Halloween festivities plentiful in Steamboat with events for children, adults

Luke Graham
Ryan Hogrefe is looking to scare a few people during this year's Screamboat chamber of horror. The haunted house
John F. Russell

— When Jimmy Westlake brought the idea of Screamboat to Steamboat from Young Harris College in Georgia, it stemmed from a way to earn money to fund student astronomy projects.

Of course, there aren’t many things more fun than building a haunted house.

For the 15th year, Colorado Mountain College will host its annual Screamboat haunted house.

The event runs nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. beginning Friday and concluding on Halloween. The cost is $10 but increases to $15 starting Tuesday through Halloween. Those days will be especially scary, Westlake said, with the performance holding nothing back.

On those days, “we’ll pull out all the plugs and don’t hold back,” said Westlake, faculty adviser of CMC’s Sky Club. “It’ll be super scary with extra skits. It will be above and beyond what it normally is. It’s probably too intense for kids under 13.”

The event takes place in the academic center’s auditorium with tours lasting about 30 minutes.

Work began Oct. 11 with more than 80 students, faculty and volunteers transforming the empty room into a house of horrors.

“We’ve been working feverishly,” Westlake said.

The event generally draws in more than 900 people and raises close to $10,000 for the Sky Club, which organizes field trips for astronomy students. The group recently returned from Alaska looking at the Northern Lights. There is a spring trip planned to Hawaii, where some of the world’s biggest telescopes are.

“It’s fun,” Westlake said. “It’s a great way to build camaraderie with all of our members. Working on a project like this gets everyone close.”

Crawford House tours Friday

Volunteer and organizer Marianne Capra described the haunted tours of the historic Crawford House as a family event.

It’s for families with children 10 and older, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t chills.

It’s different from the CMC haunted house.

“It’s a cerebral yet completely authentic and creepy experience,” Capra said.

There are three tours set for Friday at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

The cost is a $5 suggested donation, and those who would like to attend should make reservations by calling 970-879-2214.

Capra, who also is part of the Spellbinders group that partners with the Tread of Pioneers Museum for the event, said there are eight people who will tell authentic stories of ghosts from a historical perspective, including through a miner from Hahn’s Peak and Ute Native American tales.

The Crawford house will be decorated for Halloween to add to the aura.

“Hopefully, the creepiness comes from the accuracy,” Capra said.

Events for children

For children, Halloween generally means candy, but there also will be events for the young ones.

Friday and Saturday

At the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden, there will be a haunted house. Children ages 7 to 9 are invited from 4 to 6 p.m., and older children and adults can enjoy the haunted house from 7 to 9 p.m. The cost is $5 and helps fund the eighth-grade World Strides trip to Washington, D.C., and the Hayden Drama Club.


The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs will host a Halloween junior play day from noon to 3:30 p.m. Pizza will be provided. The cost is $20 per player or $15 for Junior Tennis Academy participants.


Colorado Mountain College’s Hill Hall will host trick-or-treating and games for elementary school-age children from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.


Lincoln Avenue will shut down for the masses from 5 to 7 p.m. for the Downtown Halloween Stroll.

Events for adults

For the adults — who often enjoy Halloween even more — there are a range of activities.


The Tennis Center will host a tennis social from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with a costume contest. Drinks are provided, but people are asked to bring their favorite dish. The cost is $25 per person.

The inaugural Big Lebowski Festival comes to the Chief Theater. Staring at 7 p.m., there will be live music, costume contests, Wii bowling and White Russian specials. The cost is $20.


McKnight’s Irish Pub & Loft will hold a costume party at 8 p.m. with live music and a costume contest. The cost is $5 and includes a drink.


Carl’s Tavern will hold its annual Halloween party featuring the Old Town Pickers at 7 p.m.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

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