Haunted Castle

  • June 27, 2011 2:31 pm


A Halloween banner welcomes visitors to the Haunted Castle

A Halloween banner welcomes visitors to the Haunted Castle

If you want to visit a Halloween town, then spend a weekend in October exploring the streets of The Castle of Muskogee, Okla., during its annual Halloween Festival. Spooktacular revelry awaits around every bend.  The Haunted Castle is settled on 60 acres. It’s free for visitors to roam around and take in the sites of staff dressed in their Halloween best, but there is an admission price ranging from $2 to $9.95 to enter one of the nine events.

Here’s a breakdown of the “not-so-scary” events, “medium-scary,” and “scare-your-pants-off” from the 2009 Halloween Festival

  • Halloween Land for children 8 years old and younger: “A carnival of delight with no scares — games, prizes and more.”
  • Enchanted Boardwalk: “Enjoy the magic of more than 200 Halloween inflatables from 3 to 12 feet tall.”
  • Torture Chamber: “See what really happened in medieval times in the depths of the dungeons.”
  • Haunted Hayride: “This hayride will keep you on your toes as you ride through the Haunted Castle grounds.”
  • Pirate Ship Stage: “Live entertainment for the whole family. Comedy, drama, juggling and laughs galore. Includes Willie’s Wenches and Jester Rejects.”
  • Ultimate Maze: “Dare to walk the many pathways of this haunted maze.”
  • Casa Morte: “A labyrinth through the 12th century castle, with doom and mystery around every corner.”
  • Domus Horrificus: “Takes you into the areas where your favorite horror monsters dwell.”
  • Trail of Blood: “Take a walk through the woods if you dare. The lost souls of those who have gone before you will guide you.”
Staff and visitors dance to "Time Warp" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"

Staff and visitors dance to "Time Warp" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"

Casa Morte was the ultimate spookhouse experience for me. Although the wait was about 30 minutes in line, it was worth it. Staff members danced in a semicircle to Halloween favorites like “Monster Mash” and “Time Warp.” Actors aren’t allowed to touch you, and you aren’t supposed to touch them, but it is still jarring to enter each room and try to distinguish the actors from the life-sized props.

A huge spider-monster creature locked behind bars scared some children and adults back into the corner. Strobe light effects and sound make it look like the creature’s claws were reaching right through its prison for us.

My favorite rooms in the castle were the witch and her grotesque buffet of huge calamari and bone piles next to a bubbling cauldron.

What's for dinner?

What's for dinner?

Another room featured a vampire waking up from his sleep and emerging from a coffin. Outside of Casa Morte, visitors had a chance to sit in a real coffin and “try one on for size.”

Dracula prepares to rise from his coffin

Dracula prepares to rise from his coffin

I thought the Ultimate Maze would be a snap, but I guess my eyes were not adjusted after all of the strobes in Casa Morte. After going the same way twice, we were finally assisted by a white-faced actor with pigtails and a creepy, high-pitched voice, urging us to take this way … this way.

The skull entrance to the Ultimate Maze

The skull entrance to the Ultimate Maze

Ghostly Host

Ghostly Host

The Enchanted Boardwalk was a welcome sight and a chance to slow down and see the delight through a child’s eyes. Characters like Garfield and Winne the Pooh were interspersed with traditional October treats like ghosts, witches, pumpkins and skeletons.

Ghosts and goblins populate The Enchanted Boardwalk

Ghosts and goblins populate The Enchanted Boardwalk

Mean and green

Mean and green

The Ghostmobile

The Ghostmobile

My favorite inflatables were the kind you don’t see in a typical neighborhood yard. A couple of the more unusual pieces were a mini skeleton and a set of eyeballs.

Eye see you

Eye see you

Mini scare

Mini scare

Part of the Halloween Festival’s allure is the transformation of the castle grounds into a Halloween town. Other festivals are held there throughout the year, including the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, Boare’s Heade Feast and Christmas Kingdom. The grounds retain a medieval ambiance, with the restrooms being labeled Privy.

Several food choices are available. Rat on a Stick, turkey legs, bratwurst with sauerkraut and onions and bags of kettlecorn satisfy revelers as they wait for the events to open.

Streets are lined with opportunities to transform into a favorite Halloween character. Face painting, a perfumery , and a candle making shop keep guests entertained.

Visitors make their own candle magic

Visitors make their own candle magic

A shop with 50 percent off costumes and Halloween props offers a good chance to snag some animatronics and other lighted decorations at a steal. One 5-foot tall witch with a bubbling cauldron was around $45. I’ve seen similar ones for $120 to $250 in retail stores.

With all the ghostly characters roaming the streets, it would be advisable to get your own “vampire protection kit.” Luckily, there was a shop open that sold items from Garlic Festival Foods based in Hollister, Calif.

Garlic samples are offered to keep vampires at bay

Garlic samples are offered to keep vampires at bay

I purchased a Garli Garni, all-purpose shake-on. I don’t know about vampires, but I’m sure I kept several people at bay with garlic breath.

Night lights

Night lights

Perhaps the most magical part of the evening was sharing it with other Halloween enthusiasts beneath an October sky. A moon made milky by feathery clouds lit the night, along with orange lights strewn throughout the grounds. An inflatable ghost wavered in the wind, as if to say goodbye, see you again next year.

Guests walk the Halloween streets

Guests walk the Halloween streets

Face painting is part of the ultimate Halloween experience

Face painting is part of the ultimate Halloween experience

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