WHAT: Casket Factory Halloween Party
when: Friday, October 24th 8pm-1am
where: The Casket Factory, 314 Palmetto Street
Info: www.jaxhistory.com, (904)665-0064, [email protected]
Last year’s first annual Halloween Party at the Casket Factory was the “it” All Hallows’ Eve soiree in Duval. Fans of the inaugural event and those who regretfully missed it the last go-round will be excited to learn that executive director Abigail Wright and her macabre mates are up to their festively frightening tricks once again. The Jacksonville Historical Society will stage the Second Annual Halloween Party at The Casket Factory on Friday, October 24th. Located at 314 Palmetto Street, the old, mysterious 15,000-square-foot vine-covered brick building on the outskirts of Downtown is thought by some to be haunted.
A few things this year will be the same—the enchanting Mama Blue will be returning as musical entertainment—but Wright says that this time there will be a haunted hospital theme, and she cautions that this version will be “no holds barred” and “scary as hell.” Wright adds, “I’m looking forward to hearing/seeing the people who came last year and will think its the same, the ‘been there, done that’ guests who will be terrified at the plans this year.”
While the party may invoke the playfulness of dark spirits from beyond, the proceeds from the entrance fee go to a good cause. The event is a fundraiser to support the restoration and maintenance of Old St. Luke’s Hospital, a National Register landmark constructed in 1878 and owned by the Jacksonville Historical Society. “Last year, the money went to fixing the roof at the Casket Factory, and with the money left over, it went to fix the roof after the fire over at (Old) St. Lukes,” explains Wright.
Widely praised via social media, the only complaint from last year’s party seemed to be that the tasty grub ran out a bit too soon, a problem which Wright acknowledges and says she has corrected. This year, they will be serving from food trucks and trying to avoid long chow lines by channeling folks through different stairs. Guests are encouraged to come early and party late, but wearing a costume is mandatory. At midnight, the Totally Amazing Costume Contest will be held, and prizes from all over Jacksonville will be awarded.
So what inspired Wright to pursue such an undertaking? “Louis Betancourt, the lead designer, and I watched A LOT of scary movies. I love them! I would say we are inspired by what scares us already: someone lurking, someone chasing, the unknown. We are obsessed with the Insidious movies (1 and 2) and The Exorcist. You will see elements from a few really classically scary movies in the Factory this year, all hospital themed. I love this stuff. Halloween is sacred to me. I can’t wait for the fall, and it’s not just for the pumpkin-flavor everything. I want to scare people. I want to make people think about what they would do if this were real—and who knows, it might be.”
For more information go to the Halloween Party at the Casket Factory Facebook page or www.jaxhistory.com.