Spirits Needing A Lift Invited To Stop By Halloween Hangouts

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Rim country children of all ages will have reason to scream this weekend, either in delight or terror, during the many Halloween activities planned for the area. Listed below are some of the ghostly thrills awaiting trick or treaters.


• Friday at 5 p.m. -- Pine-Strawberry Elementary School's Fall Festival.


• Friday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. -- Mazatzal Casino's Haunted House. The house is open to children from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and to adults from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.


• Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. -- Payson Parks and Recreation Department's Trunk-or-Treat at Rumsey Park. Events include a pumpkin-carving contest, creepy displays, spooky music and lots of free candy. The Payson Roundup is sponsoring a costume contest for children and a pumpkin-carving contest for adults with prizes for the winners. Judging begins at 6:30 p.m. for both. Jack-o-lanterns must be entered by 6 p.m. Three prizes, donated by Wal-Mart, will be awarded in each category. Prizes are $5 gift certificates for children in the 3 and under and 6-10 divisions, $10 gift certificates for children in the 11-15 division and $20 gift certificates for adults. For more information, call 474-5242.


• Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. -- Mazatzal Casino's Haunted House. For adults only.


• Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. -- Mazatzal Casino's Halloween Dance. Doors open at 8 p.m. and there will be a $2 cover charge for adults. "Harry and the Gila Monsters" will be performing. A Halloween Costume Contest will be held in the casino's bingo hall with judging from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. First prize will be $1,500; second will be $800; third will be $500; fourth will be $400. Best employee costume will win $300. For information, call 474-6044.


• Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- Kohl's Ranch, Park-and-Treat. This event will feature car decorating and costume contests, a pumpkin-carving challenge, 25-cent hot dogs, games, prizes and trick-or-treating from the trunks of family cars. Everyone is invited to bring candy to pass out. Prizes for the best and scariest car, best and scariest costume, and best carved pumpkin include dining certificates and mini-vacation getaways. Additional contests and activities will be held at The Cowboy Bar at Kohl's Ranch. For information, call 478-4211.


• Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. -- Nightmare on Bentley, a unique haunted house at 306 South Bentley. Free admission.


• Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. or later -- A Haunted House fund-raiser for the Shelby School in Tonto Village. Admission is $3 for adults, ages 16 and over and $1 for children. Proceeds will be used to equip the school's computer lab. Organizers have created eight rooms of fun-filled, frightening fantasies. They promise to be gentle with young children and scared adults.


Organizers Lane Kamp and Marlow Rensch say they can't give away any secrets, but will provide live acting and ingenious scenarios.


Tonto Village is 15 miles east of Payson off Highway 260. Turn left at the Control Road/ Tonto Village sign on the highway and follow the signs along the Control Road.


• There won't be a haunted house at 1010 Easy Street this year. Thanks to all who participated in the past, and have a safe Halloween.

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