by Rick Laible, Ionic Lodge Trestle Board Editor, Darby
It’s baaaack!! (think poltergeist creepy little girl voice) This year’s Halloween celebration in the Bitterroot was enhanced with the return of the Masonic Haunted House following a year off due to Covid. With the Halloween celebration kicking off Friday the 29th with the annual Hamilton Halloween Parade, vendors, parents, and kids experienced a bountiful Halloween season. Sunday, October 31st, door-to-door trick or treating returned to the downtown area, and was augmented by the Haunted House provided free to the public by Hamilton’s Ionic #38 Masonic Lodge.
The Hamilton Masonic Lodge, established in our community in 1889, was again the highlight of Halloween as they opened the doors of their Lodge to kids of all ages. The Haunted House was staffed by members of Ionic Lodge, the local Eastern Star Chapter, and the local
Rainbow Girls chapter. These volunteers, with the support of Big Sky Candy, Back Street Deli, Sunrise Church Youth Group, and generous donations from many community members, we had over 900 guests safely pass through the Haunted House.
This year’s Haunted House featured a dark and misty maze with ghouls, specters, spiders, and hounds filling the corners, a large creepy graveyard, a room of eerie dolls (some of whom seemed alive?!) and a basement of dark scares, creeping ghouls, and a very concerning butcher shop. The creeps coming from the cabinets and doors kept the halls filled with screams and yells of frightful entertainment.
The members of Hamilton’s Masonic Family would like to hear your ideas or concerns regarding the Haunted House. Please mail your comments to Haunted House, 115 S. 3rd St, Hamilton, MT 59840. Our desire is to provide a safe, free, entertaining event that augments the community’s Halloween celebration. Our historic building provides the perfect venue and this event lets the community see some of the historic beauty found in this old Lodge. Ionic Lodge has been working to restore the building and preserving some of the history found in our valley. The electrical system is being completely replaced with the generous support of Miller Electric of Hamilton. If members of the public would like to see the insides of this beautiful building or would like to know more about Freemasonry, The Order of Easter Star (for ladies) or The Rainbow Girls (for young ladies) please write to Ionic Lodge #38 at 115 S. 3rd Street, Hamilton, MT, 59840 or call the Lodge and leave a message at (406) 363-3349.
Thank you to Big Sky Candy for the gift certificates, and everyone who volunteered or made donations, your support and enthusiasm resulted in a wonderful fright filled Halloween celebration. What a wonderful valley we all live in! Thank you for helping us keep it that way.