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Halloween dance was a great start for the dance season

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Josh, Jordan, Aries, Morgan Leaton, dance coordinator, and Angie.

Press Release:

Pumpkins and gourds were grouped on the tables; spiders, bats, and witches decorated the room and the lights were dimmed to set the mood. Just about 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, volunteers and many Byron Ladies Auxiliary members dressed in costume prepared to welcome the 50-plus costumed dancers into the hall. 

The dancers were all shapes and sizes and they took pride in their colorful costumes. There were princesses, pirates, firemen, surgeons, prisoners, witches and ghouls. The Halloween dance for Genesee County Adults with Developmental Disabilities in the new season was off to a great start! 

Old friends greeted and hugged while new friends met up on the dance floor. DJ Uncle Joe played assorted country, rock, and pop tunes. He even showed some music videos, while volunteers served up refreshments of pizza, cookies, and cider.

About an hour into the event Pat Iamon, past dance coordinator, turned up the lights, grabbed the mic, and quieted the crowd. She called the dancers into a large circle and led the group in the ‘Chicken Dance.’ Staff and volunteers joined in. The DJ followed that with the ‘Hokie Pokie’.

Iamon then invited all those with October birthdays to come to the center. About nine happy folks came forward and the room joined together singing them the birthday song. The last thing on the agenda was to introduce Morgan Leaton, the new dance coordinator, to the room. The crowd cheered and applauded Leaton as she took the mic. 

Leaton thanked everyone for coming to the Halloween Dance, she welcomed them back to Byron, and announced that the next dance would be on Thursday, Nov. 16. She encouraged everyone to wear their cowboy hat and boots because the November dance theme is Country & Western.

The tunes played on and on while the dancers moved to the music. Some danced as couples, some in groups and some alone. When the crowd heard the intro to the YMCA, two of Byron’s firemen who had donned their firefighter suits earlier entered the dance floor. The dancers happily gathered around them and everyone enthusiastically danced the YMCA!

Too soon the night came to an end and the dancers followed their staff out of the building promising to return. There were shouts of Happy Halloween as they left. The dances are open to anyone with developmental disabilities aged 13 and up residing in Genesee County. If you would like more information or wish to volunteer, please contact Morgan Leaton at 585-815-3157 or

Submitted photo of Nicole and Shelbi as “Barbies in pink.”

Photos: Halloween in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens
halloween in batavia 2023

The trick-or-treaters were out all over Genesee County.  We stopped at the haunted house on Bank Street, Lincoln Avenue, Ellicott Avenue, and Redfield Parkway in the City.

Photos by Howard Owens.

halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
halloween in batavia 2023
This is Diggs.  I made the mistake of asking Diggs, "Have you been getting lots of treats?"  He immediately sat and said, "OK, where's my treat?"
Photo by Howard Owens.

Photos: Halloween at Batavia City Schools

By Howard B. Owens
batavia city schools halloween 2023

Students at Jackson Primary and John Kennedy Intermediate schools went for a trick-or-treat in costume on Tuesday morning, getting treats from police officers, firefighters, bus drivers, and city public works personnel.

The kids at Robert Morris visited a petting zoo, picked out a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch, and enjoyed a snack of doughnut holes and apple cider.

Photos by Howard Owens.

batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023
batavia city schools halloween 2023

Bethany resident who loves Halloween invites public to haunted house and graveyard trail

By Howard B. Owens
bethany haunted house

The fact that Jennifer Cobb's birthday and Halloween fall so close together may be why she has such an affinity for the holiday, Cobb conceded during a tour of the haunted house she, her husband, and children created on their property in Bethany.

"My mom always kind of combined them," she said.

For one of her birthdays in her 20s, her mom bought her a casket.  

"Every year since I was a little kid, I've enjoyed Halloween," Cobb said. "I've always done big, extravagant things. This year, I decided to go super, super big. In the years past, I've built haunted houses out of my parent's garage and let the public in. I was on the news for that in Buffalo. Then we moved out here and did big huge parties, but I'm like, 'nobody's gonna come out here.' It's too much of a drive, and then we were like, we'll give it a shot, and I hope it's gonna be good. So we'll see. But I love Halloween. I love to scare people."

Her birthday is five days before Halloween.

If you visit the Leising Manor and Graveyard, you will start in the house's dining room, where you will gaze upon a rather macabre dining scene, then you will walk through a haunted kitchen and into the expansive back yard into the trails in the woods where you will find ghouls, goblins, witches, ghosts, cadavers and skeletons among the graveyards scattered among the trees.  

Asked why she likes Halloween, Cobb said, "I don't know. I think it's just because it takes people out of their element. Sometimes it makes them really question, 'What drives me, what scares me, what are my fears?' I don't know. I like the gore and the creativity of it. It means something to everybody different. It's just one of them things that you don't have to be a certain religion to like Halloween. You can just like it, you can be young, or old. It doesn't matter. There's no age limit."

The attraction is free, but Cobb said she is asking for donations.

"I'm trying to raise money for a friend who just recently had a fire and lost everything in the fire," she said.

The haunted house is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday and on Halloween, which is Tuesday.  If it rains, Cobb said, "we'll make the best of it."  The address is 9772 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

Photos by Howard Owens

bethany haunted house
bethany haunted house
bethany haunted house
bethany haunted house
bethany haunted house
bethany haunted house
bethany haunted house

Downtown trick-or-treat back again on Saturday

By Howard B. Owens

Last year's successful Downtown trick-or-treat is returning to the business district again on Saturday.

Organized by Michael Marsh of Edward Jones and sponsored by YNGodess, this is the second year in a row that children have been invited to get into their Halloween costumes and visit participating local businesses for tricks or treats (probably treats).

The event runs from 1 to 3 p.m.

Trick-or-Treat Stops:

  • Edward Jones
  • Adam Miller Toy & Bicycle
  • YNGodess
  • My Cut Barbershop
  • Valle Jewelers
  • HUNT Real Estate ERA
  • Creamy Creation
  • GOArt!
  • Eli Fish Brewing Company
  • Center Street Smokehouse
  • Bourbon & Burger Co.
  • Charles Men's Shop
  • The Coffee Press
  • Cinquino's Pizza
  • Eden Café
  • Roman's
  • Geico Batavia – Zachary Korzelius
  • The Spa at Artemis
  • Iburi Photography
  • Batavia Bootery
  • WBTA Radio
  • Main St Pizza Company
  • O'Lacy's Irish Pub
  • Foxprowl Collectables

The following are in/around the City Centre:

  • Main St 56 Theater – City Centre
  • Releve Dancewear Boutique – City Centre
  • LeBeau Salon – City Centre
  • Everybody Eats – City Centre

Remember to Trick or Treat responsibly, organizers remind families.

GC law enforcement makes coordinated effort for STOP-DWI campaign Oct. 27-31

By Press Release

Press Release:

Genesee County law enforcement agencies, including the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department, and LeRoy Police Department will be participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving. 

The statewide STOP-DWI Impaired Driving High Visibility Engagement Campaign runs: Oct. 27 – 31.

Designate a driver. Don’t let alcohol take the wheel. When it comes to impaired driving Halloween can turn the roads into a horror fest. While families spend time with their children 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. 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.

Batavia Police offer Halloween safety tips

By Press Release


Press Release:

The City of Batavia Police Department would like to remind everyone of the following safety tips to ensure a safe and Happy Halloween.


  • Wear bright-colored costumes or attach something reflective to your costume or candy bag 
  • Cross the street only at marked intersections 
  • Follow traffic signals and use crosswalks 
  • Look both ways before crossing the street 
  • Put phones down and watch where you are going 
  • Walk only on sidewalks (where provided, if none walk facing traffic) 
  • Be on the lookout for cars at all times 


  • Drive slowly and stay alert 
  • Look for children at every intersection and take extra time 
  • Back up slowly and check multiple times for pedestrians 
  • Eliminate distractions (put down phones and keep radio volume at a low level) 
  • Make complete stops at all intersections and allow pedestrians to cross the street 

The City of Batavia will observe Halloween Trick-or-Treating activities between the hours of 4- 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31 only.

Nightmare on Bank Street gives the green light to a Halloween scare

By Howard B. Owens
Homeowner David Raines poses in front of residence 209 bank St. - Nightmare on Bank St. Haunted house is in backyard  Photo Steve Ognibene
Creator David Raines poses in front of his residence at 209 Bank St., Batavia, where where he has a "Nightmare on Bank Street" haunted house in his back yard.
Photo by Steve Ognibene

The haunted house experience David Raines has designed at his Bank Street residence can be so scary, he said, that he's developed a red light, yellow light, and green light system so that actors in the attraction know when to tone down the level of fright.

This is the sixth year Raines has opened the haunted house to the public and it's his most elaborate yet, he told The Batavian.

"I've actually lived here for 17 years and I love Halloween," Raines said. "There's nothing like this in Batavia. I've had people say this is the best thing in town. So it just keeps me going."

The haunted house, dubbed "Nightmare on Bank Street," is free, but Raines is asking for donations in order to help cover his cost, and also to help expand the attraction, perhaps in a larger venue in Batavia.

It will be open from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 5 to 11 p.m. on Halloween. The address is 209 Bank St., Batavia.

This year, the attraction has spilled out into his front yard. It also takes up all the space in his back yard.

"This is just something fun that I love to do," Raines said. "I like to see kids have a good time, and adults have a good time and enjoy it. And I like to scare people, too."

Gaines hasn't done all this work by himself. His daughter and her friends as well as his girlfriend, he said, helped with the setup. Work started on the project on Sept. 1.

He explained the red light, yellow light, and green light system, which aren't actually colored lights but him yelling out to actors what light category they're in.

  • Red light: The haunted house is fully lit.  Guests can see all the details of the exhibits and the actors don't try to scare anybody.
  • Yellow light: The lighting is off and the actors tone down the scare factor.
  • Green light: All bets are off. No lighting, full-on scare from the actors. There's also fog, strobe lights, and laser lights.

"Then Greenlight is, you know, you're entering at your own risk," Gaines said. "If you don't come back out, I don't know what to tell you."

And if full scare is too much for you, there are emergency exits.

"I want to say I think I had a couple of people last year ask me where the bathroom was because they were so scared," Gaines said. "I had people running down the driveway screaming because they were scared. So to be honest with you, the more fun that I see the public have the more fun I have."

The Maze inside Nightmare on Bank St.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
The maze inside Nightmare on Bank Street. 
Photo by Steve Ognibene
The Spider Room, Nightmare on Bank St.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
The Spider Room, Nightmare on Bank Street.
 Photo by Steve Ognibene
The cemetery, Nightmare on Bank St.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Photo by Steve Ognibene


David Raines starts building his haunted house early September to have ready two weeks before halloween, Nightmare on Bank St.   Photo by Steve Ognibene
David Raines starts building his haunted house in early September to have it ready two weeks before Halloween, Nightmare on Bank Street.   
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Haxton library to host Halloween party, parade and storytime Oct. 26-30

By Press Release

Press Release:

Halloween Party: Thursday, October 26 at 6:45 p.m.

The whole family is invited to wear a costume and join us for games, treats and a craft! This year we will also have a "Costume Contest". Registration is appreciated. Call the library at 948-9900 to register.

2nd Annual Triangle Park Halloween Parade: Saturday, October 28 at 10 a.m.

Children of all ages are invited to wear their costume and "Trick or Teat" around Triangle Park in the Village of Oakfield. Our Library Volunteers will be handing out candy and we will also have a Halloween photo booth available. No registration necessary.

Halloween Preschool Storytime: Monday, October 30 at 10:30 a.m.

Wear your Halloween Costume for this special Halloween Preschool Storytime. We will enjoy “not-so-scary” Halloween stories and activities and then we will parade around the building for some Halloween treats! This program is designed for children ages 2-5, but ALL ages are welcome to attend. No registration necessary.

The Haxton Memorial Library located at 3 North Pearl Street in Oakfield provides residents a variety of programs, events and materials that are listed on the library’s website at

Byron Ladies Auxiliary to bring back dances for adults with developmental disabilities

By Press Release
Submitted photo of David and Mary at 2011 Halloween Dance.

Press Release:

Byron Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary is very happy to announce that thanks to Morgan Leaton, our treasurer, and her mom, Debra Leaton along with other members of the Byron Fire Department, the Genesee County Dances for Adults with Developmental Disabilities that ended in 2016 are coming back to the Byron Fire Hall at 6467 Townline Road (Rt. 262), Byron. 

Pat Iamon first organized the dances in 2002 and the dances continued for 14 years until her retirement as she lives in FL half the year. However, she will be helping Morgan and other volunteers get the dances up and running.

The first dance will be a Halloween Dance on Thursday, October 19, almost exactly 7 years from the date of the last dance. The dances are from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Folks are encouraged to wear their costumes and prepare for a fun-filled evening!

Unfortunately, Tom Mazerbo our fun-loving DJ passed away several years ago, but Uncle Joe, who was the photographer for many years, will now be acting as DJ. He will queue up some great dance tunes for the evening.

There will be a $5 cover charge (no charge for staff/parents/chaperones). Snacks and beverages will be available. We are asking each staff/parent/chaperone to sign in with their name and the names of the consumers they are bringing as they enter. Individual and group receipts will be available. Proper staffing is required!

The date for November’s dance has not been finalized yet but will be announced at the Halloween Dance. Iamon said, “I’m so happy that Morgan and her mom decided to head up this much-loved, multi-agency community event and I’m looking forward to seeing many familiar faces!”

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to help please email Pat Iamon at:

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

By Joanne Beck

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

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

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

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

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.

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