McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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McHenry community organizes Halloween events

During the spooky season, community organizations and families are sponsoring activities for all ages
The CarnEvel in McHenry is a local haunt, a private residence that decorates for Halloween and invites trick-or-treaters to enjoy some quick scares.

With Halloween right around the corner, the city of McHenry is preparing for the upcoming holiday, scheduling events for the scary season.

Homeowners and businesses have set up spooky atmospheres that people in the community can enjoy. Haunted yard attractions, the Wonder Lake Ski Show, Haunted Hayride at Peterson Park, trunk-or-treats and fall festivals bring out the crowds.

William Beith, a village administrator from Wonder Lake, states “Events like Fall Fest provide the opportunity for the entire community around the lake to gather and share wonderful Wonder Lake.”

Wonder Lake is throwing their first Fall Fest at the Village Hall on Oct. 28.

Nicki Jansen from Nightmare on Rogers, a local haunt in McHenry, stated, “we’ve always enjoyed it. People purposely come to our house every year. We’ve tried to trick or treat in the past and we’ve been coming for years.”

Matt Mabus runs a haunt called CarnEvil next door to Jansen. He has been at this location for two years and before that in Round Lake since 2010.

“I like decorating mainly for ourselves, but we also do it for the community to be able to enjoy it,” said Mabus.

Mabus is a part of the Chicago Haunt Builders, a community with thousands of people that have yard haunts. He advertises on Facebook and TikTok and posts the best scare of the week on his Facebook page. The best scare gets a trophy.

Though the Haunted Hayride at Peterson Park ended on Oct. 21, it has become one of the most popular Halloween activities in the area each year. “It’s our major fundraiser of the year,” hayride volunteer Jacki Cullen said. “We have a lot of boats needing gas during the shows and pay for insurance for the boats.”

“We have expenses for costumes every year,” she adds. “This is probably half our budget for the hayride.”

Many MCHS students and community members enjoy these events and how they change throughout the years. They provide opportunities for the community to come together.

Students in Key Club, for example, can volunteer for the Halloween Bash at McHenry Recreation Center on Oct. 27 and Riverwood’s Trunk-Or-Treat on Oct. 26.

Sophomore Norah McMillion says, “My older siblings, when they were in high school, would always volunteer with Key Club, so you can get your hours.”

This year’s trick or treating times in McHenry and McCullom Lake is going on from 4:00 through 8:00pm. In Wonder Lake and Holiday Hills, trick or treating will be from 4:00 through 7:00pm.

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