Local Matters

Community Sponsors


September 23, 2020 - 2:37pm

Top photo taken in January.

Submitted photos and press release from the Batavia Cemetery Association:

With heavy hearts and out of an abundance of caution, the Batavia Cemetery Association Board of Directors decided to cancel the annual Halloween Candlelight Ghostwalk for Oct. 24.

After much discussion, the board felt the safety of the reenactors and the public could not be guaranteed during the coronavirus pandemic when people must stand so closely together to hear the presentations. 

This is a financial blow, as the ghost walk is a major yearly fundraiser for the upkeep of the cemetery. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and the cemetery has suffered great losses as well.

One of the oldest maple trees in the cemetery, and probably in Batavia, was felled by winds in January. It is reckoned the tree was approximately 200 years old. During the same storm, a large branch came down from another maple in front of the Ellicott Monument and that tree needs to be removed.

Several headstones were damaged and need repairing.

Earlier this month, a large maple along the driveway was split in half by high winds and took down two new maple trees on the other side of the driveway that were planted several years ago. It has cost several thousand dollars so far to remove three large trees.

Three other maples that have reached the end of their lives and three ash trees that have been killed by the Emerald ash borer must be removed to prevent further headstone damage. 

The board hopes to remove the dead trees this fall and begin a project next summer to grind out the stumps and replace the stately maples along the driveway. To accomplish this will require community help.

Any donations would be gratefully accepted, and may be made to Batavia Cemetery Association, 22 Fisher Park, Batavia, NY 14020. 

Please come and have some spooky fun in October, 2021 at the next Halloween Candlelight Ghostwalk!

Below, another photo from January.

Below, photo taken this month.

Below, another photo from taken this month.

September 15, 2020 - 3:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Halloween, Public Health Director, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.


Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s not banning door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween (Saturday, Oct. 31), “boys and ghouls” of all ages are being advised to take care to avoid a spread of the coronavirus to their neighbors.

“It is important to remember COVID-19 is still an issue locally and we are also starting flu season,” Public Health Director Paul Pettit said today. “With that in mind it is important to take the following precautions should you and your family choose to participate, barring any local or regional shutdowns of these activities:”

  • New York State is still under the nonessential gathering limits of no more than 50 people, this includes indoor and outdoor activities. This would apply to Halloween parties. Any size gatherings should still adhere to face covering/social distancing requirements.
  • Everyone participating in trick-or-treating should be wearing appropriate face covering that cover both the mouth and nose.
  • Limit the number of hands touching the treats. Make sure those who are handling the treats have carefully washed their hands or sanitized them before touching them. If you wear gloves, be careful not to use your gloved hands to touch other objects, your face, etc.
  • Frequently disinfect any objects that multiple hands may touch such as doorknobs, stair rails, doorbells/knockers, etc.
  • If you or your child/children are experiencing any symptoms – STAY HOME!
  • If you recently tested for COVID-19 or traveled from a restricted state/international travel – STAY HOME!

These are recommendations to help protect those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and the flu, Pettit said, and are subject to change.

Specific to the City of Batavia, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said that all trick-or-treating activities must wrap up by 9 o’clock on Halloween night.

City officials will be issuing a press release concerning safety guidance toward the end of October, he added.

Earlier today, Cuomo, in an interview with News 12 on Long Island, said he didn’t think it was “appropriate” for him to cancel trick-or-treating.

“If you want to go knock on your neighbor’s door, God bless you. If you want to go on a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t take your child through the neighborhood,” he said. “I’ll give you my advice and guidance, and then you’ll make the decision what you do that night.”

Previously, officials in Los Angeles banned trick-or-treating but then reversed their decision, choosing instead to say they don’t recommend it.

File photo of trick-or-treaters in the City of Batavia, 2018.

November 1, 2019 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Halloween, news, Oakfield.


Alicia Bischoff and her son Weston, of Oakfield, were quite ready for Halloween yesterday evening.

Photos submitted by Jessica Fredo. If you have Halloween photos to share, email them to [email protected]. Please include the name of the person submitting the photo and the names of people in the photo and location of the photo.


November 1, 2019 - 12:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Halloween, video, batavia.
Video Sponsor
October 28, 2019 - 11:32am

Another fall day in Batavia, NY, USA...

Photos and information submitted by Kathy Ferrara.

Batavia's Original and the Kiwanis Club of Batavia held their second annual Halloween Parade on Sunday.

Their trek through wind and rain from Dan's Tire to the pizzeria at Harvester Avenue and East Main Street was rewarded with food, games, a magician, a costume contest and prizes. Of course there was plenty of candy!

Judges were Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron Jr., city fire Capt. Greg Ireland and city fire's EMS Program coordinator Tom Douglas.

The magician was Doug Ireland. Harvester 56 Theater actors were present in some amazing costumes.
A macabre little man in black...
Batavia's Original owner Kathy Ferrara greets parade participants upon their arrival at her pizzeria.

Kindred spirits, wild and woolly...

A gruesome twosome...


The morbid wedding party...

It was magical...or was it?

Spiderman was a boy once, with regular folks and a little sis -- it was enough to make him want to climb the walls...

October 25, 2019 - 12:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in Halloween, halloween safety tips, news, batavia.

From the City of Batavia Police Department:

The City of Batavia will observe Halloween activities from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31st only. 

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Click here for safety tips for the big night.

October 9, 2019 - 11:24am

From the Historic Batavia Cemetery Association:

The Historic Batavia Cemetery Candlelight Ghostwalk on Oct. 26th is a sellout. People may still call 943-5662 and leave their name and phone number if they wish to be placed on a cancellation list.

October 8, 2019 - 2:27pm

Press release:

Six unlucky coffin dwellers will attempt to complete the 30-Hour Coffin Challenge that's part of Six Flags Darien Lake's Fright Fest starting this Friday.

Each contestant will be required to complete haunted challenges in between long periods stuck in their coffins to be crowned this year’s challenge winner.

This year's challenge includes: 
          - Contestants spend an hour covered in live worms;
          - Contestants eating dried-out bugs including scorpions and tarantulas;
          - Sleep deprivation provided by our Scare-Actors.

The challenge runs from 6 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, through midnight Saturday, Oct. 12.

The contestants for 2019 are:                                

  • Megan Shores, of Grand Island – She is participating in the challenge in memory of her brother who passed away last year; 
  • Robin Basalla, of Rochester – She is a skydiver with more than 400 jumps to her name and is also a certified scuba diver;
  • Mike Tedesco, of North Tonawanda – His family owns several area funeral homes and is training to become a funeral director, so this should be right up his alley;
  • Angela Christ, of Blasdell – She is a volunteer firefighter and mother, out to prove her bravery;
  • Nathan Squiers, of Elmira – He is a best-selling horror author looking for inspiration for his next book;
  • Karissa Belzer, of North Chili – She says she loves everything Halloween and plans to compete dressed as “Zombie Batman."
September 16, 2019 - 12:40pm

DARIEN CENTER – Six Flags Darien Lake, the Thrill Capital of New York State, is taking no prisoners as it prepares for one of the biggest Halloween events in the nation. Fright Fest is so scary it is definitely NOT recommended for children 13 and under after 6 p.m.

Fright Fest 2019 begins Friday, Sept. 27 and ends Oct. 27 and it promises more bone-chilling terror than ever before featuring an all-new maze, Corridors of Chaos. Enter a post-apocalyptic future where society has crumbled and there are no rules as killers and creeps lurk around every corner.

All four fog-filled mazes transform park walkways into endless, winding miles of sinister sights and eerie sounds. Scarier-than-life theming and innovative special effects combine to create movie-like haunted attractions brimming with the stuff of nightmares.

In addition, last year's viral sensation, the 30-Hour Coffin Challenge, is back for a second year with more gruesome challenges and more prize money on the line. Registration for the challenge begins today (Sept. 16) and closes Thursday, Sept. 26. To find out more and register, click here.

Six brave souls will try to last 30 hours in death-defying coffins while participating in frightful challenges and being visited by ghouls and monsters.

This year's challenge will be held Friday October 11 at 6 a.m. to Saturday October 12 at 12 p.m.

Those chosen for this peculiar and claustrophobic challenge will: try to dwell in one of six, deluxe, 2’ x 7’ "slightly used" (?) coffins; "enjoy" three meals; be grateful to get 10-minute phone and bathroom break every three hours; be subjected to random visits by our Fright Fest Freaks; and have a Six Flags representative present at all times.

Oh and by the way, coffin dwellers must also participate in timed challenges including, but not limited to, eating creepy foods, haunted-attraction scavenger hunts, and lying in a bed of live, wriggling worms.

“There is no better or scarier place to celebrate Halloween than Six Flags Darien Lake," said Park President Chris Thorpe proudly. "When Fright Fest begins we trade guests’ screams of delight for shrieks of terror." 

“Our gang of ghastly ghouls will be prowling the midways looking for prey and our fright-filled mazes and scare zones are creepier and freakier than ever.”

For Thrills by Day, families can enjoy a trick-or-treat trail and other kid-friendly activities.

But once the sun goes down, it’s Chills by Night as all hell breaks loose -- and there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide -- as guests experience the fiendish terror of:

  • Blood-thirsty zombies roaming around every corner;
  • Four haunted mazes (including the brand-new Corridors of Chaos);
  • Free scare zones;
  • Halloween-themed food and beverages;
  • “Monstertainment” including the Laser Spooktacular and;
  • Thrilling rides and attractions like the all-new Six Flags SkyScreamer.

Admission tickets are available for as low as $39.99 visit the park’s website for more information.

Park hours during Fright Fest are:

Saturday, Sept. 21 --- 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 22 --- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 27 --- 6 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 28 --- 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 29 --- 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 4 --- 6 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 5 --- 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 6 --- 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 11 --- 6 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 12 --- 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 13 --- 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 14 --- 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 18 --- 6 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 19 --- 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 20 --- 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 25 --- 6 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 26 --- 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 27 --- 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

September 13, 2019 - 2:15pm

Information from a press release:

Along the Haunted History Trail of New York State, you will find the largest collection of haunted and Halloween events statewide.

Three sites on the trail are in Genesee County: the historic Seymour Place building at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia, home to GO ART!; Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany; and the Haunted Bergen House, built in 1858 and located at 6571 W. Sweden Road, Bergen.

More than 500 events -- from authentic ghost hunts and paranormal investigations to staged haunted houses and Halloween hayrides -- can be found on the Haunted History Trail's online event calendar, offered now through the end of October.

Ghost hunting is offered year-round in historic Palmyra and its William Phelps General Store, with special events in the fall.

Home to all things paranormal, 365 days a year, the Haunted History Trail features more than 90 authentically haunted locations across the state. These locations offer investigations, ghost hunts, guided tours, and other experiences that allow visitors to interact with the haunted side and seek out spirits during a dining experience, special event, or overnight stay.

But, during the "spooky season" in the time leading up to Halloween, the trail opens its offerings to all forms of haunted events -- from the serious spirits right down to the spirited pretenders.

"We see a lot of attention this time of year due to the season and the nature of our trail," says Kelly Rapone, administrator of the Haunted History Trail.

"People are seeking out opportunities to be scared -- whether that's on a guided tour that tells them about ghost sightings and the history behind them or experiencing a jump-scare as they go through a haunted house. We want to be their resource for all things haunted."

While many of the trail events lead up to Halloween as the major fall holiday, Sept. 28 also marks a holiday celebrated by select Haunted History Trail partners. It's "National Ghost Hunting Day," established in 2016, which "recognizes and celebrates the novice, curious and expert execution of ghost-hunting methods."

Several trail locations, including Palmyra's William Phelps General Store, East Bethany's Rolling Hills Asylum, and the Haunted Hinsdale House in Hinsdale, participate on that date in the "World's Largest Ghost Hunt" -- an international phenomenon that brings people together from across the globe to take part in a night of paranormal investigations.

Themes for the 2019 event will include historic preservation, celebrating haunted towns, and exploring cultural diversity within the ghost-hunting field around the world.

To learn more, visit the Haunted History Trail of New York State's website here.

To view the online trail brochure, click here.

About the Haunted History Trail of New York State

It is the only statewide ghost tourism initiative in the United States. It was created in 2013 by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with tourism promotion agencies across the state and with support provided by Empire State Development's I LOVE NEW YORK program under the Market NY initiative.

The Haunted History Trail of New York State features more than 90 haunted locations found within almost every region of New York State. Guided ghost tours, paranormal investigations, haunted dining and overnight stays are available on the trail, with many of the attractions tying back to New York's local history.

(Photo from Haunted History Trail of New York State website.)

November 1, 2018 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Halloween, batavia, news.


A bit of rain didn't stop 2-year-old Braxton going out trick-or-treating for the first time with his father Russell Schmidt, of Batavia.

Below are photos from Washington Avenue, Ellicott Avenue, Summit Street, and City Church's Halloween party at St. Anthony's.

The second picture is Officer Kevin DeFelice right after he ran out of candy for the kids on Ellicott. DeFelice said BJ's donated candy and he had 20 pounds to give out. He gave two pieces to each child and ran out in two hours.














October 31, 2018 - 7:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Halloween, batavia, crime, news.

A group of youths was reportedly smashing pumpkins and yelling at people before possibly entering a blue house near the intersection of East Avenue and Vine Street in the city. Batavia police are responding.

October 29, 2018 - 1:22pm


Batavia's Original Pizzeria hosted fun and games yesterday afternoon following the Halloween Parade in Batavia. Several children along with parents, grandparents started walking from Dan's Tire and Auto down side streets in the cool wet weather to the pizzeria.

In addition to Batavia's Original, the event was sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Batavia and Roanoke Apple Farms.

A costume contest was judged by City Church members and Assemblyman Stephen Hawley. Music was entertained by DJ Tom Mazerbo. There were various prizes for the costume contest along with pizza and cider.








October 29, 2018 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Halloween, halloween safety tips, news, trick or treat.

Press release from the City of Batavia Police Department:

The City of Batavia will observe Halloween activities from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31st, only. Below are some safety tips for the big night.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!

  • If you plan on going door to door, make sure you are properly supervised by a parent or responsible adult;
  • Do not go to homes where the porch lights are off;
  • Use a flashlight to let drivers see you, and see where you are going;
  • To avoid tripping or injury don't wear costumes that are loose fitting and too long;
  • Don't wear masks that obscure your vision; makeup is a good alternative to masks;
  • Wear reflective, bright colors to be seen by drivers after dark;
  • Walk on the sidewalks, or as near to the curb as possible if there are no sidewalks;
  • Observe safety rules when crossing or walking on the streets, and stay clear of traffic;
  • Parents should inspect any treats before you eat them!
  • The Batavia Police Department highly recommends as an alternative to going door to door, attending one of the Halloween events sponsored by local businesses;
  • Choose costumes that are marked flame retardant;
  • Make props such as magic wands and swords out of cardboard, rather than metal or wood;
  • Give and accept wrapped or packed candy only;
  • Go out in daylight and carry a flashlight in case of delay;
  • Have children stay within their neighborhood; only visit homes you know;
  • All trick or treating shall be completed by 9 p.m.
October 16, 2018 - 12:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, batavia, Halloween, STOP-DWI Crackdown, news.

Press release:

In conjunction with Halloween festivities, local law enforcement will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving from Oct. 30 until Nov. 4.*

Genesee County STOP-DWI coordinator Matt Landers announced today that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in the crackdown.

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 we spend time trick or treating and hosting parties with our loved ones, law enforcement officers across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives.

New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem. 

The STOP-DWI Halloween Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. Throughout the remainder of the year the Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign will also target Thanksgiving and the national Holiday Season in December.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol- and drug-related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.  

You can help to make a difference by Having a Sober Plan! Download our mobile app – “Have a Plan” and you will always be able to find a safe ride home: www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp

Impaired driving is completely preventable. All it takes is a little planning. Have a safe and happy Halloween Weekend!

*Editor's Note: The dates have been corrected. The original press release contained the wrong dates. The above information is correct.

November 1, 2017 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Halloween, corfu, news.


The Corfu Fire Department and Village of Corfu hosted a community Halloween party in the warmth of the Fire Hall last night.





November 1, 2017 - 9:34am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Halloween, batavia, news.


Various photos taken around Batavia while trick-or-treaters enjoyed this cloudy but cool evening after a full day of rainy weather. Pictured above is Otis Street. Below, more photos from around the city.


Naramore Drive 



Union Street 


Bennett Heights




Ellicott Avenue


East Avenue


North Street

October 31, 2017 - 6:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Halloween, batavia, news.


From Oliver's Candies

(Please Note: We're closing submissions for the day. This is it.)


Jayden Burns, 10 months old 


Hendrix the octopus, 1 year old


Staff at New York School for the Blind


Nick Grasso, Tompkins Insurance, as "Rocket Man."


Wilmont Cancer Center


Stan's Harley Davidson

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button