By Jake Myers
Halloween aficionados of all ages can find something to do this season without straying too far from Youngstown State University.
Zombies, hayrides, haunted houses and apple orchards are all to be expected, but what about a light show to songs like “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult or tossing apples to bison and other exotic animals?
Curt Spivey, YSU’s planetarium engineer, and self-professed “light DJ” runs the LED music Nightlights (Halloween) show on YSU’s campus at the Ward Beecher Planetarium.
“It is a full dome production, which means we use our lead projector in the middle of the room that covers the entire dome with the images of the show,” Spivey said. “Our LED lighting system is fully programmable, and I run the lights live to augment the songs and the music.”
Spivey wouldn’t give away all of the songs but he did mention that “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. and “Dracula” by Rob Zombie were among the titles, as well as the aforementioned “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult, which was added this year.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the shows run every Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16-31.
The Ward Beecher Planetarium is also home to The Halloween Show, which is an astronomy oriented show that will run at 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Oct. 17-31.
“The Halloween Show is designed for younger visitors like elementary age and is basically a non-scary show that will talk more about the moon, and is a little more astronomy based, and talks about how you use the North Star to find stuff and is really designed for our youngest visitors,” Spivey said.
Guests are encouraged to wear costumes to any of the shows, but especially on Halloween.
All shows at the planetarium are free and open to the public, however they do accept donations.
“It does cost us money to put shows like this together, and if you like what you see and have a spare buck or two, we greatly appreciate it,” Spivey said.
Michael McGiffin, the city of Youngstown’s director of events and special projects, explained that during the day they are having a Halloween fair for families and kids with hayrides and face painting. The events start at 11 a.m. at the B&O Station Banquet Hall.
“At night they give everybody face paint makeup,” he said. “There are makeup artists, and they make everybody look like a zombie, and it is basically a bar crawl.”
The Zombie Crawl benefits the Rich Center for Autism.
“It is really neat and the attendance is huge,” McGiffin said. “Like, hundreds and hundreds of people and probably realistically close to a thousand people. It is a really totally cool event.”
First up is The Original Haunted Hayride located at Storeyland Christmas Tree Farm, 5148 State Rt. 7 in Burghill, Ohio. Sponsored by the Hartford Optimist Club, all proceeds benefit local youth organizations and community projects.
Dates are Oct. 3, 10, 17, 23 and 24. The non-haunted hayride is $3 per person from 5:30-7 p.m., and the haunted hayride is $7 per person from 7:30-10 p.m.
In the opposite direction, at the Canfield Scaregrounds, is Blood Moon Farm 9 Dimensions of Terror. This Haunted attraction boasts that it takes two full hours to complete all nine dimensions.
More information is available at their website: www.bloodmoonfarm.com.
Dates are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October. The entire terror event is $20 per adult and $10 per child. The hayride is $10 per adult and $6 per child.
Fear Forest on Todd Avenue in Lordstown has an Insane-a-tarium Haunted House.
Fear Forest touts three other attractions: Psycho Path Haunted Trail, Haunted Hayride, with the largest drive through vortex tunnel, and the Forbidden Cornfield Maze.
Open 7 p.m. to midnight every Friday and Saturday in October, and 7-10 p.m. on Sundays.
There are many pricing options — $25 for all four attractions including the Hellevator Lobby attraction; $5 for Forbidden Cornfield alone; $20 for Haunted House, Psycho Path, Hellevator Lobby and Haunted Hayride; $14 for Haunted House and Hayride; $8 Hayride only per adult and $6 per child.
Wagon Trails, located 10 miles north of Youngstown on State Route 193, is home to the areas only safari adventure.
Patrons can take a safari and feed more than 350 animals then hop on a hayride and toss apples to zebras, bison, water buffalo, ostriches and more.
Saturday and Sunday 10-4 p.m., Oct. 3-25. $15.95 for adults, $12.95 for children ages 2-12, and children under 2 years old get in for free.