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Fright Night, 2009

The DID 3rd annual Fright Night returns

By Jim Fester

Fort Wayne Reader


Only the brave will want to weather the chilling and electrifying streets of Downtown Fort Wayne on October 24 for 3rd Annual Downtown Fright Night. The young and old will be awed, scared and thrilled at the haunting events only to be found in Downtown Fort Wayne.

Your day of terror begins at the Downtown Library Plaza for Downtown's 2nd annual Zombie Walk. Be thrilled at the costume and Halloween activities at the Grand Wayne Center by WAJI. Get chills from the ARCH haunted bus and walking tours with ghost stories by ARCH in the Indiana Hotel Lobby. Finally, be amazed by Phantom of the Opera at the Embassy Theatre accompanied by the historic Grande Page Pipe Organ. Plus, there's much, much more!

There's a little terror and haunting experience for every age group at the Downtown Fright Night. Don't miss it on October 24, 2009 starting at 4:30pm!

Downtown Zombie Walk 2009
Join thousands of others, including local celebrities, as they take to the streets dressed like Zombies in search of tasty Downtown sweetbread (that's culinary-talk for "brains," btw). All you have to do is wear your tattered best, put on a little Zombie make-up (some will need more than others), and show up at the plaza at the main branch of the Allen County Public Library on October 24 @ 5:00pm.

Several zombified staff members of WAJI Magic 95.1 and COMCAST will lead our army of Zombie's through the streets of Downtown Fort Wayne. After limping for several blocks, you will end up back at the Library Plaza just in time to participate in all of the other scary Downtown events!

T.A.G. Art has generously donated their time (and make-up) to assist those with all their zombie make-up needs. If you arrive between 3:30pm-5:00pm, you can get your face zombified (or painted) by the T.A.G. experts. It's first come, first serve before the walk, so if you're concerned about your zombiness, you want to DIY at home.

As part of the pre-Zombie Walk entertainment, dance instructors from the Steppin Out Studio of Dance will teach you how to do the Thriller dance. The Zombie Walk starts at the main Library Plaza and ends at back at the Library Plaza.

Grand Halloween Spooktacular
The Grand Halloween Spooktacular at the Grand Wayne Center is packed with family-friendly activities — a kiddie costume parade hosted by MAJIC 95.1, and many other fun kid’s activities courtesy of Science Central and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Also, the Grand Wayne Center and The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, present a free Fright Night concert. The “Pumpkin Patch Ring” features 500 handbell ringers performing familiar songs, including selections from the popular Broadway show, Phantom of the Opera. The entire event is free. Don’t forget to wear your costume!

ARCH Haunted Tours
All through the evening, ARCH will be offering their popular tours of Fort Wayne’s spots of historical weirdness and unusual happenings.

The Haunted Sites Bus tours include over a dozen stories featuring downtown Fort Wayne landmarks and true stories of ghostly encounters, creepy places, and things that go bump in the night. Two tour routes are planned again this year, focusing on sites both north and south of the Embassy Theatre. “The Lady in White,” “The Hauntings of Carole Lombard,” “The Mysterious Burial of Dillinger’s Pal, Homer Van Meter,” “The Lost Cemetery,” and “The Bones of Anthony Wayne” are among stories to be featured. Plus, Fort Wayne Dance Collective will be performing "Eaten Alive: 7 Deadly Sins" in McCullough park.

The ARCH haunted bus tours will depart from the Indiana Hotel Lobby at the Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson Boulevard, at 7pm and 9pm. The 11pm Bus Tour will depart from the Botanical Conservatory Lobby, 1100 South Calhoun.

Fright Site Hikes
Don’t feel like riding? ARCH’s Walking Tours Tours begin in the Indiana Hotel Lobby at the Embassy Theatre. The Walking tours will be given at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. The final walking tour will begin at 11:30pm from the lobby of the Botanical Conservatory.
Walking tours will be $5 for adults and $2 for children under 18, and tickets will be available at the door only, on Oct. 24th beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Indiana Hotel Lobby at the Embassy Theatre.

Old City Jail
In other historical creepiness, the Allen County History Center lets you take a peek into the Old City Jail in the basement of the History Center on East Berry. The old jail saw its last inmate in 1971, but the iron cells that witnessed plenty of misery in their day remain. You can also see the noose, bandages, and other chilling artifacts from the 1883 execution of Sam McDonald (including his murder weapon) in the museum's underground level.

Stoner’s Magic Show
At 7, magician Dick Stoner presents a show at the Embassy. Stoner is a bit of a Fort Wayne legend in his own right. His blend of comedy and magic has been entertaining people for years, and not just in Fort Wayne. His career includes performances for celebrities (he was at Muhammad Ali’s 50th birthday party) and stints as the opening act for music groups.

Phantom of the Opera
At 7:30, the Embassy Theatre will show the classic silent film Phantom of the Opera with a live soundtrack provided by Dennis James on the theater’s Grand Page Organ. Organist Dennis James has been in Fort Wayne several times before, accompanying The Black Pirate, Nosferatu, and other silent films live on the Embassy stage.

Late Night Event
For less family-friendly fare… At 9:15 over at the Botanical Gardens you can check out The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Those of a certain age remember when this sci-fi/horror musical was a midnight movie staple at theaters all across the country. Though Rocky Horror has been available on DVD for a while, the Fright Night showing gives people a chance to see the movie the way it was meant to be seen — late at night in an audience full of weirdoes. Doors open at 8:00pm, movie starts at 9:15pm. The movie will be shown outside on the Terrace, weather permitting, so please dress accordingly. Refreshments will be available for purchase. This movie is participatory in tradition and content may not be suitable for all/younger audiences. COST: $2 adults 18+, $1 children 17 and under.

For the latest updated info, visit www.downtownfrightnight.com

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©2018 Fort Wayne Reader. All rights Reserved.