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Ghosts and ghouls

The blue and gold month of October draws nearer its last day, which ends in a blaze of orange and black, of elves and sprites, of the rustle of leaves and the laughter of children scurrying along darkened streets. Because:

“Tonight is the night when dead leaves fly

Like witches on switches across the sky,

When elf and sprite flit through the night

On a moony sheen.

Tonight is the night when pumpkins stare

Through sheaves and leaves everywhere,

When ghoul and ghost and goblin host

Dance round their queen.

It’s Hallowe’en.”

The tradition of trick or treating has long been enjoyed by the children of this city.

For the adult population, there are also special ways to observe this joyful holiday, which is truly “All Hallows Eve” when “elf and sprite” will flit through the night as the world turns black and gold on Halloween.

One of the most exciting occurs Oct. 24, exactly one week before Halloween, when Weaver Castle’s Costume and Cocktails Ball takes place from 7-10 p.m. at the Carl Morgan Convention Center.

This full evening of entertainment includes music by Paul Garner and Amanda Farnsworth, Magic by Kevin in a chilling and thrilling interval, finger food, beverages from Bama Budweiser and ZenZen Wines and prizes for the best, funniest and scariest costumes.

And there’s more, much more. A silent auction will feature footballs autographed by favorite coaches; autographed books by Kathryn Tucker Windham; a haircut by Boris; Lily Beck Originals from Deann Strother McGilberry; handpainted stemware from Tutu’s; watercolor paintings of local points of interest and an authentic Apache Indian item..

The evening is a fundsraiser for the purchase of historic Weaver House, one of Alabama’s finest Gothic Revival structures. Admission is $25, with tickets available by calling 874-8550.

Rae Roth is executive director of the Weaver Castle Museum Foundation Inc. a non-profit organization. Its slogan is “Together, let us purchase to preserve a piece of Selma’s history.”

Roth’s assistants are Sally Lilienthal, Arlene Phillips and Sandra Boswell.

Melanie Betz, architectural historian for the Alabama Historical Commission, wrote of the Weaver House that many believe its design was based on a Rhineland castle. A number of its fine architectural interior features are intact, including plasterwork, molding, woodwork and a grand staircase.

Richard Michell Upjohn of New York designed the house. He also executed the plans for Selma’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

It was built in the center of a walnut grove in 1868 for William Weaver, a prominent landowner and son of one of Selma’s founders.

The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 as a landmark structure in the Old Town Historic District. Members of the Weaver Castle Museum Association plan to save the house, after needed restoration, for the future of the historic district in which it is located.