Keeping Halloween Weird In Austin
by Mary Lou
Ahhh…Halloween. We start to decorate the house and yard in the beginning of October. Images of pumpkins, and, for those of us a bit north of Austin, images of falling leaves of red, yellow, brown abound. Sweet memories of jumping in piles of these leaves taller than we were (and hoping no dog had been there first), and sweeter memories of running amok on sugar highs from the loot collected from hapless neighbors on Halloween – All Hallows Eve.
The date of October 31 is no accident, nor is the date of the day the Eve precedes, All Saints Day.
An ancient Celtic festival of the dead, Samhain (Sah-ween), turned out to be the most important holiday for the Celtic peoples. They held the belief that on Samhain the dead were able to join with the living. Those who died during the year were able to travel to the otherworld.
Things were going quite well with the holiday. Fires were lit to honor the dead and to light their journey to the otherworld. Ghosts, little people, and even demons were all part of the festival.
Then along came the Christian missionaries, and having a hard time changing the religious beliefs of the Celts, they went with the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” kind of flow. They transformed the holidays such as Samhain to Christian Holy Days, such as All Saints Day.
But, the Samhain traditions remained with the ghoulies making their pretend appearances on Halloween and the kiddos looking forward to their sugar overload. We won’t talk out loud about the parents who also look forward to a sugar splurge and either hold back on a bag of Halloween candy, or raid their sleeping little darlings bags of all things sweet.
Herein ends my history lesson and now we go on to other things to do on this scariest of holidays, most not involving sugar in any form.
Austin's Own House of Torment
This is not for the kiddies (or the faint of heart at any age). This nationally recognized event of terror has added three new houses of horror this year, Raveside Manor, Blackthorne, and The Frenzy.
Visitors to Raveside Manor will come face to face with “the most demented creatures on earth.” There is even a ghoul nun in residence. You will have to find your way out or face your demise.
The Blackthorne Penitentiary had to be abandoned after experiments performed there resulted in some ghastly creatures, nasty perpetrators, who made this one of the most terrifying places on the planet. No one is sure what is going on because trespassers who easily entered Blackthorne have never returned.
Keeping with the festival spirit (get it – spirit?) The Frenzy is a carnival of deranged creatures, beasts and clowns who will feed off of your worst fears. It is promised that you will not leave in the same state of mind with which you entered.
Austin's Halloween Masquerade Gala
On the lighter side a fun-filled holiday evening will be held at the Sterling Event Center and donations will be accepted to benefit our local Domestic Violence Non-Profit Organization.
Your contribution in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month will allow you to enter the Gala Auction for a date with a participating bachelor.
Passion’Z Lounge presents this classy event, which brings singles over 25 together to mingle and network. There is a dress code with black (of course) the featured color. Halloween masks, sexy, scary, and all in between may be worn to compliment your black evening attire (which may be casual, but must be classy).
You can celebrate, party, maybe meet the man of your dreams, make a new friend, have a great time, and all for a good cause.
North To Williamson County And The Ghosts of Georgetown Square
How apropos is it that the tours begin on Friday, October 13th.
This family-friendly event relates stories of the ghoulies who have haunted local sites for over a century. The tours leave the museum with a leader, in costume, at 7:30, 8:00, 8:30 and 9:00 pm. The 9:00 pm tour is an especially scary one.
Just a few of the spirits you may get up close and person with are Leanne, known to haunt the Cobblestone Antiques Building. Customers have heard high-pitched noises and seen items move. There are reports of a previous shop owner greeting Leanne every morning, just to ensure a pleasant, non-paranormal day.
The ghostly occupant of the former Chupa Rose building is reputed to be Luther St. Paul Miller. Mr. Miller may have owned the land behind the building (built 1894), as early as the 1860’s. He was apparently overly-fond of his property and is reluctant to leave it in other hands.
Wails, cries, moving objects, specters in old fashioned dress…all there for you to enjoy.
More Of Austin Halloween
These are just a smattering of the fun events for Austinites and near-by Austinites to enjoy. Lets not forget the young ones with a list if just a few Pumpkin Patches in the area:
Pumpkin Patch at Bethany Lutheran, 3701 West Slaughter Lane, Austin
Barton Hill Farms Fall Festival and Corn Maze, 1115 Farm to Mrket 969, Bastrop
Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Natures Way, Elgin
First United Methodist Church Killeen, 3501 East Elms Road, Killeen
Sweet Eats Fruit Farm, 14400 East State Highway 29, Georgetown
Saint Richard’s Episcopal Church, 1420 East Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock
….and much many more.
ars. It is promised that you will not leave in the same state of mind with which you entered.