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Young and old(er) alike, Halloween fun embraced by many

By Joanne Beck
Oct 31, 2022, 10:10pm

Costumed ghouls, princesses, and superheroes took to the streets by 5 p.m. Monday, after several others enjoyed a work day of costumed fun.

Some places reserved their festivities for the actual holiday — versus many that happened during the weekend — including a trunk or treat at Grace Baptist Church on Vine Street, and a Fall Festival party at City Church’s St. Anthony’s site on Liberty Street.

Of course, dozens of homes also opened their doors to giggling trick-or-treaters that seemed to be out in fewer numbers this year. Some households reported handing out less candy -- up to 50 percent less --  and online posters echoed the sentiment of disappointment that so few kids visited them. And that meant, for better or worse, more leftover Twizzlers, Snickers, fruit chews and the like.

Perhaps all of those other events -- haunted houses, trunk or treats, hay rides, carnivals -- on Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- tuckered everyone out. 

Genesee County and City of Batavia staff members felt the fun spirit during the day, dressing up in assorted themes of Old MacDonald had a Farm and 101 Dalmatians, plus a nun, skeleton, hotdog, and even a ladybug graced Ctiy Hall. 

Referee Tammi Ferringer (aka assistant county manager) called the shots in the absence of County Manager Matt Landers, who no doubt was sprucing up the decor at his house during the Human Services meeting.

Top photo of trick-or-treaters on Ellicott Avenue in Bataiva, by Howard Owens.

Photos from Genesee County and City of Batavia online sites. Photo of Tammi Ferringer, above, by Joanne Beck.

Photos: Fall Festival at St. Anthony's

By Howard B. Owens
Oct 31, 2022, 9:04pm

City Church hosted a Fall Festival at its St. Anthony's campus on Liberty Street on Monday, with activities, games, a hay ride, a bounce house, face painting, candy and grilled cheese.

County manager's spooky abode entertains on Halloween

By Joanne Beck
Oct 31, 2022, 8:54pm

There was a cute petting zoo at one house on Allanview in Batavia Monday evening.

However, the creatures looked like they hadn’t eaten in a while — they were nothing but bones.

The display was part of a Landers’ family Halloween extravaganza. From the front archway, towering villain, graveyard, and seasonal blazing orange and purple hues, the county manager’s home screamed all hallow’s eve.

“We’ve been doing it for years, my daughter’s 16 now, and we probably started it 10 years ago when she was six,” Landers said as darkness fell Monday. “I was actually thinking of scaling back, and the kids said no, dad, you’ve gotta do it.”

Placing blame on the kids aside, Landers admitted that he’s “a Halloween nut too.” 

“I love all the scary movies, I love the genre in general, I’ve got to admit,” he said.

Although he didn't don a monster mask to coordinate with the outside setup, he and wife Melissa took a peaceful dive back to the Summer of Love with tye-dye, headbands and free-flowing hair for both.

Photos by Howard Owens.

Photos: Oakfield Haunted House

By Howard B. Owens
Oct 30, 2022, 8:18pm

Things were spooky in Oakfield on Saturday evening with the Oakfield Betterment Committee opening up a haunted house.

Photos submitted by Jamie Lindsley

Photos: Downtown Trick or Treaters

By Howard B. Owens
Oct 30, 2022, 7:14pm

Chris Crocker said about a few dozen cutely-dressed little trick-or-treaters stopped by her store, the YNGodess Shop on Main Street, Batavia, on Saturday to add some candy to their baskets.

Photos submitted by Chris Crocker.

Harvester Center haunted house open for visitors this weekend - if you dare

By Joanne Beck
Oct 29, 2022, 8:05am

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Cody Harloff was caught clowning around Friday evening at Harvester Center.

Of course, the stark white face with black-rimmed eyes and deep red lips didn’t seem quite so jovial as you might expect from a clown, but that’s because Harloff was part of the haunted house on the first floor of 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia.

“I’m gonna give them the thrill and, kind of keep pushing and make them shake a little bit. It's been a mix of reactions. Some people have no reaction. Some people are screaming and running. We've had a bunch of people run through faster than they should be, going through. But it's been quite fun,” he said. “I feel like there's not enough organizations like this in Batavia that do stuff like this. So I think it's just good for them to come and get out. Whether it's, you know, the thrill of Halloween or just spending some quality time and having fun.”

Walk right up, and wait for the heavy metal door to open. An escort will wave you in by rapping his heavy wooden dowel on the door. Once inside, the door slams shut. It’s a first-time haunted house at Harvester Center sponsored by the Just Kings Social Club. It runs through this weekend.

Not to give anything away, but a group of girls just ahead screamed their heads off, albeit, not literally. With each flinch and movement of the key house inhabitants, the girls let out a whelp and scream until finally out the other end with some fluttered breathing. The Batavian asked Chloe Cullington, 13, what got to her during the walking tour of gravestones, creepy residents, corpses, and a very loud noise reminiscent of a massacre-esque movie.

“The clowns, they were the worst,” Chloe said while trying to catch her breath. “And the chain saw.”

Her friend Meki’ayla Vazquez, 15, agreed that the clowns were pretty scary, especially in the hazy darkness filled with fog. “I couldn’t see anything.”

They were in a group of about a half dozen girls, and each one let out a scream during various points throughout the haunted house.

The evening offered up a trunk or treat and hay rides earlier on the street, followed by the Halloween feature inside. Kristyn Thomas greeted visitors as they lined up, estimating toward the end that at least 100 people — youngsters, teens, and adults — came through.

“It’s been steady, with no break. It’s kind of cool because you have people who never had the opportunity to go to a haunted house, other than in Buffalo or Rochester,” she said. “It’s kind of exciting.”

She’s the wife of Victor Thomas, one of the chief organizers with Just Kings Social Club, a civic group that aims to give voice to the black community and raise money to then spread some kindness and cheer amongst local children. The Kings’ initiatives have included backpacks for school and, for this fundraiser, buying Christmas gifts again this season for kids.

“We’re hoping to raise a bunch more money so we can help a bunch more families. We just wanted to find a way that we could do something that we can raise money to really help out on Christmas,” Thomas said. “Hopefully we can, on top of doing what we usually do, by getting toys and donated items and giving that back to the community. Hopefully this year, we'll be able to start a little earlier and have kids actually write to us, and maybe we can grant that one wish. So like, say, if a kid had a specific wish, and he wanted an Xbox, well, this is gonna give us enough money that we can actually grant a wish instead of just donated gifts.”

More details will be publicized, probably after Thanksgiving, he said. Just Kings has a membership of 10 people, all of who work to raise money through activities including barbecues, and now the haunted house. A first-year event, Thomas believes it may be a yearly happening. For the moment, though, he was focused on this weekend.

“Tomorrow is going to be even bigger. There will be live music and different events, the scavenger hunt, so hopefully, it just gets bigger and bigger,” he said. “We really don't have a goal … just to help more kids than we had last year."

The nonprofit assisted nearly two dozen kids and 12 families last Christmas, he said.

He and three fellow members, Ray Williams, Terry Smith and Greg Munroe, worked every night after work to build the haunted house atmosphere. Harvester Center Manager Jared Clark offered the use of the Center, which has a perfect landscape for such a creation — a cemetery across the street and a cavernous building that certainly could stoke one’s imagination.

“Me and a couple of the other guys have been here every day, busting our butts to get this done. So I know our wives and our girlfriends are happy that this is the final weekend because they'll see a little more of us around the house. The way it's going now, it can definitely generate money for our Christmas drive. So if we can get this to go annually, that'd be awesome,” Thomas said. And bring something back to Batavia for Halloween, because there's really nothing other than trick-or-treating, so it’s a different idea.”

The guys had some fun developing ideas for the house, with a barbershop — just where is he going to use that razor? — and a creepy doll room, to name just two. Local companies stepped up to sponsor, including My Cut Barbershop, WNY Concrete Corporation, and Keith Roth Allstate Insurance.

Rob Credi, owner of Pub Coffee Hub, extended his shop’s hours to correlate with the haunted house, reaping him at least another 15 or more customers for the evening. He will be selling Thriller Pizza on Saturday as part of the spookfest.

Saturday’s line-up happens from 5 to 8 p.m., with hay rides for $2, and a scavenger hunt; and the haunted house goes from 7 to 11 p.m. Festivities on Sunday include a House of Bounce activity, hay rides and penny carnival from noon to 5 p.m., and the haunted house from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission for the haunted house is $12 a person.

“So we're just trying to continue something to give these little kids something to do on a Friday, Saturday night that they usually don't get to do,” Thomas said. “We just had a seven-year-old coming through here and he wasn't scared of anything. So if your parents are watching, if you're watching scary movies at home with your parents, and you're watching them with your little ones or whatever, and they're not scared, bring them on down. It's a good time.”

Top Photo: Haunted house occupants are waiting for your visit this weekend at Harvester Center, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia; a group of visitors catch their breath after walking through the spooky exhibit; other creatures look forward to entertaining people on Saturday and Sunday. Photos by Howard Owens.

Halloween photo op for trick or treaters in Bergen

By Press Release
Oct 28, 2022, 1:20pm

Press release:

Monday, Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Harford Livery Museum and the Historian's Office invite you to stop in for a photo while you are out Trick or Treating on Monday night. We have designed a fall-themed backdrop for you to get a quick picture of your ghosts and goblins or have us take a family picture. There is no charge for this opportunity. We hope to see you there!!

Bear-shaped narcotics found locally, parents warned to inspect Halloween treats

By Press Release
Oct 27, 2022, 12:32pm

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department would like to advise the public that "rainbow fentanyl" pills have recently been located in the city of Batavia. The drugs were found in a local gas station bathroom and turned over to officers. The tablets are blue in color and stamped into the shape of a bear. There hasn't been any association between these pills and Halloween, but the department wants to remind parents to check their children's candy before consumption. If any candy is opened, appears to have been tampered with, or looks suspicious, throw it out. If any illegal drugs are located in Halloween candy, please contact the police department at (585) 345-6350. Have a safe and Happy Halloween.


City announces Halloween hours

By Press Release
Oct 26, 2022, 12:33pm

Press release:

The City of Batavia will recognize Halloween on Monday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 9 p.m. Trick-or-treaters should be off the streets by 9 p.m. on Halloween night.

Halloween in Batavia

By James Burns
Oct 31, 2021, 8:36pm

Images from around central Batavia on Halloween October 31st.



Batavia PD sets Halloween hours for trick-or-treat

By Press Release
Oct 27, 2021, 3:43pm

Press release:

The City of Batavia will observe Halloween activities until 8:00 PM on October 31st only.

Below are some tips to keep everyone safe, Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Walk Safely 

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. 
  • Look left, right, and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross. 
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street. 
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. 
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings. 
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. 

Trick or Treat With an Adult 

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.  Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe 
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. 
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. 
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween 

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited about Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. 
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs.  - Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. 
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. 
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. 

As Halloween approaches, cops to increase DWI patrols

By Press Release
Oct 26, 2021, 6:38pm

Press release:

The statewide STOP-DWI Impaired Driving High Visibility Engagement Campaign runs October 30th – November 1st.

This weekend the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.

Halloween is meant to be scary, but not when it comes to driving. When it comes to drunk driving Halloween can turn the roads into a horror fest. While families spend time trick or treating and hosting parties with loved ones, law enforcement officers and STOP-DWI programs across New York State will participate in special efforts to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives.

The STOP-DWI Halloween High Visibility Engagement Campaign is one of many statewide initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.  The Statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign also targets Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day/End of Summer, Thanksgiving, Holiday Season, Super Bowl weekend and St. Patrick’s Day.  Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving. 

Impaired driving is completely preventable.  All it takes is a little planning.

Dwyer Stadium Trick or Treat

By James Burns
Oct 23, 2021, 9:45pm

There was  a Halloween Trick or Treat family event at Dwyer Stadium Saturday afternoon.  This event appeared to be very well attended by the community.  Business gave away candy to the children there was also a bull ride, face painting and pumpkin painting. The children walked through the stadium and infield gathering top shelf candy from tables and booths with different holiday decorations set up by the business that took part in the event. 

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