A creepy season

October 07, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

Ghostly tours, haunted houses and Halloween parades make October a high-spirited month in the Tri-State area.

The West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters will host "ghost hunts" at cemeteries in Washington County and Berkeley County, W.Va., at 8 and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through October, and at 8 and 10 p.m. daily from Monday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Oct. 31.

"This is not the typical ghost tour," said Susan Crites, founder of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters, on the Web at www.wvsociety "I think what's going to surprise people is the very strong possibility that they will encounter the supernatural. ... We've selected these places because of their strong activity."


Crites said she and other experienced paranormal investigators will guide participants through the graveyards while teaching them how to find and photograph the supernatural - "a mini ghost hunter training session."

"It's an amazing and thrilling experience for people who are curious about ghosts," she said.

Reservations are required for the $15 spirit searches. Call 1-304-754-6983 or send e-mail to Proceeds from m the 1 1/2-hour ghost tours will benefit the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters, members of which conduct weekly paranormal investigations of allegedly haunted houses and other sites in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. Crites said the group will be featured on an upcoming BBC special, and was recently filmed for a television pilot about ghost hunting.

Many Tri-State area municipalities have not set trick-or-treating dates.

Other haunted happenings in the Tri-State area include:

In Washington County

· Haunted Hager House tours from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 15 to 30, and Thursday, Oct. 28. Hager House curator John Nelson will lead 45-minute tours of the historic Jonathan Hager House and Museum in Hagerstown's City Park - a site at which some people have claimed to hear screams in the basement and to see a 19th-century woman on the staircase. Admission costs $2. Reservations are required. Call 301-739-8393.

· Twenty-seventh annual Leitersburg Haunted House at the Old School House in Leitersburg. The Leitersburg Ruritan's and Leitersburg Youth Organization's popular haunted house opens at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 15 to 30, and Sunday, Oct. 31. The haunted house on Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road features an interactive show and a maze through dark corridors. The event is suitable for all ages. Admission costs $9; free for children shorter than the "monster" at the door. For more information, call 301-766-0039.

· Haunted House on Conococheague Creek in Williamsport. The haunted house's super-scary thrills are not recommended for children younger than 12. The ticket booth opens at 7 p.m., and terrifying treks through the haunted house run from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 15 to 30, and Sundays, Oct. 24 and 31. The cost is $10, adults; and $9, students. Admission to the new fun house costs $2. Park at the KOA Kampground, 11759 Snug Harbor Lane. For more information, call 301-223-7571.

· Downtown Ghost Tours in Hagerstown at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22. The walking tours at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., and the trolley tour at 9 p.m., will begin at Washington County Free Library on South Potomac Street. The cost is $3, adults; $1, children ages 6 to 12; and free for children 5 and younger. Reservations are recommended for the walking tours and required for the trolley tour. Call 301-739-8577, ext. 183.

· Ghost Walk through the grounds of Fort Frederick on Md. 56 near Big Pool. This year's Ghost Walk will focus more on history than on the supernatural, with Revolutionary War and Civil War re-enactors and other living history demonstrations from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. Friends of Fort Frederick will offer refreshments following the walk. The cost is $3, adults; and $2, children ages 6 to 12. For more information, call 301-842-2155.

· Funkstown's Halloween parade at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28. To participate, call Town Hall at 301-791-0948.

In Frederick County, Md.

· Spirits of the Furnace night hike from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, and Saturday, Oct. 16, at Cunningham Falls State Park's manor area in Thurmont, Md. Hikes, which depart every half-hour, will include stories from local lore. For reservations, call 1-301-271-7574.

· Tour guides dressed in period attire will lead visitors on a candlelit one-hour, 1.2-mile ghost tour of downtown Frederick, Md. Tours start at 9 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 6. Meet at Brewer's Alley Restaurant and Brewery, 124 N. Market St. Cost is $8, adults; and $4, children ages 6 to 12. Call 1-301-845-7001 or 1-301-668-8922.

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