Cowtown brings out the spirits, zombie gunfighters for Halloween

Zombie gunfighters will converge on Cowtown next weekend during the annual “Hay, Hooves and Halloween” event.
Zombie gunfighters will converge on Cowtown next weekend during the annual “Hay, Hooves and Halloween” event. Courtesy photo

October events at Wichita’s Old Cowtown Museum are going beyond tricks and treats.

Over the next two weekends, the site is offering haunted- and spooky-themed activities for families and adults-only.

“We’re trying to mix it up and keep things that people expect and add in some things to see what the public wants,” said Jacky Goerzen, executive director.

The events kick off on Friday night, with the first of three ghost tours presented by the Wichita Paranormal Research Society. Investigators make their way through the “haunted” buildings in Cowtown, Goerzen said, in an event that was brought back this year after several years’ absence.

New this year is a “Halfaween Show” on Saturday night presented by Amira Dance Productions of Wichita. The “halfa,” a Middle Eastern-style dance, has moved to Cowtown for its performance this year.

Next weekend, “Hay, Hooves and Halloween” returns to Cowtown from 4 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 29 and 30.

“It used to be a daytime event, and to freshen it up, we flipped it over and changed the hours” several years ago, Goerzen said, “and it’s gotten really big, really fast. It’s been amazing.”

The event has included, for the past several years, something Goerzen believes is unique: zombie gunfights.

“I just thought it would be something funny if we did zombie gunfights, since zombies don’t die – they get shot and get back up, shot and get back up,” said Goerzen, who added that the gunfights have expanded to twice a night this year.

There also will be a dance battle in the streets of Cowtown twice each night, as well as games – including pumpkin bowling – and appearances by saloon girls and the “Headless Horseman.”

Another new event is the Victorian Spirit Theatre on Oct. 29-30, after families exit for the night.

“It’s kind of based on the old-style Victorian seances. It’s got a lot of elements of the 1800s in it,” said Goerzen, who added that a medium from out of the area will conduct the seances, which are limited to 24 seats per night.

“I think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun,” she said. “It’s something that’ll be a really unique Halloween experience.”

October at Cowtown

Wichita Paranormal Research Society Ghost Tours: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21; 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22; $15 (tickets available at WichitaTix.com)

Amira Dance Productions Halfaween Show: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22; $10 donation

Hay, Hooves and Halloween: 4-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 29-30; $5 per person at the gate

Victorian Spirit Theatre: 9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 29-30; $20 (tickets available at WichitaTix.com)

Information: OldCowtown.org or 316-350-3323