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Something Wicked This Way Comes

Where and how to celebrate Halloween

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Just because you’re too old for trick or treat doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time during Halloween. And there’s no place better to celebrate the holiday than in Boston and the surrounding area. For the next six days, there are haunted scavenger hunts, spooky walking tours, festivals celebrating pumpkin-flavored beers, screenings of classic horror films, and, yes, plenty of costume parties. We’ve rounded up a few scary suggestions guaranteed to make your Halloween memorable.

Friday, October 26

Trick-Or-Trot 5k Run/Walk
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
BU Beach, 735 Commonwealth Ave.

Worried about packing on the pounds from all that Halloween candy? Stay fit this Halloween with the BU Physical Therapy Trick-Or-Trot 5k run/walk and physical therapy fair at the BU Beach. Registration is free and begins at 11 a.m. At noon, walkers and runners take off from the BU Beach access point at 735 Comm Ave and continue eastbound, turning around at 1.5 miles to finish back at the starting point. Raffle prizes include gift certificates to Marathon Sports, Get in Shape for Women, Chi Bang Bodies, and more. Pick up a free T-shirt while supplies last. A prize will be awarded for the best costume. All staff, students, and families are welcome. For more information or to register, email trickortrot2012@gmail.com.

Haunted Hunt: A Halloween Scavenger Hunt
9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Student Activities Center Gym, One University Road

BU’s Programming Council will host its first Halloween Scavenger Hunt tonight along Comm Ave. Form a group of three to five friends, get creative with a costume, and head on over to the SAC Gym, where you’ll find Halloween snacks and candy, as well as a set of clues with instructions on how to proceed during the hunt. Each group must have at least one member with a smartphone and a Twitter account (used for photo submission and scoring purposes). The team with the best theme will win bonus points. The Programming Council will award first-, second-, and third-place prizes for best costume. The grand prize is a nine-inch Nook HD for each player on the winning team. Find more information here. Participants must show their BU ID at the door.

Saturday, October 27

Great Pumpkin Festival
1 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Cambridge Brewing Co., 1 Kendall Square, Building 100, Cambridge

It’s the time of the year when area pubs feature lots of pumpkin beers, and you’ll have a chance to sample many of them during the annual Great Pumpkin Festival at Cambridge Brewing Co. Visitors can choose from more than 40 different pumpkin beers and snack on a pumpkin-inspired menu that features roasted pumpkin polenta fries and pumpkin ravioli. Admission is $10 at the door and includes a souvenir Great Pumpkin Festival pint glass. Beer and food tickets ($5 for 4) will be available inside. This event is 21+. More information is here.

To get to Cambridge Brewing Co., take any MBTA Red Line train outbound to the Kendall Square stop.

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Local literary historian Rob Velella as Edgar Allan Poe. Courtesy of Rob Velella

A Visit with Edgar Allan Poe
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge

One of America’s earliest and most celebrated mystery writers, Edgar Allan Poe, will magically appear for a special event at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. Poe (portrayed by local literary historian Rob Velella) will discuss his early childhood in Boston and his connections to literary figures buried at Mount Auburn (for the record, he’s buried in Baltimore). He will also read from some of his most famous works. Mary Bichner will perform an aria of Poe’s “To Helen” and accompany Poe’s reading with an instrumental composition. Tickets are $10 for members of Mount Auburn Cemetery and $15 for nonmembers. More information is here. Be sure to explore the whole cemetery for a fittingly frightening experience.

To get to Mount Auburn Cemetery by public transportation, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, switch to a Red Line outbound train to Harvard Square, then take the #73 bus toward Waverly Square via Mount Auburn. Get off on Mount Auburn Street at Aberdeen Avenue.

Liquid Fun presents Battle Royale (with Cheese)
9 p.m.
BU Central, 775 Commonwealth Ave.

Who knew horror and humor go together? They do tonight, when BU Central presents the Halloween Horror BU Central Improv Comedy Show, featuring BU’s improv comedy troupe, Liquid Fun. The event is free.

Ghost Ball
10 p.m.
Gypsy Bar, 116 Boylston St.

Celebrate Halloween in style at one of Boston’s most popular clubs, as Gypsy Bar hosts its annual Ghost Ball tonight. The winner of the Halloween costume contest will receive $1,000. The cover is $10. Find more information, including the club’s dress code, here. The event is 21+ only.

To get to Gypsy Bar, take any Green Line trolley to the Arlington stop.

Sinners and Saints Halloween Bash
8:30 p.m.
The Estate, One Boylston Place

Have a really outrageous costume you want to show off ? Stop by the Estate nightclub’s Sinners and Saints party. Arrive early for complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail reception, followed by a live DJ, dancing, complimentary body painting, and a costume contest. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best “sinner,” “saint,” and “overall” costume. Buy tickets in advance for $15 here. The event is 21+. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. More information is here. Note: if you’re headed to the club without a costume, check out the dress code on the website.

To get to the Estate, take any Green Line trolley to the Park Street stop then walk to The Alley, down Boylston Street from Tremont and Boylston Streets.

12th Annual Halloween Horror Movie Marathon
11:59 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline

For those who delight in ghosts, zombies, and monsters, this horror movie marathon is a must. The night kicks off with two terrifying classics: the Oscar-winning The Exorcist (the original 1973 theatrical version) and John Carpenter’s classic about a shape-shifting alien, The Thing (1982). The five other films featured in the marathon are a surprise. Coolidge Corner will also present special shorts and trailers from the theater’s archives and sponsor a costume contest. Tickets cost $15 for the double feature and $20 for the whole marathon. Buy yours in advance here.

To get to the Coolidge Corner Theatre by public transportation, take a Green Line C trolley to the Coolidge Corner stop (Harvard Street).

Sunday, October 28

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Zombies enjoy the last SoWa Open Market of the season at the eighth annual Market of the Living Dead last year.

Market of the Living Dead
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SoWa Open Market, 460 Harrison Ave.

SoWa Open Market, a popular outdoor Sunday shopping destination, will celebrate its last market of the season with 130 art and design vendors, 17 food trucks, a farmers market, free treats, live music, games, and pumpkin carving. A costume contest with a prize of $250 will take place at 1 p.m. Bring your Halloween spirit and an appetite!

To get to SoWa Open Market by public transportation, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, then switch to an inbound Red Line trolley to the Broadway stop. Walk across the channel to the market.

Grave Undertakings: Halloween Tour of Boston’s Burying Grounds
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
King’s Chapel Burying Ground, at Tremont and School Streets, Boston

What better way to get in the mood for Halloween than by exploring three of the city’s most famous burying grounds? This tour, sponsored by Boston By Foot, takes visitors through the King’s Chapel Burying Ground, the Granary Burying Ground, and the Central Burying Ground and provides a fascinating overview of the customs surrounding death in Puritan New England. Tickets are $12.

To get to the King’s Chapel Burying Ground, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Government Center.

Salem Witch Museum
19 N. Washington Square, Salem

The Salem witch trials of 1692 left an indelible mark on this small city. To learn more about the city’s haunted history, visit the Salem Witch Museum, with its life-size stage sets, figures, lighting, and dramatic narration. Live guides discuss changes in witch lore, the truth behind the stereotypes, the practice of witchcraft today, and witch-hunts. Museum admission is $9 for adults. Check extended “haunted happenings” hours here. More information about the museum is here.

To get to the Salem Witch Museum, take the commuter rail Newbury/Rockport train to Salem station. Walk to Washington Square.

Monday, October 29

Science on Screen: Edward Scissorhands
7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline

As part of its popular Science on Screen film and lecture series, which pairs feature films and documentaries with experts from the worlds of science and medical research, the Coolidge Corner Theatre is presenting Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp in one of his first leading roles. Following the film, Jeremy DeSilva, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of anthropology, will discuss his efforts to reconstruct, from fossils, the life of a new species of man’s early ancestor and the ways these creatures were—and weren’t—human. The event is free for those with membership to the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Student tickets are available for $7.25. Buy yours in advance here.

To get to Coolidge Corner by public transportation, take a Green Line C trolley to the Coolidge Corner stop (Harvard Street).

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Visit the Salem Witch Museum to learn the truth about the witch trials of 1692 and the practice of witchcraft today. Photo courtesy of Salem Witch Museum

Tuesday, October 30

Haunted House of Pancakes
7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge

The Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square will host its fifth annual International Pancake Film Festival, which features short films and videos dedicated to flapjacks. Tickets are $5 and include a complimentary stack of pancakes (a welcome respite after all that candy). More information is here.

To get to the Brattle Theatre by public transportation, take a Green Line trolley to Park Street, then switch to an outbound Red Line train to Harvard Square.

Throwed Haunted Mansion 2-Day Festival
9 p.m.
The Middle East, 480 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Throwed, the popular 18+ electronic dance night hosted by the Middle East nightclub in Cambridge, will present a special two-day Halloween event running Tuesday and Wednesday. Resident DJs E-Marce and Texas Mike will be joined by Gent & Jawns, Killagraham, Milo & Otis, and many more. Tickets are $15 for one night and $25 for a two-day pass. For more information, visit the Throwed Facebook page.

To get to the Middle East by public transportation, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, switch to an outbound Red Line train, and get off at Central Square.

The Cabin in the Woods
10 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge

Five college students head out to a secluded cabin in the woods, and the weekend takes a nightmarish turn. Sound familiar? But this horror movie, co-written by Joss Whedon, takes on the clichés of slasher films and then upends them in a sharp and terrifying satire. Can’t catch this screening? The Cabin in the Woods will show at the same time on Wednesday night. Student tickets are $7.75. More information is here.

To get to the Brattle Theatre by public transportation, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, switch to an outbound Red Line train, and get off at Harvard Square.

Wednesday, October 31

Beacon Hill With a Boo! Halloween Tour
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St., Boston

If you’re interested in the darker side of Boston’s history, this is the perfect tour to take. Sponsored by Boston By Foot, this tour will take you all over Beacon Hill while docents regale you with tales of ghosts, murders, and hangings that have taken place over the years in one of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods. You’ll see where Quakers were hanged, hear stories of murderers said to walk in their sleep, and learn about many of the city’s more nefarious characters. Tickets are $20. Costumes are optional.

To get to the Massachusetts State House, take any MBTA Green Line to Park Street.

Boston University BU, things to do in Boston halloween, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) directed by Robert Aldrich, scary films movies, Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brattle Theatre

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its original release, the Coolidge Corner Theatre is screening What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? The horror film stars Oscar winners Bette Davis as Baby Jane, a child star who lost her fame with age, and Joan Crawford as her put-upon sister, Blanche, a former actress now confined to a wheelchair. Squirm as you watch Jane torment Blanche. (Hollywood lore has it that the two actresses loathed each other in real life.) The campy classic is a must for film buffs. Adult tickets are $9.25. More information is here.

To get to the Coolidge Corner Theatre by public transportation, take a Green Line C trolley to the Coolidge Corner stop (Harvard Street).

Nosferatu
7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge

Experience one of cinema’s first vampire films, the silent classic Nosferatu, by German director F. W. Murnau in 1922. The Andrew Alden Ensemble will enhance the spook factor with a live score. Student tickets are $12. More information is here.

To get to the Brattle Theatre by public transportation, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, switch to an outbound Red Line train, and get off at Harvard Square.

Halloween Celebrations in Salem
All day and night
Salem, Massachusetts

Halloween is to Salem what New Year’s Eve is to Manhattan’s Times Square. All through October, this small waterfront city—home of the witch trials of 1692 and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables—celebrates all things spooky and sinister. And it all culminates on Halloween, with harbor cruises, ghost stories, haunted houses, live music, witches’ circles, magic shows, and more. Stay for the Halloween fireworks over the North River at 10 p.m. Many of the events are free. Salem offers what may be the best costume parade outside of New York’s Greenwich Village. To accommodate the crowds of visitors, the MBTA will run expanded train service between Boston and Salem throughout the day. Visit the website here and click here for a schedule. Find out more about official Halloween events in Salem here.

Erin Thibeau can be reached at ethibeau@bu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @erinthibeau.

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