Fall Guide

Fright Nights

Halloween events that will have you sleeping with the lights on


What better way to get in the spooky spirit than to get up close and personal with some things that go bump in the night? Whether your ghosts of choice are real or imagined, we’ve got you covered.

Trails to Terror is the closest thing you’re going to find to a Stephen King novel come to life... not that that’s exactly a good thing. Fifteen acres of screams take over Wakefield’s Highland Farm. Do you dare to be a passenger on Delamorte’s Haunted Hayride, or walk (maybe you should run) through the Forest of Fear? If you’ve got the stomach for it after the terror is over, have a bite at the Monsta Café. 4235 Tower Hill Rd, Wakefield. 792-8188

For a real scream, meet the ghosts at Fortress of Nightmares, the haunted house that takes over Newport’s Fort Adams every October. While the attraction will have you facing your demons – literally – there are real legends of hauntings at the Fort, which has seen its share of warfare. Join the Rhode Island Paranormal Research Group for the final Summer Ghost Hunt of the season on September 19. 90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport. 841-0707

New England’s only haunted theme park, Spooky- World, might be in New Hampshire, but they’re coming to the Ocean State for Terror in Rhode Island for the second year. Step right up and test your (survival) skills at the Festival of Fear, a 3-D old fashioned freak- show, or explore the Devil’s Playground, an old cemetery where the ghosts would like to keep you... for eternity. Fight your way out of Darkness Falls, an immersive experience where you only have a single glow stick to light the way. 1000 New London Avenue, Cranston. 474-6336.

You’ll be sleeping with the lights on after the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival, happening in Providence from October 20-26. The festival, now in its 15th season, features scary movies from around the world. Last year’s festival included 56 films from 19 countries. There’s also an opening night spooktacular and a walking tour of the old haunts of master of horror H.P. Lovecraft. Viewer beware: because of the film content, children under 14 are admitted only with an adult.

On Halloween night, experience the dark side of the Providence Public Library at The Eternal Masquerade... Mysterium. This gala is thrown in collaboration with TEN31 Productions – the living statues that decorate WaterFire and other local events. The interactive experience invites guests to explore the library and, through performance installations hidden throughout its rooms, to solve the mystery of the Eternal Masquerade. Gourmet edibles and cocktails will be served by Russell Morin Fine Catering. 150 Empire Street, Providence. 455-8000.

Channel the spirits at a real séance. No kids are allowed as paranormal expert Carl L. Johnson hosts two séance programs in Pawtucket. On Halloween night, October 31, he will attempt to contact the other side at the Johnson will channel the spirits at Slater Mill, one of New England’s most haunted destinations, which has been on Ghost Hunters and many other ghost hunting shows. 725-8638, x100. www.slatermill.org

To experience all of your biggest fears materialize right before your eyes, head to the Haunted Hill in Cumberland. As the scariest-rated trail in southern New England, they don’t play around. For over ten years, Haunted Hill has inspired terror with a wide range of characters, from killer scarecrows to movie murderers that probably kept you up at night as a kid. Think Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, Michael Myers and more than enough chainsaws. Meet them face-to-face in the middle of the woods on Fridays and weekends in October, including a Midnight Massacre on Halloween... if they don’t get you first. 4092 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland. 334-9996.

Decades of thrill-seekers have returned to the Haunted Labyrinth in Cranston, which is the longest running haunted house in New England. This is a Halloween classic not to be missed, but there are always new, hidden tricks only to be discovered within its labyrinthine walls. The outside might make you want to turn around, but the real fun (or fear) starts when you enter. Find your way through in your own small group if you wish and discover the year’s theme, which never disappoints. Feel good about the admission cost once your heart rate lowers – the Haunted Labyrinth supports the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center. 804 Dyer Avenue, Cranston. 943-8686.

Halloween is the scariest time of the year – too scary for some little ones. Here are some kid-friendly suggestions to get spooked in good fun.

Thousands of intricately carved jack o’lanterns will light the Roger Williams Park Zoo at the annual Jack O’Lantern Spectactular. From October 2-November 2, once the sun goes down, the pumpkins come out to play. This year’s theme is Pumpkins A-Z, with highlights from history and pop culture; annual favorites like the Laughing Tree and the Halloween scenes (featuring pumpkins that weigh in at over 1,000 pounds) will be back for another show. Last year set an all-time attendance high of 135,000 people for the season. Lines can be long on the weekends, but are practically nonexistent on weeknights or if rain is in the forecast.

What’s better than spying exotic animals? When those animals give you candy. On October 25 and 26, the Roger Williams Park Zoo presents Spooky Zoo. This daytime event is included in regular admission, and is more fun than a barrel of monkeys: think trick or treating inside the Zoo, music and entertainment, a magician, games, animal encounters and pumpkin treats. Kids 12 and under who come in costume get in for half-price. 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. 785- 9450.

Run off the calories from those Halloween treats at the Providence Monster Dash 5k and Monster Kids Run on October 26. The event brings out runners in their best scary costumes for the 5k and kids 1k race. But for those of you who are more interested in running for your life, register for the Zombie Walk, where you can either join the legions of undead, or try your best to not become their dinner. Race leaves from the Rhode Island Convention Center. 1 Sabin Street, Providence. 952- 6333.

Have some Halloween fun in the sun at Frerichs Farm in Warren. Every weekend in September and October is their Pumpkin Palooza, filled with kid-friendly events. Take a ride around the farm in their magic pumpkin coach, or on Snap the Dragon; play in the haystacks and try to find the “needle”; or, paint a pumpkin or build your own scarecrow. There’s a Western Town ready to be explored and a witch’s broom waiting to be ridden. Charlie Brown is even waiting for the Great Pumpkin in his pumpkin patch. They even fire off the pumpkin trebuchet at the end of the season. 43 Kinnicutt Avenue, Warren. 245-8245.

It’s no coincidence that Rhode Island is the 13th state. Our legends date back 400 years, and are full of spooky tales of real hauntings. The Providence Ghost Tour (484-8687) takes brave souls on lantern-lit walks through the city’s Mile of History on Benefit Street, once frequented by masters of horror Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. Tours happen nightly in September and October, but beware: the Ghost Tour warns guests that it’s not responsible for “any haunting, soul possession or poltergeist activity experienced before, during or after the tour.” Ghost Tours of Newport (841-8600) takes guests on an Old Town Ghost Walk to track down the haunted past of the City by the Sea, filled with pirates and Revolutionary War legends. On Fridays in October, Slater Mill hosts Mills & Mysteries: A Ghostly Experience (725-8638). This paranormal investigation delves into the history of one of New England’s most haunted places with acclaimed ghost hunters.

Prepare for impending doom as a rickety wagon takes you deeper into the dark woods of Confreda Farms at Scary Acres, which runs from September 19 to October 26. Once the wagon wheels give their final creak, it’s up to you to escape the zombies and werewolves waiting in the corn maze. Think fast, because they’ve been on the prowl for months and are thirsty for blood. This isn’t just any hayride and corn maze, though – added elements like Quarantine and the Fun House of Fears make the experience doubly scary, and there are evil creatures at every turn. 2150 Scituate Avenue, Hope. 827-5000.

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