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Sackets Harbor scares up 2nd annual haunted walk of village

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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 Harbor’s 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. “We’ve had a lot more people coming in saying, ‘Can we be on the walk?’”

Mrs. Elliott said all the event’s 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. It’s 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, we’re 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 band’s 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 community’s 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 they’re busy in constructive ways, there’s less issues everywhere else.”

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The stops at this year’s Haunted Walk of Sackets Harbor:

1. The walk begins at the red barn at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site.

2. The Commandant’s 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.

“There’s additional stuff along the route,” Mrs. Elliott said. “We call them our little spooks and scares.”

THE DETAILS
WHAT: The second annual Haunted Walk of Sackets Harbor
WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and next Saturday and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. The evening of Oct. 27 is designed for young children and will feature trick-or-treating at the tour stops.
Tours will begin at the red barn at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site and continue every 15 minutes.
COST: $5 for adults and $3 for students
OF NOTE: The walk is about one mile and will take approximately an hour.
Free babysitting will be available at the red barn.
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