SACKETS HARBOR If you want to be scared this Halloween season, the Sackets Harbor Central School marching band invites you to walk this way.
Tales of bloody battles, ghosts, graves, hangings and hauntings are part of the Sackets Harbor Haunted Walk, which began Friday night and continues tonight and Thursday through next Saturday.
For more than 25 years, the Sentinels marching band has hosted a haunted house fundraiser. The popular Halloween tradition raised money to keep the bands uniforms and instruments in parade-ready condition. This year, the band broke with that tradition.
A group of community members sought to take advantage of the villages history and its ties to the War of 1812 to raise funds for the band.
Black-robed students will escort walk participants to eight locations throughout the village, where storytellers in costume will await. Tonights walk is from 6 to 10 p.m. Organizers will host a childrens trick or treat night at the walk stops from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday with the regular tour from 8 to 9 that night. It continues from 6 to 10 p.m. next Friday and Saturday.
There are so many spots in Sackets with colorful histories that we could run the haunted walk for years and never have the same location featured twice, Eileen M. Crandall, a haunted walk committee member, said in a press release. Stories like this abound in many communities, but were pretty sure Sackets has more than its share of creepy, ghostly stories.
Organizers plan to make the walk an annual event. All children under the age of 12 must be accompanies by an adult. The walk takes about 70 minutes, beginning at the battlefield and ending at the Augustus Sackett Mansion, which now houses the Sackets Harbor Visitors Center, on West Main Street. Tours leave approximately every 15 minutes from the red barn at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site.
The battlefield has attracted ghost hunters and paranormal investigators for years.
Walking through the battlefield in the dark is a very different experience than it is by daylight, Mrs. Crandall said.
Other walk content is based more on local lore and legend, Mrs. Crandall said.
Weve weaved together some historical fact, some eyewitness accounts and some legends that have not been authenticated in any manner, said Mrs. Crandall.
Some of the stories weave in first-hand accounts from current village residents who experience something unusual while other stories are older and may have been embellished over time, Mrs. Crandall said.
No one knows for sure, she said. We arent the judges of any of that. Were just sharing a few ghost stories in the settings of their source.
The eight stops on the Sackets Harbor Haunted Walk:
1. Monument near the red barn on the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site.
2. Pickering-Beach Museum, 501 W. Main St.
3. The former Union Hotel, now the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center, 401 W. Main St.
4. Sentinels bandstand, near the village dock.
5. Tin Pan Galley, 110 W. Main St.
6. Woolsey Manor Bed and Breakfast, 206 E. Main St.
7. United Presbyterian Church, Main and Broad streets.
8. Augustus Sackett Mansion (Sackets Harbor Visitors Center), 301 W. Main St.