2015 Halloween Happenings around New England

    Halloween might be celebrated in numerous ways worldwide, but there’s nothing quite like the holiday in New England. While protestant settlers once frowned upon it for its pagan roots, bevies of children now spend the day roaming their neighborhoods dressed as Disney princesses or their favorite superhero, collecting enough candy to sustain a small army. Who doesn’t remember those crisp, fall days (or nights, if you lived in one of the “cool” towns) where adults gave you free Snickers bars while oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over your insanely cool Ghostbusters costume, which your mom made just big enough to fit over a snowsuit in case a freak Nor’easter hit.  For those that may have aged out of trick-or-treating or now have a gaggle of little monsters looking to extend the spooky holiday, we have compiled our list of top Halloween events going on around New England.

    The Salem Witch Museum While The Salem Witch Museum is open year round, Halloween is the perfect time to check out this creepy haunt. Throughout October, museum hours are extended on weekends, allowing thrill-seekers to visit after dark. Learn about the Witch Trials of 1692 and check out the spooky paraphernalia in the museum’s gift shop.

    Spooky World/Nightmare New England The terrifying attraction Spooky World / Nightmare New England is one of the largest haunted destination in the Northeast. Explore The Colony, where “a new strain of Hell’s servants” roam, seeking their next victim. Or venture into the Carnage, where “rot, decay, and filth… are a haven for evil. Located in Litchfield, New Hampshire, Spooky World is a bit of a drive for Bostonians, but is certainly worth it.

    Pumpkin Festival 2015 If being scared witless isn’t your idea of a good time but you still want to embrace the holiday spirit, check out the Pumpkin Festival (formerly the Keene Pumpkin Festival) on October 24th in Laconia, New Hampshire. Renowned for its elaborate pumpkin carvings, the festival is perfect for families and won’t frighten small children. Events include a 5k/10k race and pumpkin bowling. Best of all, admittance is free!

    Six Flags Fright Fest During Six Flags Fright Fest, the park uses Halloween as an excuse to transform their rides – many of which are already frightening – into super scary themed attractions. Pandemonium, one of the park’s rollercoasters, becomes The Zombie Coaster, and Scream, another thrill ride, overlooks Tombstone TerrorTory, Undead Alley, and Demon District. Fright Fest is best for teenagers and adults, as the website warns that it might not be appropriate for children under 13.

    The Haunted Graveyard The Haunted Graveyard in Bristol, Connecticut, isn’t quite as terrifying as Spooky World or Fright Fest, but it’s definitely more intense than Pumpkin Fest. If you’re looking for moderate excitement, The Haunted Graveyard is for you. Every weekend in October, the shores of Lake Compounce become overrun by ghouls and vampires who hang out in attractions like the Slaughterhouse and the Zombie Forest.

    Field of Screams The Field of Screams in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, runs Thursdays through Sundays during October. It features Zombie Paintball, the Dungeon of Doom, and New England’s only  4D maze, Cirque du Souls (is there anyone who doesn’t find the prospect of murderous clowns petrifying?) While children are allowed, the attraction’s website says that The Field of Screams is not recommended for the faint of heart, so keep that in mind when deciding whether this is the right activity for you and your kids.

    Here’s to a happy (and spooky) Halloween!