October ‘scares up’ nearly two dozen Halloween-theme events in Wilmington & North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast ( Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach). Visitors can experience this spooky time of year ‘Cape Fear-style’ with ghoulish festivals, ghostly tours, murder-mystery cruises, costume parties, scary stories, and organized trick-or-treat events. Following is a sampling of mysterious, haunted and historic festivities:
Ongoing (year-round)—Costumed guides lead visitors through alleyways with tales of haunted Wilmington. Nightly Halloween-theme tours at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Admission charge. Meets at Water & Market streets. Reservations required: 910-794-1866; (not recommended for very young children) Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington.
Ongoing (year-round)—Guided tour to 5 haunted pubs. Ages 21 and up; admission charge. Meets Tues.-Sat. in October & Sunday, Oct. 31 at 7:30pm at Fat Tony’s (131 N. Front St.). Reservations required. Haunted Pub Crawl.
Each Tuesday in October— Solve an exciting who-dunnit during a 2- hour dinner cruise along the Cape Fear River. Audience participation; prizes. Boards at 6pm; departs 6:30pm at dock (Water & Dock sts).Admission charge. Reservations: 910-343-1611; 800-676-0162 Murder Mystery Dinner Cruises.
Each Tuesday and Thursday in October— 3pm-5pm. Arrrr! Join a costumed pirate storyteller on an exploration of Money Island on the Intracoastal Waterway. Kids will learn about the history of famous North Carolina pirates, such as Captain Kidd and Black Beard. Admission charge. Wrightsville Beach Water Taxi & Cruises, 275 Waynick Blvd. Wrightsville Beach. Advance reservations required: 910-200-4002 Pirate Cruise/Tour.
Oct. 1—Fabulous Fantail Film Festival Double Feature: 7pm “Dracula” and “Frankenstein.” . Get into the Halloween mood by watching these original 1931 monster movies on the fantail of the Battleship North Carolina. Make it even more fun by wearing your best Halloween costume. Admission is $5 & tickets go on sale at 6pm. Chairs provided. Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington. 910-251-5797;
Oct. 8-9; 15-16; 22-23; 29-30— 7pm-10pm. You’ve seen the Battleship NC on paranormal programs, now come see for yourself! Come and experience Ghost Ship, a haunted house with ghouls, ghosts, and zombies set on the Battleship for some great and scary Halloween fun. Admission is $10 per person at door. Line forms at 6:30pm. You must be in the ticket line by 9:30pm to ensure a ticket. Note: Not recommended for young children. Ghost Ship Tour.
Oct. 15-17; 22-24— Fri. & Sat. 8pm; Sun. 3pm. The Thalian Association Children’s Theater opens its 2010-2011 season with the outrageous musical starring a singing carnivorous plant! Tickets are $10. Hannah Block 2 “Little Shop of Horrors” nd Street Stage, 120 S. Second St., Wilmington. 910-251-1788
Oct. 22-24 & 29-31—29Haunted” hayrides, carnival rides and games, “haunted” barn, non-scary Fun House with fortune tellers, games, stories, pony rides, food, costume contests, and more. Fun for all ages, including small children. Fri. (6-11pm); Sat. (2-11pm); Sun. (2-9pm). Costume contest (all ages) is Sat. the 30th. Free admission; activity fees vary. Poplar Grove Plantation th Annual Halloween Festival at Poplar Grove Plantation. “
Oct. 21; 28 — . 6:30pm. Porch Theatre Company presents this fast paced family friendly whodunit that will leave you “dying” with laughter. Audiences (if they come in costume) are invited to participate in the costume contest held after the performance. Reservations required. Adults $20; kids $20 (includes dinner, tax, gratuity and performance). Front Street Brewery, 910-232-6611 Clue! Mystery Dinner Theatre Halloween Special
Oct. 22-24 & 28-31—. 6pm-9pm. 30-minute horse-drawn trolley ride through historic district and a visit to the “haunted barn.” Horses and tour guides are dressed in costume. Halloween-theme stories, songs & treats. $12 Adults; $5 Children under 12. Departs at Market & Water Streets.; 910-251-8889 Halloween Ghost Trolley
Oct. 24—3pm-5:30pm. On this afternoon visitors can view and learn the history with interesting commentaries about the cemetery. $10 Adults; children 12 and under $8. 910-762-5682 Horse Drawn Wagon Rides at Oakdale Cemetery.
Oct. 8-9; 15; 23-24—. 8pm Ghost Hike . Join a park ranger down the trails of Fort Fisher State Recreation Area to explore the unexplained phenomena that surrounds Fort Fisher. Bring a flashlight and meet at 8pm at the visitor center to explore trails that are normally closed at night. Space is limited; reservations are required. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. 910-458-5798;
Oct. 26—5:30pm-8pm. A lot of fun & no scares, it is time for families to have fun & raise their hairs. But don’t be frightened & don’t you fret, we promise we’ll provide a zoo with animals to pet. With candy & sweets, there’s plenty of treats you’ll be asking yourself: what more should I eat? As everyone comes dressed in their Halloween best, there will be carnival festivities, games & much more. Did we mention also candy galore! Admission is $5 per person. Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington. 910-251-5797 Batty Battleship’s Halloween Bash.
Oct. 27 & 28—5pm-8:30pm. Families can enjoy thrills & gills in the same day. Indoor trick-or-treating, face painting, story-telling, magic shows and haunted gardens are some of the highlights at this family oriented fun Halloween party at the Aquarium. Note: only umbrella strollers permitted. Admission is $6; children 2 and under FREE. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. 910-458-8257; Trick-or-Treat Under the Sea.
Oct. 30—5-7pm. A kids’ festival featuring scary stories and non-scary fall-theme activities. Kids are invited to arrive dressed in costume or as a favorite book character. Admission charge. Children’s Museum of Wilmington. 910-254-3534 Kooky Spooky Jam-Boo-Read!
Oct. 30—Pumpkin Party at Fit for Fun. 9am-12noon. Arrive in costume and enjoy pumpkin painting, pumpkin games, temporary tattoos, and more. $5 per child. Fit for Fun Center. 910-341-4630.
Oct. 29—8:00pm-midnight. Adult Halloween party with food, drinks, karaoke, and costume contest. Admission charge. Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington. 910-395-5999 HAUNT 2010. Oct. 30— 9am.Registration fee for adult 5K/10K race. Halloween costumes encouraged. 20 N. 4 Trick or Treat Trot 5K/10K Run & 1 mile Fun Run/Walk. thSt., Wilmington