Angels, Devils and Spirits | An Unearthly Afternoon at Glencairn Museum

First floor FREE. Additional Activities: $5 Adults, $3 Seniors/Students with I.D. FREE for members/children 4 and under.

There’s something unusual – call it otherworldly – going on this Halloween at a Romanesque-style castle in Bryn Athyn.

“We’ve never had a Halloween event before,” said Joralyn Echols, Glencairn’s outreach and public relations coordinator. “We want people to make Glencairn their first stop this Halloween. There will be family activities and candy and prizes. We hope many of our visitors will come in costume, especially the children.

Adults and older children can participate in a scavenger hunt that takes them throughout the building and into various galleries. The goal of the hunt, said Echols, is to learn how artists through the ages have depicted otherworldly beings - angels, devils and spirits. Younger children can decorate trick-or-treat bags, and enjoy a shorter scavenger hunt with costumed educators.

Visitors can also nourish their spirit (or as the ancient Egyptians would say, “feed the ka”) with seasonal drinks and treats at the Castle Café, sponsored by the House of Coffee in Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, Pa.

Participants of all ages can earn a prize by following the scavenger hunt through the building, which includes several interactive stops. At one stop, an ancient Egyptian “pharaoh” will use a balance scale to demonstrate how, during the mythical “Judgment of the Dead,” the heart inside the mummy would be weighed against the “Feather of Justice.” The heart contained the memory of all the deceased’s earthly deeds, and if the scales did not balance, it is said, a monster named Ammit would devour the heart.

The “Art & Soul: Picturing the Spirit Within” exhibit, running at Glencairn through Nov. 14, examines the belief in an inner soul, and the struggle of artists throughout history to depict it visually. Six objects in the museum’s permanent collection, dating from ancient Egypt to 19th century England, are on exhibit.

“Some of these works of art - especially those from medieval Europe - were intended to be scary, because they are depicting the forces of evil,” said Ed Gyllenhaal, the exhibit’s curator. “Medieval art, however, nearly always shows evil balanced by good. The conflict between good and evil within the human soul is an important theme in the history of art.”

Visitors can also take a special cell phone audio tour entitled “Angels, Devils and Spirits,” and stop by the Castle Gift Shop.

For additional information, call Glencairn at 267.502.2600.

Glencairn, with its 149-foot tower, is the former home of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn, built in the Romanesque style between 1928 and 1939. Now a museum of religious art and history, it is a winner of the Best of Philly award from Philadelphia magazine, and is part of the Bryn Athyn Historic District, a National Historic Landmark.

While at Glencairn on the 31st, enjoy the other buildings in the Bryn Athyn Historic District. Bryn Athyn Cathedral is open for free from 1 to 3 p.m. Cairnwood Estate is hosting a Candy Apple Workshop from noon to 2 p.m. Dress up and have an old-time photograph taken, enjoy spiced cider, and explore a special historic exhibit. Admission is $5; free for Cairnwood members.