Thursday, September 28, 2017

Halloween New England Top Picks for September 28th-October 4th, 2017

With October arriving over the weekend, we are ready to celebrate the season! Bring on the scares, the thrills, the traditions, the lights, the trails, the displays, and yes, bring on the candy!
Halloween New England has you covered all season long our Top Picks, highlights for the weekend, special events not to be missed, contests, and other essential info to keep you on top of everything this Halloween.

Barrett's Haunted Mansion - Dare to Scare ALS Fundraiser night!

As one of New England's longest running haunted attractions, Barrett's Haunted Mansion continues to raise the bar each season. With over two decades of haunting, Barrett's now features a second attraction--the Haunted Compound--in addition to their beloved and ever-changing Haunted Mansion.

Barrett's also has the distinction of being home to Klown 1 who we're pretty certain might be the most terrifying clown on this planet (featured on the left-side photo) which compels some of us here at Halloween New England to attempt to make it through this memorable haunt with our eyes closed--something we are not at all proud all.

Evil clowns aside, the folks at Barrett's are a generous bunch and they're hosting a big fundraiser Thursday, September 29th where all proceeds from tickets will be donated to ALS ONE! It's an event worth moving mountains to attend and it's one night only! The $30 tickets include the Haunted Mansion and Haunted Compound and they go on sale at the ticket booth at 6pm, doors open at 7pm. 

Costumania's Big Kids Costume Sale - 20% off Kids Costumes Oct 1st-7th

New Hampshire's own year-round costume store Costumania has a big sale coming up. They're offering 20% off all kids costumes purchased at their retail store during their week-long sale running October 1st-7th. Situated right off Rte 89 and very close to Rte 91, their huge new store in West Lebanon has everything from wigs, makeup, costume props, character supplies, and thousands of costumes for kids, adults, and any character you can dream up. Costumania is a small family owned business in West Lebanon, NH which operates as a year-round costume store since 1994. The 20% off kids costumes sale is available at their retail store only, not online. If you do decide to shop their online store you can use the Halloween New England exclusive online coupon for 10% off online purchases over $25 with promo code “HNE603”. 

Top Event Picks for the Upcoming Week

It's Time Traveler's Weekend at the CT Renaissance Faire and the highlight will certainly be the Doctor Who Cosplay Costume Contest taking place this Saturday, Sept 30th.
If you're looking for a family-friendly seasonal activity, check out Pumpkintown USA in East Hampton, CT where kids can enjoy a non-scary adventure through different decorated village scenes and take a hayride into the Pumpkintown forest.

Last year a new Halloween tradition was born at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA which is host to an immersive theatrical production The Sleepy Hollow Experience which is back again for a 5-week run on the grounds of this living history museum. Check them out Wednesday through Sunday nights and advance tickets are a must.

Haverhill Library is the place to be for free horror flicks this month! They have Movie Monster Monday Nights and Classic Spooky Matinees on Tuesday afternoons nearly every week in October starting Oct 2nd.

Halloween is the perfect excuse for kids to get messy and on Tuesday, Oct. 3rd they can do so in the name of science! Check out Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Science at the Discovery Museums in Acton, MA for some afternoon family fun. Click for more family-friendly Halloween events in MA.

Rhode Island
In scenic Portsmouth, RI you'll find Escobar Farm hosting their annual Pumpkin Festival in Lou's Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, September 30th (rain date Oct 1). Also, on Saturday, Sept 30th (rain date Oct 1) Frerich's Farm in Warren will host their Halloween Party for Individuals with Autism and their families with a pirate ship, scavenger hunt, western town, bubble table, and food.

If you're in the Wells area on Saturday, September 30th bring your whole family to the Punkinfiddle Family Festival for some pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, crafts, music, games, and a walk on the beach!

New Hampshire
Saturday, September 30th kicks off the first of two weekends of the annual Pumpkin Festival at Charmingfare Farm in Candia, NH. With sack races, pumpkin spoon races, a pumpkin rolling contest, and horse-drawn rides, there are tons of activities to be enjoyed on this vibrant farm for families with younger kids.

What have we been up to? Where are we headed?

While it's early in the New England haunting season, Halloween New England took a pilgrimage to Atlanta last weekend to visit the acclaimed Netherworld Haunted House. We had an incredible visit with a peek behind the scenes, met the staff, crew, and actors, and loved talking to the many people who have helped sustain that haunt for 21 years and continue to set the bar so high among large-scale professional haunts. We loved every aspect of the event from the two attractions, to the outdoor festivities, to the gift shop. We can't thank the Netherworld crew enough for showing us their southern hospitality!
We've got plans to swing through Barrett's Haunted Mansion this weekend and we'll be doing one last out-of-New-England haunt visit to see Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride this Saturday. After this weekend it will be all-New England all-the-time and we just can't wait!

More Incredible Contests!

We've got seven contests right now on Halloween New England.

Ending soon:
 WIN a pair of tickets to the special invite-only night at Haunted Overload in the woods of Lee, NH; Win a VIP experience to Be a Monster for a Night at Creeperum Haunted House in Hamden, CT! Enter here for both.
New Contests: Since last week we've added your chance to win $20 in merchandise from Costumania in West Lebanon, NH and a contest for a pair of tickets to Vengeance in the Valley Haunted Hayride and Maze in Guilford, VT. Fright Haven in Stratford, CT is giving away a ticket for you and FIVE of your friends to celebrate the season together at their haunted attraction this October, and we've got a four-pack of tickets to see Fields of Screams' three haunted attractions in West Greenwich, RI. Enter soon to win a four-pack of tickets to the Jack-o-lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI.
Stay tuned for more contests being added through the weekend including another chance to win a pair of Speed Passes to see Haunted Acres' five attractions in Candia, NH and a contest to win tickets to see what Fear Town Haunted House has in store for you this season.
Visit Halloween New England's home page for contest details.

Congrats to Sarah Lemoine who won a pair of Speed Pass tickets to Haunted AcresRob Rogers, Shannon St. Ours and Crystal Murray each won a four pack of tickets to 13th World,  Jason Morey, and Michelle Curran won a pair of tickets to Fear Town!

If you are looking ahead to plan your October weekends but want to check out haunted attractions on an off-peak night, we have your Guide to Haunted Attractions Open on Sunday Nights.

Haunted Houses, Trails, Haunted Hayrides, and Night Corn Mazes opening Friday, September 29th:

Fear Town (MA)
The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce (CT)
Creeperum (CT)
Haunted Labyrinth (RI)
Seven Cedars Haunted Hayride (RI)
Witch's Woods (MA) - House and Haunted Hayride
The 7-1-5 Haunted House (MA)
The Monster Mash Haunted Hayride (MA) - Haunted Hayride 
DementedFX (MA)
Ghost Ship Harbor (MA) 
The Haunted Isle (CT)
Dark Manor (CT)
Fright Kingdom (NH)
Haunted Houses, Trails, Haunted Hayrides, and Night Corn Mazes opening Saturday, September 30th:
Trail of Terror (CT) 
Legends of Fear (CT) - Trail and Haunted Hayride
13th World (RI)
Haunted Acres (NH)
Nightmare Acres (CT)
Screeemfest at Canobie Lake Park (NH)
Factory of Terror Worcester (MA)

Factory of Terror Fall River (MA) 
Factory of Terror West Warwick (RI) 
Haunted Houses, Trails, Haunted Hayrides, and Night Corn Mazes opening this Sunday, October 1st:
13 Nights at Jiminy (MA)

*as always, if the weather is lousy it's wise to double check that the event is open as some may close for inclement weather
In case you missed it... Haunted Houses, Trails, Haunted Hayrides, and Night Corn Mazes already open:
Fright Haven (CT) 
FrightFest at Six Flags New England (MA)
Marini Farm Corn Maze (MA) – non-haunted Flashlight Corn MazeThe Ghoullog (NH)
Nightmare New England / SpookyWorld (NH)
Coppal House Farm (NH) – non-haunted Flashlight Corn Maze
Devil's Playground Haunted Walk (NH)
The Ghoullog (NH)
We're thrilled to have teamed up again with New England's own uber-talented The Pixel Perfection: After Dark whose incredibly creepy and inspiring haunt photos populate the guides again this year. As always, we know you love their photos...just please don't steal their photos! Why not just follow them on Facebook instead or hire them to capture your Halloween attraction or event?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Opening Night Guide for Haunted Attractions across New England

Fall officially began this past week and on Thursday we kicked off the New England haunt season! Though the weather has been a bit steamy lately, before we know it crisp weather will be here and fall will feel like it ought to. 

When haunts open up, it also signals the beginning of Halloween New England's season too. Eight haunted attractions opened up last weekend which must surely be a record for the next to last weekend in September and we say, bring it on! This weekend--Sept 29th and 30th -- will be another monster weekend for haunted attraction opening nights--twenty-three more opening!--and by the time October arrives we'll be in full swing.

Halloween New England Opening Night Guide to Haunted Attractions The Pixel Perfection After Dark
We know how time-consuming it can be to sift through dozens of websites to find out when the local haunts, trails, flashlight and haunted mazes and haunted hayrides will be opening up-- Halloween New England to the rescue! 

Rather than have tens of thousands of New England haunt fans separately spending precious hours researching the info, we did it all for you. We compiled all the haunts' opening nights into a nifty guide to help you plot out and plan for your thrills this season.

Be a good friend and remember to SHARE the Opening Night Guide with your fellow thrill-seeking buddies.

Stay tuned for more guides all season long including our Guide to Haunted Attractions Open on Sundays and Weeknights for the folks who love to check out haunts on off-peak nights and our Guide to Haunted Attractions Open on Halloween is for well, isn't it obvious?

We're thrilled to be teaming up again with New England's own uber-talented The Pixel Perfection: After Dark whose incredibly creepy and inspiring haunt photos populate the guides again this year. As always, we know you love their photos...just please don't steal their photos! Why not just follow them on Facebook instead or hire them to capture your Halloween attraction or event?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Halloween New England Top Picks for September 21st- 27th, 2017

We wait all year for this moment - the start of our favorite season!
It may still be September but the spirit of the Halloween season kicks in with the change in the temp, the turning color of the leaves, and the arrival of pumpkins at every local farm stand. Salem's Haunted Happenings is just two weeks away and haunt-fans are thrilled to welcome the arrival of haunted attractions who are on the cusp of opening their season for customers and fans.

Halloween New England has you covered all season long with upcoming events and we'll help you stay on top of new Halloween Attractions opening up. Tune in each Thursday for our Top Picks, highlights for the weekend, special events not to be missed, incredible contests, and other essential info to keep you on top of everything this Halloween. Our event calendars grow every year and you'll never find more Halloween events in a single place than at Halloween New England. We've even added Family-Friendly Halloween Event Guides to several states to help you find wonderful Halloween and pumpkin events suitable for everyone.
If you haven't had a chance to peek at what Halloween New England has been up to over the last 10 months, check out our 2017 Preview we posted earlier this week.
So many ways to celebrate Halloween, so little time to do it....that's why we start celebrating six weeks early--and so should you.

Top Event picks for the upcoming weekend:

At this point in September, there are just a handful of Halloween/seasonally inspired events. With each week closer to Halloween you'll see more highlighted events to consider...and of course, we always have more listings--plus events in the future--listed on the website. To whet your appetite for the season, here are a few worthwhile events for this weekend.
With so much going on in Salem, MA October, it is prime time to check out the many tours and attractions the city has to offer. Salem Historical Tours is currently serving up four different daily walking tours every afternoon plus they add their Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour nightly starting in October. It's always wise to book early and they offer discounts when you book multiple tours during your visit to the Witch City.
You can also get a head start on your Salem planning by checking out Haunted Happenings Magazine for the most updated special local Salem events and new attractions.
If you're in Salem this Friday, you might want to take in a screening of "Night of the Living Dead" which is showing at the Peabody Essex Museum.

If Horror flicks both classic and new are right up your alley, make a beeline for the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA where they've got over a dozen classic horror films being shown over the next six weeks, many with a midnight showing.

This Saturday, September 23rd is a midnight screening of "I Spit on Your Grave" (1978) and we would be remiss if we didn't declare outright that the Coolidge Corner Theatre also has the fluffiest, tastiest popcorn you will ever find at a cinema.

Theatre-lovers might enjoy a visit to Bridgeport, CT's Downtown Cabaret Theatre where their musical production of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" opens this Friday and runs weekends through October 15th.
While you are in Connecticut on Sunday, you might want to assume your favorite Harry Potter character to enter the CT Renaissance Faire's Harry Potter Costume Contest (no age limit).

Vermont is hosting two big pumpkin events this weekend - check out the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-in at Sam Mazza Farms on Saturday and Sunday is the day where trebuchets face off in a contest to fling pumpkins as far as they can across a large field at the annual Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival.

Contests: Be a Monster, VIP Nights, $20 towards Costumes, and Tickets Galore!

We've got five contests live on Halloween New England by the end of today plus two more added tomorrow! 
Enter to WIN a pair of Speed Pass tickets to Haunted Acres in Candia, NH, win a four-pack of tickets to 13th World haunted trail in Cumberland, RI,  win a four-pack of tickets to the Jack-o-lantern Spectacular in Providence, RI and enter to win a special VIP "Be a Monster for a Night" experience at Creeperum haunted house in Hamden, CT! 
If you're looking to pick up some new additions for your Halloween Costume this year you will find a chance to win $20 towards merchandise at Costumania in West Lebanon, NH!
Before the weekend arrives you'll also find a new contest for Fear Town tickets in Seekonk, MA and another chance to win entry to the special invite-only night at Haunted Overload in Lee, NH.  Visit Halloween New England's home page for contest details.

Congrats to Craig Miranda, Michael McDonald, and Sabrina Desy who won tickets to 13th World haunted trail, Bianca Burgos and Joe Turner won a four-pack of tickets to the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular, and Emilee Orsi won her way into the special invite-only night at Haunted Overload, a and Julia Baranowski won the Art of Sketch art print! We're still waiting to hear from more winners who have been contacted so if you've entered and haven't checked your email--do so soon!

We're thrilled to have teamed up again with New England's own uber-talented The Pixel Perfection: After Dark whose incredibly creepy and inspiring haunt photos populate the guides again this year. As always, we know you love their photos...just please don't steal their photos! Why not just follow them on Facebook instead or hire them to capture your Halloween attraction or event?

Haunted Houses and Night Corn Mazes opening Thursday, September 21st:
Devil's Playground (NH)

Haunted Houses, Haunted Hayrides, and Night Mazes opening Friday, September 22nd:
Marini Farm Corn Maze (MA) – non-haunted Flashlight Corn Maze
SpookyWorld (NH) 
Haunted Houses, Trails, and Night Mazes opening Saturday, September 23rd:
Fright Haven (CT) 
FrightFest at Six Flags New England (MA)
The Ghoullog (NH)
Coppal House Farm (NH) – non-haunted Flashlight Corn Maze

If you are looking make the most of your October weekends and you love to plan ahead, check out which haunted attractions will be open on an off-peak night. Find out who'll be waiting in the dark for you in our Guide to Haunted Attractions Open on Sunday Nights.

*as always, if the weather is lousy it's wise to double check that the event is open as some may close for inclement weather

We're thrilled to have teamed up again with New England's own uber-talented The Pixel Perfection: After Dark whose incredibly creepy and inspiring haunt photos populate the guides again this year. As always, we know you love their photos...just please don't steal their photos! Why not just follow them on Facebook instead or hire them to capture your Halloween attraction or event?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Halloween New England Preview for 2017

Welcome back, everyone! Fall is here, and muggy as September has been so far, the leaves are showing hints of turning color. We're glad to be back in the swing of things and are thrilled that the Halloween season is practically here!

New to the Website in 2017
You may have noticed that Halloween New England has a new logo thanks to talented local artist Sarah Sloan and we're making the transition over slowly but surely on all our various materials.
Probably the biggest improvements that will impact our beloved readers and fans is the updates to our Halloween Events and Activities calendars for each New England state.

Look for the newly added ability to filter for Horror Film Screenings in your state right from the Halloween Events & Activities Calendar. We've added tons of upcoming horror flicks being shown locally in theatres (and some in libraries) that you might enjoy seeking out. There are some pretty exciting horror flicks on the calendar--including outdoor screenings and some with actor meet-and-greets.
Additionally, in the states featuring several hundred Halloween events on their state's calendar, we've created new a new section on the header drop-down for Family-Friendly Halloween Events--perfect for people specifically looking for activities and festivals that are suitable for all ages to attend.

We'll continue to have lots of fabulous contests and opportunities to win so stay tuned daily to our Facebook page or HOME page for the latest contests.

As always, we love to hear from you so let us know what kinds of features you enjoy and what you'd like us to consider adding for the future!

What has Halloween New England been up to in the off-season?
You won't be shocked to discover that Halloween occupies our minds pretty much year-round. We are always planning ahead and forever brainstorming new ways of making the season extra special for our readers and fans.

In April, we took a trip out west and was able to attend our first MonsterPalooza. Held in Pasadena, this annual special FX, art, horror-inspired collectibles, and makeup convention keeps growing and growing and it has recently moved to the Pasadena Convention Center which, even with its size, hardly seemed able to fit everyone --in fact long lines of waitlisted fans snaked around the building. The lobby was end-to-end with celebrity autograph signings and meet-and-greets with a particular edge towards actors who were featured in horror and cult-flicks. It's a convention for horror fans and as you would expect--being a stone's throw from Hollywood, features and celebrates mostly film-inspired characters more so than highlighting original creations. It's a place for fans as well as artists.

The MonsterPalooza Horror Museum was set up in a side room of the convention hall to display incredible collectible movie monsters, masks, sculptures, and original artwork-- Predator, the monster from Stranger Things, Rick Baker's paper mache Nosferatu, and a life-sized, very realistic Norman Reedus were some of the highlights. 

Inside the main hall were hundreds of booths as far as the eye could see featuring FX makeup artists, local artists' wares (prints, mini sculptures, full masks, crafts, etc), makeup demos, masks, collectibles for sale, and more. If fake blood is what you are looking for then you could try out several samples, ask questions of vendors, buy on the spot, or place an order. In addition to several booths dedicated to offering body art, application, and makeup demos from well-known and lesser-known makeup artists, one of the major events of the day we attended featured SyFy's Face Off 's Ve Neill recreating her makeup from the Lost Boys on multiple models. 

The highlight of the vendors, for us, were the booths for Immortal Masks (above) and Midnight Studios FX (below). They displayed dozens of their breathtakingly realistic and ultra creatively designed masks and creatures in their booths--each one more jaw-dropping than the last. There were many other memorable booths too but Immortal's and Midnight Studio's artistry were stand-outs.

We met dozens of established artists and many booths did a brisk business selling small items and other collectibles. We came away with an armful of cool art prints, a book, several Halloween inspired tchotckes, and other goodies. It was a worthwhile trip to finally see Monsterpalooza first-hand at last. They also have a smaller event--Son of Monsterpalooza--held in Burbank, CA which, due to the timing (mid-September) and distance (3,000 miles), we're not likely to have a chance to check out anytime soon.

Other highlights from our LA trip was a private tour of Alchemy Studios in Sun Valley which is the FX studio co-owned by Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page
It was a genuine treat to take a peek behind the scenes of their space, see the various rooms dedicated to different tasks, and get a glimpse at the breathtaking detail of their project in-studio at the time Star Trek Discovery. It was our first trip to a studio of this kind (but not our last) and we learned a great deal about their use of cutting-edge digital technology to aid in the design and production of creating new characters and makeup. (Sorry, because the pieces we saw were still in development and production, due to non-disclosure agreements we don't have pics to share with you but you can check out their work on the Star Trek Discovery series on TV).

We wrapped up our LA leg of the trip with a visit to two different escape rooms--The Basement and The Room -both were well worth our while and they showed us a great time!

A few days later we headed up to Seattle to connect with Ghost Ride Productions for a long-anticipated experience of being lifecasted (head and body). Last year Michael Chaille, owner of Ghost Ride, extended the offer that if we could get out to Seattle, his crew could use a volunteer willing to be lifecasted into a mold which would eventually be used to create realistic special FX props (coming to a haunted house near you....ha!). The idea had been simmering since last summer so we decided to tack on a jaunt up to Ghost Ride's shop at the end of our LA trip.

It was a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see how horror prop "sausage" is made and it was incredible to see how much intensive preparation goes into the task of lifecasting. Stay tuned for our upcoming Halloween New England blog post detailing this memorable experience. Even better, keep an eye out for this new life-sized, body prop to be rolled out in 2018 at Ghost Ride's booth at TransWorld.  

In August we attended the East Coast Haunt Gathering in Billerica, MA which is an annual get- together of local pro- and home-haunters. We attended on Saturday which featured a full day of back-to-back classes, how-to demos, talks, and more. There were door prizes and auctions as well as opportunities between classes for individuals to stand up to show different DIY props they've made for their haunt along with a quick presentation on how they did it. Some of the highlights included DIY animatronic coffins that open/close, and another described how to make your own fat-suit for pennies on the dollar. 

During the day there were feature presentations from Ben and Alexis of Haunted Farms of America, Vic Baritaeau showed how to make a Dollar Store mask into a customized, creepy horror mask that will last you the season, and Tyler Green from Sy Fy's Face/Off showed how to apply a vampire bite prosthetic.  
It was great to see many folks we already knew and catch up with we work with during the season including Fear Town, Legends of Fear, Haunted OverloadHaunted Somerville, our beloved haunt character Lobo from Fright Kingdom, Pam Tole, Haunted Farms, and many others!