Halloween in Hot Springs

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We just received a news release from Hot Springs National Park contact Shelley Todd that the national park will have a “Historic Specters Haunt Bathhouse Row” program this weekend. During the event, Hot Springs National Park rangers and volunteers will wear vintage costumes to bring various periods of local history alive at the park October 27-29.

“This will be Hallows Eve with a twist,” said park Superintendent Josie Fernandez via the news release. “We are incorporating historical characters and information about animals to our spooky weekend schedule so we can have fun and learn about history and nature. To add to the festivities the documentary Boggy Creek Monster, a film sure to scare up a good time
at the park with family and friends, will be featured at the campground amphitheater Saturday
evening.”

The park’s Visitor Center is located at 369 Central Avenue in the former Fordyce Bathhouse. Guided tours of the historic building take place at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.

According to the release, this weekend’s special halloween agenda will feature:

Friday, October 27 at 12:30 p.m. “All about Bats!” at the Fordyce Bathhouse Theater, learn all there is to know about one of the animals most associated with Halloween.

Friday, October 27 at 7 p.m. “Changing Landscapes” at Gulpha Gorge Campground Amphitheater at 305 Gorge Road. Come see pictures of what the national park looked like long ago and learn about what has changed through time.

Saturday and Sunday, October 28-29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Bathhouse Row rangers and volunteers will portray a variety of characters from our local past such as:

– A hiker who will describe the “terrain cure,” which was part of an early 1900s holistic health approach, along with bathing in and drinking the thermal water.

– A veteran of the American Civil War, who will talk about his experiences in the Army-Navy hospital to take thermal water and other available treatments.

-A fur trapper and Dr. George Hunter, who will chat about the early exploration and history of the area surrounding the hot springs.

-Some ladies and gentlemen who will share their experiences as patrons of the bathhouses traveling from afar seeking healing from the thermal waters of Hot Springs.

Saturday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m. stories around the campfire and at 7 p.m. the Boggy Creek Monster (1:15 hour film) at the Gulpha Gorge Amphitheater.

Also around town, the “Magic Screams” annual Halloween festival will also be taking place over the weekend at Magic Springs. There will be haunted houses and a trick or treat trail where kids can play games for candy prizes and a haunted house for smaller children. The kids’ rides will be in operation. The park will be open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Also over the weekend will be the 1st annual Fall Festival at the Hot Springs Mountain Tower on October 28. There will be a costume contest for pets and humans, as well as a carved pumpkin contest, where folks can bring their best carved pumpkin for prizes.

On Halloween day, October 31, downtown Hot Springs will host the first “Glow on the Row” Halloween festival trick or treaters. There will be candy, festival games, food, live music, and more. Trick or Treating will take place downtown from 4-8 p.m.