LUMBERTON —The variety of Halloween-related events in Robeson County this year is downright scary.
If you are looking to scream, there are all kinds of haunted houses and spook-filled forests to make you holler.
If you want to dress up your child, your pet or just yourself, there are plenty of custom contests too.
For those looking for a tamer version of Halloween, there are a number of church alternatives to trick-or-treating.
One of the longest-running events in the county is the Haunted River in Pembroke.
Jeco’s gas station is sponsoring the fourth annual event on Thursday, Friday and Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. each day.
“This event is really for the community because there’s nothing like it in Pembroke,” said Eddie Oxendine, owner of Jeco’s.
The event will be held at Pine Lake Park in Pembroke on three acres.
“Because the haunted house is so big, we have more to offer for your money than others,” Oxendine said.
Along with the haunted house, there will be trail rides, hay rides, Halloween characters, a Jeepers Kreepers bus, candy for the kids and concessions. Admission is $10 a person. For information, call 910-316-1174.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the county, Barnesville Baptist Church will offer another type of entertainment with it’s “Holy-ween” event held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday in Orrum.
“We offer this event as an alternative for kids trick-or-treating on the streets,” said Joyce Floyd, a member of the Church’s Youth Ministry.
The free event is sponsored by the Youth Ministry and the proceeds from food purchases will go toward the Missionary department.
The event will include games, cake walks, a pig chase, bingo, a black light program and refreshments for sale. The church is located on Barnesville Church Road in Orrum.
In Fairmont, Mayor Charles Kemp will be dressed as Dr. Electrode as he participates in his favorite holiday by giving out candy to trick-or-treaters from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Town Hall building.
“I think having kids come to a set location and giving candy to kids is a heart warming thing,” Kemp said. “Seeing the children all dressed up in their costume is just so cute and not to mention — it’s safe.”
The American Red Cross offers a several tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe. Parents should look for flame-resistant costumes. Also plan out a trick-or-treat route and make sure adults know where children are going.
Adults should accompany young children as they trick-or-treat and carry a flash light. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing in order to be seen. Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door — never go inside.
Instead of masks, which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, consider using face paint. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
If you are welcoming trick-or-treaters to your home, make sure the outdoor light is on, sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps, clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over, restrain any household pets, use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o-lantern to avoid a fire hazards.
Biggs Pall Mall will hold its Pet Costume Contest from 2 to 4 p.m today. Proceeds will go to the Robeson County Humane Society. For information, call Chelsea Biggs at 910-671-0028.
Biggs Park Mall will also hold a free Halloween Festival from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday. There will be inflatables, candy and a costume contest. For information, call Chelsea Biggs at 910-671-0028.
Parkview Activity Center will put on its annual Harvest Festival from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Children should bring a bag for goodies. For information, call Lori Washington, Brenda Rozier or Alonzo Ladson at 910-671-3873.
South Robeson Rescue will hold a Haunted Forest and Trail and a Haunted House from 8 to 11 p.m. today through Thursday. Admission is $6 a person for one event or $10 a person for both. For information, call 910-535-4090. The Haunted Forest and Trial will be located at 1001 S. Walnut St. in Fairmont. The Haunted House is located on Main Street in Fairmont.
A Halloween Spook-Tacular Costume Contest will be held on Friday at the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fairgrounds. The Best Costume Contest Pre-Show will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the the show beings at 7:30. There will be games, prizes, treats and food. Admission is $10 a person. For information, call 941-704-8572.
Pentecostal United Holy Church will hold a trunk-or-treat event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday. People can come and park their cars and give candy away from their trunks. The church is located at 2300 Gavintown Road in Lumberton. For information, call 910-734-6173.
New Beginning Church of Lumberton will hold its Joy Night Fall Festival at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Treats will be given to the children. The church is located at 950 Linkhaw Road.
Antioch Baptist Church will hold a “Hallelujah Night” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The event is for adults and children to dress up as any of God’s creations or as a favorite Bible hero. The church is located at 5089 Old Whiteville Road in Lumberton. For information, call Patty Speights at 910-225-1535.