Halloween came early at the Douglas County Museum on Saturday as the exhibit halls were covered with spider webs, bats and other creepy crawlies, and rumor has it there may have even been a Sasquatch sighting.
The “Supernatural Saturday at the Museum” event was put on by museum staff and volunteers. The afternoon included a host of Halloween-themed activities, including trick-or-treating, a costume contest, Create-a-Monster, a search for Sasquatch selfie contest, lessons on making zombie slime, A ghost hunt, and talks on ghost stories, including why they are popular in so many different cultures.
Caitlin Armi, Education Program and Volunteer Coordinator for the museum, said attendance was about normal for a Saturday until it was Supernatural Saturday time.
“And then when this started it spiked,” Armi said.
Reggie Alvey was exploring the snake exhibit with his grandchildren, Casthil and Ruby. Alvey said he is a regular visitor to the museum but this visit was special.
“This is the most packed we’ve ever seen this place,” Alvey said. “They asked to come here. But I love museums, it’s kind of my thing.”
In one room Connor Armi, an anthropologist (and Caitlin’s husband) led discussions on the history, relevance and role of horror stories.
Armi talked about the cultural relativity of horror stories, and how they morph over the decades.
“We have a concept of Big Foot here and Canada has a completely different concept,” he said. “Every story is a piecemeal of a story that’s previously been told. The werewolf story, for example, came from previous stories. So the horror stories you’re hearing now come from previous stories that were told.”
Museum volunteer Brian Rhoten took on the role of Sasquatch, including a hairy full body suit and mask. Rhoten would elicit screams from children, including many who were dressed up themselves, when they saw him.
“It’s a great opportunity to work with the kids,” Rhoten said. “Also, now I know why no one else would do it. It’s warm in here.”