A Spooky Little Town

The Haunted Granary

By Hilary Berg

For local winemakers and winegrowers, the sight of starlings can strike terror in their harvest hearts, but for the wine country lay person, a flock of birds isn’t going to garner goosebumps or elicit the blood-curdling screams common in the Halloween season. 

Never fear … a chance to be scared is now near. Soon, Carlton will become a “ghost town” of sorts, with a brand-new haunted house and charity masquerade ball. 

Mayor Kathie Oriet is the mind behind the madness, and helping her are a number of residents, starting with Kaye Hering, who is overseeing the entire affair. 

Tammy Nagley, from the Carlton Veterinary Hospital, is organizing the haunted house, called Haunted Granary, which will be held at the town’s former Madsen Grain building, currently owned by winemaker Ken Wright. Sabra Mathot, the original owner of the Horse Radish Cheese & Wine Bar, is in charge of the Mayor’s Charity Masquerade Ball, to be held at her former business, now owned by Julie Davis. 

The two events are fundraisers for the new Carlton Community Foundation, which plans to raise money for the town’s annual Carlton Fun Days in June and National Night Out in August. 

“Quite frankly, I hate asking people for money,” Oriet said, “and with a population of 2,035, there aren’t a lot of people to ask in Carlton. Plus, the wineries and other merchants are constantly bombarded with requests for wine or other [donations]. I just felt the time was right to start a nonprofit to handle all of this.  

“As the events grow each year, I would like to save money in the foundation for other needs in the city,” Oriet continued. Her list includes a skate park, a new swimming pool building, upgrades to the ball fields in the lower park, moving downtown utilities underground, additional parking in the downtown area, as well as a rails-to-trails project called the Yamhelas Westsider Trail. “Of course, we’re open to additional ideas for improvements in Carlton, as well,” she said.  

The Haunted Granary will run Oct. 26–31, 7 to 10 p.m. Attendees can purchase tickets for $5 and a pre-haunt hot cocoa at the corner of Main and Highway 47 on the lawn of Willamette Valley Vineyard’s green space, next to Scott Paul’s tasting room. Those younger than 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult. “It WILL be scary,” Oriet said. 

The Mayor’s Charity Masquerade Ball is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27, 7 to 10 p.m. at the Horse Radish. Gourmet finger food and a no-host bar will be provided.  

“Everyone involved is really excited about these two projects,” Oriet said. “I feel they will just further our reputation as ‘A Great Little Town,’ except in October, when we are known as ‘A Spooky Little Town.’”

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