KINGSLEY — Desirae Dine lives for this time of year.
Growing up in Kingsley, she was accustomed to her family transforming their yard into a haunted tableau at Halloween.
"It all started out with a few cardboard gravestones out front, a witch's cauldron with dry ice and a garage decorated like a witches den," she said. "I was very young at the time and I remember thinking, 'This is really cool.'"
Today, Dine, 34, is master of "Ghost Farm of Kingsley," which remains a family effort as it's open every Friday and Saturday this month. Now in its third year, the farm at 5010 Pierce Road is offering Haunted Walks after dark and lighter Halloween fare starting around 7 for the younger and faint of heart.
And there's altruism in the mayhem. A portion of the proceeds go to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton eighth grade to help defray the costs of a class trip to Washington, D.C.
The Dines have been doing Ghost Farm for three years now, creating a different story line each season and going for bigger and better special effects as they do. The scenario always revolves around a farmer. The first time, the farmer's crazy daughter took over the farm and terror ensued. The next year, the farmer was producing zombie chow and let's just say guests saw pretty quickly that the ingredients looked a lot like themselves.
Now the farmer is dealing with a curse under the harvest moon.
"It's kind of like a moving play, only you're moving through the play to figure out exactly how this curse happened on his family," Dine said.
Costumed actors, including family members — Dine has eight brothers and sisters — and some of those eighth graders, portray the characters. And Dine has continued to research and implement new special effects, which she declines to elaborate on because she doesn't want to give away the surprise.
When visitors arrive, there's storytelling around the campfire including local ghost stories told by Ellen Dine, Desirae's mother. One is about an ethereal woman Dine said many have seen walking on nearby Knight Road. Some motorists have reported believing they hit her, and have gone off the road to avoid running into her, she said.
Before dark, there are non-scary walks for children younger than third grade and others who are afraid of what the night holds at the Ghost Farm. The Dines are also serving up food and fall games.
The rest of the year, the farm goes back to growing vegetables and welcoming school groups for non-threatening tours.
"This is something I work on all year long," Dine said. "When I'm not farming, I'm working on the haunted walk."
Hours are from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Oct. 28. Tickets are $6 in advance from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton eighth-graders, or $8 at the gate. For more information, visit GhostFarm.net or call 645-1447.
It's Halloween for the Dine family
KINGSLEY — Desirae Dine lives for this time of year.
'Perry Hannah's Gifts: Then and Now'
“Perry Hannah’s Gifts: Then and Now,” is expected to arrive in town this week, fresh from the printing press and just in time for the holidays.Continued ...
Owen Walters is one of the lucky ones. “It was hard for me to do things,” he said, as his mom, Terra, reached over to squeeze his hand. “It’s really hard still.”Continued ...
Marta Hepler Drahos: Crafty Christmas helps mend broken heart
For years I’ve been on the receiving end of gifts lovingly made by hand — gifts like a picture frame decorated with beach stones I helped its creator collect, caramel and chocolate sauces for a favorite baked pear recipe, quilted wall hangings depicting my wedding and my beloved pets.Continued ...
Ed Hungness: Scooping the ashes
This fall we have been using our fireplace more than in years past. The season made its appearance and the first snow arrived before a final leaf raking.Continued ...
Books in Brief: 12/08/2013
Illustrator visit; Author discussion.Continued ...
Best Sellers: 12/08/2013
Best-selling books in northern Michigan and across the country:Continued ...
Community in Brief: 12/08/2013
"Cabin Fever" artist talk; Bayside Travellers dance; Betsie Valley Library open house; and more.Continued ...
- Saturday, December 7, 2013
'Messiah Sing' ushers in TC holiday season
David MacDougall considers himself the kind of singer who sounds better singing with a crowd than on his own.Continued ...
Rob Ford: Spread holiday cheer with eye contact
‘Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact” I said to myself. “It’s OK to look at your hands, look at your shoes, look at his beard or look at anything else, but just don’t make eye contact.”Continued ...
Body&Soul in Brief: 12/07/2013
"Pangea's 4 Peace" fundraiser; Parkinson's Support Group Christmas party; Christmas cookie sale; and more.Continued ...
Blood Drive Calendar: 12/07/2013
Where to donate blood in the region:Continued ...
Body&Soul Newsmakers: 12/07/2013
People in the news:Continued ...
Clinic model replicated nationwide
What began two decades ago on Hilton Head Island as a free clinic using retired physicians and volunteers to care for the working poor has become a model for dozens of similar clinics nationwide.Continued ...
Feds give states incomplete Medicaid data
People shopping for insurance on the federal marketplace may be informed they’re eligible for Medicaid and that their information is being sent to state officials to sign them up.Continued ...
Forced C-section is ruled justified
A newly released court judgment says that doctors were medically justified in forcing a woman to have a cesarean section last year because it was in her best interests.Continued ...
Community in Brief: 12/07/2013
Child care for holiday shoppers; old-time country dance.Continued ...
Education Newsmakers: 12/07/2013
The following local graduating seniors were named Kiwanis Club of Traverse City Students of the Month:Continued ...
- Friday, December 6, 2013
Liberace exhibit a trove of glittery glam
For years, Las Vegas tourists have had no place to pay their respects to one of the glitzy town’s founding fathers.Continued ...
How Grinchy Met The Who
Imagine “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” meets “Tommy,” sung and spoken entirely in rhyme.Continued ...
Contribute: Best Christmas light displays
We’re searching for the area’s best neighborhood Christmas light displays for an upcoming Northern Living story.Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 12/06/2013
Christmas parody; Kalkaska Library cookie sale; Glass Mosaic Gallery open house; and more.Continued ...
Night Life Calendar: 12/06/2013
What's happening after dark across northern Michigan:Continued ...
Manistee celebrates season with reopened Vogue, Christmas Weekend
If you’ve never driven the 65 miles southwest to Manistee for the city’s Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend there’s an extra reason to make the trip this year.Continued ...
OTP gets in the spirit with 'Wonderful Life'
Jill Beauchamp has watched the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” every Christmas season since she was young.Continued ...
Mandela film breaks box office records in S. Africa
A movie depicting the life of Nelson Mandela has become South Africa's highest grossing picture after its opening last week, its producers said Thursday.Continued ...
- 'Perry Hannah's Gifts: Then and Now'