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'Spook-tacular' events planned in Monongahela

Jim Ference | Trib Total Media
Susan Bowers of the Monongahela Historical Society gets set to lead the annual Candlelight Ghost Walk in Monongahela.

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Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Susan Bowers spent Halloween 2011 in Salem, Mass.

“Salem was the best vacation,” Bowers said. “People are crazy up there. They all dress up.”

It was the fitting trip for the woman who has been hosting ghostwalks in her hometown of Monongahela every October since 1998.

This Halloween season is no exception. With the backing of the Monongahela Historical Society, Bowers is expanding the fun with Spook-tacular October. It will feature the annual candlelight ghostwalk along with a variety of other new haunting events.

Mayhem & Magick on the Mon Masquerade Ball

One of those events will be the “Mayhem & Magick on the Mon Masquerade Ball.”

The masquerade ball was patterned after a similiar event held at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Mass., which Bowers attended during her visit.

The masquerade ball is set for 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Monongahela Country Club.

Prizes will be given for the best costumes.

Live music will be provided by Shot O'Soul.

Tickets for the limited space event are being sold for $35 and benefit the historical society, as do all of the events being planned in October.

Bowers originally conceived of the idea of the ghostwalks from similar events in Gettysburg and Williamsburg. Every year, she adds new stories told to her.

“I love Halloween,” Bowers said. “I'm scared of everything and I love it. Go figure.”

Bowers has expanded the ghostwalks. There is the original walk, in which Bowers tells her original tales of ghost sightings in downtown buildings.

Tickets are $10.

Candlelight Ghostwalks

The Candlelight Ghostwalk II is new this year, with expanded tales from additional homes added to the tour. Tickets are $10.

The annual Candlelight VIP Ghostwalk I concludes with hors d'oeurves and refreshments at one of Monongahela's historic homes. The current residents of the homes provide the ghost tales.

Tour dates are Saturday and Oct. 19. The cost is $25 per ticket.

The annual Candlelight VIP Ghostwalk II is also new this year. This is an expanded version of the original VIP tour. Tour Dates are Saturday and Oct. 19. The cost is $25 per ticket.

Each of the ghost walks begin at 7:15 p.m.

During the Spell-a-Bration Full Moon Ghostwalk I, tour guides will demonstrate activities that are celebrated by witches, Bowers said. All activities are “for entertainment purposes only,” she noted. Tours will be held Oct. 18 at a cost of $15.

In the “Supernatural Creatures – History and Myths” – tour, guides will entertain guests at Chess Park with stories featuring the origin of supernatural creatures such as vampires, zombies, and were-wolves, for example, Bowers said.

Set for Friday and Oct. 25, the cost is $15.

All event participants must meet in Chess Park in Monongahela Tours are not recommended for children under 10, Bowers said.

The Spell-a-Bration events begin at 7:15 p.m. Supernatural Creatures begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased on line at Private group tours of 10 or more can be arranged in advance.

Aside from benefitting the historical society, Bowers said plans the Halloween events as her gift to the people of the community she loves.

“Life is so serious,” Bowers said. “I want the people of town to just have one day to come out and just have fun.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

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