SACKETS HARBOR Stephanie J. Elliott has been the target of spooky stories since last year when she and others decided to try something new as a school fundraiser.
The 2012 Haunted Walk of Sackets Harbor raised about $7,000. The event featured costumed volunteers posted at locations around the village telling creepy tales based on historic Sackets Harbor events and characters. Its success gave organizers the spirit to schedule the second annual Walking Tour of Sackets Harbors Darker Past from Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 27.
The popularity of the walk is reflected by the many tales told to Mrs. Elliott, a co-organizer of the event.
They say, Did you know...? and Did you hear?..., Mrs. Elliott said. Weve had a lot more people coming in saying, Can we be on the walk?
Mrs. Elliott said all the events storytellers are adults.
All of our stories start in fact, she said. They are all based on real people who lived here on the properties that we stop at. Its about real people, real places and real sightings, but then, you know, we add to it.
Last year, the walk benefited the Sentinels marching band.
This year, were expanding that and making it all inclusive of all the arts in the school, Mrs. Elliott said.
She said art teachers and art students, along with the marching band, chorus and theater groups, are playing a large role in the haunted walk, which last year replaced the marching bands annual haunted-house fundraiser, a Halloween tradition in the village for more than 25 years.
People have always been supportive of our school, Mrs. Elliott said. Having our own school is part of our communitys identity.
She said the importance of funding for the arts in the schools was reflected in May when Sackets Harbor Central High School music teacher Paul J. Buell directed a high school musical. Such a production had not been staged by students at the school for several years. Into the Woods was presented at Lake Ontario Playhouse.
We were sold out every night, Mrs. Elliott said.
She added, I think when people see that kids are busy and theyre busy in constructive ways, theres less issues everywhere else.
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The stops at this years Haunted Walk of Sackets Harbor:
1. The walk begins at the red barn at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site.
2. The Commandants House at the battlefield.
3. Pickering-Beach Museum, 501 W. Main St.
4. The former Union Hotel, now the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center, 401 W. Main St.
5. A mystery stop.
6. The Sackets Harbor Bank building at the corner of West Main and Broad streets.
7. The George Sacket House, 106 S. Broad St.
8. The Augustus Sackett Mansion (Sackets Harbor Visitors Center) at 301 W. Main St.
Tours will leave every 15 minutes, starting at 6 each night. Walkers will travel in groups of five to 20 people. High school students, wearing black, hooded cloaks and carrying lanterns, will lead the way.
Theres additional stuff along the route, Mrs. Elliott said. We call them our little spooks and scares.