Halloween hot spots

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween is a long-standing tradition celebrated by millions of Americans, including those in Southeast Missouri. Whether it is trick-or-treating, visiting a haunted house, navigating through a corn maze or participating in a church festival, Oct. 31 is observed by people in many ways.

Beggs Family Farm harvest festival and phobia farm

2319 Route U, Blodgett, Mo.

Festival is today, Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, Nov. 1; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays; $9

Phobia farm is today, Oct. 23 through 25, 31 and Nov. 1; 6 to 11 p.m.; $15

The festival has a corn maze, barnyard golf, pig races, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, bonfires, wagon rides and a pumpkin patch. Phobia farm has various haunted rooms in the 200-foot-long barn used to store the farm's equipment. "About 24,000 people visited our festival last year from Missouri and other states, and we expect the same to happen this year, especially with people choosing to stay closer to home because of the economy," co-owner Sheila Beggs said. "New this year is our phobia farm, which the public has asked for something like it for several years. This year we decided it was time to give everyone something unlike any other haunted experience in this area."

Black Forest Villages haunted ghost town

FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com Olivia Beasley and Tyler Helm search for the right pumpkin to take home while on a field trip with kindergarten students from Blanchard Elementary School Thursday at Beggs Family Farm near Blodgett, Mo.

County Road 638, Cape Girardeau

Today, Oct. 24, 25 and 31. Tour is 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

$5 for adults and $3 for children 6 to 12 years old.

The grim reaper guides visitors through haunted-themed rooms, then leaves them to navigate a barn and straw-bale maze on their own. A bonfire and concession stand is available for those waiting for the tour to start. "We feel like we do a good job giving people their money's worth on a traditional scare that is without a lot of gore," owner Greg Macke said. "There is so much variety here that people from children to adults will come away feeling like they've experienced something unique."

Black Forest Villages haunted ghost town

Pioneer Orchard maze and pumpkin patch

2308 W. Jackson Blvd., Jackson

Today through Oct. 31. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., except 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays

Free, with the exception of pumpkins and a wagon ride

FRED LYNCH * flynch@semissourian.com Emily Landewee, 5, and her mother, Jennifer Landewee, of Chaffee, Mo., walk through a straw maze at Pioneer Orchard in Jackson.

Visitors can catch a 10-minute ride on a wagon en route to the orchard's two-acre pumpkin patch or navigate through either a hay or sudex maze. "This is our 30th year, and families seem to enjoy a good time together in an environment such as this," owner Scott Beggs said. "And it's hard to beat the value you get here."

St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway haunted coach and Halloween Express ride

Intersection of U.S. 61 and Highway 25, Jackson

The haunted coach is from 7 to 11 p.m. today, Oct. 24, 25 and 31; $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 3 to 12 years old.

St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway train

The Halloween Express train ride is Oct. 25, leaving at 1 p.m.; $16 for adults and $9 for children.

Since 1986 passengers have enjoyed the haunted coach display and traveled on this haunted train. In addition to half-price admission for passengers dressing in costume, the railway's volunteers will judge which passengers are wearing the best Halloween attire. Refreshments and a gift shop are on board the Halloween Express.

Haunted Hall of Horror

Arena Building, Cape Girardeau

Hunter Urhahn holds the hand of his aunt, Susie Hallgren, while she holds the hand of his sister Kaelyn Urhahn as they move past a witch in the Haunted Hall of Horror on Oct. 20, 2007.

Today, Oct. 24, 25, 30 and 31, 7 p.m. to midnight, except 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 30

$5 for adults and $3 for children 12 years and younger.

Between 35 and 55 actors portraying monsters such as vampires and villains (the Joker, for example) do their best to scare innocent passers-by on a 20-minute journey through this haunted house at the Arena Building. "We build the haunted house all over the arena, including some tunnels beneath the arena," said recreation manager Penny Williams. "Those tunnels are naturally scary, so when we work our magic on them they become very scary with possible appearances by monsters and gargoyles. The scare factor is endless and at every turn."

Rocky Holler USA Halloween hayride

Rocky Holler USA in Jackson

County Road 303, Jackson

Today, Oct. 24, 25 and 31. Rides are from 7 to 10 p.m.

$8

In its 18th year, the ride takes travelers through crops and live monsters. Rides end at a bonfire, and concessions are available.

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