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Happy Halloween from the merry crew at the Pine Point Haunted House. Money raised by the group goes to the Pine Point Powwow, and the younger actors are members of the Boys and Girls Club, which is located in the building. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Halloween haunts: Plenty of scary fun to be had in lakes area

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The creepy, crawly spooks and spirits are waiting just around the corner for their big day.

But before Oct. 31 rolls around, there are some other Halloween happenings for both young and old.

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Pine Point Haunted House

The old Pine Point School has earned itself quite a reputation.

“There are a lot of local myths about different spirits in there,” said Mike Swan, who is the tribal spiritual leader on the White Earth Indian Reservation. Swan says given the history of the building, event coordinators believe it’s the perfect location for a haunted house.

The Haunted House will be open Saturday, Oct. 19, from 7-9 p.m. and again the following Saturday, Oct. 26, at the same time.

The old Pine Point School in Ponsford is now used for the Boys and Girls Club, but Swan says there have been many people with many ghostly stories about the facility, which was also once a government school in the 1930s.

“There are a lot of similar stories about people who say they’ve seen the ghost of an old janitor called Jack Million, who used to be the janitor there,” said Swan, with the comforting information that Million is believed to be a friendly entity.

“And we did have the MPF paranormal group come in to do an investigation of the place a couple of times, too, and they picked up a lot of activity. They said there were voices of a young girl, a woman and a young boy,” said Swan, adding that he knows there are several people throughout the community who won’t even step foot into the school.

So, what better place to draw in the brave folk who are looking for a good scare?

People coming into the Haunted House will be directed through the decorated maze of halls and different rooms with people popping out of who-knows-where.

“We have two rules though — no grabbing and no chasing because it’s plenty scary the way it is,” laughed Swan, who says last year out of the 100 people who showed up on the first night, only 40 made it completely through — the rest turned around and left scared.

Swan says many of the spooky characters are being played by students from the Boys and Girls Club.

Although the Haunted House is not for the faint of heart, Swan says when young kids come in, they do make sure to “tone it down” considerably.

There is a $5 cover charge to get into the event with proceeds going to benefit the Pine Point Powwow Committee.

The Haunted House is located at 48580 Pow Wow Highway in Ponsford.

Halloween Hoot

For children and families wishing to enjoy Halloween in much less scary way, the Washington Square Mall is once again holding its annual Halloween Hoot.

The event is Saturday, Oct. 26, from noon to 2 p.m., with the parade of costumes beginning at 1 p.m.

“I call it ‘the grand-daddy of all Halloween parties,’” said Dawn Olson, mall manager.

The event has nearly the entire mall participating in the event, as many store employees dress up and help with the games.

“We’ll have Pumpkin Planko, Pin-the-Tail-On the-Black Cat, spooky face painting and just a bunch of Halloween-themed carnival games,” said Olson, who says the Halloween Hoot is geared for younger children.

The event, which has been going on for at least 15 years at the mall, is free and open to the public.

“It offers children another opportunity to wear their costumes,” said Olson, who says little hoot goers walk through the corridor of the mall where games are spread throughout the building.

Volunteers man the games, which Olson says is an area where they are still looking for approximately 10 older students who can help out for two hours.

For more information or to volunteer, call Dawn Olson at 847-1679.       

There will also be trick-or-treating at the mall this year from 4 to 7 p.m.

Key Club

The Detroit Lakes High School Key Club, which is the high school branch of Kiwanis, is once again holding its Halloween party at the high school.

This event takes place on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 1 to 3 p.m.

The party is also designed for the younger students in mind — children up through fifth grade.

“We’ll have at least 18 different carnival-style games this year,” said Amy Lakin, Key Club faculty advisor, “and of course we’ll have a lot of candy and treats.”

Lakin says roughly 250 kids come through the doors for the big party, which is held in the high school gymnasium.

Key Club members are running the event, which Lakin says is the most popular one for the students.

“I already have 35 kids signed up to help work the party,” she said.  “They love it; they come all dressed up in costumes, and I’m not sure who has more fun, the kids or the Key Club students.”

The gym will be decorated and lights turned down lower as the spooky, but not too spooky, music plays.

The cost of the event is $2 per person — an amount that is low enough to keep it affordable.

“We’ll maybe break even on the candy,” said Lakin, “but that’s OK because this is not about raising money for the Club.

“This is a service event that we like to hold for the community.”

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