Halloween, goblins and spooks…spanning a century in the Press


By Brenda Brand, Columnist

100 years ago October 28, 1920
• Spooks at Rothsay
During the past two weeks, freakish stunts have been pulled off within our little city. Although they have not been as serious as lots of others we read about daily in the city papers they have been sufficiently interesting to cause attention.

One night last week, when operator John Moen was leaving his work at the Great Northern Depot, just as he stepped into the dark waiting room, he was slammed right in the jaw by a big fist. John defended himself the best he could in the dark, but after getting another bat on top of the head the two assailants departed post haste.

• More Spooky Happenings in Rothsay
Anton Sogn’s men have been working evenings at the potato warehouses, which apparently brought forth the wrath of some unknown “spook” as several members of the crew were struck by rocks at different times three or four nights in succession.

Upon investigation, it was suspected that some stranger had been camping in the jungles south of town. Saturday night a searching party was organized and a thorough search was made along the Great Northern tracks and at intervals, some member of the crew would be hit by a stone, but nobody got a glimpse of the offending culprit.

The search was abandoned at midnight, but taken up again Sunday morning and kept up most of the day, but with no success.

Monday morning President of the Council, Mr. Brye notified Sheriff Fitzgerald who could not come that day, as he had gone to Tenny to investigate a bank robbery. Tuesday the Sheriff and County Attorney drove across from Breckenridge and went over the reports carefully and
found that it was some other than local parties concerned. However, nobody was caught, and the whole affair is just as big a mystery as ever.

75 years ago October 25, 1945
• Free Movie for Young Folks on Halloween Night
Next Wednesday night is Halloween and as has been the custom the past number of years, the Pelican Rapids Commercial Club will be host to the young folks of the village at a theatre party at the Park Theatre.

Both showings of the mystery picture, “Double Exposure” starring Chester Morris and Nancy Kelly, have been bought out by the club and are offered free to the youngsters, but adults desiring to attend will pay the regular admission. First show starts at 7:30.

50 years ago October 29, 1970
• Cartoons, Prizes at Halloween Party
Pelican Rapids Jaycees are offering cartoons, prizes, and treats at their annual Halloween party at the high school.

The party, beginning at 7:30 pm Saturday, will feature a costume contest with cash prizes for the ten best costumes. Entertainment will include six cartoons, with Chip ’N Dale and other popular cartoon characters.

Candy and treats will also be distributed by the Jaycees.

• More Halloween Fun
The 5th Annual Halloween Jack-O’-Lantern Contest will once again be held at Johnson’s Furniture Store. All youngsters through the age of 12 are eligible for prizes. Design and work is to be done by the entrant, judging to be based on the originality of Jack-O-Lantern design.

Entries must be in by noon Saturday and may be claimed after 5 pm the same day or on Monday.
Prizes are: First Prize $7.00, Second $5.00 and Third $3.00.

• Liquor Store Order Rescinded by Judge
A court order making the Pelican Rapids Municipal Liquor Store “off Limits” to Mexican-American workers at West Central Turkeys was rescinded last week by Justice of the Peace, Roland Huseby.

Huseby had instituted the order as a result of a case in which two of the workers were charged with purchasing liquor for minors. Neither of the two defendants could be identified by the minors, so the charges were dropped.

After consulting with the village attorney, Richard Nitz, about the legality of the order, Huseby rescinded it.

25 years ago October 25, 1995
• Kids Invited to “Spook House”
Residents and staff at the Pelican Valley Nursing Home plan to make Halloween “spooky” for area youngsters again this year.

The nursing home’s second annual “Spook House” will be open from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Tuesday October 31. Nursing home residents will be passing out candy to trick-or-treaters after they go through the spook house.

Parents are invited to bring their children, in costume, to the nursing home. Non-perishable food items for the Pelican Rapids Food Shelf are being accepted at the door for admission. Coffee, witches brew and goodies will also be available.

• Ryan Pierce to Receive Eagle Scout Award
Ryan Pierce, a member of Boy Scout Troop 313 of Pelican Rapids, will receive the Eagle Scout Award at a special ceremony which will be part of the 10 am service Sunday October 29, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Pelican Rapids.

Pierce is the son of Les and Kari Pierce. His grandparents are Vernon and Rosella Flath and Norman and Toots Pierce, all Pelican Rapids residents.

Pierce has been scouting for 11 years, including one in Tiger Cubs, one in Webelos and six in Boy Scouts. He is a senior at Pelican Rapids High School where he is very active in activities, including Future Farmers of America, Lettermen’s Club, Math Team, and National Honor Society.

The Eagle Scout Award is the highest award granted to Boy Scouts and Explorers by the National Scout organization.

Each candidate must earn 22 merit badges and successfully complete a community or church related service project to earn his Eagle Scout Award. Pierce completed a project that included cleaning and widening the trails through the area along the Pelican River behind Trinity
Church. He also built a bench along one of the trails. Posts were installed at the trail entrance to prevent cars from using it.

Business Men Honored returning Pelican World War II Vets in 1945
Business men of Pelican Rapids, through the Commercial Club, have made plans to honor our returning soldiers at a series of dinner meetings, the first of which will take place next Monday evening in the Pelican Valley church basement.

Invitations have been sent out to all discharged servicemen in the Pelican Rapids area to attend the dinner Monday night as guests of the club, and the plans are to hold similar dinner meetings each month to honor those who will be coming home throughout the months to come. Appropriate programs and a social get-together after the dinner for the club members and their honored guests will be a part of the evening’s entertainment.