October 24, 2005
Who says tricks (or treats for that matter) are just for kids? Halloween in Boston is serious business and local attractions offer a wealth of ghoulish fun for all ages. The following is a selection of Halloween activities going on in and around the Hub. Be sure to check out Panorama's listing sections for more spine-tingling ideas.
Spooky Outings for the Kids
Ancient cemeteries, like Boston's Copp's Hill and the Old Granary, have it all over their modern cousins when it comes to creepiness. You can revel in the spooky-or the kitschy-with the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour (refer to listing), a light-hearted trip through Boston's oldest burial grounds. Tramp between headstones and zip around the city in a cobweb-covered trolley while your guide-The Gravedigger-tells ghost stories of Boston's past. You might even learn something while you're being scared silly. If historic Beantown doesn't hold enough frights for you, try Halloween Town. On October 30 , from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., the Seaport World Trade Center turns into a center for ghostly fun, with six interactive zones for youngsters to explore, including Frankenstein's Lab, The Pumpkin Patch and Freaky Fenway (complete with an appearance by Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster). And while your little monsters are enjoying costume contests, trick-or-treating, mini-golf, face painting and even "haunted laser tag" you'll be helping a good cause, as all proceeds benefit the Boston Medical Center's Kids Fund.
For Grown-Up Ghouls
Too big for that pumpkin costume you wore when you were eight? That's no reason to not still dress up on All Hallow's Eve. Carouse in disguise on October 29 and have a 'wild' time at the 21+ Beastly Bash at the Franklin Park Zoo (refer to listing) from 8 p.m.-midnight. There'll be dancing, a costume contest, complimentary cocktails & hors d'oeuvres and a host of surprises, with proceeds going to hurricane-damaged zoos in New Orleans. Other kid-free events include master storyteller Jennifer Justice's Grown-Up Ghost Stories, October 27 & 28 at 8 p.m. at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (56 Brattle St, 617-547-6789); the burlesque Boston Babydolls offering tricks and treats at the Cambridge YMCA Theater (820 Mass Ave, 866-811-4111) October 26-29; and a Halloween night show by cabaret punk rockers The Dresden Dolls at 7 p.m. at Avalon (refer to listing).
Witch City, U.S.A.
It's practically a mathematical formula: Salem =witches, and witches=Halloween. That logic draws flocks of people north every October, and Salem has embraced this identity, responding with a glut of hair-raising events and attractions. A good first stop, if you dare to join the throngs, would be the always-popular Salem Witch Museum (refer to listing), where you can learn all about the trials that made the town infamous. If you like your history a little more dramatic, check out The Legacy of the Hanging Judge at the Nathaniel Hawthorne House (54 Turner St, 978-744-0991), an interactive performance bringing you face to face with Hawthorne's great-great grandfather, John Hawthorne, the notorious magistrate who sent so many to their deaths.
Of course for most people Halloween isn't about history, it's about cheesy fun,
and that's where the Griffen Theatre (7 Lynde St.,
978-825-0222) and its Eerie Legends of Salem succeeds. An unabashedly
spooky show about ghosts, witchcraft and the supernatural, Legends of Salem
promises to tingle the spines of the whole family. For the complete lowdown on
all of Salem's varied Halloween events, visit
Screams on the Screen
Finally, what's Halloween without a scary movie? Several Boston theaters are showing films to sneak peeks at through your fingers. The Somerville Theatre and the Coolidge Corner Theater enhance classic horror films with live music this Halloween. On October 28, CRASHarts and Somerville Theatre present a restored version of 1925's Phantom of the Opera, featuring accompaniment by Alloy Orchestra. And on Halloween night, the Coolidge screens James Whale's Frankenstein (1931), with a new score by composer Michael Shapiro, and F.W. Murnau's 1922 vampire tale Nosferatu, complemented by the Devil Music Ensemble.
More celluloid scares can be found at the Coolidge October 28 & 29,
when Friday The 13th Part III is shown in its original 3D format, and
October 27, as Loews Boston Common hosts a free 8
p.m. showing of The Exorcist (corner of Tremont & Avery streets,
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