Wilmington is known as one of the most haunted cities in North Carolina. Home to numerous haunted sites, from the Cotton Exchange to many pubs around downtown, a scare-tastic Halloween is in store this year. encore has a list of events taking place around the city to make the best of your October 31st!
Lyceum Academy’s Haunted House
New Hanover High School’s Lyceum Academy invites guests to their chilling haunted house attraction, “Insanity.” Insanity takes a deep look into the mind of a serial killer, located in creepy and abandoned Army reserve barracks on 2150 Burnett Blvd. Visitors begin the journey as members of a jury decide the sentence of a deranged criminal. A medical doctor appears onstage to examine the mind of the criminally insane. Suddenly, the jury is lead into the mind of the killer through a series of terrifying events without an escape. The jury travels through 28 rooms based on classic and recent horror films to explore the insane mind.
Get scared out of your wits for a good cause. Each year the students of Lyceum Academy put on this production as a fundraiser for their school’s college preparatory program. The students fill all acting roles as well as devise the concept, write the scripts, design and build the set, and maintain a high standard of “creeped-out” energy. Tickets are $10; open 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the 31st.
When I first heard of Panic Attack, I was all set to see what it was about—until their commercials and website scared the heck out of me. I quickly changed my mind because clowns are present. For those who aren’t as faint-hearted as myself and seeking a good scare for Halloween, this is where you want to be.
Panic Attack boasts over 30,000 square feet of Hollywood special effects and is known as “the largest, most elaborate, scariest, wildest, bloodiest, most intense haunted house the Cape Fear region has ever seen.” Manager Kale Hamel says, “We roughly get between 10,000 to 15,000 visitors annually.” Set up by owners Jeremy Neer and Anthony Long, Panic Attack has doubled in size from when it first began. “We have around 60 live actors involved today,” Hamel states.
The haunted attraction is not for children under the age of 13. Tickets are $20, and it is located at 1290 S. 15th St., Wilmington. Opening hours are 6 p.m to 11 p.m Thursday and 6 p.m to midnight Friday and Saturday. It runs until October 31st and has an additional “Lights-On” tour on November 1st and 2nd. See www.panicattackhaunt.com for more details.
Halloween Gallery Reading
Halloween touts the one night a year when lines between the dead and the living become blurred, and spirits of the deceased return to Earth. It’s a time when the living can communicate with the dead.
New to Wilmington, Mystic Elements Spiritual Living will host a Halloween Gallery Reading on Halloween night, where visitors have the opportunity to talk to lost loved ones. Guests can chose between three gallery times to do a reading. Physic readers, Anaswara, Sheri and Misty will connect with the spiritual realm. Each ticket also gets the guest a card reading with Mermaid Aycayia (additional readings are $5). The night comes with complimentary food, drinks and entertainment, not to mention shopping specials.
Tickets are $40 per person. A discount is available through their Facebook page. Times: Gallery 1: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Gallery 2: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Gallery 3: 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Located at 4403 Park Ave. For additional information: www.mysticelements.com.
Food and Fright Night Dinner Theatre
TheatreNOW brings its Food and Fright Night Dinner Theatre back with their second Halloween-themed show, written by local playwright Anthony Lawson. The dinner show features haunted tales of the Cape Fear region, complete with a three-course meal. Hank Toler, box office and facilities manager, says, “Our chef, Denise Gordon, has prepared dishes with a Halloween-themed presentation.” For instance, “Brains and Eyeballs” consists of pasta and meatballs in a warm, hearty tomato sauce.
The production runs Friday and Saturday through the 2nd of November, with a bonus Fright Night on October 31st. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show is at 7 p.m. Advance reservations are suggested at www.theatrewilmington.com.
Haunted Cotton Exchange
Owner Lorie Erwin started the history of Wilmington Tours in 2009, followed by the Haunted Cotton Exchange tour. Visitors are led around eight buildings to hear stories of ghostly activities, which have been witnessed by many who work within the Cotton Exchange.
Sponsored by Tour Old Wilmington History Walking Tours, folks can call for hours and reservations daily. Admission is $12 for adults, but for Halloween they have a special $10 ticket, and children under 12 get in free. Head to the Cotton Exchange parking lot street entrance, downtown Wilmington.
Trick or Treat at the Mall
A tradition that started when the Independence Shopping Mall first opened up in the late ‘70s, Trick-or-Treat at the Mall began as a community event. Every year over 1,000 kids come to the mall, dressed in full costume, from ghouls to goblins, pirates to princesses. They go from shop to shop, filling their bags with candy provided by retailers.
The annual event takes place Thursday, October 31st from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on October 31st at Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC.
Haunted Pub Crawl
What better way to hear haunted stories and some humorous tales than with a pint in hand? Well, Wilmington’s Haunted Pub Crawl is the tour to take. The two-and-half-hour event takes visitors to haunted pubs across the city (strictly for guests 21 and over; must show ID).
The crawl starts outside Fat Tony’s on 131 N. Front Street at 7:15 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Tickets cost $17.50 and can be purchased at www.hauntedwilmington.com or in the Black Cat Shoppe at 8 Market Street. Reservations are required.
of Old ILM
Take the Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington, following costumed guides through 275-year-old alleyways with tales of haunted Wilmington past and present. The tour goes to 30 active sites.
Folks meet at Water and Market streets. at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, students or military, and children under 6 are free. Tickets can be purchased at www.hauntedwilmington.com or in the Black Cat Shoppe at 8 Market St. Reservations are required.
Ghost Trolley and Barn
On the 31st, take the kiddies to the Halloween Ghost Trolley & Barn from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The 30-minute horse-drawn trolley ride through historic district will add a fun spoof in the “ghost barn.” Horses and tour guides are dressed in costume, and Halloween-themed stories, songs and treats are served. Departs at Market and Water streets; tickets are $12 per adult or $ per child under 12. Call 910-251-8889 or visit www.horsedrawntours.com.
Pirate Treasure Hunt
North Carolina remains home to some of the most well-known pirates of the Atlantic Ocean. Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours invites families to come aboard a pirate treasure hunt on Masonboro Island, and learn the history about Captain Kidd, Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet. Led by costumed pirate guide and storyteller Don Juan Cortez, the tour takes place in the spot rumored to be where Captain Kidd buried his ill-gotten treasure.
Tickets are $30 per adult and $20 per child. Advance reservations are required, and tours take place on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:15 p.m. Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours is located at 275 Waynick Blvd. (across from the Blockade Runner Resort) in Wrightsville Beach: www.wrightsvillebeachscenictours.com