The annual Prell-Bland American Legion Post 271 Halloween Parade is a classic way to mark the holiday. Commander Jim Hodges notes, “I just think it’s part of the Batesville tradition, the community doing something as a group. It’s always been an opportunity for some of the old folks to line the streets and watch the little ones go by” in disguises.
The Thursday, Oct. 31, procession begins at 6 p.m. from Batesville Memorial Pool, going south on Mulberry Street, east on West Pearl Street and south on South Main Street, ending in front of the Memorial Building, where each child will receive a bag of treats prepared by Legionnaires.
Batesville High School FFA members will be trick-or-treating for canned goods Oct. 31 in Hillindale Commons and Farmington Estates. Donations will be transported to the Batesville food pantry. Citizens also may bring items to FFA boxes at Batesville Church of Christ, Holy Family Catholic Church and Southeastern Indiana YMCA.
Besides trick-or-treating (please see box), 15 other area events are slated over a 12-day ghoulish period. In chronological order:
Fear Factory has almost tripled in size, expanding to 25,000 square feet. Those who love to be horrified are in for new surprises, thanks to better special effects created by Hill-Rom engineers. Tours costing $5 Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 25-26 are 7-10 p.m. at RomWeber Marketplace. A spooktastic Oct. 18 midnight tour encompass two building levels instead of just one for $10. Attendees should use the Depot Street entrance closest to East Pearl Street. Proceeds benefit Cierra’s Club, founded by Karen Adams and managed by the Batesville Community Education Foundation, which provides fun, drug-free entertainment for area youth.
Haunted Village tours, sponsored by the Metamora Merchants Association, start with hay rides, then visitors will be escorted throughout the town, where hauntings can creep out from anywhere. The fun, costing $5, is Oct. 18-19 from 7-10 p.m.
Spooky Halloween Cruises are scheduled at the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site, Metamora, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 at 7:30, 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m. The horse-drawn Ben Franklin III will be decorated and staff will be dressed in costumes. A professional storyteller will present a dramatic retelling of “Little Orphant Annie” by Hoosier author James Whitcomb Riley as well as other spine-tingling tales. “This is a fun getaway for younger kids and the family,” said event manager Anne Fairchild. “The best part is that participants get into the spirit of the holiday by dressing up in costumes.” Tickets are $5. Info: 765-647-6512.
Haunted gingerbread houses will be made by kindergartners through fifth-graders from 2-4 p.m. at both Franklin County Public Library District facilities: Brookville Public Library Tuesday, Oct. 22; or Laurel Public Library Wednesday, Oct. 23. There are limited spaces. To register: 765-647-4031, Brookville; 765-698-2582, Laurel; or fclibraries.org, go to the calendar and click on the event.
The annual Kids’ Halloween Party at the Batesville public library for prekindergartners through third-graders accompanied by adults is Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. “Habitat-Tat-Tat” will be performed by the Minnetrista Theatre Preserve, Muncie. Tykes are encouraged to dress up for the free program, which includes treats.
A spider hunt for toddlers and preschoolers during fall story time at Tyson Library, 325 W. Tyson St., Versailles, is Thursday, Oct. 24, from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
A Bats and Boo...ks! Family Halloween Program takes place Friday, Oct. 25, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library.
Halloween fans may tour a Haunted Gym at the Tyson Activity Center, 100 N. High St., Versailles, Oct. 25, 8 p.m.-midnight; and Oct. 26, 8-11 p.m. The $5 fee will be used for maintenance and utilities costs of the building overseen by the nonprofit Tyson Community Advancement Foundation, reports Aimee Cornett, one of six organizers.
Youngsters have eight chances to ride the Whitewater Valley Railroad Pumpkinliner Oct. 26-27 at 10 a.m. and 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. The trip goes from the Connersville Grand Central Station to a pumpkin patch and back. At the field, families will enjoy a hayride and children 12 and under will choose pumpkins. Tickets, including pumpkins, are $9 for ages 2 and up. Reservations recommended: 765-825-2054 or www.whitewatervalleyrr.org.
Children in grades K-6 are invited to a Costume Party Oct. 26 from noon-1 p.m. at Tyson Library, 325 W. Tyson St., Versailles. Crafts, games and snacks are added bonuses.
The Professional Paranormal Investigation team will present a free program Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Batesville public library. Attendees will learn about their experiences and be able to ask all their supernatural questions.
A Teen Halloween Program – Life Size Clue for grades 6-12 is Oct. 26 from 7-9 p.m. at Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library.
A Friends of Versailles State Park campfire and haunted hike led by park naturalist Chelsea Tooley is Oct. 26 from 8-10 p.m. Participants should meet at the nature center. Info: Ripley County Tourism Bureau, 812-689-7431.
Teen Jack-o-Lantern carving for grades 6-12 is slated for Monday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at Greenburg-Decatur County Public Library.
The 4-H Fun & Friendly Halloween provides a free, safe and not-too-scary place for trick-or-treating and holiday fun for young children, notes extension educator Angie Riffle. It’s slated for Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 5-7 p.m. at Brookville’s county fairgrounds.
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
Trick or treat!
Saturday, Oct. 26
Metamora: 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31
Batesville and Sunman: 6-8 p.m. Oldenburg: 6:30-8 p.m.
Options a drive away
• The Original Vevay Ghost Tour encompasses four reputedly haunted spots, the Switzerland County History Museum, Historic Hoosier Theater, Switzerland County Courthouse Basement and old jail. Walkers will explore the eerie history, lore and some spine-tingling stories Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 25-26 at 7 p.m. The cost is $25. Tickets are available at the Julia Knox House, 206 E. Main St.; or 812-427-3338.
• Madison's Lanier Mansion State Historic Site Spooky Mansion is open at 601 W. First St. Saturday, Oct. 26, from 6-8 p.m. Costumed kids 3-10 will enjoy trick-or-treating in the creepy basement, hearing ghost stories, making Halloween crafts and meeting the King and Queen of Halloween inside the historic mansion and Lanier-Madison Visitor Center. The $3 fee admits a child and adult.