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First Lady Jennie Gordon Hosting Trick Or Treating Event At Gov’s Residence

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By Ellen Fike and Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

For Governor Gordon’s sake, it’s a good thing that kids aren’t voters.

Word that trick-or-treaters will be able to go back to the Governor’s Residence after a year’s hiatus due to Covid could be seen as a pretty exciting news event.

That is, until you hear what type of candy will be distributed. Or not be distributed.

Parents might be thrilled to hear that pre-packaged fruit or trail mix will be handed out by First Lady Jennie Gordon.

The trick-or-treaters might feel differently, however.

The Candy Industry reports that Wyoming’s favorite trick-or-treat item is a Snickers bar.

The Snickers bar is so beloved that, according to a popular cartoon that circulates this time of year, it even tamed the Grim Reaper.

But, of course the gracious thing to do is be thankful that the state’s chief executive is opening the residence to all-comers on Halloween from 5-7 p.m.

“The first lady will be here to hand out treats to each family that comes through,” Gordon’s spokeswoman Trista Ostrom told Cowboy State Daily on Friday. “We will set up outside at the end of the walk way so that families can drive through if they wish or they can park and walk up to trick or treat. She purchases candy items locally to distribute.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, not the most popular man in Wyoming, recently announced that he believed it was safe for children to trick or treat this year.

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It Doesn’t Make Any Sense But Salt Water Taffy is Wyoming’s Favorite Halloween Candy

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Halloween memes are great. There’s the meme that shows the Dole ‘fun-size’ mini salad, the Grim Reaper who decides not to take someone’s soul because she handed-out full-size Snickers, and the perennial Halloween Group Therapy session.

We love them all.

But is Halloween even going to happen in the year of the Coronavirus?

It is.  In fact, the decline in trick-or-treating and handing out candy is projected to be quite small.

Halloween candy sales are expected to reach $2.4 billion this year, down only slightly from $2.6 billion last year. (Yes, $200 million is a lot of money but the U.S. national debt is $27 trillion so nothing really matters).

The National Retail Federation estimates that 20% fewer trick-or-treaters will to venture out this year compared to last and only 11% fewer people are planning to hand out candy.

All of which, naturally, leads us to wonder: What is Wyoming’s most popular type of Halloween candy?

We found one survey that we’re throwing in the trash. A site called Zippia says Wyoming’s favorite is Hershey’s Kisses, those ubiquitous drops of chocolate wrapped in bright foil.

But Zippia’s methodology is suspect, with the site saying its analysts use Google Trends, but failing to explain how those analytics are used.

The survey that makes sense to us is from CandyStore.com.

Its methodology makes a lot more sense.  It’s based on actual sales.

“For over 13 years, we’ve been delivering bulk candy around the country. As bulk candy retailers and distributors, we’ve got a lot of candy sales data to comb through,” the company said.

What did the company come up with for Wyoming?  Salt water taffy.

This doesn’t particularly make sense to us. How does CandyStore.com know people are buying the taffy to hand out on Halloween?

The company said it analyzed its sales data from 2007 to 2019 with an emphasis on the moths leading up to Halloween. The site has also developed relationships with major candy manufacturers and distributors who contributed to the survey, the site said.

Bottom line: 25,864 pounds of salt water taffy was purchased in Wyoming last year during “Halloween season.” Close behind was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at 24,790 pounds. So it’s a close call.

Land-locked Wyoming is the only state where the sticky confection associated with the seashore is No. 1.

Looking at the handy-dandy CandyStore map identifying the top candies of all the states, you see a lot of Skittles, candy corn, and Reese’s.

The national top ten candies are:

  1. Skittles
  2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  3. Starburst
  4. M&M’s
  5. Hot Tamales
  6. Candy Corn
  7. Snickers
  8. Sour Patch Kids
  9. Hersey Kisses
  10. Jolly Ranchers

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Police Called to Investigate Halloween Display in Powell

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By Connie Burcham, Powell Tribune

A Halloween display gone wrong has upset some Park County residents.

The situation was brought to the attention of the Powell Police Department by Jessica Ursuy.

At the center of the discord was a dummy dressed in full sized overalls with the head of a scarecrow, dark in color. The dummy was on its knees, hands cuffed behind its back and a rope around its neck.

Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said officers responded to the call and talked to the residents.

“In our visit with them they said it was intended as a Halloween decoration. The mask of a scarecrow then went to a teddy bear head,” Eckerdt said.

Since then, following a significant backlash on social media, the entire figure has been removed. The residents told police it was to have been the first step in a larger display.

Ursuy, and others, were not convinced. She wrote, “I reported this because I don’t think it was any sort of Halloween decoration. There (weren’t) any other Halloween decorations, pumpkins in or around the yard or house. I refuse to believe that it was some Halloween prank. Even if it was, it was absolutely disgusting. People of color, which includes myself, don’t feel welcome and/or safe when I see something like that on someone’s yard.”

Eckerdt said this sort of incident is uncommon in Powell, and his department doesn’t believe there was ill intent.

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Ghost Hunters Investigate Wyoming Territorial Prison

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By Mike McCrimmon, Cowboy State Daily

Investigating the paranormal or “ghost hunting” isn’t actually frightening, according to a member of a Colorado paranormal investigation group.

Sara Igo, the fraud investigator for ParaFPI, was in Laramie last week with members of her organization to conduct an investigation at the Wyoming Territorial Prison.Igo said paranormal investigation is a way for people to learn there may be more to the world than they are aware of.

“It’s a science and understanding,” she said. “A lot of time people hear ‘spirits’ or ‘paranormal’ and they get freaked out or afraid. It’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s embracing that there’s much more to this world than what we can actually see or touch.”

The team was equipped with high-tech equipment, including sensitive audio recorders to capture electronic voice phenomena or “EVPs,” noises that may occur on the playback of a recording that were not audible at the time the recording was made.

The equipment used in investigations has improved dramatically over the years, said Bill Swayne, ParaFPI’s team manager, who started investigating the paranormal in the 1980s.

“Back then, we didn’t have fancy tools like this,” he said. “It was basically a compass and you would go out and you would try to find something. It really wasn’t cool back in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Here’s a look at how ParaFPI prepared for its investigation at the Territorial Prison.

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Thrills, chills plentiful for Halloween in Cowboy State

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

As Halloween approaches, people around the Cowboy State are looking for a place to trick or treat, take the family or otherwise have a save good time celebrating. Halloween events around the Cowboy State are plentiful, ranging in venue from bars to restaurants, churches, civic centers and museums, all offering a different spin on the spooky season.

A tradition this time of year is the haunted house tour and one of Wyoming’s most famous — and notorious — is the haunted tour of the “Big House,” the Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins.

Now entering its 28th year, the 2019 haunted tours of the prison will be held Oct. 25, 26 and 31 and will be a fast-paced tour for thrill seekers age 12 and over. 

“This year, our theme is, ‘Hell Hath No Fury,’” said Tina Hill, the prison’s site director. “We are doing this for the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage.” 

And while the prison is “officially” haunted, “our ghosts don’t participate in our special events,” Hill said with a chuckle.

Reservations are required are required for the tour this year. Tours run every half hour and take 30 to 40 minutes.

The Frontier Prison is also hosting its fundraising Halloween Masquerade on Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is for adults only.

If it’s something less scary you are looking for, the Natrona County High School, is holding a “Save Halloween Carnival” on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There will be food, games and a costume contest. 

A first-time event in Cheyenne this year is the “Vampire Ball” and “Vampire Bachelor Auction” at the Asher Building on Friday from 10 p.m. to 2  a.m.

Tickets to the ball are $25 per person, $40 per couple and $100 per table of six. The night will include a dark dessert bar by Mullendore Confectionery, beer and wine sponsored by T-Joes, live music, tarot card reading, and witchy wares to browse or purchase. 

“With a lot of footwork and social media marketing, it is going to become an amazing annual Halloween event,” said Lesley Lara, the event’s organizer. “I couldn’t be happier with how well the community is showing interest in something so new to our event scene. So we are just going to make it greater every year.”

Below is a list short list compiled by the Cowboy State Daily of events around the state to help you get your fill of chills, thrills and good fun.  

Oct. 17: SPOOKtacular BOOth Expo! 
5 to 7:30 p.m.
Casper Events Center, 1 Events Dr, Casper, WY
Oct. 18: Halloween Halls of Horror 
7 to 10 p.m.
Central Wyoming College, Main Campus, 2660 Peck Ave, Riverton, WY
Oct. 18: Halloween Masquerade 
7 to 10 p.m.
Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum, 500 W Walnut St, Rawlins, WY
Oct. 18: Vampire Ball and Vampire Bachelor Auction
10 p.m. to 2  a.m.
Asher Upstairs, LLC500 W 15th St, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001 
Oct. 18: Halloween Sign Class
6 to 8 p.m.
CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities, 1635 Reata Dr. Gillette, WY
Oct. 19: Trick-or-Treating 
7 p.m.
Green Acres Corn Maze, 8451 Haines Rd. Casper, WY
Oct. 19: Halloween Pumpkin Carving
1 to 3 p.m.
Dubois Museum, 909 W Rams Horn St. Dubois, WY
Oct. 24: Trunk Or Treat / Carnival
4 p.m.
519 W Wallick Rd. Cheyenne, WY
Oct. 25, 26 and 31: Haunted Halloween Night Tours @ Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum 
7:00 to 11:55 PM
Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum, 500 W Walnut St. Rawlins, WY
Oct. 25: Family Fun: Hootin' Howlin' Halloween
2 to 4:30 PM
Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 720 Sheridan Ave. Cody, WY
Oct. 26: 2019 Trick-or-Treat Trail @ The Science Zone
3 to 7 p.m.
The Science Zone, 111 W Midwest Ave Casper, WY
Oct. 26: Costume Carnival
12 to 3 p.m.
David Street Station, 200 S David St. Casper, WY
Oct. 26: Halloween Night at the Museum
12 to 3 p.m.
Fremont County Pioneer Museum, 1443 W Main St., Lander, WY
Oct. 26: Kid Prints Halloween Carnival & Trunk or Treat
5 to 8 p.m.
Sundance Elementary School, Sundance, WY
Oct. 26: Yellowstone Garage Trunk-or-Treat
12 to 3 p.m.
Yellowstone Garage, 355 W Yellowstone Hwy, Casper, WY
Oct. 26: Hanover's Halloween Massacre
8 to 11:58 p.m.
211 B St. Rock Springs, WY
Oct. 27: "Scary Music" or "Things that Go Bump in the Night"
3 to 6 p.m.
Campbell County High School South Campus, 4001 Saunders Blvd. Gillette, WY
Oct. 27: Trick or Treat Halloween Carnival
2 to 4 p.m.
Spring Wind Assisted Living, 1072 N 22nd St. Laramie, WY
Oct. 29: Safe Halloween Carnival
4:30 to 7:30 PM
Natrona County High School, 930 S Elm St. Casper, WY
Oct 31: Trick Or Treat On Town Square
9:30 to 11:00  a.m.
Jackson Town Square, 10 E Broadway Ave. Jackson, WY
Oct. 31: Halloween Bash 2019!
8 p.m. to 12  a.m.
Reed's Package Liquors, 310 S 5th St. Laramie, WY
8 p.m.
Pink Garter Theatre, 50 W Broadway Jackson, WY
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