Halloween is getting near, and with that, the chance to safely enjoy a bit of fun. And, learn some local history.
On Saturday, Oct. 24, staff of the Forbes House Museum, located at 215 Adams St., will host ghost stories under the beech tree on the museum's front lawn while costumed volunteers greet visitors with Halloween treats.
A new addition to the family event will be a pumpkin-carving contest, with People’s Choice prizes awarded for the scariest, funniest, and most creative entries.
Contestants of all ages are welcome to bring carved pumpkins to the museum by 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 24. Entries will be displayed with a title and number to keep the artists anonymous, and all visitors will receive ballots to vote for their favorite in each category. Voting will close by 6:30 p.m. and winners will be announced at 7 p.m.; contestants need not be present to win. Pumpkins can be retrieved at the end of the evening or picked up the next day.
The Halloween celebration, recommended for families with children from kindergarten through Grade 5, will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Space is limited. Advanced registration is required and available on the museum website. Admission is $10 per child and free for caregivers; $20/family. The rain date will be Oct. 30.
Carving pumpkins, part of this spooky holiday tradition, can be traced back to Irish immigrants who arrived in America in the 1800s, said Heidi Vaughan, the museum's executive director.
The ties between the Forbes family, specifically Captain Robert Bennet Forbes during the mind-19th century, and providing famine relief to Ireland in 1847 are strong. The book "Voyage of Mercy," by Boston-area author Stephen Puleo, tells about a humanitarian mission to help the famine-stricken Irish. "Voyage of Mercy" is a Milton Reads selection for 2020.