inside indiana TOP STORY

To whom it may concern —


A special haunted house event hosted by Spirit Halloween at the Indiana Mall will benefit the company’s Spirit of Children charity, with funds to go to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

The haunted house and all its contents, including the time dedicated by actors, artists and other volunteers, will be donated by the community. Spirit is seeking individuals 18 years and older to assist in the setup, production and breakdown of the haunted house, which will be hosted in the back of the store.

“We have so much space, and I wanted to turn it into something that could be fun as well as for a good cause,” said Krystal Johnson, store manager of Spirit Halloween at the Indiana Mall.

Tickets for the haunted house will be available at the door on the nights of the event: Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26 from 8 to 11 p.m., and Oct. 27 from 6 to 10 p.m.

Children younger than 12 and IUP students who show their I-Cards will be admitted for a donation of $5. All others will be admitted for a donation of $7.

Anyone interested in donating or otherwise participating in the production of the event should contact Johnson via her personal email address, ibkryd@yahoo. com, or by visiting Spirit Halloween at the Indiana Mall.


With the month of October comes a variety of other fall events in Indiana County, with pumpkin patches, a haunted trail and more.

Reeger's Pumpkin Festival is set for this weekend as well as Oct. 12 and 13 and 19 and 20 at 755 Laurel Road, near Shelocta, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The festival includes hay rides, a corn maze, pony rides, a pumpkin patch, food and other activities.

Prices vary.

For more information, visit the Pumpkin Festival at Reeger’s Farm page on Facebook.

Scary Harry's at 1703 Pierce Road, Homer City, offers a “multi-level, walk-through horror attraction” that features three haunted houses connected by a trail in the woods.

The family-owned and -operated Scary Harry’s is in its 10th season this year. 

Cost is $15 per person.

The attraction is open on Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 2, as well as Oct. 20 and 27. For hours, rules and regulations and special events, visit scaryharrys. com before you go.

Yarnick's Farm, at 155 Thomas Covered Bridge Road in Armstrong Township, will offer its Fall Fun Fest each Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 20, depending on the weather.

Events include hay rides to the pumpkin patch with Scooby-Doo, games, pumpkin decorating, crafts, food and more.

Costs vary for different activities.

For more information, visit the Yarnick’s Farm and Greenhouses page on Facebook.


Hello Fitness, a new gym at Renaissance Circle in White Township, is now open.  The business is owned by Daniel McConaughy, who also owns another Hello Fitness in Ellwood City.

McConaughy describes his gym as “clean and affordable,” saying it’s a “comfortable environment.”

Gym members have 24/7 access to the facility with a key fob.

For more information, visit the Hello Fitness Indiana page on Facebook.

Over in Rayne Township, PBJ’S BBQ will celebrate its grand opening starting today, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Short for Phil’s Barbecue Joint, PBJ will offer a full barbecue menu including smoked chicken, pork, beef, ribs and sweet potato fries.

The restaurant is owned by Phil Bender, of Rayne Township.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.


Henry McKay, director of Solar United Neighbors, will discuss farmers leasing lands for solar, homeowners using solar for their own energy and how solar can benefit communities at an upcoming program.

The program, sponsored by Evergreen Conservancy, is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at the lodge at Blue Spruce Park, near Ernest.

This presentation is free and open to the public.


The League of Women Voters of Indiana County will host Candidates Night at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at Aging Services Inc.’s Oak Place Community Center in Indiana.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.


After two days of record-breaking heat on Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures have plunged across the region, with a low of 39 degrees expected overnight, according to the National Weather Service. … Gas prices in the Indiana area today were hovering around $2.89 per gallon, compared with $2.74 statewide and $2.68 nationwide ( … Please read, but don’t bet on it: McKeesport 42, Indiana 14; IUP 35, California 30; Penn State 45, Purdue 10; Pitt 28, Duke 21; Steelers 31, Ravens 27. … Willie, our ex-shoeshine boy, quoting Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson, says “The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.”

Good evening!

This column is compiled by Gazette staff writer Margaret Weaver. Email items for submission to