And the best month of the year is almost over (sigh). October in southeastern NC brings with it a slew of ghoulishly delicious treats. Nightmares, haunted houses, creepy creepsters and peepsters pop up in unexpected places! All the excitement of Halloween culminates this week, Oct. 28-Nov. 4. Here’s a look at how folks can enjoy the most of the final witching hours…
FORT FISHER HAUNTED TRAIL
1000 Loggerhead Road • (910) 458-5798
What’s scarier than things jumping out at you and threatening your sense of security? Well, when they do it outside in the open air, maybe a haunted forest, and leave you tons of places to run, but very little places to hide. The Fort Fisher Haunted Trail takes place Oct. 29 and 30, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the secluded Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. It’s a guided tour, wherein visitors learn of all legendary, gruesome tales that happened on the Civil War site. Find out about the ghost that still commands its grounds and maybe even hear the sounds of unknown footsteps among its wooden walkways. The tour is recommended for ages 10 and up, with parental discretion advised. It’s free!
NIGHTMARE ON WATER STREET
301 N. Water Street • (910) 343-6175
Nope, Freddy Krueger won’t be slashing his way through the crowds (at least, we hope), but at the Hilton Riverside, a costume party will be underway to benefit Wounded Veteran Housing. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed to the nines for a chance to win best costume. Also, there will be “horrors” d’oeuvre from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and “spook”-tails served. It’s $40 a person, and the party lasts until midnight on Fri., Oct. 30.
SPOOKY SOUND PADDLEFEST
96 W. Salisbury Street • (910) 378-9283
Wrighstville Beach will be overrun with costumed standup paddleboarders come Oct. 31 at 8:30 a.m. A benefit for the Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra, the race welcomes folks to paddle a 1-mile course that starts and ends at 96 W. Salisbury St. All rowers—whether via kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, etc.—can compete for best costume and strangest craft. So come decked out! It’s $15 and will be held rain or shine. There will be raflle prizes and free demos for folks who want to learn more about paddleboarding. A limited number of rentals are available as well; parking beside of Johnny Mercer Pier.
TRICK OR TREAT UNDER THE SEA
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher
900 Loggerhead Road • (910) 378-9283
Before the official commencing upon neighborhood after neighborhood happens on All Hallow’s Eve, head over to the aquarium for some pre-gaming with Snickers, Twix and other candies galore! NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher welcomes back their highly popular Trick or Treat Under the Sea, Oct. 28-30, starting at 4:30 p.m. daily and going ‘til 8 p.m. Parents and kids will get first-class treatment and be handed loads of candy from local businesses that set up booths at the event. Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult; cost is $11.
CAPE FEAR GHOST CHASE AND SCAVENGER HUNT
CFCC Union Station Building
Third Floor Lobby • 502 N. Front St.
Have you always had interest in hunting the paranormal? Do you enjoy collecting clues to solve mysteries? Well, Cape Fear Community College anthropology department holds an annual ghost chase and scavenger hunt every Halloween to pique your Columbo brains!
On Thursday, Oct. 29, it starts with the reading stories of ghostly tales—until the book goes missing and stories untold lead to ghosts running amok downtown Wilmington! Teams of paranormal detectives must follow clues, find missing words, and use their wits and high-tech ghost-hunting devices (i.e. smartphones).
Prizes are awarded, and it’s $10 to participant, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Wilmington Family YMCA.
WAR OF THE WORLDS
CFCC Fine Arts and Humanities Center
703 North Third St. • (910) 362-7999
H.G. Wells’ famed “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast is celebrating 77 years in 2015. Copresented by CFCC and WHQR, radio host George Schreiber will lead the broadcast from its 1938 famed script on October 30 in Cape Fear Stage’s studio theater. CFCC drama students have adapted the show to the present day and changed the setting from New York to eastern North Carolina. Folks can watch the production live or listen to it simulcasted on WHQR 91.3 FM. Tickets are $25 plus taxes and fees for the public, and $5 for CFCC students.
HALLOWEN SOUR BEER SMASH
Flytrap Brewing •319 Walnut St.
They did the mash! I mean … the smash! Monster smash it up at Flytrap Brewing on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m., as they welcome guests to test out sour beers. It will pucker the cheeks, while D&D Sluggers puff the ears! Awards will be given to best and most creative costumes around 10 p.m. Plus, Catch the Food Truck will be onsite, serving tasty treats from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
HALLOWEEN WITH ASG, WHITE TIGER AND THE BED OF ROSES, BLUE FOOTED BOOBIES
Palate • 1007 N. 4th St.
Brooklyn Arts District will be raising hell come Oct. 31 for a rock ‘n’ roll spook fest, complete with tons of beer, wine, games, food trucks, and good times. They’re welcoming the “‘90s rip-off rock” of White Tiger and the Bed of Roses, the psychedelic blues rock of Blue Footed Boobies, and the heaving rock of ASG. Admission is free; booze and food will be sold separately. The fun starts at 1 p.m.
419 S. College Rd. • (910) 452-7828
Nerds unite! Fanboy is doing a Halloween version of Comic Book Day, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31. They will dole out free comics, candy, host a costume contest (winner will receive $100 Fanboy gift certificate), and give away free gift bags for the first 50 kids and the first 50 adults dressed up as their favorite characters. Any horror themed stock will be discounted, and they’ll give away titles, including “Batman Adventures,” “World of Archie,” “Boom Comics Halloween Haunt,” “Skylanders,” “Grimness Island,” “Spider Web Warriors/Avengers Assemble,” and more.
118 Princess St. • (910) 763-4133
Annually, Princess Street, between 2nd and Front streets, downtown, turns into a Monster’s Ball at Hell’s Kitchen. Folks will be able to enjoy a costume contest, live classic rock and country music played by Tony Barnes Band starting at 9 p.m., and it’s completely free to attend!
BADCO DAY OF DEAD ARTS ROVE
Brooklyn Arts District
North 4th Street
Head back down to the Brooklyn Arts District on Nov. 1 to honor the spirits of those who have passed. Four bands (Boneless Graveyard, Exploding Math Lab, Zodiac Panthers, WAUL) will be set up on Detour Deli and Café’s back patio throughout the day. Nicolle Nicolle, Tuki Lucero and Pepper Mill Shop will have art work for sale, and John the Baptist and King James Jr.’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival will perform out front of the café.
ACME Art Studios will be open to the public and will construct a Day of the Dead alter onsite. Folks Café on Fourth will feature live art and music, while a few blocks over at Flytrap Brewery, there will be an open mic for spoken word. Exhale Yoga & Wellness will host a free yoga class, and the block’s newest bar, Freaky Tiki, will screen horror movies.
Just mosey about The Brooklyn Arts District between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. and stop in at participating businesses.