Lots of spooky: Halloween events range from spookily fun to devilishly delicious

Not all Halloween events are spooky. Some are clearly closer to delicious.

Take storyteller Mike Anderson’s appearance Thursday at the Jacksonville Public Library, when he will tell spooky stories suitable for all ages.

“I asked Mike Anderson back because he was so popular when we took him in this summer,” said Courtney Langdon, the library’s youth services librarian. “I don’t think we’ve ever had him do any scary stories here. We thought it would be exciting for the kids in October.

The library is staying true to the Halloween theme by hosting a pumpkin painting contest this month. The pumpkins will be available for picking starting Thursday. All pumpkins painted and returned to the library by Oct. 15 will be on display, with library patrons voting for their favorites in the children’s and teen categories, Langdon said.

A Halloween theme is also likely to show up in a story hour or two during the month.

“We just try to keep it fun and have something to keep people excited,” Langdon said. “It makes the kids a little more excited.”

Another library offering this month includes Halloween, but will continue well past Halloween.

The month-long “Frightful Films” series kicks off the library’s ongoing series of classic films.

Library staff member Andy Mitchell came up with the idea for the film series and chooses the films. The October series begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

“The Shining” will follow on October 19 and “Young Frankenstein” on October 26.

“I kind of wanted to give the community movies that are independent movies or classic movies,” Mitchell said.

The series will continue with “November Noir” and “Christmas Classics” in December,” Mitchell said.

“I’m excited about this and other new programs on the way,” he said.

Other less spooky Halloween events include the Crawling Dead Bar and Restaurant Crawl in Rushville. Entrants can visit one or more participating restaurants and bars in Rushville, take and post a photo on Facebook, and tag the Rushville Chamber of Commerce to enter and win prizes.

There’s WJVO-WJIL’s Safe Halloween for Kids, which will be a drive-in event from 6-8 p.m. on October 27 at the Prairie Land Heritage Museum.

And Springfield’s Kidzeum is hosting kid-centric, adult-only holiday events this month. Both are geared towards Halloween-themed STEAM experiences.

Several organizations also offer opportunities to trick or treat and trick or treat.

A look at some of the Halloween themed events happening in West Central Illinois this October:

Hub Arts and Cultural Center Scarecrow and Porch Decorating Contest, Rushville. $10 entry fee | Register before October 1st. Placing the scarecrow until October 11. The winners will be announced on October 14. thehubart.com/scarecrow-contest or 217-216-5032.

Scary Movies – “The Birds” by Alfred Hitchcock 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jacksonville Public Library Meeting Room. Free | Melanie meets Mitch and decides to follow him home with the gift of two lovebirds. Then the birds start attacking the city. Rated PG-13. jaxpl.org.

Scary Stories with Mike Anderson, 6 p.m. Thursday, Jacksonville Public Library Meeting Room. Free | Storyteller Anderson will share scary, funny and empowering stories for the whole family. jaxpl.org.

Pumpkin Painting Contest, Jacksonville Public Library. | Pumpkins can be picked up to be painted starting Thursday. Painted pumpkins must be returned to the library by October 15 to be displayed. Prizes will be awarded to winners determined by the vote of library patrons. jaxpl.org.

Halloween at the Crazy Horse campsite, Friday-Oct. 9, 2117 Crazy Horse Road, Ashland. | Camping decoration contest, costume contest, trick-or-treating. crazyhorsecamp.com or 217-886-2089.

Beardstown CONNECT Family Friday – A Bunch of Hocus Pocus, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Oct. 14 | Wagon rides, pumpkin painting, crafts. 217-323-3271. bit.ly/3RrHtun.

Crawling Dead Bar and Restaurant Crawl, October 14 and 15 in Rushville. Participating locations include Rick and Rich’s, The Lipsticked Pig, The Moose Ledge, Station 1883 BBQ, Benny Pizza, Los Charros. [email protected]

Scary Movies – “The Shining” by Stanley Kubrick 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19, Jacksonville Public Library Meeting Room. Free | Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance becomes a winter watchman at the secluded Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. Instead, it begins to unravel. To classify. jaxpl.org.

Jacksonville Main Street Pumpkin Festival, 10am-3pm, Central Park. | Children’s dress-up contest, pumpkin pie tasting contest, pumpkin games, pet parade, Jacksonvillemainstreet.com.

Kidzeum Big Pumpkin Launch and Splash10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois, 300 S. 15th St., Springfield.

Happy Halloween Carnival from PLAY, 11 a.m. Oct. 22, Rushville Fitness and Community Center, 120 Rodewald Drive, Rushville. $10 armbands for unlimited games, $1 boardwalk tickets, and Halloween tattoos. | Varied activities; costume contest at 1 p.m.

Scary Movies – “Young Frankenstein” by Mel Brooks 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26, Jacksonville Public Library Meeting Room. Free | Gene Wilder’s respected medical researcher, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, learns that he has inherited his infamous grandfather’s estate in Transylvania. Rated PG. jaxpl.org.

WJVO-WJIL Safe Halloween for Kids, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 27, Prairie Lands Heritage Museum. Free | Match-fixing or drive-through event.

Put the Scream in STEAM, 5-7:30 p.m. October 27, Kidzeum, 412 E. Adams St., Springfield. | Adults-only opportunity to explore the museum, try out Halloween-themed experiments, and play Halloween-themed games. Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. $40 for museum members, $45 for non-members.
Halloween at Kidzeum, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29, 412 E. Adams St., Springfield. | Halloween themed STEAM activities. Costumes welcome.

Carrollton trunk or candy6-8 p.m. October 30, Place Carrollton.

Trick-or-Treating Merchants3-5 p.m. October 31, Beardstown Square.

Merchants Halloween Walk3-5 p.m. October 21, participating Rushville businesses.

About Julie Gray

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