Lantern Tours Explore Fort Tompkins at Night
And Wildlife Experts Show What Animals Go Bump in the Night
It’s a time honored tradition for many people to want to be surprised one night every year on Halloween. "However, at Fort Tompkins we’ll show visitors how soldiers at coastal fortifications like Fort Tompkins actually protected New York Harbor from surprise military attacks all year round," said Acting Staten Island Unit Superintendent Jeanette Parker.
Join park rangers for special night time lantern tours of Fort Tompkins. This is a unique way to learn about the history of the fort and experience the atmosphere a civil war soldier would have during the evening hours. "We have added more lantern tours in honor of Halloween, but the only spooky thing you might see are bats that sometimes frequent the fort in the evening," she added.
The October 31 tours are at 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30 PM. Reservations are required. Visitors should call (718) 354-4500 to reserve a space on one of the tours. Tour sizes are limited to35 people each. Visitors should meet 15 minutes prior to the tour at the Fort Wadsworth Visitor Center. The center is on Staten Island located at 210 New York Avenue. Tours will last approximately 50 minutes and visitors may bring flashlights if they like and are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes. Because there will be lighted candles used on the tours, visitors are asked to not wear Halloween costumes during this event.
The Fort Wadsworth Visitor Center will be open from 6:30 - 9:15 PM October 31st. Visitors can explore the exhibits that describe the system of forts that protected New York Harbor and the bookstore will be open. "I understand that on Halloween sometimes the past comes to life," said Parker. To give visitors a taste of the past, there will be costumed interpretation by a Civil War period Army Engineer that evening in the museum. "Don’t be late," Parker added. "I hear he has to be back to the Civil War era by 9 PM!"
If you’d like to learn about "Wildlife That Goes Bump in the Night," staff from Volunteers for Wildlife will be on hand with live animals that live in environments like those around Fort Wadsworth. As a final added Halloween treat, bat expert Rosemarie Curcio will introduce visitors to a couple of her furry friends and talk about bat ecology.