Halloween is a big deal in Williamson, West Virginia. For many people in the area, Halloween is the real start of the holiday season, and just like Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a time to be spent with family.
Given the community’s passion for the holiday, it is no surprise that folks don’t wait until the end of October to enjoy a variety of spooky, Halloween-themed festivities. This includes haunted houses and showings of movie classics, but most important of all is Spookfest, a Halloween festival. This was the event’s third year, and it’s become quite popular in Williamson. Hundreds came out to celebrate the scariest night of the year on October 27, 2018.
It was a night for kids and adults alike to gather in the name of candy and spooky fun. This year, the event was hosted at the Williamson Field House. The Williamson Field House is a historic building in Williamson that hosts many events in town. The lower level consists of a main floor, which was once used as a gymnasium for children’s basketball teams. For Spookfest, the main floor was packed with hundreds of attendees and vendors. Little boys and girls in costumes ranging from favorite video game characters to witches, clowns, and unicorns swarmed the floor as they trick-or-treated and participated in the scavenger hunt. Teens and adults, not immune to the lure of Halloween fun, arrived in their own handmade costumes to celebrate their favorite holiday.
Parents were enthusiastic about these kid-friendly activities and emphasized the importance of similar events to youth in the area, describing the event as “good, clean fun” and a good alternative to more dangerous activities.
Spookfest was also packed with vendors, selling everything from candy and snacks to their own handmade creations. One vendor, Cardz Creationz, sold a variety of handmade masks. Among them were a variety of hockey-mask style creations designed to resemble the masks worn by the killer in the iconic Friday the 13th franchise. Kearstin Whitt, the woman who creates the masks, says that she is excited to participate in a local event Halloween, her favorite holiday. In addition to selling her masks, Kearstin spent most of the evening elbow-deep in a pumpkin, carving a jack o’lantern. Ashley Marincil, a young artist, set up her easel and worked on a painting while selling her hand-drawn and painted stickers and t-shirts.
The community of Williamson, WV loves a good celebration, and the success of this year’s Spookfest proves it. Though most people came to the event to participate in the Halloween fun, the event also helped to support local businesses and creators. There is not a specific date in mind, but there are already plans to host a fourth Spookfest in October 2019.