Monday, December 4, 2023

Halloween Is Weird, Wonderful in Water Valley

Halloween is lurking and you can find gory costumes, creepy decorations and loads of candy in almost every store. The pumpkins are out and Walmart’s holiday aisles are filled with black and orange wares.

Nicholas Core always puts up his spooky decorations on the first day of October. Halloween has long been a family event in the Core house.

Nicholas Core considers Halloween his Christmas.

“When I was a kid, my dad used to do his homemade costumes and special effects and he used to make them all from scratch,” said Nicholas.

This year Core plans to take his wife and kids to the Memphis Zoo for “Zoo Boo.” The event includes trick-or-treating in the zoo, eerily decorated for a spooky atmosphere. There will be musical entertainment and a costume contest. The Core family is dressing up as the characters from the animated TV show, “Fairly Odd-Parents.”

Core’s wife, Miranda, looks forward to Halloween too, but for a different reason. She says she enjoys seeing the costumes that people choose to wear. “You’ll see a straight-laced person dress in a risqué costume. That is amusing to me,” said Miranda.

On the other side of town at the Water Valley Boat Landing, Wallace “War” Rayburn takes Halloween to another level.

“My place stays decorated for Halloween year-round,” Rayburn said.

Halloween is his Christmas. He says he celebrates by prowling through graveyards where he finds the most interesting tombstones and makes charcoal rubbings. This year he says he’s excited to search for the grave of Elizabeth Bell. The Bell Witch Legend describes Elizabeth Bell as a little girl in Tennessee. She is haunted by the spirit of an old witch. When Bell grew older and moved to Water Valley, Miss., the with’s spirit supposedly followed her. Bell’s grave is located in Long Branch Cemetery.

“The headstone rubbings are a tradition. I’ve been doing it since I was 16,” said Rayburn.

For fun that’s a little less out of the ordinary, the Pine Valley Volunteer Fire Department hosts an annual haunted trail near Water Valley. Money raised will help provide new equipment for the Fire Department.

Located at the corner of Hwy 32 and CR 212, the trail will be open Saturday, Oct. 19, Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Admission is $7 per person. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

If any of the ghouls and goblins gets hungry, they’ll be selling hamburgers for $2.50 and hotdogs for $1.75, too.

By Vanessa Gilpin, Meek School of Journalism and New Media