Halloween 2014 brings mischief to the Florida Keys with eerie events scheduled from the continental United States’ southernmost city, Key West, to the island chain’s northernmost spot in Key Largo. Here are a few frightening festivities not to be missed this Halloween:
Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest
Among the haunting highlights is the Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest where divers can earn prizes for subsea slicing during the annual challenge, which is set for 8:30 a.m. Sunday 19 October, hosted by Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo. Buddy teams can creatively carve hollowed-out pumpkins at depths of 30 feet in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The 2014 pumpkin-carving theme is “Your Favourite Fish.”
The fee is $85 per diver for the two-tank, two-location dive including tanks, pumpkins, weights and snorkel equipment. However, divers must bring their own carving tools. Space is limited so divers are encouraged to sign up early.
For information, visit www.amoray.com.
Weave the Matecumbe Massacre Maze
Explorers’ hair will likely stand on end while they travel through the Matecumbe Massacre Maze hosted at Robbie’s Marina on Thursday, 30 October from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Islamorada’s family-friendly marina is to stage a free “spook-tacular” show for costumed ghouls aged 12 and under. Attractions include a kids’ corner, candy, fun, food and refreshments. The excitement amps up for older spirits with a costume contest as well as food and beverage specials. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and a live band is to play throughout the night’s events.
For information, visit www.robbies.com
Spooky 13th Annual Haunting of Fort Zachary Taylor
Days and nights of ghoulish delight are planned for the Haunting of Fort Zachary Taylor, a Civil War–era fort beside Key West’s Atlantic Ocean shore. This year three spooky sections of the enchanted citadel will be the stage for live “shows,” treating visitors to otherworldly celebrations not suitable for mere mortals. Events will take place 17-19, 23-24, 26 and 30-31 October, and attendees are encouraged to don devilish costumes. Tricks and treats for the little ones are planned for Kid’s Day, scheduled Sunday, 19 October from 5-7 p.m.
Ghost-seekers can access Fort Taylor and its surrounding state park from an entrance on Southard Street past Thomas Street. Kid’s Day entry is free with park admission. Admission to the haunting is $13 per adult, $10 for military personnel, $8 for kids and free for children under five years old. Hours are 8-11 p.m. (midnight on Halloween).
For information, visit www.hauntedkeywestfort.com
Dare to Explore Crane Point’s Haunted House
In the Middle Keys, Crane Point’s Haunted House, inhabited by ghosts, ghouls and freaky characters, will set a spooky tone for the year’s eeriest holiday. The fright-fest begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 30 October at the 63-acre Crane Point Hammock, located in Marathon, and is free to the public. The entrance of the Haunted House is at the centre of the property.
For information, visit www.cranepoint.net
Florida Keys event calendar: fla-keys.com/calendarofevents
Florida Keys visitor information: www.fla-keys.com