch of political humor and loads of fun. Get out the stomping shoes, and get ready to be blown away by the talents of friends and neighbors at one Helluva Hootenanny sponsored by Island Arts Council.

“It’s a chance to raise the roof and have one heck of a good time with music used how it used to be used — to bring people together and have a sense of community,” said Shelley Harttle, IAC member.

The entertainment line-up includes: No Band Is An Island, The Rural Characters, Derek Parrott, Swords Into Plowshares, Resonance, South End, Don Copeland and a few surprise guests. Emceed by Jim Freeman, watch for the amazing “Hoot-n-Nannies,” selling raffle tickets for the drawing of a Georgia Gerber sculpture titled “Boys Night Out.” Tickets for the drawing have been selling already and can be purchases at the Bayview Farmers Market and IAC board members.

All proceeds from the “fun-raiser” will go the IAC Student Scholarship Fund to assist young artists in their creative pursuits. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at the following locations: Island Framery in Clinton, Bayview Arts at Bayview, Joe’s Island Music in Langley, The Book Bay in Freeland, and Videoville in Coupeville.

The spirits will be stirred well into the night thanks to two local gatherings.

The Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club will host its annual Halloween Dinner Dance 6 p.m. to close Oct. 30. Expect live music, games, entertainment by Larry Thompson, a costume contest and ghoulish buffet. Event is for members and guests and the public is welcome. Admission is free, buffet is $10.95.

The American Legion will host a costume party and dance beginning at 9 p.m. Oct. 30. Dance to the music of Last Resort, play games for prizes, enter the costume contest and see who can dance until the werewolves howl. It’s members and guests only in the lounge and a $5 cover at the door.

Halloween night the clocks will roll back for daylight savings time after all the ghouls and goblins go to bed, but the dead will not be forgotten. The Friends of the Langley Woodmen Cemetery will host All Soul’s Eve — a community event of remembrance Nov. 1 from 5-8:30 p.m. at the cemetery. The cemetery will be lit up with luminaries. All are invited to go and put a luminary on a grave, or in an area for loved ones not buried there.

On North Whidbey

Still can’t find enough to keep the family busy? There are a number of activities occurring this week in that land north of Greenbank known as North Whidbey.

There will be “Terror in the Corn” at Dugualla Bay Farms, three miles north of Oak Harbor, 6-9 p.m. tonight, Oct. 29 and 30. For younger kids and the timid, the maze is open during daylight hours noon to 4 p.m. daily through Oct. 30, except for Tuesday. While at the farm, pick a pumpkin or go on a hay ride. Admission is $5.

Tuesday the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor opens its “Frightville III” haunted house at the Roller Barn on Barron Drive in Oak Harbor. It will continue to haunt kids and daring adults each evening through Oct. 30. Admission is $5 per person except for the kid’s matinee Saturday afternoon for kids under the age of 12. Bring a can of food and help give to North Whidbey’s food bank, Help House.

Expect a “Spooktacular” time Oct. 30 when the Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County hosts a silent auction and other Halloween festivities at 7 p.m. at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. Tickets are $10 available at the door. The night’s proceeds will be matched by Island Thrift and will fund underage drinking prevention programs for the island’s elementary schools.

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