Friday, October 2, 2009

Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village

Walking around Greenfield Village at night can be, in itself, kind of creepy, with all the old 18th and 19th century homes, but add to that the Hallowe'en touch and it becomes scary fun. Wow! does the Village do a spectacular (or is it "spook" tacular?) job for this holiday!

Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village, like nearly everything else they do, is a historically fun time. No, patrons do not enter the houses, for they are historic structures and therefore are closed up. Instead, throughout the Village, they have different scenarios taking place. For instance, over at the Edison's Menlo Park Machine Shop, a mad scientist scene unfolds as colonial-dressed characters shout to the crowd to beware of the 'missing monster' who escaped from the laboratory and ran "toward the covered bridge!"
You may catch a glimpse of the scientist's monstrous creation peeking through the windows of the shop - keep your eyes peeled.
As for the Ackley Covered Bridge, it is misty and very dark on the inside - but not too dark to overly-frighten the kids - and the sounds of horses hooves can be heard. However, even in the early evening before darkness descends the bridge can be eerily cool.

In another scenario, a mournful bride stands atop a balcony at the Robert Frost House, moaning in her hideously scary voice for her missing beau.
Then there is the forest that leads visitors to "Sleepy Hollow" to find the headless horseman riding around on his horse looking for his head.

Off in the Ford Farm field one will encounter the Grim Reaper, sharpening his blade while pointing to his next victim.

In other areas one can visit a graveyard with a freshly dug grave and its caretaker, see the "ghosts" of Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers, pirates in the lagoon, ghost story-telling...

and then there are the goody stops along the lighted pumpkin-carved pathway where one can meet a knight in shining armor, the Spider Queen, and even Little Bo Peep (the little girls love this one!), handing out treats to the little ones.

Nearly all the children, and even some of their parents, dress up in costume.
It is fun-scary - just scary enough for the younger ones to hold tightly to their parent's hand, but not so scary to be too afraid to continue on.
Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village is a very popular event, and considering that trick or treating seems to be losing favor, this gives the younger set (and their parents) the opportunity to celebrate 'All Hallow's Eve' in a historic environment.
Another very fine holiday event done in a traditional way by Greenfield Village.

OPINION: I would love to see the Village have an adult-themed event scarier than the one for children - maybe taking place later in the evening, say, 10:00, and really give the older folks a good fright.

For anyone interested in learning the history of Hallowe'en, here is a link to the History Channel's web site:


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