Boo!They may be too old to trick or treat, but a group of Superior teens continues to celebrate Halloween. In a two-stall garage at 621 10th Ave. East, they turn their vast knowledge of horror movies into a thrill ride for the neighborhood.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
They may be too old to trick or treat, but a group of Superior teens continues to celebrate Halloween. In a two-stall garage at 621 10th Ave. East, they turn their vast knowledge of horror movies into a thrill ride for the neighborhood.
“I think we do this because we love Halloween,” said Austin Lindstrom, 16.
“It’s our favorite holiday,” agreed Taylor Olson, 16.
The annual spookfest began two years ago in Olson’s East End basement. The teens turned the narrow hallways into a spook house for friends. Why?
“Just for the heck of it,” said Eric LaGesse. And to scare their friends, of course.
Due to the cramped quarters, the teens decided to move last year into a two-stall garage belonging to Olson’s grandmother, Phyllis Flaherty. They added strobe lights, fog machines and an eerie soundtrack. On Halloween night, they opened it up to the public for 50 cents a trip.
“We actually didn’t expect many people,” Olson said. But the signs the boys had left up in the neighborhood attracted quite a crowd.
They ushered 150 people through the maze of tarps, costumed spooks and flashing lights.
By tailoring the thrills to the customers, the youth give a truly unique experience.
“Our friends are the best,” Lindstrom said. “They always make fun of us for doing this.”
But a single trip through the garage makes believers out of them.
“A lot of them like to deny it and say ‘I wasn’t scared,’” Lindstrom said. “But you can see that they’re terrified.”
LaGesse takes money and lets the ghouls know what level of scare to serve up. The others take turns donning classic horror costumes – including two Jason masks and two Michael Myers outfits. This year, the group is ramping up their haunted garage. They will offer tours from 4-10 p.m. Oct. 29-31. The cost is, again, 50 cents per person. The teens will also be taking nonperishable food donations for a local food shelf.
Nearby, visitors can walk the thin line between superstition and science by flashlight. For the second year in a row, Fairlawn Mansion will open for flashlight tours. Guests will wander the dark hallways, learning about a different age.
“Victorian history is rife with stories of séances,” said Maggie Scheibe, a Fairlawn tour guide. “They were very, very superstitious people.”
In those days, funerals were held in the home, she said. When a body was taken out, it had to exit feet first so it couldn’t grab the soul of a person on the way out.
Why were nurseries for children never painted green? Why were little boys dressed in skirts and long hair until they were 5 years old? Why is 13 considered an unlucky number? What will really happen if you open an umbrella indoors? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more as you walk through the darkened mansion.
“It’s a good dose of learning in addition to the fun,” said Susan Anderson, director of Superior Public Museums.
When staff opened Fairlawn up for an initial flashlight tour last year, they received an overwhelming response.
“The first time around we were basically sold out,” Anderson said. They had to double that night’s tour and add a few extra nights.
“I think it’s the idea of a spooky old house,” Scheibe said. “Our house isn’t really spooky, but it’s big and old.”
The thrills here are more refined, but no less haunting.
“Anybody who comes will get a lot of information about the Victorian era,” Scheibe said. “It’s really fun.”
This year, the tours will be offered beginning at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26-29. Cost is $8 for adults and $6.50 for students and seniors. Bring your own flashlight and be prepared for a short wait.