A mansion in Mount Carroll and a museum by the Mississippi: They’re distinctly different, but they’ll both offer people a day to remember.
First up in the Raven’s Grin Inn, just a haunted hop, skip and jump from here in Mount Carroll. Next is the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa, where the dead will have their day
Raven real estate
The Raven’s Grin Inn might look like your worst nightmare, but it’s a scream come true for lovers of spooky family fun, and it’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear.
Jim Warfield has allowed his creative genius to run wild from the wine cellar to the attic at Ravens Grin Inn, the 1870s grapevine-covered mansion he and his wife, Jessica, own.
During my visit to the couple’s haunted home, Jessica took a moment out of a busy October night to talk to me. She said Jim adds something new every year.
“This is his baby, his heart, his passion,” she said.
Guests don’t just get into one or two rooms; they see the whole house inn-side and out – and you never know what just might pop up. That car out back? That’s the car Jim was in during an accident. There’s a maze in the backyard that you can wander around in, then it’s back into the house you go – so take a deep breath and get ready ...
For those who think this is just a walk in the park, think again. The house will have you flat on your back, too, courtesy of a pair of slides. Not your cup of tea? Don’t worry. The slides are optional; you can remain upright if you prefer, and head down the stairs.
Don’t worry if you can’t find your way around because you’ll have a guide, sometimes Jim himself, and you might need his help because you might just notice that you’re backtracking now and then – or do you really?
But fear not, the Warfields aren’t out to scare you speechless, It’s all done in fun, and children are welcome; it’s recommended they visit during the day, but they’re welcome anytime.That’s not to say you won’t be startled – surprises await around the corner and down the hall.
Oh, and did I tell you the inn has at least one hidden entrance? Jessica told me where it was, but I won’t give away the secret.
One other thing she mentioned is groups can rent the house for games of hide and seek or even birthday parties. Rentals are available every month, except October. The cost is $10 per person, per hour. If you don’t have 10, you can still rent for the price of 10 people.
More info: Raven’s Grin is at 411 N. Carroll St. Call 1-815-244-4746 or go to hauntedravensgrin.com for more information.
Day of the Dead in Davenport
Down the Mississippi from us, taking place from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 28, Figge Art Museum, 225 W. Second St., Davenport, Iowa, will have its Dia de los Muertos celebration. Admission is free.
The museum’s Day of the Dead extravaganza will feature hands-on activities, movies, cultural foods, related displays and performances. Among them will be the museum’s Catrinas collection and a traditional altar. A Catrina is a dressed-up skeleton.
The event celebrates the beauty of a culture and traditions rich in memories and heritage. The lives of those who have passed are celebrated with vibrant colors, live music performances, art projects, and loving memories.
Music will be provided by the Glenview Middle School Mariachi Band.
This family event will workshops on how to make skulls, both out of sugar (the traditional Calaveras de azucar) and clay. Visitors can share memories of loved ones in the boardroom, and films about Day of the Dead will be shown in auditorium from noon to 3.
Action in the lobby includes samples of Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead), water, spiced cocoa, and chips and salsa. Face painting will be offered, and guests can try Mexican food at 4 p.m. Those wanting to attend the performances will find them at 3 and 4 p.m., with pop-up performances appearing throughout the day.
More info: Visit figgeartmuseum.org for information. The Day of the Dead in the U.S. runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.