July 3, 2008 · Updated 7:51 PM
"In the nearly dead of night, from the eaves, hollows and hills of the Greenbank Farm, an aggregation of inquisitive, hiding eyes studies your every move. The wind whips and whistles eerily through the barn lofts as all manner of creepy and crawly bugs and beasts scatter to the fields and skies, or rustle in the dark, like a whisper from the wetlands.And hey, that's before anyone starts decorating.Backed by the quaint and curious ambiance of a century-old farm, a hardy band of Halloween-inspired volunteers has spent the last couple weeks converting the Greenbank Farm into the Screambank Farm for a special Halloween event this coming Saturday.This will be the second year for such an event at the farm. Popular attractions such as the Jello eating competition, the straw scramble and the costume parade will be back as will the haunted farmhouse. There will also be storytelling, face painting and, if the weather permits, hay rides. New this year will be an enchanted forest area for the very young. The games, displays and activities will run from noon until 5 p.m.Meanwhile, the haunted house portion of the event will be open about twice as long as last year from noon to 4 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m. Event planners say that allowing the haunted house to stay open until 9 p.m. will add a new element to the event - darkness. Last year everything closed before sunset.The farm's executive director Shirley Hendricson said she had some doubts about whether the haunted house would even be part of the event this year after one of the key organizers announced that she had to drop out only a couple weeks before opening. But by the end of an emergency planning meeting held last week, Hendricson said she was greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm expressed among a small group of eager volunteers.Hendricson said she was also pleased to have the support of Jo Golder and Thad Kane who have run a haunted house out of their Langley home for many years.This year they decided to take a break, she said adding that Golder and Kane decided to donate some of their props and paraphernalia to the Greenbank effort during their hiatus. Many local businesses have also donated to the cause.The Greenbank Garden Club will be hosting the event's games and activities for kids. Last week, the group harvested the pumpkin patch they had planted at the farm last April. Their small plot yielded more than 200 sugar pumpkins, squash pumpkins and jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Many of them will be given away as prizes during the Saturday event.Though the event is family-oriented, portions of the haunted house can be scary to little ones. Event organizers say they hope to continue a practice they started last year when they issued cloves of garlic to children who thought they might get scared. Once inside the haunted house, the kids only needed to hold up their bits of garlic to keep any wayward monsters at bay.For more information call 678-7700 or (360) 222-3151.----------------------WHOOOOOO: Screambank FarmWHAT: Family Halloween events and haunted houseWHEN: Saturday, Oct. 28 Games and activities from noon to 5 p.m. Haunted Farmhouse open from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.WHERE: The Greenbank Farm, Highway 525 at Wonn Road in Greenbank. "