COTTLEVILLE, Mo. — Spooky season is in full effect. That means haunted houses, pumpkin patches, candy and trick-or-treating. But there is one 21 and older Halloween party in St. Charles County — and it's all for a good cause.
Chelsey Sweeten and her family have owned and operated the Public School House in Cottleville for three years.
The event space is known for its elaborate "pop-up holiday bars" and this year is no different.
"We go all out for Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and this will be our second year for the Halloween-themed party. We call it the 'School House Ghoul House.' There will be themed food, specialty cocktails all in an elaborate spooky-themed space," Sweeten told 5 On Your Side.
For the past two years, 100% of the profits from the Halloween event have been donated to the Cottleville Firefighters Outreach Program.
"Proceeds from the Haunted Trail will fund our Coats for Kids and Teacher Wish List programs. This fundraiser has helped us provide over 1,600 coats to local children since 2017. Starting this year we also purchased 28 local teacher's classroom wish lists at a cost of over $10,000," said Garrett Ryan, a Cottleville firefighter and executive director of the Cottleville Firefighters Outreach Progam. "The Haunted Trail will fund this program over the winter and help us continue it next year."
Sweeten said she is thrilled to be able to help donate to the St. Charles County community she calls home.
"To be able to help the community that we live and work in is great. A great partnership. We are excited to give back!" she said.
"The 'Ghoul House' and haunted trail experience was a joint adventure between her business and the Cottleville firefighters. The firefighters teamed up to help with decorations and scaring those brave enough to come out to the attraction this year," Sweeten said.
"We are always looking for opportunities to impact the kids of our community," Cottleville Fire Chief Skip Stephens told 5 On Your Side. "Coats for Kids and the Teacher Wish List Programs are shining examples of Cottleville Firefighters Outreach making a huge difference in the lives of children."
Sweeten explained why it means so much to her to give back to the fire department.
"They work to help make our community a safer, happier and healthier place to work and live. We chose the Cottleville Fire Department because they do a lot to help out our community, and it’s a great way to be able to give back to our community that we live and work in," she said.
The pop-up bar 'Ghoul House' opens Wednesday, Oct. 20 and will run Wednesday thru Saturday until the end of October.
"When you make a reservation for the 'Ghoul House' you are guaranteed a table inside the bar with a server for two hours. It will be insanely decorated to fit the Halloween theme," Sweeten explained. "During your two hours, you can enjoy our specialty made-from-scratch craft cocktails and appetizers. Following your reservation you will be given a VIP front-of-the-line ticket for the Haunted Trail."
If you do not have a reservation for Ghoul House, but still want to attend the Haunted Trail, there will be an outside seating area set up with scary movies playing on a large screen. There is an outside bar where you can order drinks. Both the trail and the bar are for ages 21 and up. You do not need a reservation to go through the trail, but it is recommended.
There are still tickets left for admission into the haunted bar and trail. Visit the Public School House website for more info.