Halloween happenings: Festivities so plentiful, it’s scary

Halloween is sneaking up on us like a ninja carrying one of those clear, plastic swords with the red liquid. But don't be scared if you don't have your plans hammered out yet. There will be plenty to do around the area. Pine Point Haunted School ...

Halloween is sneaking up on us like a ninja carrying one of those clear, plastic swords with the red liquid.

But don’t be scared if you don’t have your plans hammered out yet. There will be plenty to do around the area.

Pine Point Haunted School

They’ve already been scaring people silly out there with two other Halloween events, but there is one more to catch tonight, Saturday, Oct. 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The old Pine Point School, located at 48580 Pow Wow Highway in Ponsford, has a bit of a reputation that makes the event truly scary for those who believe in the paranormal.


“We will have a short video that we’ll play when people come in of this Midwest Paranormal group that did a study of the school,” said Mike Swan, who is heading up the event. “So that’ll shake them up going into it.”

Roughly 25 volunteers transform the old school, which is said to be haunted, into an even scarier place to be that night.

“We get adults running out of there,” said Swan, who says they’ll have a series of mazes, people in cages, a spider room, a kid’s zombie room, a graveyard in the woods, witches and more.

“We’ll have some scary clowns and this year we’ll have a sasquatch in there,” said Swan, who says volunteers put a lot of time and attention into the spooky lighting, special effects and foggy atmosphere.

Swan says over the eight years they’ve been holding the Haunted School, it continues to grow in popularity.

“We add a little here and there and change things up so that it’s not the same thing every year,” said Swan, who says they don’t recommend little children going in, but says “sometimes parents bring them along to give them a good scare.

“And that’s what they get,” he chuckled.

Cost is $5 per person, with the money going to the Pine Point Pow Wow for 2016.


Community Halloween Party

On Halloween day, the Key Club students from the Detroit Lakes High School are hosting a carnival-style party for the little ones.

The party takes place at the High School from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $2 per child and adults are free.

“It’s a fun carnival; it’s not scary,” said Amy Lakin, Key Club faculty advisor. “We give the kids a treat bag when they come in, and there are a lot of games and prizes.”

The event is designed for children up to fifth grade, and the Key Club is more than ready to sugar-up the 250 to 300 kids who typically make it to the event.

“We have at least 70 (Key Club) students who are helping out in one way or another, either they’re making cupcakes, donating candy, working the event, helping to set up…” said Lakin, who says the high school version of the Kiwanis Club donates profits to local programs and activities it participates in throughout the year.

Halloween Hoot

On Halloween day, there will be lots of little witches, super heroes and princesses running around the Washington Square Mall in Detroit Lakes, as the annual Halloween Hoot gets underway from 1 to 3 p.m.


“I call this the grand-daddy of all Halloween parties,” said Dawn Olson, mall manager, adding the event is free and open to the public.

Kids’ games will be set up around the mall, including the Great Pumpkin Ring Toss, Pumpkin Planko, Pin the Tail on the Black Cat and more. Kids and parents are encouraged to dress in costume for the hoot, and they can fully expect they won’t be the only ones.

“This year since the Halloween Hoot lands on Halloween, we are challenging our businesses in the mall to a Halloween costume contest,” said Olson. “So we’re looking forward to seeing what some of the business are coming up with.”

Church events

A couple of area churches are getting in the Halloween spirit this year.

Lund Lutheran Church on Richwood Road is having “Trunk or Treat” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Halloween night.

Church members decorate car trunks in the parking lot of the church; it’s a way to hand out candy in a safe, family-friendly style.

Members at Vineyard Church in Detroit Lakes will also be throwing a party full of music, lights, free hot chocolate, coffee, full-sized candy bars, a bouncy castle and bonfires.


“We gave out 1,200 full-sized candy bars last year,” said Adam Neurerburg, who is coordinating the event for Vineyard.

The party will be at 1032 Summit Avenue and will go from 5 to 9 p.m.

But for somebody interested in going, there’s likely no need to know the address.

“Between the music and laser lights, people probably can’t miss us,” said Neurerburg, who says the event is free and open to the public. “It gets busy, but we have a blast.”

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Halloween Hoot participants tried to ‘pin the tail on the black cat” during last year’s festivities at the Washington Square Mall. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Paula Quam joined InForum as its managing digital editor in 2019. She grew up in Glyndon, Minnesota, just outside of Fargo.
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