Morristown celebrates a snowy Halloween

By Sharon Sheridan

I like my holidays to be memorable. But this was pushing it.

The magnolia tree at St. Peter's took a beating in the snowstorm. Sharon Sheridan photo

Mother Nature seemed determined to get in on Halloween this year, with an emphasis on tricks instead of treats. An early snowstorm on Saturday crashed still-leafy limbs all across North Jersey and left a reported 300,000 still without power here and more than twice that number in the dark in Connecticut on Monday.

At St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Saturday night was supposed to be Haunted House night. Sunday would be our Harvest Festival, in planning for more than a month. The ponies were hired, volunteers lined up, cookies being baked.

And Mother Nature laughed.

Scary apparitions prepared to startle visitors to the Haunted House. Sharon Sheridan photo

Saturday morning, the church decided to move the Harvest Festival to Nov. 13 but to go ahead with the Haunted House on Sunday evening, dovetailing with the town’s pumpkin-lighting event. The youth group gathered late Saturday morning and began decking the halls with spiderwebs and skeletons and making plans for scaring the heck out of patrons. By 2 p.m., the assistant rector, the Rev. Melissa Hall, had shooed everyone out the door as the snow worsened. Plans were to regroup at 4 p.m. the next day to put the finishing touches on the “house” and open for business at 6 p.m.

Mother Nature begged to differ.

My family lives in Flanders, ordinarily a half hour’s drive from Morristown. We arrived home three hours after leaving St. Peter’s to find a downed branch blocking the street leading to our driveway and the power already out several hours. It hasn’t come back on yet, which means no water or phones either.

Hannah Griffee joined the throngs of trick-or-treaters in Morristown. Sharon Sheridan photo

But the Halloween show must go on. So we trekked back to Morristown on Monday for the annual trick-or-treating downtown. The youth group distributed candy on the steps of St. Peter’s. I powered up my phone and laptop in the parish house. And generous friends with hot running water let us take showers. So, we’re clean and at least momentarily connected.

Here are a few scenes from Monday’s festivities in Morristown.

Rescheduled: The Arts Council of the Morris Area will host its snowed-out pumpkin illumination at 6 pm tonight, Nov. 1, across from St. Peter’s at the Vail Mansion reflecting pool.  The Morris County Tourism Bureau will try again with its “Bones, Stones and the Undertaker” walking tour, at St. Peter’s graveyard, on Nov. 5 at 4 pm. Cost: $10, call (973) 631-5151 for reservations.  And St. Peter’s has rescheduled its Harvest Festival for Sunday, Nov. 13, from 10 am to 1 pm.


A lonely skeleton sits in St. Peter's. Perhaps the ticket taker, turned to dust waiting for the visitors who never came? Sharon Sheridan photo
MG Kids Correspondent Carl Hausman practices his scary techniques for the Haunted-House-that-wasn't. Sharon Sheridan photo
Youth group members distribute Halloween candy at St. Peter's. Sharon Sheridan photo


Trick-or-treaters flocked to downtown Morristown for Halloween. Sharon Sheridan photo


Folks of all ages dressed for Halloween in Morristown. Sharon Sheridan photo
The Perry family stops by St. Peter's for Halloween. Sharon Sheridan photo
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