If you’re a fan of things that go bump in the night, 417-land offers lots of scary fun for all ages.
October in the Ozarks is all about getting decked out in your favorite costume for a plethora of exciting events. It’s about feeling the thrill of a spooky performance from our local entertainers. Or delving into the rich history of our community at one of Springfield’s many haunted locations.
So while you’re picking the perfect pumpkin and filling that candy bowl for trick-or-treaters, here are some of the best ways to get into the Halloween spirit this year.
Explore Springfield’s Haunted Places
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story now and then?
Here are some great places to go if you’re up for a possible encounter with some of Springfield’s best-known apparitions.
Originally built by the Knights of Pythias as an orphanage and retirement community, Pythian Castle was later owned by the military and even served as a POW facility. Today, this graceful mansion plays host to weddings and other special occasions.
The castle is also home to many ghosts and has even been featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures. The current owner tells of hearing a voice saying “Hello” when no one is there. Witnesses also describe unidentified soldiers in military garb and mysterious children playing upstairs.
As home of the Springfield Little Theatre, the historic Landers is a great place to take in a live play or musical. But while you’re there, you may also experience a taste of the unexplained.
Folks describe the spirit of a former stage hand who died by suicide. If you’re standing outside the building, you just might catch a glimpse of him peering at you through a fourth-story window.
Actors have noticed the ghost of a former janitor, who perished in a fire years ago, occasionally returning to watch their performances from the balcony. Employees and patrons often hear the voice of a mother comforting her crying child. But when they approach her to offer help, no one is around.
Located near the Springfield Art Museum, Phelps Grove Park is a great place to take a walk, host a picnic or simply enjoy the view.
But sometimes at night, witnesses have reported seeing a young woman wearing a wedding gown and veil, standing on the bridge located in the park. She is thought to be the ghost of a bride who perished in a car crash, along with her groom, shortly after their wedding.
This three-story Victorian bed and breakfast is a great place to stay if you want convenient access to Downtown Springfield and the Missouri State campus.
But over the years, many guests have encounted the apparition of an unknown woman who makes her home there. Some have heard her speak to them only to find there’s nobody there when they answer. Others have seen her sitting at a table in the dining room or on the bed in their guest room.
Join the Fun at These Halloween Events
In addition to our local haunted history, Springfield offers an exciting variety of ways for kids and grown-ups alike to join in some scary-good Halloween fun.
Jordan Valley Community Health Center sponsors a series of family-friendly community events throughout the month of October.
Head on over to Rutledge Wilson Farm Park on October 28 for Spookfest, from 5 to 8 p.m. Activities include hayrides, corn maze, pumpkin patch, and games. You can also enjoy crafts, food and candy.
The monthlong celebration also includes Trunk-or-Treat events in Lebanon on October 20, and in Hollister and Marshfield on October 28.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On the Square in Downtown Springfield
You and your furry friend are invited to dress up and take part in one of the biggest costume parades in Missouri. The parade line-up starts at 2:30 p.m. in front of Civil Kitchen on the Square. The cost to enter is $2 per person or pet, and proceeds benefit local foster children and homeless pets.
Starting at noon
You and your pooch are also invited to wear a costume and join the 3rd Annual Monster Mash at Bark Yard. Hear live music from Dallas Jones from 2 to 4 p.m. and enter the pup costume contest for a chance to win lots of adorable prizes. Beverages from Mother’s Brewing will be available for your enjoyment. The event raises much-needed funds for Havaheart Rescue.
Starts at 6:45 p.m.
Historic C-Street comes alive every October for this spooky Halloween parade and zombie crawl. Costumed dancers present a riveting performance of Michael Jackson’s classic song “Thriller” at five different stops along the route.
Travel down to Nixa to experience breathtaking aerial performances by kids and teens. Wear your costume and go trick-or-treating through their family-friendly haunted maze, and snap a memorable picture in the photo booth.
Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
The Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents this free annual family favorite to get you in the mood for Halloween. Enjoy classic songs about ghosts and goblins along with bone-chilling spooky sound effects. Costumes are encouraged, so get dressed up and join the fun!
Branson RecPlex Ballfields
Drive down to Branson to get your fill of sweet treats galore at this annual fall celebration of Halloween. Enter the costume contest or try your hand at one of many fall-themed games. Face painting and inflatables also make this a special occasion for the whole family.
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Comic book fans won’t want to miss this unique event at the Discovery Center in Downtown Springfield. Kids and adults are encouraged to arrive in costume for a day of superhero fun.
Meet your favorite characters from Springfield’s own Ultimate Cosplay League and Ghostbusters of the Ozarks. View creative Halloween builds by the Springfield LEGO Users Group. And if you’re a Star Wars buff, be sure to catch an appearance by the 501st Legion Storm Troopers. Tickets are $10 for ages 3 to 15, $15 for ages 16 and older, and free for Discovery Center members.
Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque
Get decked out in your spookiest costume and head to the Shrine Mosque for a night of music and dancing complete with fog machines and strobe lights. Bring your appetite for all-you-can-eat pizza and drinks from the cash bar. Visit the photography and videography stations to capture your own special memories, and enter to win $500 in the costume contest at one of Missouri’s biggest Halloween parties!
12 to 4 p.m.
Judith Enyeart Reynolds School of the Performing Arts
237 South Florence Avenue, Springfield
Theatre nerds will love this delightful afternoon of carnival games, trunk-or-treat and special presentations by Springfield Little Theatre’s performance troupes. Wear a costume depicting your favorite fictional character and have your picture taken as a special keepsake. Admission is $5.
If you’re looking for a totally different trick-or-treating experience this Halloween night, Branson Landing is the place to be. All ages are invited to show up in costume for this annual event. Look for the PUMPKIN signs in the windows of participating businesses to find all kinds of goodies to delight your sweet tooth. You’ll also see TEAL pumpkins for merchants offering Food Allergy Awareness treats or gifts.
If you’re planning a move to the Springfield area, download our FREE relocation guide today!