10 Best Halloween Events

Saturday, October 15, 2011


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Guests check in, but they don't check out: Westerly's Bates Haunted Motel

Ready for a string of fright nights? We are, and these are the 10 best spots for it in Rhode Island. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Bates Haunted Motel- Westerly

The largest haunted motel on the East Coast is located right here in Westerly. The Bates Haunted Motel (no connection to the famous motel of the same name in Hitchcock’s thriller Psycho) is located directly on the shores of the Misquamicut Beach, where, as the motel’s story goes, survivors of shipwrecks washed up and turned to cannibalism. Encounter zombies, sea monsters, and chainsaw killers as you walk through the creepy halls. By day, guests can stay at the motel’s alter ego, the Sandy Shore Motel. Open Thursdays-Sundays in October from 6-11 PM. More info here: http://www.bateshauntedmotel.com.

Fortress of Nightmares- Newport 

As if being an abandoned fort wasn’t creepy enough, Fort Adams gets even scarier as Halloween rolls around. For the last two weekends of October, the fort holds two different haunted attractions. Either wander through the nearly pitch black tunnels while being confronted by the fort’s lost souls in Tunnels of Terror, or join the Rhode Island Paranormal Research Group on a ghost hunt with specialized instruments for finding spooks and spirits. Tickets available online in advance or at the gates. Dates: October 21-23 and 28-30. Location: Fort Adams, 90 Fort Adams Drive. Time: 6-9 pm Cost: $10 each event. Information: 401-841-0707 or www.fortressofnightmares.com

The Haunted Shipyard – Newport  

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All severed hands on deck: Newport's Haunted Shipyard

Come close to the terrible Davy Jones’ Locker as you wander around The Haunted Shipyard. In an interactive, theatrical tour, a former dockhand will guide you down each gangplank of the abandoned dock and tell you the terrible tale of the shipyard and it’s evil workers. Also features The Spooky Wharf, a kid-friendly area full of Halloween fun. Dates: October 20-23, 27-31. Location: Newport Yachting Center, 4 Commercial Wharf. Times and Admission: See website. Information: 401-846-1600 or visit http://www.hauntedshipyard.com/home.htm

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular - Providence 

Beautifully carved pumpkins light up the night at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo, now through October 31. Thousands of pumpkins are on display, depicting famous peoples, places, popular culture scenes, traditional tableaus, and much more. A magical Halloween experience for kids and adults. Location: Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Avenue. Phone: 401-785-3510 Time: Open nightly, rain or shine, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (trail closes by 11 p.m.) Cost: Adults, $12-$14; seniors over age 61, $10-$12; children ages 3-12, $9-$11. Information: www.rogerwilliamsparkzoo.org/jols/

Spooky Zoo at Roger Williams Park Zoo - Providence 

Roger Williams Park Zoo has trick-or-treating, live music, and other seasonal entertainment during Halloweekend. With pumpkin carving demonstrations, games, petting zoos, special pumpkin treats, and more it’s the perfect daytime event to enjoy the crisp air and foliage. Kids age 12 and under who come in costume receive half-priced admission. Location: Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Avenue. Time: Activities run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are free with zoo admission. Admission: Adults, $12; children age 3-12, $6; seniors, $8. Information: 401-785-3510 or visit www.rogerwilliamsparkzoo.org/

Halloween Events at Providence Children's Museum – Providence

If you like a little bit of learning with your Halloween activities, the Providence Children’s Museum is where it’s at. Thursday and Friday, the Spooky Studio has slime to play with, dress-up, and creature creation plus more in the museum’s new science and art exploration space, the Discovery Studio. And on Saturday, the Boo Bash features lots of entertaining games, hands-on themed arts and crafts, and a mad scientist’s laboratory. Costumes welcomed.  Location: 100 South Street. Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Information: 401-273-5437 or visit www.childrenmuseum.org

Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival – Providence and Johnston

For those who like your horror with popcorn and a soda, the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival has got you covered. From October 27-30, there will be fright films from independent filmmakers across the globe, many of who will be attending. Saturday night is double feature date night, with Scream 4 showing at the end of the night. In addition, there is an H.P. Lovecraft walking tour, free screenings, awards for the best films, and more. For ticket and location info, visit www.film-festival.org/Horror_ri.php.

Corn Mazes  

One of the most traditional fall activities is still one of the most fun. Corn mazes all over Rhode Island are great for getting outside and enjoying the harvest, while still getting a good scare (depending on the maze). Escobar’s Highland Farm in Portsmouth has an 8-acre maze, open until November 6, with a Halloween party on Oct. 29 and a pumpkin patch. The maze at Johnston’s Salisbury Farm was the first of its kind in New England, and offers nighttime Moonlight Mazes on Saturday nights. Confreda Farm in Hope has a Fall Farm Fest every weekend, and at night it turns into Scary Acres, with a haunted corn maze and hayride.

Field of Screams and Trails to Terror

Two of the bigger outdoor horror extravaganzas in Southern New England offer similar but differently scary attractions. Field of Screams in West Greenwich has a Haunted Insane Asylum, Dead River Haunted Hayride, and New England’s only 4D Haunted Maze- Clown Town. Trails to Terror at Highland Farms in Wakefield also has a haunted hayride (with sights, sounds, and a story), plus the 15-acre Forest of Fear walkthrough hike of horror. These are both not for young children or the faint of heart- they’re as frightening as they come.

Ghost Tours

Rhode Island has a long history, and as such has a lot of ghost stories. Learn about these and see where the events took place on informative and spooky ghost tours. Ghost Tours of Newport offers two tours- the Carved in Stone tour takes visitors through the Common Burying Ground, Newport’s oldest and largest colonial burying ground, and the Olde Town Tour Ghost Walk is a lantern-lit walk through historic Newport. Also, don’t’ forget ghost tours at Belcourt Castle. Providence has the Providence Ghost Tour through the historic East Side and mentalist Rory Raven’s Providence Ghost Walk is full of strange local tales and lore.


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