Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our haunted national parks

            Halloween spooks are everywhere these days. No longer is the annual holiday relegated to tykes and teens; the Celtic New Year’s Eve now attracts every walk of life with events held in every corner of this great and ghoulish nation.
            The National Park Service, not to be outdone, is now getting in on the act. There are several fall festivals held throughout the U.S. offering freakish fun — some even hair-raising!
            DeSoto National Memorial in Brandenton, Florida, for instance, will host “DeSoween VI: Return of the Desoween” from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. The event includes “restless spirits, zombies, night creatures, and the most terrifying monster to encounter in the dark, CLOWNS,” according to the park web site.
            I definitely see the connection between Conquistador Hernando de Soto and clowns. Don’t you?
            This terrifying night at the national memorial won’t cost you a dime, either, and is “suitable for ages 7 and up,” they say. For information, call (941) 792-0458 or click here.
            Park rangers with the National Mall and Memorial Parks in our nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., explore the tragedies that have occurred at the Washington Monument with "Strange but True!" from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Halloween night. The event is also free. For more information, call Kathy Kagle at (202) 438-5377.
            Not really scary and not a Halloween event, the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi, offers a tragic step back in time with “Shadows of the Past” beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Tours will depart every half hour until 8:30 p.m. for an evening candlelight walk with historical personalities. The battlefield was the site of ferocious fighting and death so who knows who will be following behind you in the dark.
            For more information on the parks and other events, visit

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