History Ablaze Halloween: Spooktacular event offers something for everyone

Kids will never complain about celebrating Halloween twice.

That’s why Trumbull Historical Society’s History Ablaze Halloween bash has been so successful over the last two years, offering children the opportunity to dress up the weekend before the scary holiday and connecting them to the town’s haunted past.

Oh, and along the way, there’s a townwide jack-o’-lantern contest and display of carved pumpkins that sets the mood for all ages.

“It has something that appeals to everybody, but the pumpkins are usually the biggest draw,” said Patti Woods, who’s helping organize the event along with its founder, Samantha Klain.

“The live storytelling is always really cool and kids seem to really like it,” she added. “It’s nothing too spooky — these are true tales from history that touched the town one way or another.”

Some of the stories kids and other community members can expect to hear Saturday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. include “The Legend of the Leatherman” and “The Grave of Hannah Cranna.”

“Hannah Cranna was better known as the Wicked Witch of Monroe, and her grave lies right on the Trumbull-Monroe line,” Woods explained. “The Leatherman died in upstate New York but he used to walk a loop from Connecticut to New York every year and he was a very noted figure in Trumbull history in the early 1900s.”

Further dipping into Trumbull’s past, the historical society will offer Victorian-era pictures of the town in a small exhibit space inside its headquarters located at 1856 Huntington Tpk.

The rain-or-shine event will also offer face-painting for kids, refreshments for residents and items for sale for families to buy.

And, of course, there will be plenty of pumpkins.

“We welcome anyone to submit a carved pumpkin,” Woods said. “It could be a politician, a business owner, or just any parent — the contest is open to the entire town.”

It will include four categories of prizes: child, ages 8 and under; child, ages 9 through 13; teen, ages 14 through 18; and adult, ages 18 and older.

Last year, the historical society said, 125 people participated and 80-plus pumpkins were submitted for the grand prizes.

“After the event, the pumpkins can be taken home and be put outside for the next week,” Woods said. “It’ll be Halloween in no time.”

And that’s why this history-based event is perfectly aligned with the looming holiday.

“People do come in costumes,” Woods said. “Our volunteers will be wearing historical dress, but residents can wear whatever they want.”

Event details

Admission is $5 per person; free admission with each carved pumpkin. Costumes are encouraged.

The Trumbull Historical Society invites all town organizations, associations, and residents, young and old, to enter a carved pumpkin into the jack-o’-lantern contest and display. There is no limit to the number of entries, and residents may submit a pumpkin as part of an organization and/or as an individual. Each carved jack-o’-lantern gains one free admission.

Carved pumpkins with a non-flame light included may be dropped off at the Trumbull Historical Society, 1856 Huntington Tpk., on Friday, Oct. 23, from 3 to 6 p.m. or Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9  a.m. to 1 p.m.

Contestants who wish to pick up their pumpkins* may do so on Sunday, Oct. 27, between noon and 4. Trumbull HIstorical Society will dispose of any unclaimed pumpkins. *Pumpkins entered into the contest are being donated to the Historical Society for display purposes. The Historical Society is not responsible for any lost or damaged pumpkins.

For more information, call 203-377-6620 or email Trumbullhistory@gmail.com