The Halloween spirit seems to come upon us a little earlier every year, so why not embrace it?

There was a time when kids waited all year for just a couple of hours of fun wearing spooky costumes and begging strangers for candy. But now Halloween has become big business and has its very own season, which begins a month or so before the actual Oct. 31 holiday.

That means there are haunted houses, haunted walks, scary movies, scary plays and all sorts of ghoulish goings-on from now until the end of the month all over Maine. There are also some important Halloween prep activities too, like pumpkin picking at Maine farms.

Here are some ideas to get your Halloween highs sooner rather than later, starting this weekend.


The Trail of Terror haunted walk in Saco is scary enough, you’d think, but organizers have revamped it this year to add more terrifying twists. This year’s theme is “CarnEvil of Souls,” and there’s a new giant circus tent where clowns hide out and jump out occasionally at passersby. There’s also a pet cemetery, a spider’s den and a dragon castle. The attraction is held yearly at the Aquaboggan Water Park and will be open every Friday and Saturday night in October, as well as Oct. 29, 30 and 31. Tickets are $20, $10 for children under 10. For more information, go to


Gayle Kolreg flashes a sinister smile while donning her costume for last year’s Farmington Fright Fest . Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Farmington Fright Fest opens Friday, transforming the usually friendly confines of the Farmington Fairgrounds into a dark, foreboding place full of screams and scares. The three haunted house attractions include: Granny Grimm’s House, where you can experience the dark side of fairy tales; the Crematorium, where people are (w hope not) burned alive; and Mr. Marbles – A Circus of Nightmares, a maze featuring more scary clowns. It’s open Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 28, with a “black out” night on Oct. 29.  General admission tickets are $25, $15 for children 10 and under. For more information, go to

Fright at the Fort is the epic haunted attraction held annually for two decades at historic Fort Knox, a foreboding stone fortress established in 1844 on the Penobscot River in Prospect, across from Bucksport. The fort’s tunnels, built into the hill above the river, are scary on their own. But the fright event will include – you guessed it – clowns. This year’s theme is “Carnival of Fright.” It’s a 20-minute tour with plenty of jump scares, but organizers also offer a “chicken hour,” when tours will be much tamer. The event is being held Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 28, and tickets are $15 and available online only. For more information, go to


Walk Among the Shadows tours of historic Eastern Cemetery in Portland, presented by Spirits Alive, will be starting Thursday. This year’s theme is “Portland’s Inferno, 1866: Fire and Resurgence.” The tour includes costumed actors playing folks who lived through that fiery ordeal, including journalist John Neal, Anne Longfellow Pierce, sister to the famous poet, and William Ruby, Portland’s first Black firefighter. The evening tours run this Thursday through Sunday and Oct. 26-29. They last 40 minutes, and tickets are $10, $5 for children under 12. For more information, go to

It’s that time of year when scary is fun: Trail of Terror haunted walk in Saco is open for the season. Sofia Aldinio/ Staff Photographer


“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is being presented this month at Schoolhouse Arts Center in Standish. It’s the story of a London barber, wrongfully jailed, who seeks revenge by shaving his customers very closely and then unloading their bodies at a meat pie shop. And it’s a musical! The final performances are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $23-$30. For more information, go to


“An Evening with the Spirits Presented by Stanley the Great” is a Victorian-style magic show at Mayo Street Arts on Friday and Saturday night.  There will be haunting effects performed with antique props, illusions, a ghost story and attempts to contact the dead. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. For more information, go to


Chipman’s Pumpkin Patch in New Gloucester is a place to pick your pumpkin – an important pre-Halloween task – while having some fun with the family. One attraction is a 65-foot-long, orange, inflatable bounce pad that looks like jack-o-lantern. There’s also a corn maze, pedal cars, hay bales for climbing and more, plus a snack shack.  There are tractor rides to the pumpkin patch too. It’s open weekends in October from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the cost is $10 per child, with a pumpkin included. Adults are free and can buy their own pumpkin for $5. For more information, go to

Pumpkin Valley Farm in Dayton is another place to make a day out of picking your Halloween pumpkin. The farm is holding its annual Fall Festival on weekends in October, with a 5-acre corn maze, a corn pit, duck races, farm animals and more, plus, of course, pumpkin picking in the pumpkin patch. Admission is $15 and it’s open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, go to

You’ll never shave again after seeing “Sweeney Todd” at Schoolhouse Arts Center in Standish. Photo by Kristofer Kauff


Prides Corner Drive-In in Westbrook is presenting a double feature of Halloween-themed films Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The 1993 fantasy/comedy “Hocus Pocus” will be followed by this year’s horror comedy “Haunted Mansion.” The theater will be open the weekend before Halloween as well.  For more information, go to Prides Corner Drive-In on Facebook.

Bridgton Twin Drive-In is slated to show “Hocus Pocus” this Friday and Saturday, followed by the recent crime mystery “A Haunting in Venice.” The drive-in will be open the weekend before Halloween too. For more information, go to Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theatre on Facebook.

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