Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday October 21st 2014

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A Solid, Spooky Schedule of Events

With Halloween being on a Thursday this year, you may be a little confused as to when your favorite parties and events are taking place. You may be wondering what all the ghost tours making their way around town are all about. We at the IN were, so we compiled a list of favorite festivities and several more activities that sound like they’d be worth a try. Between Pensacola and Milton, there is a Halloween activity for people of all ages planned somewhere. So have no fear, at least not regarding your activity schedule. Whether you want to be frightened, party, or find a suitable activity for a kid or scaredy-cat adult, there is something around that will fit the bill.

Haunted Touring
From make-believe haunted houses designed solely to scare to historic buildings linked to tales of actual hauntings, Pensacola and the surrounding area has plenty of places to catch a fright this Halloween. With a history that includes Native Americans, European explorers, soldiers, pirates, sailors, and more, the folklore of Pensacola contains its fair share of hauntings and tormented spirits. By foot, by trolley, or even by Segway, there are more ways than ever to explore the favorite haunts of the city’s ghosts.  And if Downtown doesn’t hold enough fright for you, the Pensacola Lighthouse and haunted houses and hayrides in Milton provide even more venues for scary fun. The most difficult part—aside from shaking off the fear before bedtime—may be choosing an adventure from all the spook-tacular options.

‘A GRAVE OCCASION’ HALLOWEEN TOURS ON THE BLOOD RED TROLLEY
WHAT: The Red Trolley Repertory Theatre, the group behind Winterfest, produces this family-friendly tour designed to entertain with music and more light-hearted story telling.
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25-26
WHERE: Visitors Information Center at Wayside Park, 1401 E. Gregory St.
COST: $20 for adults, $5 for children age 4 and over
DETAILS: halloweentrolley.com or 417-7321

PENSACOLA HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S HAUNTED HOUSE WALKING TOURS
WHAT: Route options include “Murder and Mayhem,” “Spooky Seville,” or the Adults-Only “Redlight Tour”
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25-26
WHERE: Arbona Building, 115 E. Zaragoza St.
COST: $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under
DETAILS: historicpensacola.org or 595-5985 ext. 111

PENSACOLA HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S HAUNTED HOUSE TROLLEY TOURS
WHAT: The Trolley of the Doomed Tour shuttles riders to view numerous haunted spots through Downtown and North Hill
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m., Oct. 25-26
WHERE: Arbona Building, 115 E. Zaragoza St.
COST: $16 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under
DETAILS: historicpensacola.org or 595-5985 ext. 111

HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSE
WHAT: Costumes are welcome at what organizers promise to be “A fun, friendly and frightful event for the entire family, based on a traditional haunted house.”
WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 25-26 and Oct. 31
WHERE: Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum, 2081 Radford Blvd.
COST: $6 for adults, $3 for children
DETAILS: pensacolalighthouse.org or 393-1561

GHOST AND HAUNT TOUR OF  PENSACOLA
WHAT: Walking tour billed as “A hair-raising 90-minute tour into the spirit realm of this historic town.”
WHEN: 9 p.m., nightly through Oct. 31 (Reservations required)
WHERE: Meets at Dharma Blue, 300 S. Alcaniz St.
COST: $18 for adults, $10 for children ages 8-14, free for children 7 and under
DETAILS: pensacolaghost.com or 390-4102

GHOST, MURDERS, AND MAYHEM SEGWAY TOUR
WHAT: A one-hour tour highlighting “strange and macabre” aspects of Pensacola’s past.
WHEN: 7:30 nightly. Reservations required, organizers recommend calling 24 hours in advance.
WHERE: Emerald Coast Tours, 5 W. Main St.
COST: $45 a person. $40 for locals, students, and military.
DETAILS: 417-9292

PENSACOLA HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S ‘DEATH AND MOURNING IN THE VICTORIAN PERIOD’
WHAT: Guided tour explains death customs of the late 1800s while exploring buildings from that era
WHEN: 2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through Oct. 31 (Must sign up by 1:30 p.m.)
WHERE: Tivoli High House, 205 E. Zaragoza St.
COST: Included with admission to Historic Pensacola Village, $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 4-16
DETAILS: historicpensacola.org or 595-5993

Milton

THE DREAM PLAYERS NIGHTMARE HOUSE
WHAT: Enter the Succubi Sleep Study Institute, where you’ll explore the dreams of two “deeply demented patients.” Two separate experiences, one in color and one in black and white, are offered in the Nightmare House’s 7,000 spooky square feet.
WHEN: Oct. 25-26
WHERE: 6780 Caroline St., Milton
COST: $20 for one dream experience, $30 for both
DETAILS: dreamplayersnightmarehouse.com or 225-8892

‘YOUR FINAL DESTINATION’ HAUNTED HOUSE
WHAT: Main Street Milton’s Annual Haunted House promises “thrills, jolts, and terrors around every corner.”
WHEN: Oct. 25-26, 29-31 and Nov. 1
WHERE: 5232 Willing St., Milton
COST: $5
DETAILS: facebook.com/mainstreetmilton or 626-6246

DOWNTOWN MILTON GHOST WALK
WHAT: Santa Rosa Historical Society’s “Ghosts of Milton” Walking Tour
WHEN: Tours every 15 minutes beginning at 6 p.m., Oct. 25-26
WHERE: Depart from the Imogene Theatre, 6686 Caroline St., Milton
COST: $10 per person
DETAILS: santarosahistoricalsociety.com

WHISPERING PINES HAUNTED HAYRIDE
WHAT: On this hayride, guests will protect the caravan from attacking zombies with paintball guns. Definitely the only tour during which patrons can strike back.
WHEN: Sunset-9 p.m. Oct. 25-27 and Oct. 31
WHERE: Whispering Pines Christmas Tree Farm, 1603 Penton Road, Milton
COST: $7 for adults, free for children age 4 and under
DETAILS: facebook.com/WhisperingPinesTreeFarm or 304-1559

Party Spirits
Have a great costume idea? Looking to get your drink on via a number of reasonably priced drink specials? If you answered yes to one or both of those questions then downtown Pensacola’s party establishments have you covered this Halloween season. For the best costume, Play is offering Weekend and VIP passes to Pensacon 2014 while Emerald City and Seville Quarter are both offering up to a $1,000 grand prize for the winner of their respective costume contests. Sluggo’s is in on the game, too, with costume contests during extensive live music schedules on both Halloween and the following Saturday. Throw in an extra night of The Fish House’s regular Ladies Night event and a Sunday party for Bar and Restaurant Employees at Seville, and pretty much everyone has an occasion to don a costume—and grab a shot of Fireball—at least once.

GHOULS’ NIGHT: HALLOWEEN AT THE FISH HOUSE
WHAT: Back-to-Back Ladies Nights
WHEN: 5 p.m.-close Oct. 30-31
WHERE: Fish House Deck Bar, 600 S. Barracks St.
COST: No cover, $2 drinks for ladies
DETAILS: goodgrits.com or 470-0003

HELL FIRE AT EMERALD CITY
WHAT: Pre-Halloween Drink & Drown, costumes encouraged
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
WHERE: 406 E. Wright St.
COST: $10 cover, $2 Fireball Whiskey Shots and other Crypt Keeper’s Drink Specials
DETAILS: emeraldcitypensacola.com or 433-9491

HELL BOUND AT EMERALD CITY
WHAT: Halloween Drink & Drown and Costume Contest ($1000 in cash and prizes)
WHEN: 9 p.m.-1 a.m., Oct. 30
WHERE: 406 E. Wright St.
COST: $10 cover for 18 and over
DETAILS: emeraldcitypensacola.com or 433-9491

WHAT THE HELL? AT EMERALD CITY
WHAT: Halloween EC Employee Turnabout Show
WHEN: Doors at 9 p.m. First show at 11 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31
WHERE: 406 E. Wright St.
COST: $5 cover for 18 and over
DETAILS: emeraldcitypensacola.com or 433-9491

BARE MONSTER MASH AND COSTUME CONTEST
WHAT: Bar and Restaurant Employee Halloween Party
WHEN: 8 p.m. Oct. 27
WHERE: Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.
COST: Free
DETAILS: sevillequarter.com

SEVILLE QUARTER’S $1000 HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST
WHAT: Costume contest with prizes for Top 20 costumes
WHEN: Register at 7 p.m., contest at 9 p.m., Oct. 31
WHERE: 130 E. Government St.
COST: $10, 21 and over
DETAILS: sevillequarter.com

SLUGGO’S HALLOWEEN EXTRAVAGANZA
WHAT: Costume contest and live music from Lil’ Wimp, Company of Ghosts, JPEGASUS, MCNC, Week of Wonders, and Paul “The P Funk” Fresh’s Farewell Pensacola Performance
WHEN: 9 p.m., Oct. 31
WHERE: 101 S. Jefferson St.
COST: $5
DETAILS: 791-6501

PENSACON HALLOWEEN PARTY
WHAT: Dia de los Muertos/Cult Horror Movie Theme Party and Costume Contest
WHEN: 7 p.m., Nov. 1
WHERE: Play, 16 S. Palafox Pl., Suite 200
COST: No cover, $2 beer and Fireball Whiskey specials
DETAILS: iplaypensacola.com or 466-3080

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS AT SLUGGO’S
WHAT: Dinner Special and a Movie (Title TBA)
WHEN: 7 p.m., Nov. 1
WHERE: 101 S. Jefferson St.
COST: Also TBA
DETAILS: 791-6501

SATURDAY HIP HOP SHOW AND COSTUME CONTEST
WHAT: Costume Contest and live music from D.P., Cookies and Cake, Sincere Logic, Johnny Panic, and Mad Love
WHEN: 9:30 p.m. Nov. 2
WHERE: Sluggo’s, 101 S. Jefferson St.
COST: $5
DETAILS: 791-6501

Kid-Centric
Some kids (and adults) enjoy a ghost story, but some don’t. Whether it’s exploring a corn maze by flashlight or face painting at the zoo, there are several activities that the youngest and/or most sensitive among us can enjoy, scare-free. Most of the local ghost tours do welcome children, but for those who like to keep the spooky factor to a minimum, the following are events focused solely on the happy side of fall and Halloween.

HALLOWEEN SPOOK-TACULAR AT PMA
WHAT: Kids’ Costume Contest and Halloween Party
WHEN: 4-7 p.m. Oct. 25
WHERE: Pensacola Museum of Art, 407 S. Jefferson St.
COST: $5 per child, free for parents. Open to children ages 5 to 13.
DETAILS: pensacolamuseum.org or 432-6247

BOO AT THE ZOO!
WHAT: Trick or Treat Trail, Bounce Houses, Foam Party, Creepy Critter Touch Station, and Facepainting for Kids
WHEN: 10-4 p.m. Oct. 26-27
WHERE: Gulf Breeze Zoo
COST: $12 for adults, $12 for children
DETAILS: gbzoo.com or 932-2229

DOWNTOWN TRICK-OR-TREAT
WHAT: Trick-or-treating for kids 9 years old and younger
WHEN: 4-6 p.m. Oct. 30
WHERE: Downtown Pensacola, participating businesses will have pumpkin posters displayed in their windows
COST: Free
DETAILS: downtownpensacola.com

SWEET SEASON FARMS CORN MAZE
WHAT: Corn Maze, Nighttime Hayride, Farm Games and more
WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays through November 3; open 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Fridays in October
WHERE: 2260 Horn Road, Milton
COST: $10 a person on Fridays, $8-$10 a person on Saturday and Sunday
DETAILS: sweetseasonfarms.com or 675-3573

HOLLAND FARMS PUMPKIN PATCH
WHAT: Pumpkin Patch and Hayride
WHEN: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays through November 2
WHERE: 2055 Homer Holland Road, Milton
COST: $10 a person for a pumpkin and all activities or $6 for a single pumpkin
DETAILS: hollandfarmsonline.com or 675-6876

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Historical Haunts

Someone had to keep track of Pensacola’s many ghost stories, and in 1990 the Pensacola Historical Society (PHS) effectively wrote the guidebook when it compiled stories from across the centuries in “Ghosts and Legends of Old Pensacola.” That year, the nonprofit also kicked off its annual Ghost Tours, which featured stops at many of the city’s reportedly haunted locales and created the model for what is becoming a minor industry in Pensacola.

“I inherited a lot of the stories, because it has been going on for over 20 years,” remembered Wendi Davis, membership and marketing coordinator at PHS. As part of her job, Davis plans the tours and works to keep the presentations fresh.

For instance, when the long-time routes of the Ghastly Ghosts of North Seville and Tragedy and Terror of South Seville tours began losing attendees to the more risqué Redlight Tours (as they feature stories of downtown’s former bars and brothels), Davis decided to combine the favorite elements of the two into the Spooky Seville Tour.

Not surprisingly, the area surrounding Seville Square is allegedly full of ghosts. Some of the oldest remaining buildings and homes in town are located on the nearby streets, and some of the oldest stories originate there.

Both the Dorr House and neighboring Old Christ Church on Seville Square are old favorites of ghost tour guides. The Dorr House, built in 1871, is reportedly haunted by the spirit of a female and possibly even one or more children—a guide once said she felt someone tugging at her skirt hem when the house was empty; others have seen shadows and returned to a room to find items rearranged. The graves of three Episcopalian rectors were uncovered during an archaeological dig at Old Christ Church, the spirits of which were said to reappear at their reburial.

Across Seville Square, the ghost of a ship’s captain who, legend has it returned home from sea to find his sweetheart had abandoned him, reportedly haunts the Gray House from time to time. These stories are still part of the tours, but other routes have been added in recent years to keep more recently uncovered stories of the dead alive.

“Sometimes people who live in the houses come out and add to it and tell their own experiences,” said Davis of the tour routes. In fact, stories of a few area residents inspired a new tour. Hearing reports of hauntings in buildings on Intendencia Street, Davis and other PHS staff and volunteers researched and came up with enough material to create the now popular Murder and Mayhem tour a few years ago.

Frequently the tours, limited to 30 people, sell out. According to Davis, several of the guides—who are volunteers and must audition for the position—led tours annually even before she took over tour coordination seven years ago. And while the guides expertly present the numerous tales, what guests may encounter along the way adds to the tours’ popularity.

“I think what gets a reaction from people is if, when they’re on tour, someone in the group experiences something, then that really heightens the tour because we don’t have theatrics, we don’t have anything jumping out,” said Davis. “If someone in the group hears something, sees something, smells something, it heightens for everybody. Or if somebody gets a picture—we love when people get pictures and then come show us what they’ve gotten.”