Ghost Ship open Fridays, Saturdays in October

MANISTEE — October comes with cooler temperatures and crisper air, but the SS City of Milwaukee will truly chill some spines this month.

The historic ship — located at 99 Arthur St. (U.S. 31) in Manistee — has again transformed into its alter ego: the Ghost Ship.

For the 16th straight year, the public is invited (if they dare) to walk through this unique “haunted house,” which will continue to run from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays for the rest of October.

While spooks and scares most definitely await, organizers aim to have their guests smiling upon their exit from the ship.

“If they walk off with a smile on their face, that’s what we’re shooting for,” said Linda Spencer, executive director of the SS City of Milwaukee. “We don’t go heavy on the gore and blood — we have elements of it here and there — but a lot of what we try to do is give you a scare and maybe some laughs.

“We want you to have a good time.”

The Ghost Ship, on average, turns out nearly 3,200 people each year.

Spencer said it takes three full weeks of hard work leading up to its opening to prepare the ship for haunted tours, but planning and tweaking the event is a year-round process.

“We like to go to a convention down state and see what’s new in the Halloween world,” she explained. “We purchase some things or take ideas from there and try to recreate it on our own.

“Even if we use something we’ve done before, we’ll try to move it around to a different area. We always try to add new elements every year.”

Volunteers are involved every step of the way, from set up to running the haunted house.

Fees apply to entering the Ghost Ship, with rates for adults, children (ages 7-17) and seniors (60-plus). Participants should note that several areas of the Ghost Ship involve climbing up and down staircases.

For more information on the Ghost Ship, visit www.manisteesghostship.com or visit its page on Facebook.

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