Horror around the corner
Spoiling for a fright? For Halloween, ghouls lurk in strange places.
© S.S. Milwaukee
Venture into the galley of the S.S. Milwaukee and you just might find the cook at work.
It began with a sepulchral fugue, crashing through the frigid steel corridors. Then there was a shriek. And throbbing blood-red lights.
At a fork along a curtained gantlet, a hand-lettered sign advised, "Choose wisely.'' We chose. Another sign said, "You chose
poorly.'' Then the ghouls began to crowd in, chattering like monkeys: "Where you goin'? Where you goin'?''
A skeleton slowly turned to face us. We climbed a Plexiglass ramp over an open coffin and into an electrocution chamber. A tortured face poked out of the wall. Behind us, the tunnel closed.
A haunted house? No, a haunted ship — a real claustrophobe's nightmare.
There are a lot of haunted houses around Halloween, but why not try something more original — say, a haunted lighthouse, train, mine, schooner, mill, ski hill or fur post. Here's where to go to be scared out of your socks.
Haunted cruises: From Chicago's Navy Pier, the 148-foot four-masted topsail schooner Windy evokes the ghosts of the Great Lakes on its Spirit Ships and Haunted Harbors Sailing Tour in September and October. It's $30, $25 for students and $20 for children 3-12.
Also from Navy Pier, the Seadog speedboat offers haunted tours of the Chicago River from mid-October, $29, $18 for children.
Halloween is huge in Chicago; for more, see Halloween in Chicago.
Tickets benefit charities and are $13 with train, maze and Ominous Sanctum, $20 with all four attractions.
At the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Ill., creep through a haunted train wreck and try to reach your destination
on the Screamliner. Terror on the Railroad is weekends in October, and
tickets are $11-$13. Not recommended for children under 13.
In Mount Pleasant, Iowa, rides on the Ghost Train of No Return and Ghostly Trolley are unlimited . . . and
unearthly. The Midwest Haunted Rails
operate the last three weekends of October, $10.
Haunted ski hill,
Burnsville, Minn. There's something unnatural, something unwholesome about a nearby hillside . . . find out what by
touring the Orchard Manor Dead and Breakfast, an insane asylum and a haunted paint factory at Buck Hill Ski Area in this
southern Twin Cities suburb.
A ghoulish Redcoat haunts the shadowy corners of Fort Michilimackinac.
Frightmares at Buck Hill is open weekends in October. Tickets are $18-$20.
Haunted fur-trade forts: On the south end of the Mackinac Straits in Mackinaw City, Mich., skeleton
Redcoats patrol Fort Michilimackinac, and werewolves
lurk along the palisades.
Walk a trail lit by lanterns and listen to French voyageurs tell eerie tales when the fort becomes Fort Fright. Tickets are
$6, $3 for children 5-17.
At the North West Company Fur Post on the Snake River in Pine City, Minn., there’s been a murder, and visitors
try to solve it by lantern light during Mystery at the Fur
Post. Admission is $8, $5 for children 6-17.
In Thunder Bay, Ont., ghosts and various sinister characters take over labyrinthine Fort William Historical Park, where guests are led by candlelight during Haunted Fort Night, for ages 10 and up.
Reservations are required, 807-473-2344, and the $15 tickets always sell out.
Haunted ships: In Duluth, the 610-foot ore carrier S.S. William A. Irvin once was the Great Lakes flagship of U.S. Steel. But in October, it's taken over by university theater students, who take full advantage of its narrow hallways and rooms full of hidden nooks and crannies, turning the Irvin into the Haunted Ship.
Tours of the six-story Irvin, which is chilly and slightly creepy even on a summer day, will be given weekends in October. Admission is $10, $6 for children 12 and under. Bring a canned good for $1 off.
On the western shore of Lake Michigan in Manistee, Mich., the 80-year-old S.S. City of Milwaukee, which once transported whole freight trains across the Great Lakes, becomes the Ghost Ship.
It's open Friday and Saturday nights in October. Admission is $8, $6 for children 6-17.
In Sturgeon Bay, the U.S.
Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay turns into a ghost ship, with its crew giving free tours Oct. 26. Bring canned goods to
Haunted Mill in Nelsonville, Wis. Cracked wheat . . . or cracked bones? Drive 14 miles east of Stevens Point to the 1868 Rising Star Mill on the Tomorrow River to find out . . . but don't get crushed by a grindstone.
There's a lights-on showing from 5-6 p.m., $12 per family, and the Full Scare is 6:30-9 p.m., $6, $4 for children 11 and younger. It's put on by the Stevens Point Area YMCA Boys and Girls Clubs.
© Beth Gauper
In Duluth, the retired William A. Irvin ore boat becomes a haunted ship.
Haunted High Ropes Course near Lanesboro, Minn. Are your Halloween plans up in the air? Imagine walking on a cable three stories above the forest floor, with nothing to hang onto except a rope swaying overhead. Now imagine doing it at night, helped along by ghouls.
That's the Haunted High Ropes course at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, just west of Lanesboro, Minn., on a bluff overlooking the North Branch of the Root River.
It's 6-10 p.m. Oct. 26 in 2012. The $25-$20 tickets go on sale Oct. 1 and sell out fast. Call 507-467-2437.
Haunted Lighthouse, Ontonagon, Mich. This 1866 lighthouse, 12 miles east of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State
Park on the Upper Peninsula, will be the scene of a wake for a young woman who died of diphtheria in the lighthouse in
Warning: You'll see dead people. Reserve at 906-884-6165.
Haunted copper mine in Hancock, Mich. There's nothing more claustrophobic
than a mine, so watch who you run into on the haunted Quincy Mine Tours in this Keweenaw Peninsula copper
Tickets are $10, $5 for children 12 and under. Reserve in advance at 906-482-3101.
Last updated on October 19, 2012
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