SPRINGVILLE — Things will go bump in the night in Springville this October, as a monthlong Screamsville festival will take over the downtown business district with ghost tours, pumpkin carving, costume contests, story time and more, for the ghoulish, the ghosty and those who want to have a little fall-time fun.
Richard VanOver of VanOver Fine Arts and Michele Roberts of Beans to Brew Cafe decided to launch Screamsville in an attempt to draw more traffic to the village’s downtown merchants with “something fun, something different,” according to VanOver.
“This is a way to get people into downtown Springville. We’re hoping to get vendors interested, generate some buzz around town.”
In order to organize the event, VanOver and Roberts started the Out of the Box Collective, which VanOver said is “simply a group of people who are trying to get more people involved in getting increased interest in our village.
“I look at Ellicottville and they’ve got an event every weekend,” he added. “Now, they’re a bigger community, but there’s no reason we can’t have a smaller event. [It] doesn’t have to be massive to bring people in to see what we’re all about.”
Screamsville runs from Oct. 5-26, with events each day, including stories for kids, ghost tours, storefront displays and crafts on Oct. 5, a zombie scavenger hunt, a ghost walk and crafts on Oct. 12, scarecrow contest and story time on Oct. 19 and a costume parade, costume contest, crafts and more on Oct. 26. More events can be found on the event’s website at www.wix.com/screamsville
. A registration form for all events is located on that site, as well.
“We had all of these ideas and just started talking them out,” VanOver said. One of the events he said is especially exciting is the zombie scavenger hunt, in which Screamsville will be infected by the zombie apocalypse, for the evening.
“[Each of 50 participants] will get three flags, like in flag football. The idea is that there are 14 ingredients for the potion that can get rid of the zombie virus. People have to collect all of those ingredients without getting bit,” Vanover said, adding that each lost flag is considered a zombie bite. “The people who can do that, win.”
That game was invented by local game and toy designer Dan Bryce, who will also have a piece in the 12-artist VanOver Fine Arts’ The Grimm Group Show, based on Grimm’s fairy tales, which will open on the first night of Screamsville.
“It’s going to be a really cool show. We’ve got people coming from all over the country, including a lot from Cleveland. I’m pretty stoked about it,” VanOver said.
Although VanOver said the event will center on the downtown business district, this year, Griffis Hill Gardens, located within Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, will also host a Grimm’s fairytale show. A haunted walk will lead participants to the Sacred Grove, in which three 15-minute plays will be performed at what VanOver called “one of their spookiest places.”
Screamsville will offer something for kids, adults, scare-lovers and crafters, and VanOver said he hopes it will help bring people to town who would not otherwise find their way into the village.
“We’re more than just Gentner’s Auction,” Vanover said. “There’s not cows roaming the streets. That perception needs to change, and all it takes is somebody out there to help spread the word. With the SCA, all of the changes going on around town, we’re more than just a cow town. People need to know that.”