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The last thing anyone wants when they’re out looking for blood, guts and gore is to get sick with a virus.

That’s why during the last couple of years some of Maine’s biggest and best Halloween events have laid dormant – like a sleeping vampire – as COVID-19 continues to walk among us. But this year, as we all get used to the so-called new normal, Halloween is back in full swing.

The Great Pumpkin Ball at the State Theatre in Portland, for instance, will be held for the first time since 2019. The same goes for one of the state’s major spookfests, Fright at the Fort, at historic Fort Knox in Prospect.

Here are some suggestions of places and events where you can celebrate Halloween in style this year. Halloween is Monday, but there are events all weekend long.


The Trail of Terror in Saco is a haunted walk through the woods, full of “fun, frightful moments,” according to organizers. Sites seen during the 35-minute walk include “the psyche ward,” a lot of clowns, a dragon-filled castle and, new this year, the eerie Krampus, a hideous creature of European folklore who is said to scare children who’ve been misbehaving. The event is put on by the volunteer group OOB365 and is held on the property of the Aquaboggan Water Park. Trail of Terror is open 6-10 p.m. Friday through Halloween, and tickets are $20, $10 for children 10 and under. For information, go to OOB365 on Facebook.

Haunted Grandview Manor in Lebanon is an indoor and outdoor haunted walk that started off at a private family home in Sanford a few years ago, but just grew too big. There’s a 20- to 25-minute walk where people will encounter a graveyard, a mine shaft, clowns milling about, a funeral home and a slaughterhouse. The attraction offers “no scare” times, including Thursday, Saturday afternoon and Halloween – with no actors, no animatronics and the lights on – when people can go through at their own pace. But there’ll be “full scare nights” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $20 for the full scare nights, $10 for no scares. For times and other information, go to hauntedgrandviewmanor.com.


The formidable walls of Fort Knox in Prospect will host Fright at the Fort on Friday and Saturday. Deirdre Fleming photo

Fright at the Fort returns to Fort Knox Historic Site in Prospect, just across the Penobscot River from Bucksport. During “Fright” events, people take a 20-minute tour through the dark passageways of the 178-year-old fort, where creepy creatures lurk. Some of the scary areas include Pet Sematary (a nod to Maine author Stephen King’s book), Scarecrow Alley, Zombie Apocalypse, Hell’s Dentist, Night of 1,000 Corpses and many more. Money raised is used for the operation and maintenance of the fort. Fright at the Fort events will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $15 and sold only online, up to 4:30 p.m. each day. For tickets and information, go to fortknoxmaine.com.


Walk Among the Shadows: Untimely Ends is a tour of Portland’s historic Eastern Cemetery, where you get to meet some of the “spirits” resting there, eternally. This year’s featured spirits (actually live people dressed in period clothing) include Jacob Adams, a sea captain who died in 1807, and Thomas Bird, a pirate hanged in 1790. Tours are Thursday through Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Suggested donations are $10, $5 for children under 12. For more information go to spiritsalive.org.

The All Souls’ Walk at Hope Cemetery and Woods in Kennebunk is a little less frightening, letting people meet the cemetery’s residents (actors in costume) in the light of day. Organized by the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, it’s a 75-minute tour featuring stories about some 15 dearly departed souls near their gravestones, including George Bourne, builder of the famed Wedding Cake House in town. Tours take place from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, and tickets are $10, free for children under 12. For more information, go to brickstoremuseum.org.


Meet some of the permanent residents at Hope Cemetery in Kennebunk during the All Souls’ Walk on Saturday. Photo by Rowland Williams


The classic silent horror film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920) will be shown at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium at 7 p.m. Saturday, while municipal organist James Kennerley improvises a score on the monstrous Kotzschmar Organ. Tickets are $32 online, $20 for students and free for children 12 and under. For information, go to foko.org.

Spooktacular Songs and Storytime is a more kid-friendly event featuring the Kotzschmar Organ at Merrill Auditorium at 10 a.m. Saturday. Kennerley will accompany the 10-minute cartoon “Mickey Mouse and the Haunted House” and then give a tour of the organ. There will also be stories, songs, the city’s bookmobile and a costume parade across the stage. The event is free, but reservations are required and can be made online at porttix.com.


The silent horror film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” will screen Saturday in Portland, with live music by municipal organist James Kennerley. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ

“The Golem” (1920), another scary silent film, will be shown at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Leavitt Theatre in Ogunquit. Jeff Rapsis will improvise a score for the film live, using a digital synthesizer to reproduce the sounds of a full orchestra. The film is about a giant creature made of clay that comes to life. Tickets are $12. For more information, go to leavitttheatre.com.

Drive-in movies are forever linked with horror and slasher flicks. So what better way to celebrate Halloween than at a drive-in? Prides Corner Drive-In in Westbrook will host a triple feature Friday and Saturday of “Frightmare” (1983), “Jack-O” (1995) and “Spookies” (1986). Bridgton Twin Drive-In’s Halloween weekend schedule will include “Corpse Bride”(2005), “Beetlejuice” (1988), “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) and “Trick ‘R Treat” (2007) on Friday and Saturday. The latter two films will be shown again Sunday. For more information, go to Prides Corner Drive-In and Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theatre on Facebook.

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GiGi Gabor will be one of many performers at Port City Peep Show’s Halloween burlesque and drag event at Portland House of Music on Sunday. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer


The Great Pumpkin Ball: Resurrection takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday at Portland’s State Theatre. The dance party event is hosted by Blake Hayes of Portland radio station Coast 93.1 and drag performer Chartreuse Queen. Dance music will be provided by DJ Foxy and DJ Andrea Stamas. Brita Filter, from the TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” will be a special guest. There will also be a costume contest and burlesque go-go dancers. The event is a fundraiser for Equality Maine and the Equality Community Center in Portland. Tickets are $25 in advance, $40 on party day and $75 for VIP. Pay-what-you-can and free tickets can be requested. The event is for ages 18 and over. For information, go to statetheatreportland.com.

Port City Peep Show will present its annual Halloween burlesque and drag show “Staying Alive!” at Portland House of Music at 8 p.m. Sunday. Some of the Portland-area performers include Chartreuse Money, Cinnamon Maxxine, Cruzan Candy, El Ixir and GiGi Gabor. It’s a 21-plus show, and tickets are $15 in advance, $20 on the day of the show. For information, go to portlandhouseofmusic.com.

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