Meet the Legends!
They’ve sallied forth from Salem. They’ve beamed down from outer space. They’ve braved the treacherous waters of the Caribbean…and now they’ve invaded Main Street! During Legends & Lanterns® the most notorious villains, witches, and phantoms have crawled out from their crypts and have decided to make Saint Charles their new favorite “haunt.” These ne’er-do-wells have assembled during their favorite time of year in order to provide the most entertaining expEERIEnce of your life (or afterlife). But don’t worry, these playful poltergeists have more treats to offer than tricks.
Swap recipes with the Weird Sisters. Learn the origins of your favorite All Hallow’s Eve traditions with Ulchabhán—the Druid Priest. Brainstorm story ideas with Edgar Allan Poe. Get hair care tips from Medusa. Craft the perfect alibi with Lizzie Borden. An endless supply of macabre memories await you.
Legends & Lanterns® Events
- The Summoning of the Spirits: Opening Ceremony
- Haunted History Trail: Discover the Mysteries of Main Street’s Past
- Tinseltown Terror: A Salute to the Golden Age of Monster Movies
- Morbid Curiosity: Mourning Traditions of the Victorian Age
- Plaza Del Dia De Los Muertos
- Writers Block
- Grimm Brothers Oddities & Curiosities
- Scarecrow Glen
- Gargoyles: History’s Stone Guardians
- Botanical Rascals: A Study of Poisonous & Carnivorous Plants
- Ghost Stories at the First State Capitol
- Van Helsing’s BOO-venir Outpost
- Scaredy Cat Scavenger Hunt
- Pumpkin Glow
- Musical Entertainment
- Monster Banishing Procession & Jam-BOO-ree
The Summoning of the Spirits: Opening CeremonyBack to Top of List
Forget-Me-Not-Plaza (100 Block of South Main)
Saturdays at 10:55am, Sundays at 11:55am
Our celebration of All Hallow’s Eve gets in touch with its ancient Celtic roots as Ulchabhán—the Druid Priest of Legends & Lanterns® recites the enchanted incantation that opens the portals of time and space, allowing the renowned figures of Halloween history to arrive to Saint Charles from regions beyond. As they take to the streets, the Angry Villagers give fair warning to the local townsfolk—there are monsters on Main!
Haunted History Trail: Discover the Mysteries of Main Street’s PastBack to Top of List
You’ll never look at Main Street the same way again after taking this new self-guided audio-video walking tour that unearths the true tales of infamy, villainy, and the paranormal that have shaped the legacy of the historic district. See where witches met along Main Street, learn about Edgar Allan Poe’s Saint Charles connection, walk the grounds where a large cemetery once stood, hear the stories of restless spirits and real-life angry villagers that once wandered these brick streets (in addition to plenty of other secrets that you won’t read about in any guidebook!)
Take the HAUNTED HISTORY TRAIL...if you dare!
Tinseltown Terror: A Salute to the Golden Age of Monster MoviesBack to Top of List
Historic KATY Depot in Frontier Park
It’s thrilling! It’s shocking! And it’s coming to a screen near you! Transport yourself back to the bygone era of drive-in theatres as the historic Katy Train Depot in Frontier Park is transformed into an old-fashioned movie house. Relive the nostalgia with clips from your favorite monster classics and SciFi B-movies of the 1930s-1950s. Enjoy some complimentary popcorn (while supplies last) as these vintage monsters, mutants, and maniacs make their return to the big screen.
Morbid Curiosity: Mourning Traditions of the Victorian AgeBack to Top of List
Historic KATY Depot in Frontier Park
Evangeline Mortimer, Legends & Lanterns’® official nineteenth century mourner extraordinaire invites you into a world of the macabre, eerie, and bizarre. The Victorians turned grief into an art form in the 19th century through their curious (and sometimes just plain odd) funeral practices. Journey just steps off of Main Street to Frontier Park as the historic KATY Train Depot comes to “life” with an informative and family-friendly exhibit that features dozens of peculiar authentic artifacts (including mourning gowns, tear vials, and memorial wreaths made of human hair) that seek to illustrate how Victorians revolutionized the bereavement process. Learn why it’s customary to wear black to funerals. Discover why homes have “living” rooms. Decipher what the symbols on old tombstones represent. Explore what customs can still be recognized today and which fads have “died out.”
Plaza Del Dia De Los MuertosBack to Top of List
Berthold Square - 200 Block of South Main
Let the skeletal grand dame La Catrina be your guide as you explore the heritage and vibrant customs of the Mexican Day of the Dead. Far from being a somber occasion, the joyous annual commemoration of Dia de los Muertos (which has origins going back over 2,500 years) honors the souls of departed loved ones through music, stories, food (such as the baking of pan de Muerto, a bone-shaped sweet roll), and the decorating of gravesites and memorial altars (known as ofrenda) with colorful cempazuchitl (marigolds—orange like the sun, representing hope and life)
Get involved in the celebration while visiting La Plaza del Dia de los Muertos, where you can remember a departed loved one by contributing a memorial marigold to the ofrenda, or get a festive calavera (sugar skull) make-over from one of our professional face painters.
Writers BlockBack to Top of List
Old Post Office Plaza - 100 Block of South Main
Celebrate the legacy of gothic literature and the creative authors behind history’s most spine-tingling tales with a visit to Writers’ Block. It is here that you will be able to brainstorm story ideas with two of the biggest superstars of the horror genre: Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Perhaps you will be inspired enough to try your hand at writing your own suspenseful poem or short story. You can even post your masterpiece on our “POE” tree, where you can enjoy reading the clever musings left behind by other aspiring authors.
Finally, every festival day at 2 pm, take a crash course through the history of horror literature as Poe and Shelley are joined by the Brothers Grimm to irreverently skewer the classics during a zany, fast-paced show that takes you through an abbreviated journey of your favorite frightful books and fairy tales. From Frankenstein to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, no monster myth or ghost story is safe!
Writer’s Block Showtimes: (2:00 p.m. Daily)
Grimm Brothers Oddities & CuriositiesBack to Top of List
Old Post Office Plaza - 100 Block of South main
With a name that is synonymous with Germanic folklore, the Brothers Grimm popularized many traditional oral stories, immortalizing them in their collection of fairy tales. Through their stories, Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859) Grimm introduced readers to some of literature’s most nefarious ne’er-do-wells including Hansel and Gretel’s Gingerbread Witch, the Big Bad Wolf, Cinderella’s Wicked Stepsisters, and the Evil Queen from Snow White.
Recently, the Brothers Grimm have taken their storytelling talents on the road. As traveling bards, they have barnstormed across villages and towns around the world with their makeshift museum in tow…showcasing some of the bizarre artifacts they have collected from their various journeys into the fantasy realms of your favorite stories.
Scarecrow GlenBack to Top of List
Kister Park - 400 Block of South Main Street
Things in Saint Charles have gone “hay”-wire! Head over to Kister Park to experience Scarecrow Glen. Get into the autumn spirit as you stroll the meandering path around the iconic Main Street Gazebo to get a view of the dozens of clever displays. Whether traditional or imaginative, whimsical or cutting edge, the scarecrows you see here have all come from the creative minds of merchants, organizations, and families from throughout the Saint Charles area and beyond. Be sure to vote for your favorite in our digital “straw” poll!
Gargoyles: History’s Stone GuardiansBack to Top of List
Forget-Me-Not-Plaza - 100 Block of South Main
Responsible for driving away evil forces, gargoyle lore can be traced back all the way to ancient Egypt and Greece. This educational exhibit seeks to shed light on these stone monsters by answering questions (for instance, what is the difference between a “gargoyle” and a “grotesque?”) while exploring international variations, depictions in popular culture, and the artistry behind these ghastly characters that have captured the imagination for centuries.
Botanical Rascals: A Study of Poisonous & Carnivorous PlantsBack to Top of List
Daniel Boone Statue - 700 Block of South Main)
Calling all green thumbs! Enter into the wicked world of gardening with this study of poisonous & carnivorous plants. Gaze upon an eclectic collection of bell jars and terrariums, each containing an assortment of sinister specimens (including Venus Fly Traps, Poison Hemlock, Mandrakes, and a bizarre man-eating plant from outer space named “Audrey II”). Learn the fascinating history and stories behind Mother Nature’s deadliest flora.
Ghost Stories at the First State CapitolBack to Top of List
First Missouri State Capitol Historic Site - 200 South Main
Daily: 1:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
Join us at the First Missouri State Capitol as several ghostly residents of Saint Charles’ past materialize to share a treasury of spooky short stories and ghost tales that will send a shiver down your spine (and occasionally put a smile on your face).
Van Helsing’s BOO-venir OutpostBack to Top of List
Kister Park - 400 Block of South Main Street
The name of Van Helsing is synonymous with ghoul eradication, and now a team of professional monster hunters have decided to expand the business by offering up a selection of macabre merchandise. While browsing for the latest model of pitchfork, you will also find a wide array of official Legends & Lanterns® t-shirts and keepsakes that will help you keep the spirit of Halloween going all year long and provide the perfect souvenir to commemorate your visit to Legends & Lanterns®.
Scaredy Cat Scavenger HuntBack to Top of List
Meet Jekyll (the festival’s unofficial feline mascot). Jekyll likes to “hyde” throughout the historic district during Legends & Lanterns®. A clue to our scaredy cat’s whereabouts will be posted each festival day on the official Legends & Lanterns® Facebook page. Take a picture with our frightened feline and show it to one of the volunteers at the Tourism Center (230 South Main Street) in exchange for a small prize.
Don’t forget to share your photos on social media with #LegendsAndLanterns
Pumpkin GlowBack to Top of List
Friday, October 27 & Saturday, October 28 (5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
Join the merchants of Main Street for an enchanting evening of shopping by pumpkin glow. Participating shops along Main Street will decorate their sidewalks and windows with Jack-O-Lanterns of all shapes and sizes and invite you in for a Fall Open House. Get a group together and stroll the sidewalks, take photos of your favorite creations, and discover something new at participating locations. From antiques and curiosities, to dog cookies and discounts, you’re sure to find just the right item. Get a jump start on your Holiday shopping during an enchanted weekend on Main Street.
Musical EntertainmentBack to Top of List
The Angry Villagers (A Musical Mob)
What’s a good monster story without a proverbial hoard of angry villagers? This band of bumbling peasants have found their way to Saint Charles in order to vanquish any supernatural visitors. Armed with pitchforks, torches, and cloves of garlic, these villagers are not only angry but—musical! So keep an eye (and an ear) out, they may have a special seasonal tune to share with you—in between their quest to rid Main Street of ghosts, of course.
Torch Songs: A Disgruntled, Musical Rally
Kister Park Gazebo - 400 Block of South Main.
3:00 p.m. Daily
It’s impossible to be angry when the haunting melodies of the Halloween season are brought to life by everyone’s favorite musical mob. Join the Angry Villagers on the steps of the Gazebo in Scarecrow Glen (400 block of South Main) every festival day at 3 pm as they present a creepy chorale of spellbinding tunes that provide the perfect soundtrack for storming a castle.
The Ghouling Stones
Forget-Me-Not Plaza - 100 Block of South Main
Look out! There are some new “rock” stars in town…literally! Long ago in ancient Greece, these musical muses incurred the wrath of Medusa who turned them into stone. But don’t take them for granite…these living statues still retain their voices and have traveled to Saint Charles with one concrete goal in mind: to become one of Legends & Lanterns’® “boulder” attractions.
Dr. Schnabel: The Fiddling Plague Doctor
600 South Main Street
During the Bubonic Plague, medical physicians would travel to infected villages wearing long black coats and their iconic beaked masks (these “beaks” were often stuffed with dried flowers and spices to keep away bad smells which at the time were considered by many to be how the disease spread). These individuals were usually second-rate medical hacks (and in many cases weren’t even doctors at all). In Dr. Schanbel’s case, he believes that music is the best medicine and has traveled to Legends & Lanterns® (with fiddle in tow) in order to heal his “patients” with a prescription of Halloween tunes and hoe-down melodies.
Throughout Historic Main Street
Making their RAT-ical Legends & Lanterns® debut, this duo of devious plague rodents have infested the festival to give the Pied Piper a taste of his own medicine!
The Warbling Gourds
Historic KATY Depot in Frontier Park
Sure, the tradition of carving Jack-o-Lanterns can be traced back centuries ago, but have you ever heard one sing before? Step into the historic KATY Depot where you will find “Countess Eudora’s House of Magick.” Amid this dusty collection of curios and supplies for soothsayers and spell casters, you will find the Warbling Gourds, a trio of crooning pumpkins. Carve out some time to experience these vocalizing vegetables as they perform their repertoire of amusing Halloween “scare-ols.”
Karaoke with the Phantom of the Opera
Throughout Historic Main Street
In 1909, French author Gaston Leroux introduced readers to the Phantom of the Opera, the disfigured musical prodigy lurking deep within the catacombs of the Paris Opera House. The story of this ghastly specter has been adapted many times, including Lon Chaney’s 1925 silent film and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster Broadway musical.
Today, having traded in his pipe organ for a karaoke machine, the Phantom prowls the historic district, in search of his new muse. So stay alert! You never know when this Opera Ghost may suddenly appear in order to challenge you to sing for a chance at Legends & Lanterns® stardom.
Monster Banishing Procession & Jam-BOO-reeBack to Top of List
Starting from the 900 Block of South Main approximately 30 minutes prior to the end of each festival day.
The end of each festival day is heralded by a roundup of your favorite ghouls and villains by the dastardly Angry Villagers. Hoisting their torches and pitchforks, this disgruntled procession starts on the 900 block of South Main where it ultimately arrives on the 400 block of South Main as the Kister Park Gazebo provides the backdrop for an epic musical finale. Will the Legends of Halloween be successful in their quest to take over Main Street? Or will the Angry Villagers get their wish and chase away our ghoulish guests?