It’s a Portland tradition: The annual West End Halloween Parade is 37 years old.  Derek Davis/Staff photographer

How do you get your spooky on?

Maybe you like to release your inner goth? Or maybe you like to dress up as your favorite superhero? You might want to watch a scary movie or see ghosts in Portland’s oldest cemetery at night. Some folks might even choose to get funky, dancing to disco while dressed as a monster.

No matter who you are and what you like, you can find a Halloween event to suit your tastes in Greater Portland, even if you like things that aren’t scary at all. Here, then, are a few suggestions, whether you’re a goth, a film buff, a costume nut or a not-so-innocent bystander.


For Harry Potter fans, every day is like Halloween. The books and film are all about magic, potions, spells, ghosts and creatures beyond our world. On Friday, Port City Music Hall is hosting Wizardfest, a pop-up wizarding experience happening in a couple dozen cities this fall. There’ll be a dance party with a DJ playing tunes from the films, a Potter-themed costume contest, trivia about Harry and friends, and a Halloween egg hunt with cash prizes. There will be drinks favored by all discerning wizards 21 and over, including Butterbeer and Polyjuice Potions. And both wizards and muggles can enter a sweepstakes to win a trip to London.

Wizardfest, 8 p.m. Friday, Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland, $16 to $51, all ages.

Dress like Dobby at Wizardfest Friday at Port City Music Hall in Portland. Tero Vesalainen/


The classic Robert Louis Stevenson horror tale “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” is haunting enough on its own, or in any of the movie versions made of it. But what if you shrunk all the characters down to an eerily small size and had the play performed by an opera singer? Well, that’s exactly what will happen Saturday when Tophat Miniature Productions puts on “Jekyll & Hyde” at Mayo Street Arts in Portland. The score will be contemporary pop tunes, and all the dialogue is recited or sung by classically trained opera singer David Worobec. He also works all the puppet characters on the tiny stage. With mature themes, the show is not recommended for children.

“Jekyll & Hyde,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland, $15 to $20. 


Halloween is at once funny and scary. So why not see a couple movies that embody these themes? The first one (cue the knives and the weird screeching noises) is the Alfred Hitchcock horror classic “Psycho.” Made in 1960, the film still sets the standard for shocking moments, and Anthony Perkins is still one of the creepiest mama’s boys ever.

“Psycho,” 7 p.m. Monday, Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland, $8.

The second Halloween flick is “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Halloween night at the Westbrook Cinemagic. Patrons, who must reserve seats, are encouraged to show up in costumes and throw stuff following the cues in the movie – specifically, rice, rubber gloves, noisemakers, confetti, toilet paper, unbuttered toast and party hats. You must bring your own objects to throw. The musical comedy defies description, but we’ll try: a salute to old horror movies and sexual liberation.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” 9 p.m. Oct. 31, Westbrook Cinemagic, 183 County Road, Westbrook, ticket prices not available at press time.

Got goth? Then get to a dress-up Halloween party in Greater Portland.


All dressed up but no where to go? Well, there are several places this week where you can dress up like a monster or goth or superhero or whatever and celebrate Halloween. There’s the Great Pumpkin Ball: In the Garden of Good and Evil on Saturday at the State Theatre in Portland, put on by Equality Maine and billed as the biggest Halloween dance party in Maine. The event is hosted by radio personalities Blake Hayes and Eva Matteson from Coast 93.1 and features Peppermint, who was runner up on TV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Costumes are a must Saturday at the Cosplay Halloween Costume Party at Empire in Portland, featuring music by DJ Jon and a $100 first prize for best costume. Also Saturday, Maine’s scariest funk and disco band, Motor Booty Affair, will play the Monster Mash Funk Bash at The Gold Room on Warren Avenue. There’s a $1,000 prize for the best costume.


Can’t stand still? Especially around Halloween? There are some events that will get you out and about. One is the Walk Among the Shadows 2019. This tour of Portland’s Eastern Cemetery celebrates 200 years of Maine statehood and includes seven “spirits” who appear in the cemetery to talk about the perils and promises of its separation from Massachusetts 200 years ago. It’ll be held at the cemetery, on the corner of Congress Street and Washington Avenue, in the early evenings Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $5 to $10.

Portland’s most mobile Halloween tradition is the West End Halloween Parade, now in its 37th year. This volunteer-led parade of costumed revelers kicks off at 6 p.m. at the Reiche Elementary School, 166 Brackett St., Portland. But people start gathering around 5:30 p.m.

Hear the spirits come alive during a tour of the Eastern Cemetery in Portland this Halloween season. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: