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Haunted Garden Goes Medieval
Thursday, November 2, 2023


Heavy tomes bearing incantations from the medieval ages opened on their own, their pages flipping through the air. An eyeball rolled around on the cover of another book as a fortune teller came to life on the other side of the table.

All sorts of things went bump in the night as Peaks Haunted Garden came to life in Bellevue Monday and Tuesday nights, adding a touch of whimsy to the Wood River Valley’s Halloween tradition.

Judith Palmer Peak spent weeks setting up the haunts that wound their way around her home and through her garden. And she spent even more weeks haunting thrift stores as far away as Casper, Wyo., looking for the perfect broadswords and wizard’s capes to flesh out this year’s theme of Medieval Magic.

“A lot of it is ordinary everyday things—ordinary clothing that I transform into something magical,” she said.

Peak started the Haunted Garden in 2015 because she always loved Halloween and she loved to decorate.

“And I thought it would be a great way to help the Bellevue Library,” said Peak, who serves on the library board.

On Monday night Peak garnered more than $200 in donations that will be used to purchase books and update computers at the library, which sits just around the corner from her house. And she expected to reap even more donations on Halloween night.

In the past, Peak has set her Haunted Garden in the bayous of New Orleans and in the Wild Old West. This year’s was a bigger challenge, she said, because of the research she had to do to make sure the props she used were in keeping with medieval times.

“Next year we’ll return to the Wild West,” she said.

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