Doniphan Spooktacular on Halloween Night
PHOTO – Cindy Jenks, DNAP Board, Candi Whitlow, DNAP Board and Bloodlines of Salem Descendant, Kat Robinson, Event Coordinator and Bloodlines of Salem, Lynn Maples, Museum Curator.
There will be a huge Halloween celebration in Doniphan Friday evening and the town has an unusual bit of genealogy to credit for the celebration.
When Kat Robinson started researching her family’s genealogy, she ran across something very surprising.
She found she was a direct descendant of the Bloodlines of Salem Massachusetts.
“Luckily, my multi-great grandparents, Thomas and Mrs. Roberts, weren’t executed, but they were banished to Rhode Island,” explained Robinson. This was prior to the famous witch trials of 1692.
Those trials resulted in the execution of twenty people, most of them women. The preliminary hearings of those trials were actually held in several towns in the province of Massachusetts Bay: Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover, and Salem Town. At least five more individuals accused died while in prison.
Robinson, now a member of Doniphan’s City Council and owner of Active Kat Yoga, decided to honor her ancestors and descendants of the Roberts’ in a small way on Halloween.
“Our home in downtown Doniphan used to be an old hospital. We have a balcony, and I thought it might be fun to do a candy drop for the kids in town,” recalled Robinson.
Last year, she and her daughters donned costumes and threw 3,000 pieces of candy from the balcony.
“This year we hope to be tossing about 10,000 pieces of candy over the balcony. Donations keep coming in and we are almost to that goal,” said Robinson.
Kat took her idea to the Doniphan Neighborhood Assistance Program (DNAP) and they were elated to get on board saying they had been wanting to do something like this for years! Now it is the 3rd Annual Haunted Downtown Doniphan Halloween Spooktacular.
Due to the generous donations and efforts of volunteers, the Spooktacular event will feature a trunk or treat, hayride, food, games, and haunted tours of the Historical Museum and the Heritage Homestead. Many businesses plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. Although many events are free, some attractions do have a nominal charge for their event.
“It has basically turned into a fun night for parents to bring their children to that don’t feel comfortable with trick or treating. It’s another option for kids and parents on Halloween,” explained Robinson.
The Ripley County Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Doniphan sponsored a window decorating contest. Many businesses decorated their windows with Halloween themes to add to the Halloween night festivities.
The “Trunk or Treat” event will be hosted by His Place Church around Heritage Park.
It all begins with the candy drop at 6 p.m. on South Grand Street. The Halloween events will continue until 8 p.m.
“Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or volunteer is still welcome to get involved. Those interested should call Robinson at 573-996-7481.
“We ask that booths sell or participate in a way that keeps with the spirit of Halloween, such as offering hot chocolate, hot cider, hot dogs, chili, Sloppy Joes, etc.,” explained Robinson.
Lynn Maples, curator of the Current River Heritage Museum expects several visitors to this year’s “Haunted Museum,” sponsored by Project Graduation.