Halloween Events

‘Double, double toil and trouble’

What’s to come this Halloween season in the Monadnock region

The Monadnock region is bubbling over with Halloween events this October for children, teens and their families. Local recreation departments and other town organizations are hosting events, including a haunted hayride, scary stories read by a professional British storyteller, authentic harvest and Day of the Dead celebrations and lots of trick or treating. Halloween parties and costume contests for kids are happening in several towns, and scarier haunted walks and hayrides are being offered for the older crowd. What follows is a sampling of the many events folks can expect.

Looking for a scare?

This October marks the 16th year of the Jaffrey Recreation Department’s Haunted Hayride at Silver Ranch on Turnpike Road. The hayride is a mile-long ride in the woods across from Silver Ranch and takes participants through a series of haunted scenes, according to a press release issued by Recreation Director Walt Pryor. The hayride will take place Tuesday and Wednesday with no scheduled rain dates.

“It’s suitable for all ages, although we ask parents to accompany young children,” Pryor said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s a fun local thing we do for the community, and it’s all done by high school volunteers, some college volunteers, and even a lot of adults will be out there, too.”

Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m. both nights and rides begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue until the last ride goes out to the woods at 8:45 p.m. A hayride will go out every 15 minutes. Tickets cost $3 per person with all proceeds going to the Jaffrey Parks and Recreation Department. Tickets sell out fast, so participants should get there early to reserve tickets, Pryor said. “We usually see 400 to 500 people a night.”

Refreshments will also be available for sale throughout the night.

For a scare of a different sort, go to the Wilton Town Hall Theatre on 40 Main St. for a screening of the first adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” “Nosferatu” (1922) will screen Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m. free of charge, although a $5 donation is suggested. In addition to the screening, this silent film will be accompanied by live music from silent film musician, Jeff Rapsis of Bedford.

“The film has a peculiar look with the scenery and people,” Rapsis said in an interview Wednesday. “It looks like it’s from another world.”

The same night in Peterborough, a Halloween story time and bonfire will take place at Adams Playground near the gazebo from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Children and families are invited to listen to stories read by British professional storyteller Simon Brooks. Fabulously Frightening Fables for 4-year-olds and up will be told from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Truly Terrifying Tales for tweens, teens and terror freaks will be read from 6:30 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. or so, according to Peterborough Program Director Lisa Koziell-Betz.

If there is bad weather that evening, the stories and bonfire will take place at the Peterborough Community Center on Elm Street. Koziell-Betz said the department will offer hot soup or chili and hot cocoa to help keep attendees warm.

Where to find the candy

The Rindge Recreation Department will host their annual Trunk or Treat event at Wellington Field, at 39 Payson Hill Rd., on Oct. 25. The public is encouraged to drive over to the field, park their vehicles and give out candy to the children in tailgating fashion. For parents who do not give out candy, but wish to take their child out for some treats, the fee is $2 for trunk-or-treating.

Recreation Director Craig Fraley said the reason for the fee is because it’s hard to predict just how many people will give out candy. “You will have 25 people give out candy and 300 children show up,” Fraley said.

The event will also feature a spooky maze for kids and a scarier walk for teens. Children are encouraged to dress in costume and can participate in a costume contest near the end of the evening’s festivities. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and will go until 8:30 p.m., but cars giving out candy must be on the field by 6:20 p.m.

The following day in Temple, on Oct. 26, children can enjoy a Halloween party and costume contest at the Town Hall with lots of games and candy, according to Ken Carpenter , the recreation director for Temple. The party will take place from 5 to 8 p.m.

Day of the Dead and
Celebrate Samhain

The Mariposa Museum’s Day of the Dead celebration will take place Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. The focus will be on artifacts from the holiday celebrated in Mexico and the Philippines and film clips from the 1992 film “Day of the Dead,” which follows the Ortega family in their preparation and celebration of Day of the Dead. David Blair will explain the meaning of Day of the Dead and show how Mexican and Filipino families celebrate the holiday. In an interview with Blair on Wednesday, he said Day of the Dead is a Catholic holiday, celebrated in an elaborate and colorful way by Mexicans, with the purpose to honor the spirits of the saints and the departed.

“It’s the most wonderful and extravagant holiday,” Blair said. “The spirits are said to return to the earth to greet their families, and every family constructs an ‘ofrenda’ with objects that remind them of who they are remembering.”

An ofrenda, or altar, will be on display at the museum, and participants will be invited to add a memento in honor and remembrance of someone dear to them.

Following the presentation, children will be invited to the craft room to decorate sugar skulls to take home. Admission for adults is $7, $6 for museum members and $5 for children.

And this Saturday, another culture’s day of the dead will be honored. The Celebrate Samhain festival will be held at the Peterborough Community Center, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This festival celebrates the ancient Celtic final harvest and “day of the dead,” according to Celebrate Samhain’s website, www.celebratesamhain.com . In the spirit of the last harvest, the festival encourages attendees to bring a non-perishable food to the celebration for donation.

The celebration will feature guest speakers Wiccan High Priestess of the Georgian Tradition Dorothy Morrison and founder of the Temple of Witchcraft Christopher Penczak, a New Hampshire native. There will be live music, food and lots of vendors. Admission is $8 per person for those who bring a non-perishable food, or $10 for those without a food donation.

Halloween night

In addition to regular trick or treating events, a few towns will be hosting some special treats Halloween night to help get people in the spirit.

Here are two: In Francestown on Halloween night, the town closes Main Street for a couple hours and children in costume parade down the street. Trick or treaters can also enjoy hayrides around downtown and refreshments, courtesy of the Recreation Department, said Recreation Director Donna Noonan.

For Lyndeborough residents and children, there will be a Halloween hayride in the village to take children around for trick or treating. Participants can meet at the village store and the hayride will begin 6 p.m. and go until trick or treating is done, so just an hour or so, according to Cindy Hasting, a volunteer with the town’s Recreation Department.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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