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Halloween Guide
10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Halloween Guide


Halloween is a time-honored tradition anticipated each year by families and kids of all ages. In this year’s Halloween feature section, you’ll find a roundup of 2019’s hottest Halloween costumes, tips on planning a memorable Halloween party, a list of several local Halloween Happenings, and an interview with Lake Charles’ own "costume lady” – the fascinating Edwina Medearis.


Living History Cemetery Tour Celebrating Lake Charles History

by Erica McCreedy


When Michel Pithon was born in Beaufort, France, in 1771, George Washington had just been elected to the first Continental Congress and the idea of the United States of America was just beginning to form. Michel was born to the aristocratic title of de Riviere just before the social and political upheaval of the French Revolution and when being an aristocrat could mean death. Michel was taken into the home of a man named Pithon who raised him and whose name Michel assumed. Michel Pithon became a personal friend of Napoleon and immigrated to America as a skilled physician. Two and a half centuries later, Michel’s name is still seen in Lake Charles on Pithon Street and Pithon Coulee. 


Michel Pithon will be the oldest figure to be portrayed in this year’s Living History Cemetery Tour, which brings culturally and historically significant figures to life in a one-night walking tour of local cemeteries. On Friday, October 25, from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m., larger-than-life figures like Catherine Lebleu Sallier, Judge Alfred M. Barbe, Nellie Lutcher, and Armogene Reon will tell their stories from the grave. 


The Cemetery Tour began in 2018 as a way to educate the public about Lake Charles history, and it has become greater than the sum of its parts. The event brings a spotlight to historic sites that need care as well as historic figures who played a big role in the development of Lake Charles and whose names aren’t always on buildings and street signs.


Four Lake Charles cemeteries will be featured on this year’s tour: Bilbo Cemetery on the Lakefront; Catholic Cemetery on the corner of Iris and Common Streets; Combre Memorial Park on Opelousas Street; and Sallier Cemetery on Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive. Ticketholders can visit these cemeteries for guided walking tours and listen to local actors dressed in period attire speak about their lives from across all time periods in the city’s history.


The most recently passed figure to be on the tour is Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, who died in 2011 and rests at Combre Memorial Park. Judge Johnson was a trailblazer and the nation’s first African American woman to sit on a federal bench in Washington. At 23 years-old, she left Lake Charles for Washington, D.C. where she enrolled in Howard University, then Georgetown University in 1962. President Nixon appointed her Superior Court Judge of the District of Columbia, and President Carter appointed her to the Federal Bench in 1980 where she served as Chief Justice from 1997 to 2001. Judge Johnson gained national prominence when she oversaw the grand jury investigation into President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. 


Over 100 volunteers made the Cemetery Tour a success in 2018, and this month’s tour is already proving to be another success. In addition to hosting the event, volunteers are also coordinating clean-up days throughout October to spruce-up the cemeteries that need some TLC.


Where to go and who to see:


Bilbo Cemetery, Veterans Memorial Boulevard

     •   Onazine "Armogene” Reon (1873-1926)

     •   Louisa Ryan (1835-????)

     •   Anna Marie Lawrence Bilbo (1788-1871)

     •   James L. Hodges, Jr. (1813-1890)

     •   The Headless Yankee Cannoneer (????-1863)


Catholic Cemetery, Corner of Iris and Common Streets

     •   Manette Mary Landry (1876-1904)

     •   Charles Michael McCormick (1871-1899)

     •   Judge Gabriel Antoine Fournet (1840-1911)

     •   Katie Venezia Assunto (1888-1911)

     •   Marie Valerie Fournet Amy (1841-1896)


Combre Memorial Park, Opelousas Street

     •   Doretha Combre (1898-1962)

     •   Anonymous Hurricane Audrey Victim (????-1957)

     •   Nellie Lutcher (1912-2007)

     •   Judge Norma Holloway Johnson (1932-2011)

     •   Reginald M. Ball (1919-1983)


Sallier Cemetery, Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive

     •   Michel Pithon (1771-1871) and Zora Pithon (????-1879)

     •   Lastie Reon (1826-1914)

     •   Samuel Adams Kirby (1810-1856)

     •   Judge Alfred M. Barbe (1878-1965)

     •   Catherine Lebleu Sallier (1786-1860)


Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and free for children 12 and under (must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult), and can be purchased at www.cemeterytourlc2019.eventbrite.com. The event is sponsored by First Federal Bank of Louisiana, CSE Federal Credit Union, Thrive Magazine, Redfish Rentals, and supported by a SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourism Marketing Grant from the Lake Charles/SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau. Proceeds benefit the Arts Council of SWLA, which provides needed programs and events to support the arts in the region.


To learn more, call the Arts Council office at 337-439-2787.



Halloween Masquerade


Louisiana Spirits in Lacassine, La., home of Bayou Rum, will host an exclusive Halloween event like no other in Southwest Louisiana. "Halloween with Louisiana Spirits” will combine the eerie mythology of New Orleans voodoo with the allure of "Interview with a Vampire,” the mystery of the "Phantom of the Opera,” and the enjoyment of a masquerade to create a fun and exciting evening for adults.

Start your evening by finding your way through a "Haunted House” in the distillery. Then receive the star treatment by walking a red carpet through Louisiana Spirit’s gallery before entering their gorgeous new Event Center, decked out for a spectacular Halloween party!  Feast on a unique dinner and Bayou Rum’s most popular cocktails. Dance to the beat of Jarvis Jacobs and the Southern Gents. Participate in the mask contest for a chance to win special Bayou Rum prizes.


Friday, October 25, 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Attire is formal. Tickets on salenow. For more information, go to bayourum.com or call 337-588-5800.



Halloween Cocktail Recipes


You may find these or similar Halloween-themed cocktails at Louisiana Spirits Masquerade event, but if you’re not able to attend, you can try these fun recipes at your own Halloween party!


Goblet of Fire: 

1.5 oz Bayou White Rum

Top with cranberry juice

Squeeze of lime

Dash of cinnamon


The Walking Dead: 

1.5 oz Bayou White Rum

Top with Lemonade

Dash of Blue Curaco 


Graveyard Martini:

1.5 Bayou Spiced Rum

Top with Sweet tea



Hottest Halloween Costume for 2019


"What will you dress up as for Halloween?” It’s a common question this time of year; and for those who love Halloween or want to shine at a costume party, much thought can be put into choosing attire. To help you get started with dress-up ideas, here’s a list of trending costumes for 2019.


You can never go wrong with Superheroes. Captain Marvel, any of the Avengers, Superman, Spiderman . . . they’re all good.


Blockbuster 2019 movies make popular Halloween costumes. Toy Story, Aladdin Live Action, The Lion King, How to Train your Dragon . . . 


The new Disney Channel hit film "Descendants 3”. Dress up as Mal or one of her many friends.


Because the books and films are timeless, Harry Potter costumes remain popular.


Video game characters ie. Super Mario Brothers, Pokemon, and Minecraft are winners with the boys.

Perennial favorites such as dinosaurs; animals like unicorns, llamas, and meerkats; first responders such as firefighters, police, or doctors; clowns (whether spooky or sweet) and ringmasters never go out of Halloween style.


Can’t make up your mind? You can always go old school with a traditional witch or vampire disguise.


Happy Halloween!



How to Host a Frightfully Fun Halloween Party for Your Kids

by Lauren Atterbery Cesar


Whether it’s a ghostly gathering or a monster mash, throwing a Halloween party for your kids is a great way to get more wear out of their costumes and get to know some of their friends a little better. What do you need for your spooky soiree to be a success? 


Start with a theme. 

A "Thanks for Dropping In” party could be spider-themed and boast cobwebbed decor, while a "Boo-ling Party” might take place at Petro Bowl and have ghostly snacks. Or host a "Spooky Scavenger Hunt” in your neighborhood. Think about the number of children and parents you want to accommodate, and you’ve got a great starting point. 


Set a budget. 

Remember to allot for things like venue, décor, invitations, games, food, and party favors. 


Design and decorate accordingly. 

Design impish invitations for your ghoulish guest list.  If you decide to do this locally, check out Papersmith on Ernest St., Lake Charles. They will help you find the perfect invitation to set the tone for the party. They offer a wide variety of options to choose from and will make the design process easy. Be sure to indicate whether or not the children should arrive in costume. Once you’ve got the invitations sorted, think about the feeling you want your child’s guests to experience when they walk through the door. You can set that mood on any budget, whether you shop at Hobby Lobby and The Party Time Store or hire professional help from someone like Chis Allen at Paradise Florist


Plan for a good time. 

Think about the kinds of activities you want your children and their friends to enjoy. Consider a classic carnival theme with bobbing for apples and tossing bean bags into carved-out pumpkins, or a modern "Film Fright Night” complete with movies like "Nightmare on Elm Street” or "Hocus Pocus.” Gather the props you need to make the activities a success, and plan enough for the children to be busy for the duration of the party.


Expect a feeding frenzy.

Little monsters need nourishment, so stock up on snacks. For great treat ideas, Pinterest is a one-stop recipe shop. "Brain Cakes” are simply strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing made with squiggly lines on each side to resemble a brain. Or dip strawberries in white chocolate and place three chocolate chips on the front—two for the eyes and one for the mouth so they resemble little ghosts. 


Say farewell to your fiendish friends. 

Having a fun party favor to hand out as guests go home can leave a lasting impression with your frightful friends. Fill a clear plastic glove with candy, tie the end with a ribbon, and add a plastic spider ring to the ring finger for an inexpensive, easy way to thank your guests for coming. 


The most important thing to remember is that no matter how you celebrate the Halloween season, be safe and have a hair-raising time! 



Halloween Happenings


Living History Cemetery Tour

The Living History Cemetery Tour returns on Friday, Oct. 25, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Locals can take guided walking tours of four historic cemeteries and hear stories of local iconic figures while visiting their final resting places. Actors will dress in period attire and embody the lives of deceased historic figures from each of the four cemeteries. Larger-than-life figures such as civil rights activist Doretha Combre, early settler Catherine Lebleu Sallier, Judge Alfred M. Barbe, French aristocrat Michel Pithon, Armogene Reon – one of the last native speakers of the Atakapas language – and others will tell their life stories and their famed feats from their own perspectives. Featured cemeteries will include: Bilbo Cemetery, located on Veterans Memorial Boulevard on the lakefront, Sallier Cemetery on Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, Combre Memorial Park on Opelousas Street, and Catholic Cemetery, located on Common Street and Iris Street. "Wandering Spirits” will visit each cemetery and are figures whose gravesites are unknown or spirits visiting relatives. Jazz legend Nellie Lutcher will be a Wandering Spirit at Combre Memorial Park where her parents are buried. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and free for children 12 and under (must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult), and can be purchased at www.cemeterytourlc2019.eventbrite.com.

Halloween Masquerade


Halloween with Louisiana Spirits

Louisiana Spirits in Lacassine, La., home of Bayou Rum, will host an exclusive Halloween event like no other in Southwest Louisiana. "Halloween with Louisiana Spirits” will combine the eerie mythology of New Orleans voodoo with the allure of "Interview with a Vampire,” the mystery of the "Phantom of the Opera,” and the enjoyment of a masquerade to create a fun and exciting evening for adults.

Start your evening by finding your way through a "Haunted House” in the distillery. Then receive the star treatment by walking a red carpet through Louisiana Spirit’s gallery before entering their gorgeous new Event Center, decked out for a spectacular Halloween party!  Feast on a unique dinner and Bayou Rum’s most popular cocktails. Dance to the beat of Jarvis Jacobs and the Southern Gents. Participate in the mask contest for a chance to win special Bayou Rum prizes.


Friday, October 25, 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Attire is formal. Tickets on sale now. For more information, go to bayourum.com or call 337-588-5800.


The Lost Hollows

If you like a little fright with your Halloween fun, then check out The Lost Hollows in Lake Charles. Begin your journey with an eerie hayride from the back of the Lake Charles Power Centre parking lot, 3413 Derek Dr., Lake Charles, and travel to the creepiest woods in Southwest Louisiana. Hayride shuttle lines start at 6:00 p.m. and stop at 11 p.m. The Lost Hollows will be scaring every Friday and Saturday through October. Don’t miss the "Lights Out” event on Halloween and Nov. 1, where victims make their way through the woods with nothing but a flashlight to guide them. Individual ticket prices are $25 and $38 for Fast Pass tickets. Children under 13 years must be accompanied by an adult. 


For more information, visit www.thelosthollows.com or call 337-415-9159.


Scarecrow Festival

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center 

Oct. 8 – Nov. 2, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Free admission. Orange, Tx.  


Downtown Lake Charles Candy Crawl

Boombox Frozen Pops and Ice Cream, along with the Downtown Business Association and sponsor Spirit Halloween, will host the third annual Downtown Candy Crawl on October 31, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. starting at Boombox. Participants will receive a map of all the participating businesses, along with drink and food specials and other attractions. Seven Slot Society will do a trunk or treat in the parking lot at the corner of Pujo and Ryan Streets. This is a family friendly event and last year they had over 1500 participants.


Trick-or-Treating Hours

Both the Cities of Lake Charles and Sulphur will observe Halloween 

5:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Parents are encouraged to have their children home by 8:30 p.m. unless they are attending a supervised function sponsored by other parents or civic organizations.


Ghost Tours

Lake Charles SWLA Convention and Visitors Bureau Historic App. Want to take a self-guided haunted tour around Lake Charles? Look for the Lake Charles Historic app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download the app to access interesting stories and audio while you wander from eerie cemeteries to haunted homes.


Immaculate Heart of Mary Fall Bazaar 

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church is hosting it's 66th Anniversary Event on October 5 – 6 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday. The bazaar will be held on the church grounds at 2031 Opelousas St, Lake Charles, La 70601. You’ll find home cooked meals (BBQ pork steak and chicken dinners) hot dogs, hot links, hamburgers, fried wings, candied apples, popcorn balls, funnel cakes, ice cream, cotton candy, pulled pork sandwiches, a sweet shop, and more. A "Kids Zone” will include a dunking booth, train rides, duck pond, and more. Other activities include a country store, music, bingo, a raffle, and live auction. "This is a family friendly event and we invite all of the Lake Charles and surrounding area communities to come out and join in the festivities as we celebrate 66 years of service to the community,” says Fr. Wayne LeBleu, Pastor. 


Coats for Kids Spooktacular

The Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles will host its COATS FOR KIDS drive with the 4th Annual Spooktacular on Friday, October 25 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. at Crying Eagle Brewing Company. The event will offer Halloween-themed, family-friendly activities from 5:00-6:00 p.m., followed by 50’s rock and roll performed by the local band, Cry Baby. Crying Eagle will offer craft beers and food from The Bistro. There will also be a silent auction, 50/50 Split the Pot, and team coat races.


Admission is free, but those who donate a coat of any size will receive a free Crying Eagle glass, a drink token, and a raffle ticket for prize drawings. Donated coats are cleaned by co-sponsor AAA Drive-In Cleaners for distribution to ten local charitable agencies serving underprivileged children and adults. All proceeds from the event will benefit these charities.


Coat donations will also be accepted at The Better Block Nellie Lutcher Cultural District on Enterprise Blvd from Broad to S. Division Street, Friday evening October 25th and all day October 26th. Also from Oct 28 to Nov 22, there will be coat donation boxes at various area schools and businesses, including AAA Drive-In Cleaners.


For more info, please contact Jim Meyer at (337) 853-1820 or Steve Ek at (337) 474-1622.



Keep Kids Safeon Halloween


Halloween is an exciting holiday enjoyed by children and adults alike; and amidst all the fun, you also want to ensure the kids are safe. Follow these tips for safe-keeping and general good behavior.


Let your kids enjoy themselves. 

There are plenty of times that as parents, we need to keep an eye on our children, enforce the rules, and make sure they are safe, and you also want them to have a good time. On Halloween, allow the kids to be kids, eat candy, and get a little crazy. 


Desensitize your kids before Halloween night. 

For younger children who are easily scared or appear nervous about Halloween, prepare them ahead of time. Children fare better when they know what to expect. Show them photos of people dressed up. Take them to a Halloween store in the daylight and show them decorations, masks, and costumes. Explain to them what happens on Halloween. Show them movies where people are trick-or-treating. 


Keep it age appropriate. 

Halloween can be a little overwhelming and scary for some kids. What doesn’t bother your 13-year-old may terrify your four-year-old. One way to keep activities age appropriate is to trick-or-treat with groups of friends based on age. Remind your older kids to go easy when smaller children are around. 


Don’t push kids who just aren’t into it. 

If your children don’t have a desire to go out trick-or-treating on Halloween, that’s okay. Parents can encourage alternatives to trick-or-treating. Maybe your children prefer to stay home and hand out candy. Maybe they want to have a small party or get-together with close friends. Perhaps they simply want to stay in and watch a Halloween-themed movie. Gage your children’s level of interest and go with what makes them happy. 


Know when to intervene. 

Sometimes children don’t want to look scared in front of their friends for fear of being made fun of. Some kids will hold anxiety in and push themselves to experience more than they can comfortably handle. This can lead to nightmares and increased stress. If you notice your child is struggling or appears to be fearful, know when to call it a night. 


Have fun and be safe. 

Halloween is all about having fun, but remember basic safety. Never enter a stranger’s home no matter how nice they seem. Always trick-or-treat in groups. If you have younger children, parents should chaperone. Don’t eat any candy that is opened or appears tampered with. Keep a flashlight, glowsticks, and phone with you at all times. 


Have fun and be respectful. 

Halloween is a time for your kids to have fun but teach them to be respectful. No bullying. Never mock people with physical or mental health conditions, disabilities, or other impairments. And be polite when receiving candy at peoples’ doors.


Talk it out. 

After the night is over and your kids finish trick-or-treating, talk to them. How are they feeling? Are they scared, nervous, or upset? Do a quick emotional check before going to bed to make sure they are not shaken up or feeling disturbed in anyway. If something is bothering them, talk it out until they feel better. 



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