On Centre | Around Philipsburg: Hunt monsters at Black Moshannon fundraiser

When I was a kid, the best (and scariest) thing in the world was playing a kind of hybrid game of tag and hide-and-go-seek in the woods, in the dark, with my cousins.

It was thrilling. The crunch of leaves under your own feet made your heart speed up. Hear them crunch under someone else’s Keds and your heart jumped into your throat. There was a monster behind every tree.

None of them were real, but they were awesome and fearsome just the same.

Michael McCloskey fought a different kind of monster. His didn’t have claws or fangs or horns. Tiny and evil, leukemia cells attacked him invisibly. He fought back, but sometimes even the bravest heroes fall.

However, in his honor and his memory, others are keeping up the fight.

The third annual Black Moshannon Monster Hunt will be from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 4.

The event is a Halloween-themed adventure taking participants on a scavenger race through the state park, including archery, kayaking, a slip-and-slide and an obstacle course, as well as a 10K run or mountain bike race or a 5K run or hike.

How do you get from one part to the next? Visit stations, figure out clues and get in touch with your inner Scooby gang.

Registration is $25. To receive a brochure and registration form, sign up online, call the park office at 342-5960 or email According to the website, more than 100 slots are still available.

All of the money raised by the monster hunt is going to help out a local family in need, in a fun twist on trick-or-treating.

Take a shot. Throw your oar in the water. Stretch your legs. Get your heart pumping. But most importantly, put a little spirit into your life this fall.

Everyone can use a little help fighting monsters.