Halloween Hauntings


Expect to see more than a few familiar faces disguised for Halloween fun at the Town of Payson’s annual Trunk or Treat Festival on Historic West Main at the Oxbow Saloon parking lot. The interior of the grand old building will once again be transformed into a haunted house for the festivities. A number of other events are planned around town to celebrate the haunting season.

Expect to see more than a few familiar faces disguised for Halloween fun at the Town of Payson’s annual Trunk or Treat Festival on Historic West Main at the Oxbow Saloon parking lot. The interior of the grand old building will once again be transformed into a haunted house for the festivities. A number of other events are planned around town to celebrate the haunting season. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night.

This comes from a traditional Scottish prayer:

From ghoulies and ghosties

And long-leggedy beasties

And things that go bump in the night,

Good Lord, deliver us!

Fitting – one story says the celebration of Halloween is a Scots import, or at least the word “Halloween” is – The word Halloween was first used in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows’-Even (‘evening’), that is, the night before All Hallows’ Day, according to Wikipedia, which drew the definition from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Be ye ghost, ghoul or something else that goes bump in the night – if only for Halloween – there are several events for all ages to enjoy next week.

Two events are especially for youngsters. The Payson Public Library will have its Trick or Treat Costume Parade at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26 and then the annual Trunk or Treat Festival is Wednesday, Oct. 31 at the parking area of the Oxbow Saloon. Mountain Bible Church is also planning an event with a focus on youngsters – a Harvest Block Party, but families should also enjoy the fun.

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After you get over the frights from the Haunted House – Psychotic Hospital – take the time to admire the craftsmanship put into the construction and decorations. These pumpkins are not your ordinary Jack 0’Lanterns, they are close to being works of art. The Haunted House is presented by the high school’s Drama Department and a portion of the admission fees will benefit it.

Library Costume Parades

The library’s first parade is for youngsters not old enough to be in school and those that are home-schooled; the later event is for those in school or who could not come earlier. Each will start in the library meeting room for stories and are open to children and teens of all ages.

To learn more and sign up, visit the Children’s Room at the library or call (928) 474-9260.

Special Halloween Dance

A Halloween Dance for families with members who have special needs is planned from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Rim Country Health and Retirement Apartments, 807 W. Longhorn Rd. If possible, a donation of $5 would be appreciated, but is not necessary. Make a reservation by calling Lucy at (928) 478-0231 or (928) 595-2136. Those attending are encouraged to wear costumes and asked to bring snacks.

Harvest Block Party

Mountain Bible Church plans a Harvest Block Party for the community from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31.

There will be a free dinner, free games and free candy for a safe fun night on Halloween. There will be lots of fun for the kids with throwing games, a dunk tank, maze, golf and more. Costumes are encouraged.

Mountain Bible is located at 302 E. Rancho Rd.; for more information contact Felicia Moore at (928) 472-7800. 

Trunk or Treat Festival

The Annual Trunk or Treat Festival, sponsored by Chili’s Restaurant, will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31 on Main Street at the Oxbow Saloon. The Town will once again be purchasing all of the candy and providing it to more than 30 decorated booths from which it will be given to children ages 12 and under.

“The reason the Town buys the candy is because we want to provide a safe environment for children to safely trick or treat and give parents peace of mind that their children are safe,” said Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Cameron Davis.

Any individual or business that would like to sponsor a booth during the Trunk or Treat Festival should go to the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, 1000 W. Country Club and sign up. The cost for the space is $25 and the Town will supply you with the candy. You must supply and decorate your own 10-foot-by-10-foot trunk. Trunk space is limited so please hurry to get one for you or your business. The deadline to reserve trunk space is 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26.

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The creativity of volunteers participating in the annual Trunk or Treat Festival and Haunted House is outstanding and half the fun of going to the event.

Haunted House

This year the Town has once again partnered with the Drama Department at the Payson High School to provide a haunted house at the Oxbow Saloon.

This year’s haunted house theme will be Psychotic Hospital. There will be different levels of “scariness” at the haunted house so that children and adults can enjoy the event at their own scare threshold.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the haunted house and have lots of fun”, Davis said.

The haunted house will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; admission is $3 per person, or bring a can of food for the local food bank and get in for $2.

A portion of the gate will go to help support the Drama Department and its activities.

If you are looking to park close to the event here are several different options:

• Take Main Street and go south on Westerly, turn right on Aero and go to South McLane and turn right. Follow signs to large parking lot that is very close to the Oxbow.

• Green Valley Park

• Julia Randall Elementary School parking lot

• Presbyterian Church on Main Street

• Main Street parking lot off of Westerly

• Frontier Street

Davis said special thanks goes to Brian Mortensen, owner of the Oxbow, for allowing the Town and Drama Department to use this already spooky venue for this event and the Gila County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse for helping provide security.

For more information please contact David Roehrig at 474-5242, ext. 7, or at droehrig@paysonaz.gov or go to www. paysonrimcountry.com/trunkortreat

Halloween Boo Fest

The Payson Elks Lodge 2154 will have a Halloween Boo Fest Wednesday, Oct. 31. Cocktails will be served at 5 p.m.; with an all-you-can-eat salad and spaghetti dinner or stew served from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Music by the Elks Jam Band will be presented from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Advance tickets, available at the Elks Lodge, are $12 per person; admission at the door will be $15 per person.

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