By Shannon Bryan
From candy to cocktails, M&Ms to Malbec, Halloween is different as an adult. The importance of wearing a costume-to-beat-all-costumes hasn’t faded over the years, except as an adult you have more freedom to incorporate things like pyrotechnics, realistically oozing flesh wounds, satanic references and/or cleavage – depending on your creative vision. And instead of cowering under the covers at the slightest late-night creak, you’ll fearlessly hunt down the local ghosts (in forts, in fields, in historic churches) and you’ll only scream a little.
And sure, you’ll still seek out the treats, except instead of binging on a discount bag of hardened Tootsie Rolls like you did when you were a kid, you’ll get your sweets from the fancy places (and yeah, OK, still probably eat the Tootsie Rolls, too). And you’ll pair those sweets with wine, dagnabbit, because you’re a grownup and ain’t nobody the boss of you!
IF YOU PREFER YOUR ZOMBIES OVERHEAD
• Night Terrors Haunted Woods Walk And Zip Lining Zombies
6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Oct. 30, 31 and Nov. 1
Take Flight Aerial Adventures, 506 Route 1, Kittery
There won’t be any expensive animatronic monsters at the Night Terrors Haunted Woods Walk. The scary stuff – and boy, there will be scary stuff – is made from a simple concoction of lights, makeup and enthusiastically scary volunteers. This annual event used to take place in Steve Workman’s yard, but now it’s moved to a bigger space where the woods have a naturally haunted feel and the overhead zip lines are perfect for aerial zombies.
IF YOU THINK A FORT WILL PROTECT YOU (IT WON’T)
• Fright at the Fort
5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Fort Knox, 740 Fort Knox Road, Prospect
$10/$5 for 12 and under; express tickets $12/$7 for 12 and under
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. Add that to the fact that Fort Knox, with its dark recesses and old archways, is inherently eerie anyway, never mind the hungry undead who’ll certainly be happy to see you there.
IF YOU PREFER TO SCREAM IN THE OPEN (OR IF YOU’RE NATURALLY TERRIFIED BY TEAM SPORTS)
• Field of Screams Haunted Hayride
Gates open at 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday
Old Orchard Beach Ballpark, Emerson Cummings Blvd., Old Orchard Beach
$13, $18 to jump to the front of the line
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 séance with the help of a medium guide who will talk to the local spirits in an effort to locate the missing kid. And there’s no telling who or what else you might find along the way. Probably scary stuff. This isn’t your typical trip to the baseball field.
IF YOU REALLY WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOUR LOCAL GHOSTS (YOU COULD BE BESTIES!)
• Spirits Alive “Walk Among the Shadows”
6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday
Eastern Cemetery, Congress Street, Portland
$10, $5 for 12 and under
It’s hard to get to know a ghost. Most are rather quiet types, only revealing themselves sporadically. They’d rather spend an evening knocking over kitchen chairs and slamming attic doors than talking to you about life...or the afterlife. But during Walk Among the Shadows, cemetery residents come to life to tell you their strange tales. And against the cemetery setting, it can be an eerie, yet altogether enlightening, experience.
IF YOU’D RATHER HUNT GHOSTS THAN BE HUNTED BY THEM
• Midnight Explore Ghost Hunt
9 p.m. to midnight Saturday
Winter Street Center, 880 Washington St., Bath
Some people wait for ghosts to find them. But proactive ghost fans take matters in their own hands (with a little help from an EMF detector, audio recorder and infrared thermometer). During the Midnight Explore Ghost Hunt, you’ll have a chance to scout for specters inside the Gothic Revival-styled Winter Street Center. The building, which was formerly a church, boasts three floors of documented paranormal activity, including darting “orbs” that were caught on camera and reports of a “playful, child-like spirit” in the basement. Attendees will even learn how to use paranormal detection and equipment. Here’s hoping you find them before they find you. Advanced registration for this event is required.
IF ‘TRICK OR TREAT’ TRANSLATES TO ‘CHOCOLATE AND WINE’
• A Halloween Wine Walk in The Old Port
6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31
Starting restaurant TBA
$45 in advance/$50 day of, if available
On Halloween night, even we grownups still appreciate dressing up in costume and diving into a pile of chocolate. Except we’d also like to dive into some wine, too. The Halloween Wine Walk is a walking tour through Portland that will focus on wine and chocolate pairings at each restaurant stop.
IF YOU STILL WANT TO GO DOOR TO DOOR FOR YOUR TREATS
• Old Port Halloween Pub Crawl
8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Oct. 31
Starting at Bucks Naked BBQ, 50 Wharf St., Portland
Go door to door for treats, just like you did when you were a kid. But instead of hitting up the neighbors’ houses, hit up the neighborhood bars. The Halloween Pub Crawl, put on by the folks at PortSports, makes stops at four Old Port watering holes: Buck’s Naked BBQ, Rivalries, Brian Boru and Oasis. There will be prizes and surprises, too. And remember: Drink responsibly. Your mom never let you eat all your Halloween candy in one night, and she was a smart lady. Moderation!
IF YOU LOVE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
• Q97.9 Q-Ball Halloween Bash
9 p.m. Oct. 31
Asylum, 121 Center St., Portland
$9.79 in advance, $15 day of
Halloween costumes are grand on their own (The creativity! The ingeniousness! The freakishly realistic blood spatter!) but a costume than can win you cash? That’s something special. More than $1,000 is available for the winning during Q97.9’s annual Q Ball. You’ll have to dress to impress, of course. And everyone who walks through the Asylum doors will be entered to win a pair of tickets to see Justin Timberlake at the TD Garden on Feb. 27. JT!
Shannon Bryan is a content producer for MaineToday.com. She can be contacted at:firstname.lastname@example.orgTweet
Ghouls come out of the dark to scare riders on the Haunted Hayride in Scarborough in 2011.