Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Not only is it an excuse to dress up in costume and scare the living bejesus out of someone without getting a visit from the cops, it provides ample opportunity to take ghost tours in one of the most haunted regions of the United States.
Given that New England was one of the first areas of the U.S. to be colonized, it's rife with centuries-old houses, crumbling forts, sunken ships and old cemeteries that are supposedly filled with restless spirits. And the best way to explore them is with a guided ghost tour that provides macabre historical facts not often found in textbooks while giving you a good old-fashioned Halloween fright.
Here are some ghost tours coming up in southern Maine this month. There are sure to be more that have yet to be announced, so check back each week in GO for the latest haunted happenings.
WICKED WALKING TOURS will kick off its Halloween ghost tours this Friday and Saturday, continuing through Oct. 31. Guides take patrons on a one-hour, less than half-mile walking tour through the Old Port and other purportedly haunted sites in downtown Portland. It's also family-friendly, so feel free to bring the kids along.
This is one of the most popular ghost tours in southern Maine, and advance ticket purchases are required. Prices are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $11 for children ages 12 and under. Daytime and nighttime tours are available. Call (888) 718-4253 or visit wickedwalkingtours.com for information.
SPIRITS ALIVE will present "Walk Among the Shadows," its annual Halloween ghost tour of Portland's Eastern Cemetery, Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27. Actors portray people buried in the city's oldest cemetery, which include everyone from opposing War of 1812 ship captains to victims of the great fire of 1866. And because this cemetery, which was established in 1668, is usually closed to the public, it's one of only a few chances you'll have to visit.
My family took one of these tours a couple of years ago, and it was well worth the price of admission ($10 for adults; $5 for children under age 12). Tours begin at 6:30 p.m. This year's theme is "On Land and at Sea -- Portland in the War of 1812."
If you'd rather be a tour guide than a tour taker, Spirits Alive is seeking volunteers to be "specters." Go to spiritsalive.org for information.
THE HAUNTING at Parsonsfield Seminary is more of a traditional haunted house attraction than a ghost tour, but as there have been purported sightings of actual paranormal activity at the 19th-century former Free Will Baptist school, you'll never know what you'll see while stumbling around its dark corridors.
The Haunting is open from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under. The seminary is located at Route 160 and 504 North Road in North Parsonsfield. Parental discretion is advised. Call 793-8825 for information.
THE BRICKSTORE MUSEUM in Kennebunk will host its annual All Souls Walk on one day only, Oct. 27. Costumed guides will take visitors on a tour of Hope Cemetery and regale them with the often tragic tales of the people buried there. This family-friendly tour concludes with refreshments in the museum.
Tours begin at 1 p.m. and end at 4 p.m., and cost $10 per person ($30 maximum per family). An All Soul's Dinner will follow at Duffy's Tavern & Grill at 7 p.m. for an additional $25 per person. You do not need to take the tour to attend the dinner or vice versa. Call 985-4802 or visit brickstoremuseum.org.
Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at: