Spooky Ghosts and Creepy Crawlies Invade ‘Admiralty Head Lighthouse Haunted Fort’ on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24

Posted in Community, Feature, More Stories, Visual Art

Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
October 21, 2015

October’s final fall days feature scarecrows, jack-o’-lanterns and pails of candy. Add in two nights of eerie ghost tales in an historic lighthouse, Halloween games and a spine-shivering Haunted Fort with phantoms, zombies and witches and you’ve got a unique Whidbey Island experience. Just wend your way to “Admiralty Head Lighthouse Haunted Fort” at Fort Casey State Park between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24 for frightful fun.

More fun and frightful events 
across the island are listed
at the end of this article!

haller house

The ghost of this Civil War soldier hovers close to the historic Haller House. (photo by Martha McCartney)

What do the
Spooky Nights Entail?

You’ll see a lit path guiding you from Fort Casey Historical Park’s picnic parking lot through the woods to the Lighthouse ticket booth. Individual admission is $7 or $25 for a family and all proceeds will go to restoring the Admiralty Head Lighthouse. From there, guests will choose their frightful delights.

The main attraction is a 114-year-old gun battery’s gruesome underground chambers. Groups will enter its shocking rooms (too frightening to describe here!) and, hopefully, return in one piece. There will also be ghost stories told inside the Lighthouse, kid-friendly games like putt-putt and beanbag toss and a creepy crawly “Wild Worm World” sponsored by the Waste Wise Program will be on the lawn next to the lighthouse. Cotton candy, sodas and various flavors of waters may be purchased on-site.

But Why a
Haunted Fort?

Haunted fort—the words alone are enough to draw people here,” said Sharon Sharpe, Program Specialist for Washington State Parks, “and the lighthouse is a building that needs restoration. I thought: wouldn’t it be a great way to raise funds for its restoration?”

street scarecrow

Wooden scarecrows point the way along Scarecrow Corridor in Coupeville. (photo by Martha McCartney)

Pressing restoration needs include repairing the exterior of the lighthouse, refinishing the wood floors and restoring a Fresnel lens. Managing restoration projects and coordinating around 45 volunteers is one of Sharpe’s many duties. When Sharpe put the call out for Haunted Fort volunteers, the positive response turned the idea into reality.

“To me, this is really a community event,” Sharpe said as she watched over two dozen volunteer actors practice their roles in dress rehearsal. Under leader Ann Kugler’s direction, they moaned and groaned and stayed in character. “They’ve really come together to help,” Sharpe said. “This couldn’t happen without their support.”

Over 60 volunteers will participate in Admiralty Head Lighthouse Haunted Fort—in a range of roles from parking lot attendants to storytellers to ghoulish guides—to provide a wickedly good evening.

Now the Question Is:
Will you Dare to be Scared??

(Please note the Haunted Fort is recommended for individuals aged 10 and above; guides recommend children in the younger range of that age bracket be accompanied by an adult.)

Also, if you have a Discover Pass, please display it after parking, as the Park will be paying for cars that don’t show permits while attending the event.

For more information about Admiralty Head Lighthouse, including directions to the Fort Casey Park, click on http://washingtonlighthouses.org/admiralty-head-lighthouse/. Also see the article in the new Fall/Winter print issue of Whidbey Life Magazine, on sale now throughout the island or subscribe online by clicking here now.

Other Whidbey Island
Halloween Activities:

October: Scarecrow Corridor, Coupeville (find more scarecrows like the ones in the photos for this article)

Oct. 23: Boys & Girls Club Frightville, Boys & Girls Club, Oak Harbor

Oct. 23 & 24, 30 & 31: Coupeville’s Haunted Corn Maze, Engle Family Farm, Coupeville

Oct. 23 & 24, 30 & 31: Sherman’s Pioneer Farm Haunted Barn, Sherman Farm, Coupeville

Oct. 24: Pumpkin Painting, Pacific Northwest Art School, Coupeville

Oct. 24: Apple Day and Mutt Strut, Bayview Corner, Langley

Oct. 24: Halloween Torchlight Parade, Cooks Corner Park, Coupeville


Scary Jack-O’-Lantern Totem stands tall near Bayleaf Deli in Coupeville. (photo by Martha McCartney)

Oct. 24: Monster Mash Street Bash, Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor

Oct. 25: The Great Pumpkin Race, Alexander between Coveland and Front Street, Coupeville

Oct. 26: Haunted Houses of Annapolis, Coupeville Library, Coupeville

Oct. 30: Boo Lala! Burlesque Halloween Weekend, Whidbey Island Center for Arts, Langley

Oct. 31: Bloody Beer & Scary Cider Tasting, The Tipsy Gourmet, Langley

Oct. 31: No Tricks Safe Treats, businesses along Pioneer Way, 5 to 7 p.m., Oak Harbor

Oct. 31: Halloween Spooktacular: Downtown Langley, 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 31: Halloween Dance and Benefit, Coupeville Rec Hall, Coupeville

Oct. 31: Halloween Murder Mystery, Langley Golf & Banquet Centre, Langley

Oct. 31: Frida Kahlo Dia de los Meurtos, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley

Image at top: A skullish scarecrow is part of the assemblage by the Coupeville Garden Club at Cook Park.   (photo by Martha McCartney)

Lara Dunning is a freelance writer. She has been published in The Crossing Guide, Anacortes Chamber’s Around Town and Waggoner’s Pacific Northwest Boating. Her interests include young adult novels, history, hiking and locavore inspired food.


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