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Naper Settlement brings out the ghouls

Living history museum gathering place for the dead on Halloween

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 11:05 p.m. CDT
(Photo submitted by Donna DeFalco)
All Hallows Eve at Naper Settlement is a screaming good time. Vampires and their friends welcome visitors Oct. 19 and 20 in Naperville.

NAPERVILLE – Enter the inner sanctum of Naper Settlement to experience a haunting good time.

All Hallows Eve: Village of Fear will be from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20 at the settlement. The gateway to this night of spooky fun is the seemingly innocent Pre-Emption House Visitor Center at Webster Street and Aurora Avenue.

Tred lightly while moving through the "horrors of the night" as community groups from the Naperville area create a Halloween experience that won't soon be forgotten. All of this excitement is family-friendly, of course.

The thrills have a different look this year. Some of the features are the Magical Starlight Theatre, which focuses on Harry Potter in the Chapel, and don't miss Kidz Kabaret and the haunted schoolhouse, "Too Cruel for School."

Certainly any talk of Halloween must involve a witch or two. Visitors can watch the Salem Witch Trials, or visit a rather odd group of people, who might make them feel at home – the Addams family.

Whether it's torture in the dungeon or a hasty trip to the underworld, visitors will find plenty of eerie things to do. No one will believe it, so be sure to have a photo taken with the creatures there, such as Frankenstein and Mr. and Mrs. Ghost.

Hungry travelers can stop and rest their feet and find refreshment in the Creepy Cafe before venturing out to see Sweeney Todd, Dracula's Lair and the Haunted Mansion. Let's face it, there are things that go bump in the night and they're all at Naper Settlement. No one's "safe" in the entire area, so keep looking over a shoulder.

Something this "bad" needs some good attached to it. Proceeds from the two nights will go toward the Naperville Heritage Society, which administers the settlement.

Let's assume creeping around in the dark may not be the way everyone wants to view Naper Settlement. It does fling its doors open without creaks and groans during the summer season. November through March, the living history buildings are closed, but it's possible to take a self-guided audio tour around the grounds.

In light of day minus screams and scares, the settlement represents 19th century living in northern Illinois in a living history format. History comes alive then; on All Hallows Eve, perhaps not so much. Just ask a vampire.

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