Archaeology, Halloween and Murder Mystery at the State Historical Museum

For immediate release October 6, 2006


Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) –Aspiring archaeologists, ghouls and goblins, and amateur sleuths are invited to the State Historical Museum this month for a variety of fun-filled activities.

“Let’s Celebrate Archaeology” highlights Archaeology Month 11 a.m.-2 p.m. October 21. Aspiring archaeologists are invited to dig into exciting programming during an underground adventure to the past. The Iowa Archaeology Society will show displays while the museum will offer guided tours of exhibits that highlight items found through archaeology and a free program on archaeological discoveries at Fort Atkinson. The guided tours are $5 at the door and will begin at 11 a.m. The Fort Atkinson program is free and open to the public at 1 p.m.

“Museum Monster Mash” celebrates Halloween 1-5 p.m. October 29. Guests will enjoy doing the “Monster Mash” with The Dance Place and New Vision Dancers; working with VSA Arts of Iowa artists to make animal puppets, sculpt a scary monster, create a haunting picture, enjoy a balloon sculpture, listen to scary stories, learn to juggle; enjoy mental magic; and play the harmonica with Iowa musician Frank Strong. Dracula will make a special appearance at 3 p.m., and every child will receive a goody bag while quantities last. The “Museum Monster Mash” is sponsored by SHSI, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, VSA Arts of Iowa, Junior League of Des Moines, Inc., and Stookey, Inc. More than 1,200 children attended the event last year.

Amateur sleuths are invited to the museum October 31 at 7 p.m. to solve one of Iowa’s most notorious crimes. The new national release of the film, Villisca: Living with a Mystery, contains updated evidence in this 104-year-old case. Guests can view the actual murder weapon and visit with the foremost expert on the incident, Dr. Edgar Epperly. The DVD will be available in the Iowa Museum Store. Tickets are $5 and available at The movie is not appropriate for children under 13.

The State Historical Museum is at 600 E. Locust Street in the heart of Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. The State Historical Society of Iowa is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Please visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information.


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