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A haunting at Afton's Historical Society

Afton Historical Society member Pam Reuvers developed the idea of having a haunted museum on Halloween night. Reuvers has been responsible for "haunting" the museum.

When the sun goes down Halloween night, the Afton Historical Society Museum takes on a whole different look.

"When you're in a pitch black museum that was built in the 1800s, it's just creepy walking in here," said Afton Historical Society member Pam Reuvers. "When you walk into a building that was built 150 years ago there could be any kind of spirits walking around here."

The Afton Historical Society Museum will be utilizing its spookiness come Halloween night when the museum is transformed into a haunted museum; the historical artifacts will be replaced by ghosts and witches.

"When kids come in, they think there are probably ghosts in here anyway," she said. "It doesn't take much to convince them there's something in here."

The haunted museum will run from dusk - roughly 6 p.m. - until 8 p.m. or until children stop coming.

Admission will be free.

It was Reuvers who developed the idea of having a haunted museum after the Afton Area Business Association decided to host a village-wide trick-or-treat the Saturday before Halloween.

"I said, 'Well let's haunt the museum on Halloween night," Reuvers said. "Let's really scare it up and give the kids a place because there really isn't anything close by."

Reuvers, who has been in charge of designing the haunted museum, said it has been fun to come up with scary scenes in the museum. The main floor will be split into roughly six stations that will include such haunts as a Civil War ghost, a witch and a coffin.

Reuvers said she even found a spooky sound effects CD.

"I'm so excited to play it," she said. "It's really scary - it almost scares me."

Reuvers said she has been visiting some area Halloween haunts to get ideas for the haunted museum.

Since the Afton Historical Society is trying hard to make the experience scary, Reuvers said it probably won't be suitable for everyone.

"It's not going to be for the really little kids," she said. "We don't want to traumatize someone for life."

Reuvers said she has always been a fan of Halloween.

"It brings out the kids in us," she said. "It gives you a chance to relive some of your childhood."

Reuvers said she is hoping to get a pretty good turnout for the haunted museum since everyone likes to be scared.

"It's that tiny adrenaline rush," she said. "It's human nature to want to be a little scared every once in a while to get your blood pumping."

Reuvers said if this year's haunted museum is a success, the Afton Historical Society is hoping to make it an annual event.

"My idea is to have it get bigger and bigger and better and better," she said. "You learn from experience what's going to scare kids."

Afton Historical Society's haunted museum will be Oct. 31 starting at dusk. Those who survive the haunted museum will get a treat. The Afton Historical Society Museum is located at 3165 St. Croix Trail South.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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