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Haunted happenings!

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A look at some of the spooky scary Halloween fun coming our way

Autumn is most definitely upon us. The leaves have undergone their chromatic transformation and largely fallen from the trees. The warm winds of summer have given way to the chilly breezes of fall; even days with above-average temperatures have a bite in the air.

And of course, as October comes to an end, we come to Halloween.

While the celebration of the holiday has certainly expanded well beyond the day itself, with events taking place throughout much of October, these last few days will see a particular flurry of fantastic and frightening events leading up to the 31st.

Bangor has plenty going on in this lead-up to Halloween. There are interesting events taking place a bit farther afield as well. Here are just a few of those happenings from both near and far.

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Trick or Treat!

There are plenty of trick-or-treating opportunities at Halloween. One of the most popular over the past few years has been Downtown Bangor.

Traditionally taking place the Saturday afternoon before Halloween proper, trick-or-treating through the downtown area gives families a chance to take their little ghouls and goblins through a gauntlet of local businesses. Kids get to show off their costumes around town and fill their treat bags, all in a safe and controlled space during daylight hours.

This year's event takes place on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 2-4 p.m. Immediately following, there will be a free concert at the Bangor Public Library featuring the Bangor Symphony Orchestra's Juniper String Quartet. 'Halloween Hijinks' will feature classic spooky tunes as well as selections from familiar soundtracks such as the 'Star Wars' and 'Harry Potter' movies.

Of course, that doesn't take into account the day itself. There are a couple of Bangor neighborhoods that have sterling Halloween reputations. Little City is one such spot; the combination of close-together houses and a whole lot of children ensures a significant candy bounty.

Another one that I can personally vouch for is the Tree Streets. While there are plenty of us in the neighborhood happy to hand out candy, the highlight is Maple Street specifically the stretch between State and Mt. Hope. Hundreds upon hundreds of kids make their way up and down the street on Halloween night; many of the residents go all out in an effort to make the experience as full of frightening fun as possible.

Seriously my house is blocks away and even we see significant spillover. There are some good trick-or-treat spots out there in the Bangor area, but I'd wager there's none better than Maple Street.

Ghostly Bangor Tours

Every city has its share of shadows in its past. Bangor is no different; a city with this much history is certain to have at least a few skeletons or ghosts in its closet.

The Bangor Historical Society offers folks the opportunity to hear just a few of those tales with their Ghostly Bangor Tours. Take the chance to tour Bangor and learn some of the Queen City's spookiest stories from a Bangor Historical Society guide.

There are just two more chances to enjoy one of these tours. One will take place on Thursday, Oct. 27 and the other on Saturday, Oct. 29. Tours will leave the Thomas Hill House, located at 159 Union St., at 7 p.m. The cost is $10 per person; under 12 is $5.

Fright at the Fort

One of the most beloved Halloween traditions in the region is back for yet another ghoulish go-round at Fort Knox in Prospect.

This year the event's 17th has the theme 'Out Of This World.' Visitors will be guided through the narrow hallways and shadowy rooms of the fort; all the while, mysterious forces from beyond the stars will be conspiring against them.

Fright at the Fort has been one of the most consistently frightening Halloween happenings of the past two decades. If you're looking for some holiday scares, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better place.

Your final two opportunities to enjoy this out-of-this-world experience take place on Oct. 28 and 29 Friday and Saturday night. The operating hours for the Fright are 5:30 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for those 12 and under; express tickets are also available for purchase.

More information about Fright at the Fort can be found via their Facebook page.

Bangor Zombie Walk

Another annual Halloween favorite, this marks the sixth year for the Bangor Zombie Walk.

Ever wanted to be a zombie? Well, now's your chance to do it without having to deal with an insatiable hunger for brains or the downfall of civilization. Each year, scores of people slather themselves in gore and meet up at the Bangor Waterfront before shuffling and lurching their way through the downtown area.

The event also serves as a fundraiser for assorted local charities. This year's recipient is Wounded Warriors of Maine. Participants should plan to meet at the waterfront at 3 p.m. The first 45 minutes or so will be devoted to taking photos and playing games before the walk (or shamble, I suppose) starts at 4.

The 2016 Zombie Walk is set to take place on Oct. 29.

Murder for Two

In keeping with recent tradition, Penobscot Theatre Company is offering up a seasonally-appropriate show for Halloween time. This year's production is 'Murder for Two,' a madcap romp filled to the brim with music and murder.

A small-town police officer named Marcus an aspiring detective finds himself taking the lead on a murder investigation, looking into the killing of a local novelist. It's up to him to determine which of the many motivated suspects might have been the one to pull the trigger.

And did I mention that all of the suspects are played by a single actress?

'Murder for Two' is a high-energy show filled with fun mystery a perfect fit for Halloween that runs through Nov. 6 at the Bangor Opera House. For tickets or more information, contact the PTC box office at 942-3333 or visit their website at www.penobscottheatre.org.

(Note: A full review of the production can be found elsewhere on the website.)

BanGoreFest

We told you plenty about this big event taking place Oct. 28-30 at the New Balance Field House on the University of Maine campus in Mike Dow's cover story from last week's edition. Still, it warrants a reminder.

(Check out Mike's wide-ranging interview with BanGoreFest special guest Tony Todd this week, as well as last week's cover story.)

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