Children burned energy, squealed with delight and treated their taste buds Saturday night during Halloween Happening at Belair Mansion.
The mansion's spacious grounds on Tulip Grove Drive in Bowie provided the setting for spooky stories, games and marshmallow roasting. Children and even some adults donned costumes and pretended to be fairies, princesses, Scooby-Doo, SpongeBob SquarePants, Snow White, and other characters.
A large, dark cauldron was used for a fire to make s'mores, and hay bales provided seating for the revelers.
Patrick Martinek, 11, of Glen Burnie, dressed up as a wayward Muffin Man. He spent some of the evening giggling as he rolled down the hills on the property with other children. He said he had a very fun time Saturday night.
"I liked it because it was held on historic grounds and it was spooky," he said.
Will Legare, 17, said he liked the event because, "I got free candy." He came dressed as a Doctor Who character from the British Broadcasting Corp. series. He volunteered by handing out candy to younger children.
Joe Parmer, 17, a student at Northeast High School in Pasadena, said he was earning service learning hours by helping out during the event.
Alice Legare-Martinek, park ranger for the City of Bowie, dressed as Raggedy Ann in a red, white and blue costume. She read Halloween books to the children and adults by flashlight. A full moon and a cloud-dotted sky created a haunting effect on the grounds of the mansion that was built in the mid-1700s.
Described on the City of Bowie's website as a, "five part Georgian plantation house of Samuel Ogle, provincial governor of Maryland," Belair Mansion had also been home to William Woodward, a well-known horseman during the first half of the twentieth century. It was enlarged in 1914 by the New York architectural firm of Delano and Aldrich and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Some of those in attendance Saturday night took a peek through a fenced-in area of the property to view the Ogle family cemetery.
The mansion was not open to visitors during the event, but the City of Bowie's website describes varying treasures inside, including paintings, silver and a bronze of Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox by Eleanor Iselin Wade.
The mansion is available for rent and is open for tours. For more information, contact 301-575-2488. To schedule a group tour, call 301-809-3089.
Editor's Note: We originally printed that to schedule a group tour to call 301-809-3087, when the number is actually 301-809-3089.