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'Spooky Hoot' promotes haunted history of Laughlintown's Compass Inn

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By Cami Dibattista
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Visitors may meet a creepy cook, an unlucky blacksmith and other ghostly characters at The Compass Inn, in Laughlintown. Spooky surprises and hair-raising history lessons await those who explore the former stagecoach stop during “Spooky Hoot” at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 19 and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 20.

“The Spooky Hoot is something different and fun for families to do,” said Tina Yandrick, director of operations of the Ligonier Valley Historical Society.

Cost is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students ages 6 to 17, and free for children 5 and under. Participants are invited to dress up to trick-or-treat for this fun, family event, which is an alternative to the inn's Halloween Hauntings story-time tours.

“This event is geared towards families with children that may not go neighborhood trick-or treating, or to those who enjoy our storytelling nights,” said Roberta Smith proram coordinator at the inn. “If they meet a witch along the way, they are going to collect a treat, but also learn something. I believe learning history should be fun.”

Visitors will see what surprises await in the 1862 room — a portion of the museum that is only open to the public for the traditional November and December candlelight tours — where an exhibit featuring mid-19th century mourners, complete with many original mourning items, will be set up.

“People will experience what it is like to be alive in the fall of 1863 in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg,” said special guest, Joanne Klein of Monroeville.

Klein said she is excited to attend her first event at the Compass Inn and she looks forward to sharing some Victorian items from her personal collection.

“Participants will have a chance to see and touch a bit of history,” she said.

Visitors will learn about superstitions, and make a craft — something that would keep them safe in the 19th century — to take home.

“Everyone will enjoy learning about the past as they trick or treat through the ages,” said Klein.

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