Halloween thrills and chills abound in Northwest Indiana

PUBLISHED IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE SEPTEMBER 30, 2015

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October means there are plenty of Halloween activities, includinghaunted houses, pumpkin patches and other family-friendly fun, going on in Northwest Indiana. Check the web site for detailed descriptions, coupons, rules and restrictions and any other info you don’t see here.

Burns Harbor

Pumpkin Fest, 4:30-8 p.m. Oct. 17

Lakeland Park, 1200 Lakeland Park Drive. Free admission. 219-787-8126,www.burnsharborpark.org

Pumpkin painting, food, music, games and more. There also is the Pumpkin 5K Dash; $20 entry fee includes T-shirt.

Cedar Lake

Haunted Halls of Hanover, Oct. 17-25

Hanover Central High School, 10120 W. 133rd Ave. 219-374-3800;facebook.com/pages/Haunted-Halls-of-Hanover/161009843989784?sk=wall

Tickets, $5. This is the high school from hell. Transforming the gym into a haunted house, the Haunted Hills of Hanover is sure to spook and be frightening.

Chesterton

“Howl”oween in the Dunes: Starting at 10 a.m. and going into the nightOct. 31

Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600N 25E. 219-926-1952;www.indianadunes.com/events/?paging=4

Tickets, $7 for Indiana residents, $12 for out-of-state residents. Highlights include 10 a.m. Spooky Sounds Hike, 5:30-7 p.m. hayrides and 6 p.m. Pet Cemetery Night Hikes.

Crown Point

Pumpkin Fest 1-4 p.m. Oct. 4

Courthouse Square, www.lakecourthousefoundation.org/

Pumpkin Walk 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 24

Courthouse Square, www.lakecourthousefoundation.org/

Children can trick-or-treat at Courthouse Square businesses.

Old Sheriff’s House and Jail Haunted House. Oct. 16-31

226 South Main St.. 219-663-3765; www.oldsheriffshouse.org

Tickets, $10. Bank robber and gangster, John Dillinger, made a fantastic escape from this jail in 1934. Many others have spent time at the jail; would you join them at the haunted house?

Dyer

Elzinga Farm Market Pumpkin Patch, Oct 1-31

1587 Joliet St. 219-865-1181; elzingafarms.com/

Tickets, $4 for corn maze. This family-owned greenhouse and farm has been in operation since 1955. Find cornstalks, mums, hay bales, Indian corn, pumpkins, and fall flowers. Elzinga Farm Market also has a four-and-a-half acre corn maze and hayrides all October.

Hammond

Hessville Zombie Crawl: Starts at 6 p.m. Oct. 17

Begins at Pioneer Tap, 6826 Kennedy Ave.www.facebook.com/hessvillezombiecrawl

A $10 band can be purchased for rides between all stops. Various taverns are participating. Haunted house and band. Food trucks.

Reaper’s Realm Haunted Attractions, Oct. 11-Nov. 1

626 177th St. 219-853-0518; www.reapersrealm.com

Tickets, $10-$35. The haunted house set in a 1920s stone mansion with three floors of terror and fright. Lurking around every corner is a damned spirit or demon sure to fright.

Highland

Kids Halloween Party, Oct. 9

Immanuel United Church of Christ, 2201 Azalea Drive. 219-924-2100;www.immanuelucchighland.org

This free children’s Halloween party starts at 6:30 p.m. It will have games, snacks, crafts and a costume contest. Instead of charging an admission, children are encouraged to bring a canned good to participate in the food drive.

Scheeringa Farms and Produce Petting Zoo and Hayrides, to Oct. 31

9436 Cline Ave. 219-838-6360; scheeringafarms.net

A farm stand with pre-picked pumpkins, a petting zoo, hayrides and a pumpkin bounce house.

Hobart

County Line Orchard, to Nov. 1

200 S. County Line Road. 219-947-4477; www.countylineorchard.com.

Tickets, $1-$10. This popular family destination offers u-pick and pre-picked apples, pumpkins, train rides, a corn maze, a child-size hay bale maze, gift shop, hayrides and a petting zoo.

Johnson’s Farm Produce, to Nov. 1

8960 East Ride Road. 219-962-1383; www.johnsonsfarmproduce.com/

Free admission. This family-friendly farm features a pumpkin patch, pumpkin express, pumpkin bounce house and hot apple cider.

Lake Station

Halloween in the Park, 5-9 p.m. Oct. 30

Riverview Park, 2701 Ripley St. 219-962-7508, www.lakestation-in.gov/parks.html

Tickets, $5-$6. Haunted hayride, decorated shelters. Children can come in costume, and will receive a treat at each shelter. Tickets cover the hayride, and a hot dog, chips and drink. Tickets can also be purchased separately for the hayride and food items for adults and children 12 and older.

Lowell

Kregel’s Pumpkin Patch, to Oct. 31

7705 W. 159th Ave. 219-690-1503; www.kregelspumpkinpatch.com.

Tickets, free admission; activities cost extra. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. A tractor-drawn hay wagon takes you out to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins. There are also two corn mazes, pony rides, the barrel train ride, a pumpkin slingshot and pedal cars.

Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch, to Oct. 31

17904 Grant St. 219-440-2386; www.harvesttymefun.com.

Tickets, free admission; activities cost extra. The three-acre corn maze’s design honors Lowell’s very own hometown hero, fallen Officer Nick Shultz. There will be a flashlight maze from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 2-3 and 9-10. The 2015 season brings four new attractions, including a jumping pillow, an exotic petting zoo, pony rides and a bird encounter. That goes along with hay rides to the pumpkin patch, giant slides, a play land, kiddie rides, corn cannon, a corn sandbox, kiddie pedal tractors, gem mining village and sweet shop.

Michigan City

Boo at the Zoo, Oct. 24

Washington Park Zoo, 115 Lake Shore Drive. wpz.alysondepp.com

Tickets, $6-$7. Trick-or-treating among the animals, and a chance to wear costumes. Area businesses sponsor booths along decorated zoo paths and distribute candy.

A Victorian Hallow’s Eve, 1-4 p.m. Oct. 31

Barker Mansion, 631 Washington St. $2; those arriving in costumes admitted free. 219-873-1520, michigancitylaporte.com

Celebrate Halloween as residents of the mansion would have done more than 100 years ago. Victorian-era games and traditions will be featured.

Munster

Pumpkins, Witches and Hayrides, Oh My! Oct. 3

Centennial Park — North Lot, 900 N. Centennial Drive. 219-836-7275;www.facebook.com/munster.parks1

Free admission. Following the Monster Dash, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the city of Munster will be hosting a costume parade with prizes for best costume, trick or treating with local businesses, a hayride, pumpkin patch, face painting, a petting zoo, bounce house, and more. A $10 wristband is required for some activities.

Portage

Haunted Hills Hospital. Oct. 19-31

6112 Old Porter Road. 219-763-8020; www.hauntedhillshospital.com

Tickets, $8-$20. Haunted Hills Hospital is where the psychotic prisoners who were too evil for a mental facility were sent to rot away. Come see the sickest patients in this haunted house and hope to make it out alive.

Haunted Hayride. Oct. 22-24; www.inportageparks.com/annual-haunted-hayride-2/

Woodland Park, 2100 Willowcreek Road. 219-762-1675

Tickets, $3. Join the city of Portage for the annual haunted hayride from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Not recommended for children ages 2 and under.

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Porter

Boo Bash! 1-3 p.m. Oct. 25

Hawthorne Park Community Center, 500 Ackerman Drive. 219-921-1687,www.townofporter.com

Games, prizes, doughnut decorating, snacks, costume contest.

St. John

Boo Bash, 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 17

Prairie West Park on 93rd Avenue. 219-365-6465, ext. 4; www.stjohnin.com

Tickets; free, preregistration required. For St. John children 2 to 6 years old; games, miniature train rides, treats, pumpkins, a chance to wear costumes.

Schererville

Halloween Stories and Campfire, 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 28

Schererville Community Center, 500 E. Joliet St. www.schererville.org

Tickets, free. Spooky tales around a campfire, courtesy of Northwest Indiana Storytelling Guild. Snacks will be provided; concessions will be available. In case of bad weather, the event will be moved inside the Schererville Community Center.

Valparaiso

Action Con, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 31

Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road, Washington Township near Valparaiso. 219-380-4440, www.actionconvention.com

Tickets, $10. A convention featuring comics, collectibles, cosplay and toys. In attendance will be Tom Sullivan, creator of special makeup effects for 1981’s “The Evil Dead.” Sullivan will sign autographs, sell his prints and display cinematic props.

“The Addams Family, the musical” Oct. 2-18

104 Indiana Ave. 219-548-9137; www.memorialoperahouse.com

Tickets, $18-$21. They’re creepy and they’re kooky. Join the favorite weird family for Halloween for a howling good time.

Amhurst Asylum. Oct. 2-Nov. 1.

228 S 500 W. 888-813-4571; www.amhurstasylum.com

Tickets, $20. Hours are 7-10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays; 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Kids day noon-3 p.m. Oct. 25. The Amhurst Psychiatric Hospital was shut down over four decades ago. Guests of this haunted house can peek into what life was like under Dr. Amhurst’s reign.

“Young Frankenstein: The New Mel Brooks Musical:” Oct. 9-Nov. 1

Chicago Street Theatre, 154 W. Chicago St. 219-464-1636,www.chicagostreet.org

Tickets, $17-$30. Rollicking stage version of “Young Frankenstein” — Mel Brooks’ 1974 movie. Oct. 17 performance will be preceded by a 6:30 p.m. costume party. Cost is $40. Price includes 8 p.m. performance of the musical. The party will offer the chance to have photos taken with television personality Svengoolie, who is portrayed by Rich Koz. Party also features food, cash bar and costume contest.

Taltree Haunted Railroad and Fall Festival, Oct. 1-31

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, 450 W 100 N. 219-462-0025;www.taltree.org

Tickets, $5-$10 for nonmembers over the age of 4. This family friendly event is spooky with skeleton conductors, ghost passengers, spiders, and haunted houses for the entire month of October.

Wanatah

Guse Corn Maze Pumpkin Patch, to Oct. 25

14685 S 600 W. 219-733-9346; www.gusechristmastrees.com

Tickets, $7.50. Pumpkins are abundant at Guse. They are for sale in the shop or farm stand, u-pick in the field, and some in the pumpkin patch that have been gathered from the field. Other attractions include train rides, a corn maze, pie pumpkins, horse-drawn hay rides, tractor-pulled hay rides, a gift shop, and a concessions and refreshment stand.

Westville, Ind.

Coulter’s Pumpkin Farm, to Oct. 31

5433 S. US Highway 421. 219-785-2406; www.coultersproduce.com

Tickets, free. Pumpkins cost 20 cents per pound. Free hay rides to the pumpkin patch to choose your own pumpkin. They also have a kiddie corn maze, pony rides, face painting, four-acre corn maze, concessions and fall decorations.

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Whiting

Wickedly Whiting Oktoberfest Festival, Oct. 10

Clark & 119th Street. 219-659-0292; www.whitingoktoberfest.com

Tickets, free admission. The festival features a block-long post-apocalyptic scene, complete with zombies everywhere. The spooky festival includes a children’s costume contest, an up-close reptile experience, a magic show, a howl at the moon contest, and a showing of the movie “Night of the Living Dead.”

Beth Casey and Bob Kostanczuk are freelance writers.

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