2018-09-08 / News

State Park To Host Fort Fright Night October 5, 6

Two evenings of spooky activities will be held at Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City Friday, October 5, and Saturday, October 6. Fort Fright will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. both evenings.

Along the lakeshore path, visitors will tread lightly as the sun sets and a host of monsters, from werewolves to lutins, take over the fort. Huddled around campfires, voyageurs will tell spooky tales and warn visitors what they could encounter. Redcoats will patrol the fort and beckon visitors inside, and French fur traders tell stories and sing traditional 1700s songs. Lantern-lit paths will guide visitors through the festivities. And tours of the haunted rowhouse, an exhibit custom designed for this event, are among the featured activities.

Most activities at Fort Fright will be suitable for the entire family, but a number of and scary activities are designed to appeal to older children and adults.

Historic interpreters will also offer autumnal treats like homemade molasses cookies and toffee. Visitors will also learn about death, burial practices, traditions, and ceremonies of the 1700s.

Set against an eerie, yet real background, the concept of Fort Fright stems from the French-Canadian oral tradition of passing on tales during travels. Oral history will be shared at the event, much like it was more than 250 years ago.

The characters that will roam during Fort Fright, including werewolves, lutins, and Le Dame Blanche (meaning the White Lady ghost), are inspired by the “Were- Wolves and Will-o-the-Wisps: French Tales of Mackinac Retold” by Dirk Gringhuis. The collection of short stores, published by Mackinac State Historic Parks, is based on French-Canadian folktales brought to the Mackinac Straits area by the voyageurs during the height of the French fur trade.

Admission to Fort Fright is $10 per adult, $6 for children ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and younger and Mackinac Associates members (excluding Heritage Level).

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