KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — For 15 years, Ramstein Air Base airmen have reveled in scaring the living daylights out of visitors to their Haunted Tent City every Halloween.

But concern about a real terror threat has scared the base into canceling the event this year.

Citing a State Department travel alert for all of Europe issued on Oct. 3, the base announced on Thursday that the Haunted Tent City was off. The event was supposed to start this Thursday night and run through Saturday night, then continue Oct. 28-30, said 86th Airlift Wing spokesman 2nd Lt. Christopher Diaz.

86th commander Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon decided Tuesday to cancel the event, and a notice was sent out internally to the base. But the base didn’t announce the cancellation to the public until Thursday afternoon.

The State Department alert said “current information” suggested that al-Qaida and affiliated terrorist organizations “continued to plan terrorist attacks” in Europe, and warned travelers of the vulnerabilities of tourist sites and public transportation systems. The alert is in effect until January.

Usually built by the 435th Construction and Training Squadron, the Haunted Tent City attraction is in a secluded, wooded area adjacent to the main air base. Officials determined they couldn’t provide an adequate level of security, base spokesman Kilian Bluemlein said Thursday.

The event attracts about 3,000 people a year, who pay a small fee to visit more than 10 scary attractions. It is also popular with local Germans, Bluemlein said.

This year, the 435th CTS volunteers had completed two of 12 sites at the tent city before the event was canceled, Diaz said.

In 2008, the event raised more than $20,000 for local charities.

“We regret the event had to be canceled, but the decision was based on the security environment,” said Bluemlein. “Germans like to celebrate Halloween, and because it’s an American holiday, they rely on the American community for this event.”

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