Longwood goes spooky for Halloween carnival

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NATCHEZ — Ghosts, goblins and a few other scary creatures will wander the grounds of Longwood this year in hopes of reviving a Natchez tradition Miss-Lou families can enjoy during the Halloween season.

Those spooky creatures are expected to arrive in droves at the Pilgrimage Garden Club’s annual Longwood Halloween Carnival from 5 to 8 p.m., Oct. 30 at Longwood, located off Lower Woodville Road.

The Longwood Halloween Carnival was originally revived in 2007, but took a short hiatus last year when scheduling issues arose.

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Carnival co-chair Julie Johnson said members of the club came together to ensure the event could welcome area children and adults this year.

“Halloween is such a fun event anyway, but having the carnival at Longwood is such a great way to bring everyone together to celebrate together,” Johnson said. “You have all these activities for the kids, but it’s really something that the whole family can enjoy and be a part of.”

The carnival will feature a variety of games and activities for the whole family, Johnson said.

Carnival goers can handpick a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch and get crafty by expressing their artistic side through a pumpkin painting experience.

A photo booth will be setup for those in attendance to capture their spooky memories.

Carnival co-chair Stacey Heflin said she’s most excited about a new event to the carnival this year the club is dubbing, “the wicked walking tour.”

“We’re trying to bring back the carnival, while adding some new and fun activities to it,” Heflin said. “I’m really excited about everything, but I’m looking forward to seeing how people like the walking tour.”

A cemetery on the grounds of Longwood will be the backdrop for carnival goers to take a tour the likes of which they will never forget.

“Most people don’t know the cemetery is back there, I didn’t even know until someone pointed it out to me,” Johnson said. “The cemetery is creepy on its own, but we’re going to have it all done up and the guides will take a group of kids and parents on the tour as they tell ghost stories with some spooky music in the background.

“There might even be some more surprises along the way.”

Another new game this year will include a mystery bowl game, where carnival goers attempt to guess what creepy, crawly creatures are inside different bowls that are covered.

“The kids have to reach in and decide what is in it,” Johnson said. “We’re just trying to bring some new and different things to the carnival.”

Hotdogs, nachos, homemade treats and other food will be available at the concession stand.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Once in the festival gates, tickets can be purchased to participate in each event. Ticket bundles will be available for purchase at various prices.

Johnson said the festival serves as a fundraiser toward the restoration of Longwood.

Children and adults are encouraged to wear their costumes to the event.

“This is a good, wholesome family event in a really neat setting,” Johnson said. “We’re just really excited to see it get going again.”