BY LARA DUNNING
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!
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—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?”
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
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
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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