Keara Heap, a makeup designer for the Nightmare on the Ridge at Wallingford’s in Auburn, adjusts one of the signs for the Haunted Walk on Wednesday afternoon. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Nicholas Graham has but one caution: Wicked, the River Valley haunted walk in the giant basement of a Mexico rec center, might just be too scary for you.

“That’s really what sets us apart,” Graham said.

Cruise over to Parsonsfield in York County instead and you’ll discover a 42-room former seminary dorm with 65 creeps, ghouls and undead waiting to show you a good, or maybe bad, time.

Over in Livermore, walk a two-acre haunted woods filled with — the horror! — lurking teens, if you dare.

Halloween is just once a year but the scares last all month.

A roundup of some of the haunted attractions around Western Maine this October.

Haunted Trail of Livermore

Think haunted trail, haunted house and haunted maze.

“It’s 15-20 minutes to walk through, it depends on your pace,” said organizer Merry St. Pierre. “Literally some people get through in five minutes because they’re running and all you see is ass and elbows, but then you’ve got other people who are poking around and then they take 40 minutes to walk through it.”

St. Pierre and her husband, Jeff, started the attraction nine years ago to benefit their daughters’ Spruce Mountain High School field hockey team.

“We’ve just grown it exponentially since,” she said.

This year, it’s a fundraiser for the Class of 2022 and for the first time, some funds will go into a Haunted Trail Scholarship Fund for senior volunteers.

St. Pierre estimated the teens, their families and others have created about 35 scenes, “everything you can imagine.”

“It’s constant scare after scare after scare — it’s really well designed,” she said. “We send you off in groups and you walk at your own risk.”*

* She may have cackled as she said that. . . 

When: Friday and Saturday nights all month and Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting. Less scary kids walk, Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Where: 97 River Road, Livermore

Cost: $13/in advance, $15/at the gate; daytime kids walk, $5

FMI: HauntedTrailofLivermore.com

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A former 42-room dorm is turned into a massive haunted house one month a year for the Haunting at Parsonsfield Seminary. Photo courtesy Friends of Parsonsfield Seminary

The Haunting at Parsonsfield Seminary 

For its 13th annual haunting event, the Friends of Parsonsfield Seminary picked the dual themes “Beware the 13” and “superstitions await you.”

It’s all super spooky — just ask Jan Smith, group president, who has already been jump-scared during the setup.

“They caught me the other night, never expected it, they scared the living crap out of me,” said Smith, laughing. “I was totally unawares, going to do something, and they were laying in wait for me. I’m going to fix them . . .”

The haunted event has docents leading roughly 40-minute, all-ages walks through three main floors of the seminary dorm and a walk-out basement.

“It’s element of surprise, we do not touch,” said Smith. “We have a lot of animatronics, we have (special lighting) — if you look off in the distance, you’ll see ghosts traveling the walls.”

A huge team of volunteers, at least 65 a night, help pull it off. The event is their largest fundraiser of the year.

“While they wait in line, we entertain them in our own way,” Smith said.*

* OK, she DEFINITELY cackled.

When: Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26, 6:30 to 9 p.m. (if you’re in line by 9, you’re in.)

Where: 504 North Road, Parsonsfield

Cost: $15 adults, $5 12 and under

FMI: Parsem.org

A giant fake spider lurks in the belfrey at one of the elements of Wallingford’s Nightmare on the Ridge in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Wallingford’s Nightmare on the Ridge

A skeleton sits at the ready at Wallingford’s Nightmare on the Ridge in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

This 30-minute self-guided walk with more than 30 paid actors is first come, first scared.

“You’re going through barns, outbuildings, cornfields, as well as the orchard, and a little bit of wood line,” said Peter Ricker, who oversees Wallingford’s Fruit House and Nightmare on the Ridge, which debuted in 2015. “The scares come continually through the half-hour. You start with clowns, you finish with clowns (and in between) are parts of life that give people nightmares we try to give them a taste of.”

The setup changes significantly each year, he said, and a little from night to night depending on the mix of actors.

He loosely recommends that the scares are for tweens and up but leaves parents to decide.

“We have as young as 5-year-olds go through, they can handle it and love it,” Ricker said. “We have 35-year-olds not make it through the first scene, it really varies.”

A mock cemetery at Wallingford’s Nightmare on the Ridge in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

When: Friday and Saturday nights all month and Oct. 13 from 7 to 11 p.m. They also have the kid-friendly Parade of Jack-o’-lanterns, donation-only, benefiting the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Oct. 25 and 26, from 7 to 11 p.m. and Oct. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m.)

Where: 1240 Perkins Ridge Road, Auburn

Cost: $18; discounts available for groups of 15 or more who book in advance

FMI: Nighmareontheridgeme.com

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Visitors walking through Wicked: The River Valley Haunted Walk caught on a scare cam. Photo courtesy Nicholas Graham

Wicked: The River Valley Haunted Walk

Nearing its 10th year, longtime organizer Nicholas Graham says the event is getting big enough to draw serious crowds from out of town.

“We’ve done a lot, made some major changes,” he said. “Sometimes the lines can be insane — last year, it was half an hour to get to the tickets, and once you got the tickets we were booked two hours out. It’s gotten really big and we’re trying to streamline that process.”

Visitors can expect to find the 9,000-square-foot basement of the River Valley Recreation Center turned into a haunted house with about eight themes.

“We used to have tour guides and that wasn’t scary enough,” Graham said. “I know a lot of people come here thinking it’s a rec center haunted walk — we are very scary. It is very dark and it is very scary.”

If you don’t want your scares turned up to 11, head over during the two family-friendly afternoons.

“We have Maine’s only 3D black light maze, so you come down and get cool black light glasses to put on and there’s black light painting that’s done by a local art teacher here in town,” he said.

The event takes between 40 and 50 volunteers and serves as a big fundraiser for the rec center. Last year’s event helped buy a new scoreboard.

Basically anticipate by the end of the night, Scares 1, You 0.

When: Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26, 7 to 10 p.m. Doors open at 6: Arrive, grab a ticket and you’ll be given a return time. Scare-free kids afternoons, Oct. 19 and 26, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: 15 Recreation Drive, Mexico

Cost: $11 nights, $5 afternoons

FMI: Facebook.com/RiverValleyWicked

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Haunted Woods Walk & Spooky Corn Maze

The four-acre corn maze is a sort of choose-your-own-scare adventure: Visit during the day for a 45-minute, how-the-heck-do-I-get-out experience or during one of three official spooky nights for, ahh!-did-I-just-see-something??

Or visiting during the two-night Haunted Woods Walk and do both!

“Along the trail there are six to eight scenes that take place,” Education Director Cathryn Anderson said. “Each one of those scenes has a pretty good scare factor, and at the end of the woods walk, they get to go through the maze, which is also haunted by some actors and some jump scenes as well.”

It’s put on each year by a mix of volunteers and farm employees. Groups leave every five to 10 minutes in groups of 20 with a guide. She recommends the haunted woods for teens and up.

“We do field a lot of phone calls about that — there is a lot of jump scenes, there’s fake blood, we’re using strobe lights, it’s not for the faint of heart,” Anderson said. “This is a stretch for education, but it’s a lot of fun, we enjoy it every year.”

When: Haunted Woods Walk, Oct. 25 and 26, 6 to 10 p.m. Corn Maze Night Event, Oct. 17, 18 and 19, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester

Cost: Haunted Woods $12, Corn Maze Night $6, has sold out in advance. Want to visit during the day? The corn maze, scare-free, is also included in a $5 farm visitor’s pass.

FMI: Pinelandfarms.org

Mike Caron and Stacia Turner work on one of their Never Rest Graveyard rooms in years past. It takes about two months to set up each year, Caron said. Amber Waterman/Sun Journal file photo

Never Rest Graveyard

When he was a kid, Mike Caron’s grandmother used to decorate her porch at Halloween and scare him good.

Eighteen years ago, he gave it a shot, setting up his own porch and soon expanding into the backyard. And expanding. And expanding.

He and girlfriend Stacia Turner’s one-night-only attraction now involves setting up a temporary 20- by 60-foot building in the backyard and draws more than 800 people.

This year, the eight or nine rooms in that building have been themed to look like a normal house with a living room, kitchen and other rooms that are all perfectly normal except for the grandchildren, nieces and nephews laying in wait.

It takes two months to set up and pull off, Caron said.

“The later it gets, it gets scarier,” he said. “Once it turns dark, it’s a whole different ballgame back there.”

When: Oct. 31, 5 p.m. to close. The earlier you go, the kid-friendlier it is.

Where: 362 East Ave., Lewiston

Cost: Free, but donations accepted for the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society

FMI: Facebook.com/NeverRestGraveyard

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Boys and Girls Club: 9th Annual Haunted House

This year’s theme is a secret, but it won’t stay that way for long: Organizer and Program Assistant Jessica Brown said the one-day haunted house typically draws about 1,000 people through their doors in Auburn.

The building’s second floor windows are covered over and the rooms completely black-lit for an effect that’s “kind of scary, but not too, too scary,” she said.

About 20 kids ages 9 to 15 have met regularly to plan costumes, props and design. After walking through the haunted house, attendees can head to the gym for Halloween games and candy. Dressing up in costume yourself is encouraged.

“My favorite thing is watching the kids put so much effort into it,” Brown said.

When: Oct. 26, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine’s Auburn/Lewiston Clubhouse, 43 2nd St., Auburn

Cost: Free

FMI: Facebook.com/bgcsmalclub

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