Spook season's here again already and, as always, we've got a few ideas to help you get your freak on in the weeks leading up to the sugar coma that is Halloween.
Topping the list of Halloween haunts is The Inferno, a haunted house based on Dante's epic 13th-century poem. The basic premise of the story (if you've never had the pleasure of reading it) is that Dante finds himself in a dark wood one day and then meets the Roman poet Virgil who decides to take him on a leisurely tour through hell before he gets to heaven (are you hearing the Steve Miller Band lyrics here, folks?). On their way down through hell, Dante gets to see all different varieties of sinners grouped in lovely biblical categories like lust, greed, sloth, etc. Each kind of sin has its own circle, and different categories of sins have their own "bolgias." Basically, it's like a tour through a haunted house with a moral. And, hey, that's just what TheatreWorks and Ghoul's Gulch haunted house productions have put together on the second floor of the old Trailways station downtown, minus the moral, sort of. With a whole gaggle of young theater geeks more than eager to play all the moribund parts, the two groups have created the most amazingly highbrow haunted house with lots of rooms created by local artists (Kat and Bob Tudor's three-headed hellhound Cerberus, for example, is spectacular and totally not scary). Well done all around, you won't want to miss this haunted house, the excellent art and traditional jump-out-at-you scares plus some other surprises. Enter through the door just to the East of Kinko's on Pikes Peak Avenue at Nevada Avenue and head upstairs. It's $12 and well worth it. Call 262-3232.
If that's not enough fright for your night, here are a number of other Halloween haunts for you:
Hell 'N' Back -- Town of Terror at Buckskin Joe, eight miles west of Cañon City. It's $13 and tours begin at dusk. Call 719/275-5485 for more.
Blue Moon Haunted History Tours in Manitou include: Hounds from Hell Lantern Tour, Ghost Buster's Tour and Haunted Mansion Bed Breakfast. Prices vary and you should go to www.ManitouLegends.com or call 685-2409 for more details, reservations, times and prices.
Planet of Terror Haunted House and Misery Mile Haunted Corn Maze at Joyrides Family Fun Center, 5150 Edison Ave. Call 573-5500 for times (they vary from night to night) or go to www.joyridesffc.com.
Emma Crawford Festival and Memorial Coffin Race and Parade in downtown Manitou Springs from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25. Call 685-5089.
Emma's Favorite Haunts Ghost Tours at the Business of Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 25. Call 685-5089.
*Please note: The Fright Tour 2003 at the City Auditorium was cancelled.
-- Noel Black