Halloween In Kansas: A MapQuest Guide
From zombie parades and costume contests to haunted houses and hayrides (to haunted anything!), the Halloween season casts its spell and awakens our inner ghouls and goblins. As part of FrightQuest -- a MapQuest series on spooky destinations and activities -- here are three options to celebrate Halloween in Kansas that are sure to be a scream.
— Joan Bahr
Located about 50 miles from Kansas City on the Missouri River, Atchison bills itself as the "Midwest's spookiest location," a "Holy Grail of ghostly happenings." Activities run through the summer and build into September and October, when more than 200 family- and adult-oriented events are offered. Most noteworthy are the haunted and mystery tours appropriate for children, as well as the adults-only Slumber With the Spirits, a bed-and-breakfast event with a spiritual medium. Prices range from $8 to $10 for various tours and from $50 to $165 for dinner activities and bed-and-breakfast events. Additionally, the nearby town of Hiawatha hosts America's oldest continuous Halloween parade.
Kansas Avenue, Atchison, KS 66002 | Get Directions
Forest Of Fear
Just 30 minutes south of Wichita on Highway 15 in Kansas, the Forest of Fear, open in October, is "not just another haunted house." The complete experience includes a one-mile walk of haunted pathways, viewing of outdoor scary movies and listening to ghost stories around a campfire. It's recommended that small children not attend the Forest of Fear, as its material is "scary stuff" and requires extended walking. Restroom facilities and a snack station are also included with admission, which ranges from $8 to $13.
7446 51st Road, Udall, KS 67146 | Get Directions
Fort Riley Ghost Tours
Fort Riley dates back to 1852, and has a very real -- and bloody -- history. This U.S. Army base, on the Kansas River between Junction City and Manhattan, also boasts a haunted past "where the dead do not rest easily," says PrairieGhosts.com. Every October, Fort Riley Ghost Tours provides visitors with a rundown of the various ghostly legends that abound at this Santa Fe Trail stalwart, such as a woman wrapped in chains and a spectral group of riders, according to LegendsofAmerica.com. Walking shoes are a must, as visitors will tour the base and listen to storytellers share ghost stories and myths of different buildings. Coordinated by the Historical & Archaeological Society of Fort Riley, the free tours begin at Polk Hall on the Main Post; they are stroller-friendly and wheelchair-accessible.
Pleasanton Street and Custer Avenue, Fort Riley, KS 66442 | Get Directions
The Sallie House in Atchison is one of that town's many haunted locations worth exploring on Halloween.
Did we miss a Halloween event in Kansas? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
FrightQuest Special: Former astronaut (and one-time Wichita resident) Leroy Chiao has gone where few men -- or women -- have gone before. And he first realized his space-exploring dreams on Halloween.