Ramstein brings back haunted tent city
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 21, 2011
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The Haunted Tent City put on by airmen at Ramstein Air Base every year at Halloween — except last year, when the event was canceled due to security concerns — is on again this year, but will be held on base and so will not be open to the general public, Ramstein officials said.
Base leaders directed that the event be moved onto the base this year due to legal, host nation and security concerns, base spokesman Juan Melendez said this week, without elaborating.
Built and organized by the 435th Construction and Training Squadron, the attraction in years past was held in a secluded, wooded area by the training squadron compound, which is adjacent to the main air base. It was open to the general public, including German citizens, and on some nights, drew a couple thousand visitors, said Staff Sgt. Chris Harward, Haunted Tent City lead organizer and an instructor with the 435th CTS.
Last year, base officials canceled the event after the State Department in early October issued a travel alert for all of Europe, warning of possible terrorist attacks.
This year, the tent city will be set up in the woods northwest of Burger King on Ramstein. The event will be held on four evenings, Oct. 28 to Oct. 31, from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Volunteers will scale back the scares for the “light fright” portion, from 5 to 7 p.m., making it appropriate for children approximately 8 years and older, Harward said. Cost is $3 per person. But, Harward said, parents should use their own judgment.
The “full fright” starts at 7 p.m., and isn’t recommended for children under 12, Harward said. Cost is $5 per person.
Proceeds are used to cover the cost of putting on the event, with any extra going to the squadron’s booster club, which donates to base and community organizations.
The tent city features about 10 attractions, ranging from a snake room and clown tent to a haunted maze and an insane asylum.
“This is and has been, honestly, the scariest thing” in the Kaiserslautern military community, Harward said. “I’ve heard that on more than one occasion. When we go ‘full fright,’ it is scary.”
Airmen with the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base — about 75 miles northwest of Ramstein — also promise to scare visitors at its haunted house, an annual event for the past 10 years featuring ghosts, clowns, werewolves and zombies.
The wing-sponsored event, held at the Bitburg housing annex, runs Oct. 27 to 29 at the French Casern in Bldgs. 2032 and 2033, according to an Air Force press release. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 13. The doors open at 5 p.m., with the first hour geared for younger children who want to trick-or-treat with the lights on. “The house will go dark, and the real fun begins at 6 p.m.,” the release states.
The haunted house will be open until 10 p.m. on Oct. 27, with access limited to military and family members. Local nationals will be able to attend on Oct. 28 and 29, when the attraction will be open until midnight.
Here’s a look at trick-or-treat times and other Halloween related events at many U.S. military communities in Europe:
Chievres Air Base: Oct. 31 - Carnival rides at 4 p.m.; trunk- or- treat trail opens at 5:30 p.m. Call DSN 361-5643or commercial 068-275643 for more information.
U.S. Army Garrison Brussels: Oct. 28 - Autumn Fest: Haunted House, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Bldg. 2, top floor; trunk- or- treat, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Adult Costume Party, 8 p.m. to midnight, at the Three Star Recreation Center.
Schinnen: Oct. 28 – trunk-or-treat, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Call DSN 360-7561 or 046-4437561 for more information.
RAF Mildenhall: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 6 to 9 p.m., in enlisted and officer base housing. Oct. 22, 28, and 29 – Haunt World, 6 p.m. to midnight in Bldg. 582; cost is $5.
RAF Lakenheath: Oct. 31 – pumpkin patrol, 6 to 9 p.m., at Liberty Village.
RAF Alconbury: Oct. 29 – trick-or-treat, 6 to 8 p.m., base housing
RAF Molesworth: Oct. 28 – haunted house, 5 to 6:30 p.m. with lights on; from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. with lights off.
RAF Croughton: Oct. 29 – Halloween party, 6 to 8 p.m., base community center; open to kids ages 10 and under.
Menwith Hill: Oct. 28 – trick-or-treat trail, 4:30 to 7 p.m.; regular trick-or-treating, 7 to 8:30 p.m., base housing; haunted house, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., base housing.
Vicenza: Oct. 31 – carnival, 3:30 to 6 p.m., and trick-or-treat, from 6 to 8 p.m., Villaggio housing area.
Camp Darby: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 3:30 p.m.; Halloween fest in Bldg. 730, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Aviano Air Base: Oct. 29 – fall fest, from 4 to 10 p.m.
Naval Support Activity Naples: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 6 to 9 p.m., all around support site; USO Fright Fest, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., support site community center; Oct. 29 – Dead Man’s Party, 9 p.m., O’Rhys Irish Pub; Halloween dance workshop, noon to 3 p.m. , support site fitness forum; Oct. 28 – “Spooktakular,” starting at 6 p.m., Carney Park; Oct. 21, 23, 27, 29 and 30 – Seabee haunted house, support site, near commissary.
Baumholder: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 5 to 8 p.m.; trunk-or-treat, from 5 to 8 p.m., Rheinlander Community Club parking lot. Oct. 28 – Vampire Ball, from 7 p.m., Rheinlander Community Club.
Wiesbaden: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 5 to 7 p.m.; trick-or-treat at Wiesbaden Army Community Service, ages 10 and under, 2:30 to 4 p.m.; Oct. 29 – adult Halloween party, starting at 8 p.m., Wiesbaden Entertainment Center in Hainerberg Housing.
Hohenfels: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 5 to 7 p.m.; Oct. 25 to 27 – Asylum Haunted House, 8 to 11 p.m., Bldg. 373; Oct. 28 – Monster Fest, 4 to 6 p.m., Bldg. 47; Oct. 29 - BOSS Halloween Party, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Bldg. 150; Harvest Fest, 1 to 6 p.m., Post Gym and Community Activities Center.
Heidelberg/Mannheim military communities: Oct. 29 – trick-or-treat, 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28 – Fall Fest Mannheim, 4 to 7 p.m., Woods Field on Benjamin Franklin Village; Oct. 29 – BOSS Horror Tour, 6 to 8 p.m., ages 12 – 17; 8 to 11 p.m., ages 18 and older, Patrick Henry Village, Heidelberg.
Bamberg: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 6 to 8 p.m., all housing areas; chapel hallelujah alternative, 6 to 8 p.m.; Oct. 28 – Harvest Fest, 6 to 8 p.m., John F. Kennedy Youth Center; Oct. 29 – autumn hayride and pumpkin carving, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Community Activity Center.
Ansbach: Oct. 31- trick-or-treat, 6 to 8 p.m.
Schweinfurt: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 5 to 8 pm., Askren Manor and Kessler Field.
Garmisch: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Grafenwoehr: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 5 to 7 pm.
Stuttgart: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 5 to 8 p.m, all housing areas; trunk-or-treat, 5 to 8 p.m., Bldg. 168 parking lot; Oct. 28 – pumpkin carving workshop, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Patch Arts and Crafts Center.
Spangdahlem Air Base: Oct. 31 – trick-or-treat, 6 to 8 p.m., Spangdahlem and Bitburg; Oct. 27 to 29 – haunted house, Bitburg, from 5 p.m.
Kaiserslautern Military Community: Oct. 29 – trick-or-treat, 5 to 7 p.m., all KMC housing areas; Oct. 28 to 31, haunted house, Ramstein Air Base, from 5 p.m.; Oct. 27 – fall party, 5 to 7 p.m., for deployed families at Ramstein Air Base, Hercules Theater.
— Compiled from staff reports