By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor
Oct 25, 2007 - Deep in the wooded trails of Southern Hopkins County will rise a haunting thrill so eerie many a resident will come to take a gander and gawk at the macabre — an uprising ventured only two days a year.
Of course, those less daring will want to stay and enjoy the stew dinner and fellowship at Arbala Community Center this weekend rather than weather the Haunted Woods of Arbala, a Halloween tradition revived last year after a hiatus of more than 6 years by the Venture Crew 2005.
This year the half-mile long project is being crewed by Boy Scouts of America Venture Crew 69 and Arbala Volunteer Fire Department, who will both benefit from event proceeds.
The fun begins both Friday and Saturday nights at Arbala Community Center, located on FM 1567 with the stew dinner beginning at 5 p.m., offering a good chance for community members to fellowship with old friends and support two worthy groups. A fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children up to age 10 will be assessed for the meal, which includes a drink and dessert, all donated for the event.
As soon as the sun recedes below the horizon, the wagons will be loaded at the community center. For a $7 fee for adults or $3 for children 10 years or less, thrill-seekers can hop on the hay wagons which will make the trek down the shadowed and whiterock roads deep into the wooded section of the community to the Haunted Woods trail.
Those planning to partake of both the Stew Dinner and Haunted Woods Trails will want to take advantage of the discounted rate of $10 for adults and $5 for children age 10 or less.
Once at the Shirley Water Supply well #4, the adventure begins for the brave souls willing to traverse the trail lined with coffins, plenty of creepy critters and a few eerie surprises along the path. The trail is not for the faint of heart and especially not for the timid who tremble at the sight of an arachnid or slippery serpent.
The co-ed group of youngsters, volunteers and parents will be in full garb, with such traditional horror frights as a witches station, mummies and caskets, a truly unique pumpkin patch and a pirate cave.
Those up on urban legends will appreciate the variety of ghosts, the grim and macabre — think "Christine," "Dracula" and other terror flicks — including a "bride and groom," and the haunted saloon which was perhaps final stopping place for a few hot heads. As an ode to certain books and movies, a few sights might even resemble collector’s dolls.
Of course, no haunting is complete without a "rising" cemetery. Be sure to watch your step, and don't forget to keep an ear and eye out for a few other frights.
Fright Night Fun
and Fall Festivities
Some local groups, churches and other organizations will be hosting Halloween and other fall events this weekend and next week. They include:
Friday, Oct. 26
Miller Grove PTO Fall Carnival begins with a stew at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, with the carnival at 6:30 p.m. and bingo at 8 p.m., all in the school cafeteria and gym. Funds go to PTO to help meet teacher wish lists and provide a covering for the student pick up area.
Sulphur Springs Health & Rehab Annual Halloween Carnival will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at 411 Airport Road. Tickets are 5 for $1. Activities: dunking booth, silent auction, pie throwing, face painting, duck pond, moon walk, cake walk, ring toss, fishing game, pencil pull, dart throwing, seek and find ring toss, special appearance by Elvis. Foods: homemade campfire stew, popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs, etc... Bring the whole family. Proceeds help with activities for residents.
Haunted Woods in Arbala will be offered from dark until about midnight Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27. A stew supper for donations will be held at Arbala Community Center beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. All proceeds from the Haunted Woods and stew will benefit Venture Crew 69 and Arbala Volunteer Fire Department.
Saturday, Oct. 27
The Boys & Girls Club of Hopkins County will hold a Haunted House manned by club staff and junior staff from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the club (411 College St. inside the old Houston School). Cost is $6 a person. There will be plenty of haunts for a good, scary fright. Those completing the haunt house will receive goodies.
Halloween, Wednesday, Oct. 31
Trunk Or Treat begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at the First Baptist Church field on Oak Avenue. Children can dress up and receive treats from church members.
HCSO Treat-O-Rama will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, 298 Rosemont St. All trick-or-treaters ages up to 12 years are welcome to stop by the sheriff’s office, 298 Rosemont St., to receive goodies and have their picture taken.
n Church of the Nazarene will hold Trunk or Treat from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the church parking lot, 1300 League St.