The Update | Spooky Destinations in Ohio; Author of Mafia Books to Speak

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Suggestions for spooky road trips this Halloween season can be found at TourismOhio’s Haunted Ohio page

“No matter the season, Haunted Ohio consistently ranks near the top for page views at,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development.

Travelers on the hunt for a haunt can learn more about nine places across the state, and also get travel tips for nearby destinations. Attractions range from abandoned rail lines to a spooky lighthouse and even a haunted castle.

For even more “Fall in Ohio” travel inspiration, visit

Mafia Writer to Speak at Press Club Luncheon

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Allan R. May, an organized crime expert and author, will give a presentation on the mafia in the Mahoning Valley at a Nov. 14 luncheon meeting of the Youngstown Press Club.

The event will begin at noon at the Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St., downtown.

May is the author of “Crimetown USA: The History of the Mahoning Valley Mafia.” Another of his books, “Welcome to the Jungle Inn,” is a history of organized crime in Warren and Trumbull County, which features stories about the Jungle Inn gambling den.

May has also written books about Cleveland-area organized crime. He has taught courses on organized crime at Cuyahoga Community College and lectures at libraries throughout northeastern Ohio.

Tickets are $25 ($20 for members). The deadline to register is Nov. 6. Go to

Poets will Read Works at Lit Youngstown Event

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Ross Gay will read from his acclaimed essay and poetry collections at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave., as part of Lit Youngstown’s Fall Literary Festival. 

Admission is free. A book signing will follow.

Gay is the author of four books of poetry, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award, National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His first collection of essays, “The Book of Delights,” was a New York Times bestseller.

In addition to the reading, The Reverie Movement Collective will perform interpretive dance to two of Ross’ poems.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, Jill Christman and Alison Stine will read selections from their body of work at the Penguin City Brewing ballroom, 460 E. Federal St.

Christman is a 2020 NEA Prose Fellow and the author of “If This Were Fiction: A Love Story in Essays” and two memoirs.

Stine is the author of two novels, three collections of poetry and one novella. Her plays and musicals have been performed at the Cleveland Playhouse and Off-Broadway at the Trilogy Theatre. Her next novel, “Dust,” will be published in 2024.

For information, go to

Brew Ha Ha Festival at Library

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Friends of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and the Flight Crew will host this year’s ’Tis the Season for a Brew Ha Ha at Main Library, 305 Wick Ave., from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.

Proceeds will benefit children’s programs at the library. 

Participating breweries will include Paladin Brewing, Birdfish Brewing, Noble Creature Cask House, DOPE Cider House and Winery, The 1547 Project, Biker BrewHouse, The Pump House, Modern Methods Brewing Co., Penguin City Brewing Co., BrewLounge Beer Co., and Aeonian Brewing. The event will also feature food by Bohr Brothers Barbecue. 

Tickets are $50 per person and $90 per couple and can be purchased by calling 330 740 6086 or by clicking HERE.

High School Musicians Invited to String Day

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Westminster College School of Music invites all high school orchestras and individual high school string players to join current Westminster students at String Festival Day on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.

Participants will get to play in instrumental-specific choirs and a combined string orchestra with members of the Westminster string community, led by the string faculty, who will also present a recital.

The recital will feature some of Westminster’s distinguished music faculty, including Melinda Crawford Perttu, associate professor of music and U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Champion on violin and viola; adjunct instructor Michael Gelfand on cello; and adjunct instructor Justin Bendel on bass.

There will be many opportunities throughout the day to learn and meet others interested in string music.

There is no fee to participate in String Festival Day, and lunch and ice cream will be provided. The day will end with a concert for families at 5 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.

Registration is required by Nov. 1. Music will be sent to participants in advance. To register or learn more, go to

Pictured at top: The Franklin Castle (Hannes Tiedemann House) in Cleveland is on the state tourism department’s list of spooky destinations.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.