It was late October of 2016. The month long celebration honoring the filming of “Halloweentown” in St. Helens had been growing in excitement every weekend. With Halloween itself around the corner, the energetic pulse of the city was escalating to fever pitch – combining local enthusiasm, waves of tourist attention, family friendly events, and creepy shapes moving in the night. If you recall 2016 was the year that hundreds of eerie clown sightings were happening across the nation, with a number spotted here in town. The Autumn chill carried hints of other dark things being shaken loose beneath the surface.
With this atmosphere around town, people were paying more attention to their surroundings than ever. Reports began of strange shapes moving among the trees in McCormick Park; of creatures watching cars and pedestrians along Old Portland Rd.
More than just movement in the dark was being reported. Ghostly lights and inhuman calls were coming from deep in the undergrowth. A mysterious fog oozed out once the sun was down, and covered the nearby bridge.
Nights in the park had been quiet for months, after the city began closing McCormick Park’s campgrounds at sunset earlier that summer. But as late October approached this nighttime quiet began to change.
It was eventually discovered that ShoeString Community Players was hosting an extremely unique tour of the park after hours, introducing guests to “Scarecrows! Tales in the Dark”. This adventure into the darkest trails of St. Helens took courageous souls among the spindly trees and swampy ground. On this tour travelers were able to uncover the twisted history behind the town’s scarecrow decorations. Along the darkened trails, the bravest among us could learn the true & forgotten purpose of why the scarecrows are put up every October. Those bold enough to take this tour last year came face-to-face with the hungry forces that the scarecrows protect us from… and hear from previous residents of St. Helens who were not lucky enough to make it out alive.
We find ourselves here again. Once more it grows late in the month of October. The scarecrow decorations are in place all around town, as is tradition. The excitement and haunting atmosphere has returned to St. Helens, and Halloween is right around the corner. Shapes are moving in McCormick Park after dark again. Haunted spirits and a more malevolent presence.
Gather your courage, gather your friends & your loved ones, and check out ShoeString Community Players’ presentation of the Haunted Tours in McCormick Park – “Scarecrows! Tales in the Dark”. An outdoor scare experience, unique to one of our city’s creepiest parks, with tales to be told on October 27 & 28. First tour at 7pm, and last tour at 10pm. Tours take place every 30 minutes – please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled time.
Will you brave the damp & cold of McCormick Park’s trails this year?
Are you willing to learn what hides behind the festive and sometimes silly decorations put up all across the city?
Will the scarecrows protect you, or take you to join them in the dark?