Texas Travels: Great goblins! Floating coffins

Monday, October 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

By Kathryn Straach / The Dallas Morning News

Scare yourself silly at Halloween-related events across Texas. There's not a ghost of a chance you can get to them all.

San Antonio boasts that it is the site of the nation's only nautical nighttime Halloween observance. The fourth annual Coffins on Parade, sponsored by the Paseo del Rio Association, is Oct. 28 and 31 on the River Walk. An eerie flotilla of river cruisers sets out at sunset, featuring larger-than-life coffins, ghosts, goblins, live dancing and costumed characters and displays. Parade watching is free. Call 210-227-4262.

A haunted street festival featuring the biggest costume party in San Antonio will be across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe downtown from 8 p.m. to midnight Oct. 27. Prize money is estimated to reach $3,500. Information: 210-227-4262.

The Halloween Trilogy will be performed by the Texas Actors Theatre on the grounds of Rose Hill Manor near Fredericksburg at 8 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28. The play is a dramatization of Edgar Allen Poe's The Cask of Amontillado, Rudyard Kipling's The Mark of the Beast and Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost. Tickets are $12 and can be reserved, which is recommended, by calling 830-990-2218.

Ghosts of Galveston

Galveston is celebrating its Third Annual Ghosts of Galveston citywide festival throughout October, with most activities planned for the last weekend of the month.

The Ghosts of Galveston Murder Mystery is Oct. 28. Participants will search for clues at participating merchants throughout the Historic Strand Shopping District. Tickets are $20 per person. Call 1-800-821-1894.

Or walk the Strand on a new island tour called Ghosts Tours of Galveston. The 11/2-hour tour costs $10 for adults and $5 for children. Call 281-326-9773.

The Galveston Historical Foundation will take you on a narrated tour of four historic cemeteries from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 29. Guides will elaborate about the killer hurricane of 1900. Tickets are $5 per person. Call 409-765-7834.

At Stewart Beach, A 'Maze 'N Galveston will transform its giant maze into a Haunted Maze Oct. 27-31. Cost is $6 per person. Call 409-765-7020.

Other activities, such as bag decorating, costume contests and pumpkin carving are planned. For details, call 1-888-425-4753 or see www.galvestoncvb.com.

Park wild life

State parks also are hosting Halloween events. Probably the one with the biggest scare factor is at Palmetto State Park near Gonzales, because the park, with it Ottine Swamp, has its own swamp monster. Really. (Loch Ness just gets better press.)

The spooky Swamp Monster Walk begins at 6:30 p.m. on the Palmetto Trail, but other activities are planned throughout the day; park admission is waived.

There will be live Cajun music from the Swamp Angels, hayrides, a raffle, a country store and a children's art show.

The Haunted Trails of the Brazos program at Stephen F. Austin State Historical Park near San Felipe will be Oct. 26-28.

It features fright-filled hayrides and guided walks through the haunted woods. Hayrides start at 7:30 p.m., with the last ride leaving at 9 p.m.

The fee is $2, but bring a canned food item and pay half price. Call 979-885-3613.

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens will have Horror at the Hatchery on Oct. 28. Area merchants will provide treats for youngsters in a haunted castle."

The entry fee is $1 or a can of food. Another dollar will get you into the haunted pavilion, which will be staffed by the local Theater Company. Information: 903-676-2277.

If you've ever wondered about those scary night sounds in the wild, attend Things That Go Bump in the Night at Palo Duro Canyon near Canyon.

It will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Lone Star Interpretive Center. Call 806-488-2227, ext. 49.

Youngsters can hike the haunted island trail at Martin Dies Jr. State Park near Jasper from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 28. Hikers will get hot dogs, marshmallows and ghost stories around a campfire after the hike. Call 409-384-5231.

Fulton Mansion State Historical Park near Rockport will have a costume contest for kids and adults and games with prizes on Halloween night. Call 361-729-0386.

Longhorn Cavern State Park near Burnet will offer scary half-hour tours in the haunted cavern from 7:30 p.m. until midnight Oct. 26-31. Cost is $5.50 per person. Call 830-598-2283 or 1-877-441-2283.

Spooky guide

Additional paranormal suggestions can be found in a new book that has just hit the stands: Haunted Texas Vacations, The Complete Ghostly Guide, by Lisa Farwell (Westcliffe Publishers, $19.95).

More than 150 haunted places and their ghostly tales are detailed, along with practical information for an otherworldly experience.

A "shiver scale" is included to let you know which are the most haunted locations.

When it comes to ghosts, its sounds like Ms. Farwell is the woman to contact. She is president of the Capital City Ghost Research Society and is an active member of the American Ghost Research Society and the International Ghost Hunters Society. Who else you gonna call?