Halloween is coming to Piatt Castle Mac-A-Cheek


WEST LIBERTY — The Mac-A-Cheek Foundation for the Humanities (MFH) ends its 2022 event season with two autumn experiences at Piatt Castle Mac-A-Cheek located at 10051 Township Road, West Liberty. One is an outdoor experience suitable for youth and families and the other is an indoor performance of spooky stories and poems for teenagers or adults.

All ages are welcome to enjoy the autumnal setting of the lawn behind Mac-A-Cheek Castle flanked with cornfields and woods where guests can participate in Autumn Games and Halloween Customs on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. Anyone who brings a carved or decorated pumpkin will receive free admission to the event if they are willing to leave the pumpkin behind to decorate the outside of the castle. Tickets are $5 for youth ages of 5-15 and $10 for adults at this event sponsored by the MFH, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Those with a MFH membership will receive a 20% discount. Tickets are available in advance at www.piattcastle.org or at the event on Oct. 23, starting at 3:30 p.m.

In case of rain, activities will be held inside a tent.

Participants at the program on Oct. 23 will celebrate autumn by making decorations and toys from objects of nature, bobbing apples on a string, exploring “corny facts and kernels of knowledge,” a giant interactive quilted corn with husks and playing a bean-bag toss game inspired by an 1880s poem by James Whitcomb Riley about the sights and sounds of rural autumn, “when the frost is on the punkin, and the fodder is in the shock.” Historical Halloween customs will be introduced through storytelling. Weather permitting, the group can enjoy a bonfire and complete the afternoon with a pumpkin procession and trick ‘or treat at the front door of the castle.

For anyone 15 or older who enjoys a scary story, “The Family Haunt ” offers a reader’s theatre performance in the 19th century drawing room of Mac-A-Cheek Castle. The Oct. 31 date has sold out and the MFH announced an encore performance on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required and available at www.piattcastle.org.

This one act performance features a ghost story, “The Haunted House,” a poem, “My Ghost” and scenes from actual 19th century séances. The authors are three members of the Piatt family who lived in the 19th century along with Dr. N.B. Wolfe, a scientist interested in spiritualism. Blended with musical transitions, audiences can consider hauntings as daylight transitions into darkness. The cast includes Bellefontaine and Dayton actors; Logan Boggs, Suzanne Dennis, John Lemming, Sandy Lemming, Linda MacGillivray and Scott Stoney. Stoney is a founding member of the Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, who partnered with Margaret Piatt in scripting and directing the performance.