Once again, I spent the first weekend of October in Mackinaw City, savoring the fall color and the fun of Fort Fright, an annual two day event at historic Fort Michilimackinac.
Last year's event was big, but this was even bigger.
The staff seems aware of it, and it is now possible to pre-pay for tickets, which cut the lines down considerably. Another interesting development is that more people are showing up in period costumes, adding to the historical flavor.
For the park, the event is a big deal, likely the biggest weekend of the year. While it has its amusing aspect (the entrance to the Demon Walk has signs pointing to "Demons" and "No Demons" so folks don't wander into the scare by accident.
Halloween is second only the Christmas in retail sales, and over the years it has been heavily secularized. I think that is changing as people become more aware of the spirit world, which increasingly becomes the only way to explain what is going on in our world. Other than the haunted walks, much of the event is simply sitting around the fire hearing the ghost stories told there centuries ago, many of which originated in rural France.
Just as last year, there was a presentation in the reconstructed church about funeral customs, though this year the priest (or person dressed as one, it wasn't clear), seemed to stress the changes in the liturgy from present practices. I notice a lot of that lately, and certainly Pope Francis seems worried about it, all but banning the Latin Rite.
At any rate, next year I will be sure to book my hotel weeks in advance, as I sense word is spreading and accommodations may be harder to come by.