It’s that time of year when Jack-o’-lanterns adorn front porches, candy is sold in bulk, and hordes of children roam the streets in their best spooky attire. As fall’s crisp chill creeps into Wilmington, a host of organizations are putting on events for All Hallows’ Eve, Firday, October 31.
Twisted Haunted House
NHHS Lyceum Haunted House, 1290 South 15th Street
Get ready for an experience like no other, with New Hanover High School Lyceum Academy’s haunted-house fundraiser. Held Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to midnight, and on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., the spook house puts a dark, demented twist on “Alice in Wonderland.” It will run through Halloween, with an added date on Thursday, October 30, from 7 p.m. to midnight. Admission is $10; the attraction is suitable for ages 13 and over.
Ghost Trolley and Barn
Departs at Market and Water Streets www.horsedrawntours.com
Families and fall enthusiasts alike can enjoy Springbrook Farms’ 30-minute, kid-friendly, horse-drawn excursion through the streets of Wilmington and the haunted barn. Festive tour guides and horses will be costumed, as songs are sung and stories are shared. Halloween treats will be doled out to brave little boys and girls. Tours take palce Sundays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., through November 2. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children.
Nightmare in Wonderland
Juggling Gypsy Cafe & Hookah Bar, 1612 Castle Street
Join Juggling Gypsy Cafe and Hookah Bar this Halloween weekend for an extravaganza straight from the depths of hell. Dubbed Nightmare in Wonderland, the Gypsy will transform into madness, music, costumery, and debauchery on October 31, from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., and November 1, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. ($10 adv / $12 door; weekend passes available). There will be live music by jam-band Groove Fetish and The Dare Ring. There also will be tarot card readings, costume contests, Yoga, Reiki practictioners, and more!
Trick or Treat Under the Sea
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Rd.
Want safe, indoor fun for your child this Halloween? Allow the North Carolina Aquarium to act as a one-stop trick-or-treat haven on October 29 and 30 from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. There will be plenty of candy, Halloween games, magic, live animal shows, and even a few divers braving the shark tank. A host of vendors, decked out in their best Halloween attire, will be there purveying treats and coupons. A team of judges will deem which booth has the best setup, so there are sure to be some eye-catching entries. Tickets are $11 (children 2 and under are free), and they can be purchased at www.ncaquariums.com/fortfisher.
TheatreNOW, 19 S. 10th Street www.theatrewilmington.com
Spookiness and the macabre will spring to life at TheatreNOW, as the Succubus Sorority takes over the stage this Halloween. The burlesque-inspired performance will include circus antics, a spell-binding sideshow, belly dancing, fire manipulation, aerieal acrobatics, and much more. The frights begin at 8 p.m., wth tickets running $15.
DT Halloween Get Down
Riverfront Park, 5 N. Water Street
Halloween night isn’t just about ghouls and goblins: Locals can get their groove on this year with the Right On Band. They’ll pull out all the stops and turn All Saints Eve into the ultimate disco, as they cover a plethora of Motown and ‘70s hits. Beer can be purchased with the purchase of a wristband. Proceeds will benefit the Aslzheimer Association. The fun gets underway at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 31, on Water Street in front of the Federal Building, downtown.
Halloween Dinner and Party
Canapé, 1001 N. 4th Street, (910) 769-3713 www.canaperestaurant.com
Join Wilmington’s new, innovative eatery, Canapé, for a five-course, Halloween-inspired chef’s tasting menu. Priced at only $50, appetites and spirits alike will be satisfied beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Halloween. Reservations are recommended.
But that’s just the beginning: At 10 p.m. the restaurant will convert into an all-out party. There will be a DJ and dancing, a costume contest at midnight—wherein the winner will take home a $100 grand prize—and delectable hors d’ouevres served, as horror movies screen, and drink specials keep glasses full. The party is free!
15 S. Front Street, www.ilmfreakfest.com
Unleash your inner wild child at this year’s Freak Fest. Beginning at 9 p.m. on Halloween night, folks will be able to party where anything goes. Guests can get down to music and even indulge in an absinthe bar. Attendees donning their most spirited attire can recieve $250 prizes for Best Male Costume, Best Female Costume, Sexiest Costume, and Celebrity-Look-Alike. Tickets are $13.
Annual Monster Ball Bash
Hell’s Kitchen, 118 Princess Street www.hellskitchenbar.com
Hell’s Kitchen’s annual Monster Ball Bash once again will bring horrorfying delight downtown. Things at the pub and restaurant will get Halloweird starting at 10 p.m. on October 31. Party-goers will be entertained by the pop and rock covers of Fully Stocked, and a costume contest will take place a midnight.
Union Station Building, 502 N. Front Street
Travel back in time to 1718 with the Cape Fear Community College’s Anthropology Club for their fourth annual Ghost Chase. They’ll be harkening the spirits of Cape Fear past with a plethora of events revolving around Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. Taking place Thursday, October 30, folks can enjoy a night of sword-fighting, scavenger hunts, food, games, and ghostly booty. It’ll have everyone shivering in their timbers. Prizes and fun will kick off at 6 p.m. in room 302 on the the third floor of the Union Station building. Admission is $10 with part of the proceeds benefitting the Cape Fear River Watch.
Phantom of the Opera
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut Street, www.thalianhall.com
Jealousy, mystery, murder—it’s all a part of Gaston Leroux’s classic thriller “Phantom of the Opera.” City Ballet’s artistic director, Andrea C. Hill, brings to life the show via dance, with a musical score featuring the classical to contemporary underscores of a deeply intense and emotional story.
The show takes place over two nights at Thalian Hall, with a Friday-evening Masquerade Ball beckoning guests to don their most elegant attire and decadent masks.
Pirate Hunt Adventures
275 Waynick Blvd., Across from Blockade Runner Resort www.wrightsvillebeachscenictours.com
October is a wonderful time to pillage along the Intracoastal and hear tales of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and Stede Bonnet. Join Wrighstville Beach Scenic Tours (275 Waynick Blvd., across from Blockade Runner Resort), as they host a costumed pirate storyteller who will take travelers exploring along Masonboro Island’s natural treasures. Boards at 4:15 p.m. and sails at 4:30 p.m. Call 910-200-4002 for costs.