Whether you’re a little ghost or goblin ready to fill your treat bag up with goodies, or a grownup that can’t wait to decorate the whole house (and themselves), for many people, Halloween is one of the most fun nights of the year.
As the home of lots of history (some of it gruesome), stunning fall scenery and a certain internationally beloved horror author, the Bangor region ups its game when it comes to planning Halloween events. Between pumpkin patches and corn mazes, haunted houses big and small, trick or treating, scary movies and dance parties, there’s something for everybody — and let’s not even mention some of the more over the top, nationally known events, like what happens at Fort Knox each October.
And as evidenced by the scores of adults in costumes — and the enormous selection of costumes and accessories for all ages for sale at the local pop-up Halloween store each year — Halloween certainly isn’t just for kids. We’ve put together a list of some of the best Halloween events in the Bangor region for people of all ages. From Hampden to Old Town and from Bangor to Bucksport, here’s 16 ways to enjoy the creepiest time of year.
Ghostly Bangor walking tours In a city with a history as rich as Bangor’s, sometimes former residents are rumored to remain long after their deaths and the Bangor Historical Society’s latest walking tours come with a spooky twist. “Ghostly Bangor” walking tours travel through downtown Bangor, telling tales of past residents who may still linger, unsolved mysteries and murder. The tours depart from the Thomas A. Hill House at 7 p.m. on October 24 and 30. Tours are $10 per person and tickets are available online at bangorhistoricalsociety.org or from the guide at the start of the tour.
Eddington Fire Department Halloween celebration The Eddington Fire Department will hold its twelfth annual Halloween celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the fire department, located at 906 Main Road. This family friendly event, geared for children, will feature a Halloween movie and popcorn from 6 to 6:40 p.m., a haunted hayride from 6:45-8 p.m., and a face painting and coloring contest from 6 to 8 p.m. Hayride is weather-dependent. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Halloween at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge Join the folks at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Old Town from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, for fall ‘animal art’, preparing and raising a scarecrow made from natural materials, bobbing for apples and a hay bale rolling contest. When shadows grow larger, dare to come along on the Haunted Walk, listen to a scary story by the campfire and step into the tent of the future. Program takes place at the Parker Reed shelter. Suggested donation $5. Hirundo is located off Exit 197/Old Town/Hudson on I-95. Go west off the exit on Route 43 for 4.75 miles and look for the large red signs on the right. Take Gate 1 off Route 43 and follow the dirt road for half mile to the Pine Tree parking area. Street address is 1107 West Old Town Road., Old Town.
Haunted Trails at Reeds Brook Middle School, Hampden Come experience high-quality scenes and costuming for a great cause, with the annual Reeds Brook Middle School Haunted Trails event in Hampden. Older kids and adults can take a walk on the ¾ mile south loop on the Reeds Brook trails, while small children can enjoy the shorter, kid-friendly north loop. The frightening goes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, and admission is $5 per person, or $15 for a family of four. Proceeds will be used to cut a new one-kilometer trail to connect the north and south loops of the Reeds Brook Trails. Concessions will be available.
Haus of Paradigm’s Paraween, Brewer The Haus of Paradigm, a local progressive bellydance troupe, each year produces an eye-popping dance and music spectacle called Paraween, each with a different conceptual theme and gorgeous, hand-crafted costumes. This year’s Paraween, the eighth, is set for 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Nocturnem Drafthaus in Bangor, and 8 p.m. Oct. 24 and 25 at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer. The Nocturnem show is a preview and is free; the Next Generation Theatre shows are $10.
Thriller dance lessons with Robinson Ballet No mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller — especially not when you can learn how to do the full Thriller dance for free with the Robinson Ballet. Learn all the moves to Michael Jackson’s classic dance from “Thriller” with two classes, set for 11 a.m. Oct. 24 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Robinson Ballet studios at the corner of Union and Main Streets.
Pumpkins in the Park, Cross Insurance Center United Cerebral Palsy of Maine will host its thirteenth annual Pumpkins in the Park, an all ages, family-friendly Halloween event set for noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Admission is $3 per person, free for kids three and under, and $10 for a family. Activities include bounce houses, trick or treating, face painting, glowing jack-o-lanterns and much more. There are additional costs for hay rides, and for a photo booth. All proceeds go back to UCP of Maine, to support local children and adults living with disabilities.
Fright at the Fort, Fort Knox State Park One of the originals, and still one of the best — the Fright at the Fort at Fort Knox State Park in Prospect has for nearly two decades spooked visitors from all over. Visitors are guided through the dark, fog filled, twists and turns of the massive granite fortification where the senses are bombarded by sights, sounds and lights and legions of volunteers in terrifying costumes. It’s recommended for not-easily frightened older children, teenagers and adults. The Fright is open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 23 and 24 and Oct. 30 and 31 and admission is $10 for adults or $5 for kids 12 and under, or $12 for express tickets available online at https://payments.sephone.com/pay/fright.
Bangor Drive In Halloween screenings The Bangor Drive-In, located on Outer Hammond Street, offers both screenings and Halloween fun for all ages this year. The weekend of Oct. 23 and 24 the 6:30 p.m. features will be the newly released “Goosebumps” and the classic Stephen King movie “Cujo,” and on Oct. 30 and 31 the features will be “Goosebumps,” again, and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” On Oct. 24 there will also be a Trunk or Treat event from 4 to 6 p.m., before the movies. Standard admission costs apply.
Bangor Zombie Walk The fifth annual Zombie Walk lets lovers of the undead — be it “Night of the Living Dead” or “Walking Dead” zombies — strut (well, shuffle) their stuff down the Bangor Waterfront. The fifth annual Bangor Zombie Walk encourages crazy zombie costumes, and it’s completely free. It’s set for 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 on the Waterfront, where there will also be vendors and other activities.
BanGOREfest, Bangor Motor Inn The Bangor Comic & Toy Con offers a halfway to the full event Halloween party, set for Oct. 30 and 31 at the Bangor Motor Inn on Hogan Road. Friday night from 6 to 10 p.m. the convention floor opens with vendors and comics, and live Maine heavy metal from Hessian, Holy Filth and Manic Abraxas, while on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 there’s once again vendors and comics, classic horror movie screenings, kids build a monster and costume workshops, and an evening costume party. Voice actor Mark Dodson — featured in “Return of the Jedi” and the Gremlins movies — will be around all weekend. For more information, visit bangorcomictoycon.com.
Bangor Parks and Recreation Halloween Party People of all ages are welcomed to the annual Bangor Parks and Recreation Halloween Party, set for Friday, Oct. 30 at the Parks and Rec center at 647 Main St. There will be games, activities, prizes, and for the older kids, the “haunted chamber.” For kids ages 2-5, the party is from 5 to 6 p.m., and for kids aged 6 to 12 it’s from 6 to 7:30 p.m. There is no fee for the party. Visit BangorParksandRec.com or call 992-4490 for more information.
Downtown Bangor trick or treating Each year, downtown businesses and organizations throw open their doors to little spooks for a safe, family-friendly trick or treating experience like no other in the area. Parents can bring their goblins, witches and little Iron Mans and Dorothys to pop in on more than 20 locations between 2 and 4 p.m. In addition, Penobscot Theatre will offer tours of its facilities all day as well as performances of its Edgar Allen Poe-themed youth theater production “Shuddersome Tales of Poe,” set for 5 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. And for grownups, don’t forget that a number of bars in downtown Bangor including Paddy Murphy’s, Ipanema Bar & Grill, Umami, Nocturnem Drafthaus, Seasons, Carolina’s Sports and Spirits, the Sea Dog Brewing Company and many others all have costume contests, prizes and other adult-centric fun.
Halloween Hullaballoo, Orono Public Library For kids aged nine and under, the Orono Public Library offers a free, child-friendly Halloween party, with treats, games and more. Come in costume. It’s the seventh annual Halloween party the library has offered, and it’s one of the facility’s most popular yearly events. The fun is set for 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Kenduskeag Haunted House For almost as long as that other major haunted house in the Bangor area, the haunted house at the Cole Memorial Ball Field on the Kenduskeag Levant Road has been scaring the willies out of people. This homegrown spooky affair is set for 7 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 30 and 31 and admission is just $5. It’s recommended for kids aged 12 and up. Proceeds benefit the Town of Kenduskeag Recreation Department.
Damnationland, Central Gallery, Bangor Damnationland presents original works from Maine filmmakers that redefine the classic thriller and horror categories. Now in its sixth year, the Damnationland 2015 program will feature world premieres of ten short films produced in Maine by Mainers especially for the Halloween season. These are dark, surreal, and fantastic pieces, and they offer film fans an excellent sampling of the talent producing independent film in Maine today. Screenings at the Central Gallery in downtown are at 7 and 10 p.m. Oct. 31, and tickets are $5 in advance or $8 the day of.