Arrr! Scares a-plenty in Gillett

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Pirate ship among local Halloween season treats

Warren Bluhm,

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum – This cheerful fellow greets visitors to “Halloween on the Black Pearl,” the Gillett Public Library’s annual Community Haunted House. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

An eerie pirate ship is taking shape inside the Gillett Public Library Community Center just in time for the Halloween season.

Tours of the Community Haunted House, “Halloween on the Black Pearl,” will be given from 6:30-8:30 p.m. the next two Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is $3 for what has become the library’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Local craftsman David Bunker built the ship that visitors will enter as they come in. Library Director Kay Runkel said Bunker is one of more than two dozen volunteers who make the event possible.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers,” Runkel said Monday as she put finishing touches on the various rooms in the haunted house, which include the ship’s brig, Skull Island and other surprises.

This is the fifth year that the library has staged a haunted house, and close to 500 people came by last year, she said.

“Being a library, we always want to tell a story,” Runkel said, explaining that visitors will be led on a journey by the tour guides. “We have some fantastic special effects planned.”

Those effects include the zombie sharks that will be swimming in the window as visitors approach the community center. Runkel emphasized that it’s a family-friendly haunted house, and parents should not be worried for their young ones.

Visitors are asked to meet at the library, 200 E. Main St., Gillett, where there will be concessions and pirate activities while they wait for the tour, which takes about 10 people through at a time.

The pirate theme was hatched on the first night of last year’s haunted house, which had a Harry Potter theme.

“We always want to top what we did,” Runkel said. “We started talking about what to do next, and someone said, ‘It has to be pirates!’”

The Gillett event is one of several taking place in the weeks before Halloween.

The Oconto Falls High School choir and band are sponsoring their 29th annual Community Halloween Party for children in preschool through sixth grade from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday at the school, 210 N. Farm Road.

The event will be held in the high school wrestling gym, with a parade of costumes taking place at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $3, and a canned food collection is also being taken for Kingdom Come Food Pantry.

Oct. 27 will be a fun-filled day with many activities celebrating Halloween in Suring.

First, the Business Association of Suring Area and their sponsors and volunteers are hosting their third annual Kids Halloween Party from 2-4 p.m. at Red Maple Country Club, 501 Golf Course Road, Suring. There will be games, crafts, prizes and a costume contest at 3 p.m. Activities are geared toward kids under 12. Adult supervision is required. Admission is free, and food will be available for purchase.

Village of Suring trick-or-treat hours are also Oct. 27, from 4-7 p.m.

In the evening, prepare to be spooked at the Suring FFA’s Haunted Forest at the Suring School Forest on Peshtigo Brook Road. Admission is $2 or two canned food items.