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Haunted Mill + Monster's Ball

There was a time when Halloween was for children. Little ghosts shrouded in worn-out sheets, make-believe buccaneers with shoe-polish beards and fairytale princesses wearing their flower girl gowns were sent out unescorted to visit neighborhood homes.

All that has changed. Today elaborate costumes are purchased in stores and watchful adults guide their children’s peregrinations or take them to safe-community sponsored events. And adults, no longer waiting at home for the return of their kids, have joined in the fun, happily donning their own costumes and experiencing all the thrills and chills of the night.

Both adults and children will find plenty of both in Wassaic Saturday when the Wassaic Project holds its Haunted Mill and Monster’s Ball. Hosted by the Wassaic Project, the Wassaic Volunteer Fire Department and the Lantern, an Italian-American pizza restaurant that receives rave reviews from its patrons, the event starts Saturday afternoon at 3PM when Maxon Mills opens for a free kids’ Haunted Mill. There will be family-friendly activities such as a costume contest, hay rides, face painting and chalk drawing. Visitors can immerse themselves in the enchanting ground-floor installation by artist Jeila Gueramian.

From 6 to 9PM adults are invited to ascend the winding staircases, exploring the towering, seven-story mill building, where Gueramian and fellow artists Colin J. Radcliffe, Abigayle Cosinuke, Cat Glennon, Holden Brown, Madeleine Stern (with Hallie Scott and Caryn Coyle), Maren Salomon, Abigail Entsmiger and Seth Timothy Larson, Nathan Margoni, Julia Oldham and Brian Whiteley have transformed the tower with full-room installations into an experience that is equal parts spooky, enchanting, creepy and fanciful. Admission is free.

At 9 PM the party continues into the evening at the Monster’s Ball at the Lantern with live music by Prince Rama, a Brooklyn-based electronic-dance “now age" duo consisting of sisters Taraka Larson (lead vocals, guitar, synthesizer, keyboard) and Nimai Larson (drums, drum machine, percussion, vocals). They were discovered by Animal Collective's Avey Tare in a Texas dive bar in 2010, and signed with Paw Tracks shortly thereafter. They have since released Shadow Temple and Trust Now, which peaked at #3 and #6 on the Billboard New Age Charts. In four years, Prince Rama has released six albums and toured four continents.

Their performance will be followed by DJ sets from PJ Gray and Spooky Bear. Patrons should come prepared to impress the judges in a Halloween costume contest. Admission is $10 and tickets should be purchased by clicking on the link below or calling 

Maxon Mills is located at 37 Furnace Road Wassaic NY. The Lantern is located at 10 Main Street. The Wassaic Project promotes music, art, dance and film in buildings it has repurposed from their original uses as a grain elevator, now an exhibition space, and an 1875 auction barn. The former animal stalls have been adapted for artist studio spaces and the former auction ring is used as a film screening room and a performance venue.

Annually, the artists and staff increase the downtown population by 10 percent, and exhibitions and events bring a steady stream of visitors to the hamlet.

Since its inception, the Project has increased its annual summer festival attendance from 500 to 4,000; stages three or more exhibitions per year in its 8,000-square-foot gallery space; has launched a guest curator program and developed an education program.

The Wassaic Project collaborates with such organizations as MASS MoCA, Recession Arts, the Invisible Dog, Galapagos Art Space, New Amsterdam Records, The Aldrich Museum, Allegra Laviola Gallery, Columbia University, the New School and CUNY Hostos.