Horror around the corner
Spoiling for a fright? For Halloween, ghouls lurk in strange places.
© S.S. Milwaukee
Venture into the galley of the S.S. Milwaukee and you just might find the cook at work.
It began with a sepulchral fugue, crashing through the frigid steel corridors. Then there was a shriek. And throbbing blood-red lights.
At a fork along a curtained gantlet, a hand-lettered sign
advised, "Choose wisely.'' We chose. Another sign said, "You chose
poorly.'' Then the ghouls began to crowd in, chattering like monkeys:
"Where you goin'? Where you goin'?''
A skeleton slowly turned to face us. We climbed a Plexiglass ramp over an open coffin and into an electrocution chamber. A tortured face poked out of the wall. Behind us, the tunnel closed.
A haunted house? No, a haunted ship — a real claustrophobe's nightmare.
There are a lot of haunted houses around Halloween, but why not try something more original — say, a haunted lighthouse, train, mine or fur post. Here's where to go to be scared out of your socks.
From Chicago's Navy Pier, the Seadog speedboat offers 75-minute tours of the Chicago River in October, with commentary of the city's most haunting mysteries and legends. They're $37, $20 for children.
Halloween is huge in Chicago; for more, see Halloween in Chicago.
In Green Bay, the Impaler stalks the National Railroad Museum, where Terror on the Fox includes a ghoulish ride on a vintage train, a forest maze and attractions with Animatronics.
Tickets benefit charities and are $25. On Kids Days, a child ticket is $5.
In Mount Pleasant, Iowa, rides on the Ghost Train of No Return and Ghostly Trolley are unlimited . . . and unearthly. The Midwest Haunted Rails operate Fridays and Saturdays the last three weekends of October, $12.
A ghoulish Redcoat haunts the shadowy corners of Fort Michilimackinac.
In Stillwater, Minn., hear the shocking true tales of this historic river town on the Haunted History Trolley, operated by the Zephyr Theatre. It's Oct. 18-20 and 25-27, $32.
From the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, Ill., the Ghost Story Trolley will run Oct. 20 and 27, $16.50 including s'mores.
In Minneapolis, the Como-Harriet Streetcar offers a variety of Halloween rides in October: the Transylvania Trolley, the Trick 'n' Trolley, the Streetcar Named Expire ghost trolley and the adult-only Late Show: Wheel of Fortune.
Haunted fur-trade forts
On the south end of the Mackinac Straits in Mackinaw City, Mich., skeleton Redcoats patrol Fort Michilimackinac,
and werewolves lurk along the palisades.
Walk a trail lit by lanterns and listen to French voyageurs tell eerie tales the first weekend of October, when the fort becomes Fort Fright. Tickets are $10, $6 for children 5-17.
At the Snake River Fur Post on the Snake River in Pine City, Minn., the Trial of Lizzie 13 is the annual Mystery at the Fur Post, and guests use clues to solve it, Oct. 12-13. Admission is $10, $6 for children 5-17.
It's Thursdays-Sundays through October. Reservations are required, 807-473-2344, and the $15 tickets always sell out.
It's open most Friday and Saturday nights in October. Admission is $10, $8 for children 7-17.
© Beth Gauper
In Duluth, the retired William A. Irvin ore boat becomes a haunted ship.
In Duluth, the 610-foot ore carrier S.S. William A. Irvin once was the Great Lakes flagship of U.S. Steel. But in October, it's taken over by university theater students, who take full advantage of its narrow hallways and rooms full of hidden nooks and crannies, turning the Irvin into the Haunted Ship.
Because of restoration in 2018, the six-story Irvin, which is chilly and slightly creepy even on a summer day, is closed.
Haunted high ropes course
Are your Halloween plans up in the air? Imagine walking on a cable three stories above the forest floor, with nothing to hang onto except a rope swaying overhead. Now imagine doing it at night, helped along by ghouls.
That's the Trick-or-Treetops course at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, just west of Lanesboro, Minn., on a bluff overlooking the North Branch of the Root River.
It's 6-9:45 p.m.
Oct. 26. The $25 tickets sell out fast.
The 1876 Tawas Point Lighthouse in Michigan's Tawas Point State Park, on Lake Huron, will be Oct. 12-13. There are nighttime lighthouse tours, plus family-friendly events: carnival games and prizes for kids, hay rides and a spooky cemetery with special tombstones.
The 1866 lighthouse in Ontonagon, Mich., 12 miles east of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness
State Park on the Upper Peninsula, will be the scene of a wake for a young woman who died of
diphtheria in the lighthouse in 1885.
Warning: You'll see dead people. Shows are offered the weekend before Halloween, $10, $5 for children under 16. Reserve at 906-884-6165.
On the Lake Michigan side of the Upper Peninsula east of Manistique, Seul Choix Point Lighthouse is said to be haunted by a keeper who died there in 1910, and smoke from a phantom cigar often is detected.
Seul Choix Bay, on which the light sits, was named by French explorers because it was the "only choice'' for haven in a storm.
Haunted copper mine
Haunted copper mine in Hancock, Mich. There's nothing more claustrophobic than a mine, so watch who you run into on the Haunted Tours of the Quincy Mine in Hancock, on Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. They're the last weekend of October.
Last updated on March 12, 2019