By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – During the 40th anniversary of Halloween Nights at Greenfield Village, the celebration took on a masked countenance, as new traditions were launched to help ensure guest safety and social-distancing amid pandemic precautions.
Gone were the crowded lines where guests once queued up for treats, and just as absent were the throngs which formerly flocked to watch entertainers.
Instead, a Halloween Express steam engine, with a haunting whistle, took riders to the entertainment, as scenes of witches, graveyards, ghosts and other spooky beings appeared during the 20-minute train ride encircling the grounds.
Pumpkins still presided along the pathways, where visitors strolled in random routes to avoid crowds, while costumed story-tellers shared traditional tales from a safe distance.
Familiar sites included the Village Graveyard, near the Martha Mary Chapel, presided over by a deathly pale undertaker, as well as the fierce scarecrows and ravens along Christie Street.
The murky covered bridge still urged guests to courageously cross, while vintage Halloween cartoons from the 1930s played on an outdoor screen near Mrs. Fisher’s Tasty Treats.
The Woman in White still moaned from the balcony of the Frost Home, while the historic Herschell-Spillman Carousel delighted families with its faithful mounts and upbeat organ music.
The Eagle Tavern was closed, but a peek into the windows revealed skeletal scenes.
At Minerva’s Millinery, colorful and creative witch hats were on display in the windows, perhaps waiting for the enchanting ladies at Witch Hazel’s Broom Lot to spend some of their profits.
Admission to Halloween Nights, which continues Thursdays through Sundays through Oct. 31, is sold out.
For more information about Halloween Nights and other upcoming events at The Henry Ford, go to thf.org.