Platte haunted forest offers safe scare in Halloween altered by COVID-19

Halloween image

PLATTE — COVID-19 has brought some restrictions for Halloween, but Platte Community Building created an event to safely provide a scare for people.

Platte Community Building created a haunted forest, located 2 miles west of Platte, for teenagers and adults from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Two events were hosted on Oct. 17 and Oct. 24, with a kids version of the half-mile trail from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday.

The haunted forest replaces last year’s adult scavenger hunt in Platte, which featured a haunted barn that was well-received.

“You’re going to get scared — that’s the point of it,” said Shauna Meyerink, city of Platte finance officer. “However, no one is grabbing you or touching you for safety reasons all the way around. It’s all in good fun. We tried to put a lot of thought into it. (For kids), we’re not going to jump out and scare them like we would for the adult one.”

Avera Health is advising people to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Halloween early this month, recommending avoiding high-risk activities such as trunk-or-treating, indoor haunted houses where people may be crowded and screaming, hayrides or tractor rides with people not in your household or traveling to a rural fall festival outside your area.


Advisable activities include carving or decorating pumpkins and virtual costume contests. A moderate risk activity is one-way trick-or-treating, where individually wrapped bags are lined up for people to grab as they go. Activities with small groups or outdoor parties with face masks and social distancing are also considered moderate risks.

For the haunted trail, groups are limited to five people, with certain exceptions for a sixth person, but any larger groups will be split in two. Groups entering the forest will be staggered to maintain proper distancing.

Part of the reasoning behind creating the haunted trail in place of the scavenger hunt or a Halloween dance was for distancing purposes.

“Because of the numbers we’ve had for those events in the past, we felt like we couldn’t give people adequate space to social distance,” Meyerink said. “This had been presented last year and we kind of sat on the idea for a while before deciding we should make it happen. It’s outdoors, there’s social distancing, limited group size, there’s nothing people are touching and that’s why we felt this was the year to try it.”

Parents are left to determine if their kids are able to enter the trail without trepidation and cost is $10 per person.

Area Halloween events

  • Main Street and Beyond’s annual trick-or-treating event will be held by participating businesses on Main Street from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 31 in Mitchell.

  • Phobia Haunted Trail takes place from Oct. 29 through Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Reclamation Ranch in Mitchell. Those under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Night-time trails are not recommended for children. Here will be a kid-friendly event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 31. Purchase tickets for $10 at the gate.

  • A drive-thru trick-or-treat will be hosted by Resurgam Lodge No. 31 at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31.

  • Xtreme Cheer and Dance will host Xtreme Trunk-or-Treat at 10 a.m. on Oct. 31 in Mitchell.

  • Back 40 Taphouse Grill will host a Halloween photo booth from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 in Mitchell. Back 40 will also host a hot dog bar and cookie decorating for kids from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31.

  • Parkston Commercial Club is hosting trunk-or-treat for kids 12 years old and under at 4 p.m. on Oct. 31.

  • Gibby’s Corner Bar will host its annual Halloween party at 9 p.m. on Oct. 31 in Tyndall.

  • The Rosebud Arrow, Rod and Gun Club will host a Halloween Archery Fun Shoot at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 in Winner. Admission is free, with 3D targets, 2D faces, swinging targets and archery dart boards lit with blacklights.

  • Winner United Methodist Church will hold a trunk-or-treat at 2 p.m. on Oct. 31. Those wishing to host a trunk are asked to contact the church office.

  • Jeremy Gordon and Beth Hohn are hosting a Halloween wedding, with a reception to follow at Office Bar at 7 p.m. on Oct. 31 in Montrose.

  • A downtown trunk-or-treat will be held in downtown Gregory from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 27.

  • An outdoor trick-or-treat will be held at Silver Threads from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 in Gregory.

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