Trick or treat night Thursday in Hillsboro will feature two free events near the center of town — a haunted house in the Times-Gazette offices and the annual Boo-Fest sponsored by Buckeye Country.
The haunted house, sponsored by the Hillsboro Uptown Business Association (HUBA), will once again be hosted in The Times-Gazette Community Room, and will feature new spooky displays this year. HUBA member Ann Morris and her middle school and high school helpers teamed up with retired deputy sheriff Steven Conrad to bring even more Halloween cheer for what Morris said will be the haunted house’s fifth or sixth year.
”There are a lot of new props this year,” Morris said.
Conrad has been building what he calls his “entourage” of Halloween items for about 25 years. In the beginning, Conrad told The Times-Gazette he started setting up Halloween displays in his two-car garage, but soon his collection outgrew the garage.
”I outgrew the garage so I got a 20-foot by 30-foot event tent. I think last year I had some stuff on my back porch, too,” Conrad said. “So I have a garage and an event tent full of Halloween displays.”
This year, Conrad brought some of his collection to The Times-Gazette Community Room, including a wolfman in a pen and a life-sized headless horseman. The haunted house will also feature strobe lights.
“Just come and have fun,” Morris said.
As always, the haunted house will be free, Morris said. The haunted house will be open from 5-7 p.m. The Times-Gazette is located at 108 Gov. Trimble Pl. in Hillsboro.
Boo-Fest, sponsored for at least 18 years by Buckeye Country and WSRW, will be held at the same time on Governor Trimble Place — unless the weather is not good. Then it will be held in either the former Hillsboro fire station at the corner of Governor Trimble and North High Street, or the Hillsboro Orpheum at 135 N. High St., according to Buckeye Country’s John Barney.
Boo-Fest will include a costume contest judged by the Mowrystown Lions Club; a free ticket promotion that will see the winner receive two tickets to concerts, events and destinations for an entire year; a visit by Brimstone Haunt, a haunted house held at the Renaissance Festival site near Waynesville; and about 20 local businesses passing out candy.
The costume contest will begin around 5 p.m. There will be three age groups with prizes for each one.
“When I came back to Hillsboro and started working at the radio station, Ernie Blankenship pulled me aside and said, ‘This community has been very good to you. You use the radio station and its audience to make this community better,’” Barney said. “So Boo-Fest is just a night to have some fun.”
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.