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Shannon Bryan

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Posted: October 12, 2013

Haunted hayrides, frightening forts & scary stories: 7 things to do in Maine this weekend

Written by: Shannon Bryan

Halloween may be two weeks away, but that doesn’t mean can’t can’t dive face-first into the terrifying, ghastly, and free candy! event right now. That said, there’s some creepy stuff going on this weekend, from haunted hayrides and frightening forts to scary stories told at the historic (and beautiful and wonderfully eerie) Victoria Mansion. If you like to celebrate Halloween in a way that doesn’t include strangers covered in blood leaping out at you from the dark recesses of an unfamiliar building, hit the Wicked 5K on Sunday and run in a costume!

For the weekend of Oct 18-20:

1. Scream in a field

Press Herald file photo

Field of Screams Haunted Hayride

5 pm-midnight Thursday, Friday & Saturday | $13/$18 VIP | The Ballpark, Old Orchard Beach |
Let me set it up for you: A girl went missing from a baseball game. You’re going to help find her on this haunted hayride seance with the help of a medium guide who will talk to the local spirits in an effort to local the missing kid. And there’s no telling who or what else you might find along the way. Probably scary stuff.

// Get lost in the stalks: Corn mazes in Maine

2. Race to the grave and chuck a pumpkin into the Penobscot

Ghostport graphic


10 am-10 pm Saturday | Attendance is free | Bucksport |
From the bone-warming chili cook-off to the “race to the grave” coffin race, Bucksport is the Halloween place to be. The best part of this event, aside from the costumes and fireworks, is the opportunity to launch your pumpkin into the Penobscot with the trebuchet. And after the sun sets, Fright at the Fort is just across the bay.

3. Enter the fort. Mostly likely come out alive

Press Herald file photo

Fright at the Fort

5:30-9 pm Friday & Saturday | $10/$5 under 12 | Fort Knox, Prospect |
Who knows what’s happened inside Fort Knox since it was established in 1844. There’s bound to be a whole host of specters hanging out there. And you’ll likely run into most of them during Fright at the Fort. Note: Groups of four or more get a free pumpkin on Oct 18. The very next day, just across the water, you can launch a pumpkin from a trebuchet during Ghostport. Coincidence? I think not.

4. Get scared by a story

Press Herald file photo

Tales of Terror at Victoria Mansion

6 pm and 8 pm Friday & Saturday | $22, $15 museum members, $10 for 17 and under | Victoria Mansion, Portland |
Sure, scary movies have their place. And haunted houses are a Halloween-season must. But often, the scariest things are the things that you create in your head. And scary stories are perfect for igniting the kind of imagination that keeps you up nights. Now that’s creepy. There will be no special effects during Tales of Terror. No blood, no realistic-looking corpses. The storytellers don’t need them. The tales alone will haunt you.

// Scary stories: Tales of Terror at Victoria Mansion [VIDEO – scary video!]

5. Dress up and do good

Shannon Bryan photo

Ghoulwill Ball

7 pm Saturday | $15, 2 for $25 | The Portland Club, Portland |
Goodwill has long been known as a resource for Halloween costumes (actual costumes or the ones you create yourself with a few key pieces and a glue gun). Go ahead, put on that homemade costume (or a store-bought one, if that’s what you’ve got) and party up with the good people of Goodwill. You might win money, too, if your costume is that awesome. VISA gift cards of $150-$250 will be given away for creative use of Goodwill finds, best group theme, and other categories.

// Steal these costumes: 17 pilfer-worthy costume ideas from last year’s Ghoulwill Ball

6. Explore the heinous crimes of Jack the Ripper, via ballet

Portland Ballet poster

Jack the Ripper

8 pm Saturday | $20 in advance/$25 at the door | Portland Ballet Studio Theatre, Portland |
Three words: Not for children. This ballet performance of Jack the Ripper explores the heinous crimes of a serial killer. So, you know, not for kids. There won’t be gore, but the dance will emphasize the haunting legacy Jack the Ripper’s crimes left on London and the world.

7. Run in costume!

Wicked 5K photo

Wicked 5K Road Race

1 pm Sunday | $20, $10 buffet after the race | The Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport |
Run in costume! You may have already run through mud, run through colored powder, or run for beer, but have you ever run dressed like a sumo wrestler? Or skeleton? Or Cootie? (I saw three grown men dressed as one Cootie – go ahead, picture it – at this event a few years back. I hope they return this year). It’s a scenic course through Kennebunkport that ends with a lunch buffet – and prizes!

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