Chilling Choices 

A selection of Halloween haunts

click to enlarge One of Anne Lennoxs many Halloween portraits  now at the BAC
  • One of Anne Lennoxs many Halloween portraits now at the BAC

Lo! Halloween is upon us, sinking its teeth into necks and draining our souls from their skin suits, or something. While our Latin American neighbors celebrate the Day of the Dead, a time for both remembrance of the deceased and a celebration of the summer's end, Americans, in typical American fashion, pretty much just camp it up in costumes and eat candy. Works for me!

If snipers, terrorists and rogue nations with nuclear arsenals don't have your bones rattling quite as loudly as you'd like them to and you're looking for that extra something to curdle your cheese curds, here's a selection of a few of the many Halloween-related events going on around the city this week. [See Halloween Events in Listings for details.]

Returning after a year's hiatus, the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races will again be held on Manitou Avenue this Saturday, with festivities beginning at 10 a.m. and the races themselves beginning at 1:30 p.m. The races commemorate the local legend of Emma Crawford's unceremonious exhumation and slide from her burial site atop Red Mountain after a heavy rain. Later that night, you can also take an Emma's Favorite Haunts tour by lantern light as harmless ghosts recount "tall tales and loveable legends." Call the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce for entry forms and more information at 685-5089.

Blue Moon Haunted History Tours is also offering a tour of a Manitou Springs residence that was once a "haunted bed and breakfast." You'll even get your own "tools to do a paranormal investigations and see actual video footage of ghosts seen in the home." Let me quote one more thing from the press release: "This walking party tour of Manitou Springs is so much fun and scarry [sic], that you may want to wear diapers." Hmmm. Tours are offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Call 685-2409.

While you're in Manitou, stop off at the Business of Art Center to see photographer Anne Lennox's Making Faces: Portraits of Trick-or-Treaters. Every Halloween, Lennox invites cleverly dressed children of all ages into her studio to sit for a portrait. If you want to have your photo taken this year, Lennox will be set up in the Garage at 515 Manitou Ave. from 3 to 7 p.m. Call 685-1861 for more info.

If you're looking to get your wits wilted, try Joyrides Family Fun Center, 5150 Edison Ave., across from the flea market on E. Platte Avenue. Among their many Halloween events are Demented Journey Haunted House (with 24 spook rooms), the Tormented Trail (a creepy walk through the woods), and the Haunted Corn Maze. These attractions are open now and not recommended for children under 12. Go to www.hauntedjoyrides.com or call 527-2089 for times and ticket prices.

If eating 10 pounds of candy or getting your lily livered aren't your ideas of a "feel-good" Halloween, consider helping the civics students of Sand Creek High School with Sight Night, a trick-or-treat drive to collect old pairs of glasses to be donated to disadvantaged children. Go to www.sightnight.org or take your old glasses to any Lenscrafters or Lion's Club.

Rock Ledge Ranch will also be hosting an Old-Time Halloween Party featuring apple cider pressing, Victorian parlor games, horse-drawn wagon rides, and mask making. The party goes from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27. It's $5 for adults, but children under 12 are admitted free with a costume. Call 578-6777.

If it's music and theater you're looking for, The Da Vinci Quartet will present Mystery and Music, a mystery play about a lost treasure map, Germans agents' hunt for uranium, and other intrigues that all come crashing together at the opening of the Fine Arts Center in 1936. Presented in the theater lounge at the Fine Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 30, tickets are $35, or $60 per couple. Call the FAC box office at 634-5583 for reservations.

For live music on Halloween, check out Boondoggle at the Acoustic Coffee Lounge, 5152 Centennial Blvd. Call 268-9951.

Also on Halloween night Shuga's, at the corner of Cascade and Rio Grande, will be hosting a speak-easy with live music by Purl and Crystal Bliss. Enter through the back door in your best flapper gear. Call 328-1412.

--Noel Black


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