Uh oh! The week of All Hallows Eve is upon us! Luckily, we’re cursed with living in a place of the most actively haunted cities in the United States. Needless to say, there are plenty of eerie events happening around town to keep our hairs permanently on end.
It’s hailed the “most elaborate, scariest, wildest, bloodiest, most intense haunted house” of the Cape Fear region. We’re thinking it must be pretty good—and huge. There is 11,000 sq. ft. of doom, gloom and fright to be had at 1290 S. 15th Street, downtown Wilmington. With the use of Hollywood-quality effects and set dressing to battle the greatest of horror flicks, come prepared with a Xanax as Panic Attack may ensure just that.
The haunted attraction shocks, twists, turns and psychologically betrays any assurance of safety, thanks to its “massacre of fears, phobias and haunts—the gruesome granddaddy of all haunted attractions!” The faint of heart need to stay home, and children under 13 are not allowed. The show goes on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $20, fast pass, $30, and discounts for groups of 20 or more.
The Lost Tomb of Terror
Each year New Hanover High School students take over a vacant building in town and transform it into a haunt of a good time. This year proves no exception as the Lyceum Academy bring their “Lost Tomb of Terror” to 4875 New Centre Drive, across from the old Wilson’s location. Tickets to enter the haunted house go for $10, with all proceeds benefiting the academy. Tour lasts from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the 28th and through midnight on the 29th through 31st.
Poplar Grove Halloween Festival
Hay rides, tarot card readers, funhouses, costume contests, pony rides, cake walks … Poplar Grove Halloween Festival continues with the tradition of bringing fun back to Halloween. The festival itself is free, while individual activities are priced differently. Food will be for sale on site, games will be played, and a haunted hay ride and barn remain the pinnacle of ghoulish good times. On Friday, the fun lasts from 6 p.m. to midnight, while Saturdays activities begin at 2 p.m. and last ‘til midnight, including a canine costume contest at 2 p.m. and an adult contest at 6 p.m. On Sunday the fun continues at 2 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m.
Murder Mystery Cruises
Was it Ms. Watson, on the star-board side, with an anchor? Or perhaps it was the Captain, on the stern, with a rusty hook? The mystery is for you to solve on the Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise, put on by Cape Fear River Boats, Inc. Unusual characters mingle about the ship, and clues pop around every corner. Be the one to solve the crime, and a prize may be yours! The two-hour interactive dinner cruise departs at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday during the month of October from Water and Dock streets downtown. Tickets are $44 per adult and $26 per child and includes a Southern buffet-style meal. To RSVP call 910-343-1611 or 800-676-0162. More information can be found at www.cfrboats.com
The hottest Halloween ticket in town, Cameron Art Museum’s Haunt 2010 is going to be a monster bash. With everyone in full costume, dancing the night away to a live DJ, the art museum will transform into a mausoleum of mayhem. A fire-eating belly dancer, fortune teller, and special performing artists will stir up the crowd as well. The event is part party, part fund-raiser for the museum, and part costume contest, but it is a fully, horrific good time. Haunt takes place October 30th, from 8 p.m. until midnight. Tickets include food and one drink ticket, and can be purchased by calling 910-395-5999 or going online at www.cameronartmuseum.com.
Haunted Opera House
Ever heard the moans of the Thalian Hall ghost? Well, here’s your chance!
On the 30th, the official theatre of North Carolina in all of its historic glory will transform into an eerie façade of fun and grueling frights—or is it really a façade?
Tour through the grand restored auditorum with a ghoulish guide who will show off the creepiest corners and hidden gems within Thalian. A cast and crew of over 50 spooksters will be on hand to enhance the experience. The tours are continuous beginning at 5:30 p.m. and last through midnight. Tickets are only $15. Thalian Hall is located at 310 Chestnut, but please use the Princess Street entrance, downtown Wilmington.
Nothing will be spookier come Halloween weekend then touring about the bow, messdeck and bunker of the USS Battleship NC, which will transform its historic post into a creepy-crawly good time. Tours take place on Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly and cost only $10 for entry. The haunted ship will be filled with ghouls, ghosts and zombies awaiting their chances to scare the dickens out of all civilians who dare board the ship. The line for entry begins at 6:30 p.m. and folks must be in line by 9:30 p.m.
This kid friendly attraction will take you and your little ones down the Intracoastal Waterway to explore the treasured oasis of Money Island. Taken aboard the Wrightsville Beach Water Taxi, a costumed story teller will lead the adventure and weave tales from the history of North Carolina’s most famous pirates, such as Captain Kidd and Blackbeard. The ship will set sail for the remaining Tuesday and Thursday’s of October, starting at 3 p.m. and ending at 5 p.m. Prepare to board at 275 Waynick Blvd, across from the Blockade Runner. For more information, call 910-200-4002, or visit www.capefearnaturalist.com.
Haunted Pub Crawl
Raise a glass to the past in the depths of Wilmington’s most actively haunted pubs and lend an eerie ear to hear of the obsessive wench Gallus Meg or the barbarous haunts of a man gone mad. This two-to-five hour tour hits five of downtown’s creepiest bars and reveals tales from the crypt that go from the creepy to comical. The creepy crawl starts at Fat Tony’s, 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday-Saturday in October, and also runs Halloween Sunday. Participants must be 21 or older, and tickets need to be purchased in advanced at either The Black Cat Shoppe or online at hauntedwilmington.com. For more information call 910-794-1866 or 910-251-6663.
Ghost Walk of Wilmington
With the largest historic district in the state, it’s no wonder Wilmington, N.C. is considered to be one of the most actively haunted cities in the world. Taking 275-year-old alleyways, century-old Southern oaks, and the unmarked graves of thieves and bringing them to life through the eyes of locally renowned story tellers and ghost hunters, the Ghost Walk is sure to thrill and chill the ones who dare walk its path. With 29 active sights on the tour, each one differs nightly. The tour meets at Water and Market streets in downtown Wilmington, and tickets can be bought on site or in advance online. For more information, call 910-794-1866, or visit hauntedwilmington.com.
Halloween Ghost Trolley
Take a ride through Wilmigton’s historic district on a wickedly drawn horse carriage. Listen to your tour guide as they regal you with spooky tales of the paranormal past and present lurking the cobblestone streets and columned mansions. The 30-minute tour will stop off for a visit to the “haunted barn,” a place oozing with Halloween-themed stories, songs and treats for the little ones. Tours start at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m., and departs from Market and Water streets. For more details call 910-251-889 or visit www.horsedrawntours.com.
Trick or Treat Under the Sea
Looking for a deep-sea scare that may just make the little ones squeal in delight? Look no further, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is hosting just the event this week. Bring the whole costumed-adorned family to enjoy face painting, storytelling and games. Twice a night, a magic show called “Pirates Have Problems,” by No Sleeves Magic Camp, will wow the crowd, and creepy divers will be spook-a-diving in the big tank. End the evening with a stroll through the Haunted Gardens, where you never know what could be lurking… The event is held Wednesday, October 27th, and Thursday, October 28th, from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Call 910-458-3476 or visit www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher for more details.
Looking for a naughty night of sultry bliss? Head over to the Soapbox on the 30th for the special Vamp Tramp Peepshow Cabaret. The “Halloween Spooktacular Show” will have two performances at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and will only cost a mere $10 to see sexy sways and turns, gruesome costumes and makeup, all delivered in the Peepshow’s famous pin-up girl style.
There will be a midnight balloon drop and costume contest at 9 p.m., so come dressed to impress. Halloween photos will be taken throughout the evening, too, courtesy of Michael Dunn Photography and Stoopidgirl Photography; www.thepeepshowcabaret.com.
What’s Halloween without the thrill of mystery? Allow the folks at Porch Theatre Company to “classically style an evening of mischief and mayhem” at Front Street Brewery’s Beam Room. On the 28th at 6:30 p.m. the theatre group puts on their production of Clue, a family-friendly farce of a thriller that will keep audiences in stitches.
There will be a costume contest, too, so attendees can come dressed in their own Colonel Mustard attire. There will be celebrity judges making sure every mustache is twirled and monocle placed appropriately, so come tidied up for a chance to win prizes. Tickets are $35 and include dinner, tax, gratuity and the performance. Reservations can be made by calling (910) 232-6611 or visit www.porchtheatre.com.
Blue Post Pool and Ghouls
It’s a tradition year in, year out. Head to the Blue Post dressed to the nines (or ones, considering the holiday), and enter a contest for a chance to win $100 for best costume or $50 for sexiest costume. Part of the traditional appeal of heading to the Post on Halloween is:
1) It’s free.
2) They have music with DJ Stevie Mac.
3) They give money away.
and 4) They have Dums Dums in really large jars that taste super great when dipped in Pumpkin Ale.
Really, who needs more reasons than that?
Halloween Tribute Show
Nothing says “night of terror” than watching reenactments of Widespread Panic or U2 in some lame tribute band. Thank goodness Soapbox has better taste than that. They’re hosting musicians who want to pay homage to rockers that can’t be denied history in the books. Damona Waits, Dragon Seeks Paths and MikeyRodgeyMarkyBoone Band will take over the Soapbox stage as Weezer, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Deftones respectively, for a night of dress-up and playtime.
Though these bands make their own original music, there’s no better time for them to tips their witches’ hats off to some of the most prolific ‘90’s bands. Damona Waits will take on Weezer’s “Blue Album” in its entirety. Dragon Seeks Path will play G ‘n’ R hits over an expansive career, while MikeyRodgeyMarkyBoone Bane plays the Deftones’ debut album, “Adrenaline.”
Perhaps the most lovely part of the evening comes with free admission to anyone who arrives in costume—blue sweaters or otherwise. Doors at 8 p.m. and tickets are only $6 to $8.