Nature Center Manager Ben Pitman is working hard to get Spooky Mill ready for Halloween. It is a major fundraiser for the Autrey Mill Nature Center and Heritage Preserve. HATCHER HURD/Staff. (click for larger version)
Nature Center Manager Ben Pitman is working hard to get Spooky Mill ready for Halloween. It is a major fundraiser for the Autrey Mill Nature Center and Heritage Preserve. HATCHER HURD/Staff.
What does the Nature Center do with those old extra bones lying about? They make a good fireplace centerpiece for Spooky Mill. HATCHER HURD/Staff.
October 23, 2013JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Just around Halloween, Autrey Mill Nature Center and Heritage Preserve goes through a mysterious change. A creepy atmosphere comes out of the forest mist and Spooky Mill is transformed into frightful place.
The mill cabin is haunted and young visitors are welcome to come in – if they dare.
It's all part of the Nature Center's annual Halloween Carnival with inflatable bouncy ride, games, activities and of course Spooky Mill with its rooms full of little horrors.
"I think I would give Spooky Mill a PG rating. Younger kids might not like it. But we plan to have plenty for kids of all ages to do. We get families with children and teenagers, and everybody seems to have a good time," said Autrey Mill Manager Ben Pitman.
The weekend event is a fundraiser for the Nature Center. The admission is free – as is the trick-or-treating – but games, rides and the Spooky Mill will require tickets sold at the center.
"We plan to show the kids a good time, and in turn, it is a way for the families to support us," Pitman said. "And it is a chance for the kids to trick-or-treat twice. We purposefully do our Halloween party the weekend before Halloween so we don't stray into family traditions. It's just a chance for kids to double-dip."
He knows of one child who is excited because he can wear two costumes for Halloween.
"He told his mother he was going to come to our event as Iron Man, and then the next week he was going to be Spider Man," Pitman said.
Meanwhile, Pitman and his volunteers were busy "spooking up" all of the mill buildings. Every heritage building except the church will be receiving trick-or-treaters.
Spooky Mill is getting the most attention of course. They hope to have a few surprises to go along with Spooky Mill's special storyteller, who will recount to visitors just how the mill came to be haunted.
There will also be a gold mine with an old prospector on hand to tell about the gold mining days.
"It's a family-friendly event that will also have face-painting and hair dyeing [for the truly adventurous]," said Pitman.
Autrey Mill Nature Center
Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek
Fri. – Sat., Oct. 25-26
6 – 9 p.m.
Games and activities $1 – $3
Executive Editor, Appen Media.