Historical society introduces socially distant scavenger hunt

October event through downtown core replaces haunted mansion.

October means the arrival of spooky season in Haddonfield … and beyond.

Days grow shorter; nights are longer; there’s a chill in the air; and soon, the spirit and material worlds collide. Borough residents who love this time of year and want to indulge in some outdoor Halloween-related fun won’t be disappointed. 

With continued precautions due to COVID-19 casting doubt on the annual Halloween parade and cancellation of the Haunted Mansion tour, the Historical Society of Haddonfield offers up a free, socially distant scavenger hunt for families. 

Through the end of October, the hunt will ask participants to solve the following query from Lizzie the Witch: Bones is having a party today. Are you ready to go yet?

According to HSH President Charlene Creed, eight different posters will be placed strategically around town. Embedded within those posters is one word on each to help answer the riddle. 

“We’re inviting young children and their parents to visit each of these posters, get the necessary information and then answer the riddle,” Creed said. “Kids can feel free to get into the spirit by dressing up while they participate.

“We were originally thinking of doing something like this around Oct. 31, but we decided to try it earlier because we don’t really know if there’s going to be any trick or treating.” 

The scavenger hunt is the latest way the historical society is trying to serve the public in a time of crisis. Plans are also in the works for annual Haunted Haddonfield tours, but with strict distanting guidelines. 

“I haven’t heard anything negative, and I suspect because our annual fundraising and outreaches are now happening in the fall, so people have come to accept the fact that nothing’s happening, and when it does, they’re happy,” Creed admitted. 

It doesn’t mean there’s not an element of sadness that certain anticipated annual events won’t proceed, like the spectacle that occurs inside Greenfield Hall each year. 

“It’s heartbreaking. But we are actually decorating the mansion now so that it’s going to be visible from the street,” Creed added. 

For those distressed that things won’t proceed as normal in the future, Creed admits her goal as far as scheduling events is not to let anybody down, so the historical society has been careful about cancelling things and tries not to postpone other events indefinitely. 

“We’re figuring out the best way to reach out to you, and when we do, we will do that through social media,” she revealed. “Instead of keeping on pushing things forward, we want to work on a definitive date and see where we are from there.”

Anyone who answers the riddle will be eligible to win a $50 Haddonfield gift card. Successful entrants will then have their names placed into a witch’s hat and the HSH will select one as the winner. 

To participate or for more information, visit the society’s Facebook page at: @historicalsocietyofhaddonfield or its website, haddonfieldhistory.org, for more information.