Tag Archive | "Halloween"

‘I ain’t afriad of no ghost.’ Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum offer haunted tours

By Morganne Lennig

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum at the Naval Air Station is once again putting on a haunted lighthouse tour. The Pensacola Lighthouse Association and the U.S. Coast Guard hold the tour every year October.

A wide-eyed girl stared up at one of the most haunted lighthouses in the country.

“Wait, I think there’s still a man up there,” said Julia Creel, 6. “This year I’m scared. Last year I wasn’t.”

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum at the Naval Air Station is once again putting on a haunted lighthouse tour. The Pensacola Lighthouse Association and the U.S. Coast Guard hold the tour every year October.

The two organizations spilt the admission funds evenly. Half of the revenue goes towards the mission of keeping the property maintained and the lighthouse lit. The other half goes towards the Coast Guard relief fund.

Jason Balbuena is the resident paranormal investigator and tour leader for the Pensacola Lighthouse. Balbuena led the tour dressed as popular horror character Dracula.

“Hey! This is my theme song,” Balbuena said as a children’s mix of the theme song from the 1984 film “Ghostbusters” played over the speakers.

He has been participating in the Haunted Lighthouse exhibit for three years, The tours have been given since 2009.

Jed Daleiden is a 22 year old Coast Guard flight student who volunteered inside the museum, wearing a costume to scare visitors.

“It’s been a lot of fun and it’s great for families,” said Daleiden. “Last Saturday, we had a group of people that were terrified the whole way through and we chased them after they exited the tower all the way to their cars with chainsaws.”

Visitors Donna Clark and her son Eric Ireland, 15, are avid watchers of the Travel Channel’s show “Ghost Hunters.”

“I want to see a ghost, that’s why we’re here tonight,” Eric said.

There are many legends that surround the lighthouse, but the most prominent and featured of the tour is of a woman who died in her nightgown after hemorrhaging to death of childbed fever.

Since then, the Lady in White has been seen floating up and down the stairs of the tower and in every room of the lighthouse while ghosts of young children have been seen playing around the grounds.

After guests make their way through the haunted lighthouse, they are encouraged to climb the 177 cast iron steps of the spiral staircase, to the top of the 171-foot tall lighthouse.

“We do a lot of things like this to raise money for the tower as it is very expensive to restore a 154 year old tower,” said Glen Sefcik, collections manager at the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. “It’s survived numerous hurricanes and the Civil War. It’s a treasure here in Pensacola.”

There will be one final Haunted Lighthouse tour given on Halloween night at 6 p.m., located at 2081 Radford Blvd. at NAS Pensacola. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children.

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Tips for a safe and happy Halloween

Security for the upcoming spooky, dark days is a top priority for the UWF Police Department.

Having a safe Halloween as a college student is a little different from what students remember about Halloween when they were children. Gone are the days of remembering to carry a bright green glow-stick. Instead, carrying a cellphone with emergency contacts is recommended.

Police Chief John Warren explained the importance of having emergency contacts.

“Police are trained to look for ICE (in case of emergency),” he said. “We haven’t had much luck with it because most students don’t have it in their phones,” he said. “We want students to add 474-1425 to their contacts. It’s our direct line.”

Warren said there was a “valuable perk” to having the UWF Police Department as a contact.

“Say your car breaks down,” he said. “We can get assistance for you. If you’re in a bad accident, paramedics will call us, and we have access to emergency contacts. We can also contact Student Affairs and the Dean of Students if you need further assistance.”

Lt. David Faircloth, who oversees the Safety Escort Service, elaborated on Halloween procedures.

“If a special event is held on campus for Halloween, a police officer is assigned to work the event,” he said in an email interview.

Warren also mentioned that officers at events will check IDs and that all escorts are on duty for Halloween.

Sgt. Sean Fagan mentioned that during his time at UWF “nothing out of the ordinary has happened on Halloween.”

“Overall, it’s been pretty safe,” he said in a phone interview. “No major crimes have happened or a prank gone wrong.”

Warren did mention some students are mischievous on Halloween.

“Some people in costume jump in front of cars,” he said. “Sometimes, they jump out of the bushes onto the sidewalks and scare students.”

Megs Glasscock
Staff Writer 

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Spirit Halloween costumes spook

The jack-o’-lanterns are carved, the apples are ready for bobbing and the haunted houses are all full of frightful sights and ghostly noises.

The Halloween season also brings the chance to dress up as a different person, species, or character.

The Spirit Halloween store, located at 1650 Airport Blvd. in the Cordova Commons shopping center, is catering to all of the Halloween needs this year.

The Spirit store is open every year in September and October, but it is not always in the same location.

“Unfortunately because of the nature of the store, we change locations every year,” said one of the managers, Sue Spencer. “We’d like to stay in the same place, but they may be renting the building to someone else.  Last year we were in the building that is Petco now.  We try to stay in the same general area.”

Rebekah Fallon, employee of Spirit Halloween, poses in an aisle brimming with Halloween costumes. (Photo by Christie McClung)

Each store opened is owned by a local owner in a temporary franchise setting.

The store offers a wide variety of costumes, from ghosts, vampires, and zombies to princess and fairies.

“This year our most popular costumes are probably the Charlie Sheen, Katy Perry, and the newer versions of the Lady GaGa,” Spencer said. “Zombies are really big this year.”

The costume prices average out around $40, though some sell for cheaper.

The Spirit store is decorated with basic Halloween objects such as cobwebs, giant spiders, zombies, vampires, and popular scary movie characters to help get shoppers into the Halloween spirit.   All of these things are also available for purchase.

“We don’t just sell products,” Spencer said. “We try to create displays that make it more of an experience for people so they can have fun with it.”

There is a  small haunted house at the front entrance to further enchance the scary atmosphere.   The haunted house is a zombie wasteland, full of new robotic zombies and several severed heads.

The display is meant to be a scary and fun treat but is also a way to get those creative juices following and to show customers exactly how to use the products.

Rebekah Fallon is a junior psychology major at the University of West Florida.   She has worked at the Spirit Halloween store for two years in a row.

“I like Halloween a lot,” Fallon said, “and it’s my first job.”

Working with all the costumes makes it difficult to buy for yourself, she said. “I haven’t really decided what I want to be for Halloween this year,” Fallon said, “but I like the raccoon costume a lot.”

Christie McClung
Staff Writer

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