Never fear: Frights and fun are plentiful this year

Halloween

October 30, 2003

FAMILY

Treats on Main Street

Amid the spooks and scares lies every child's favorite part of Halloween: the trek for candy. The historic district of Ellicott City welcomes costumed children to take part in Trick or Treat on Main Street Halloween afternoon. Kids and their parents are invited to stroll the streets as numerous merchants give out treats in a safe setting.

This event is tomorrow 4 p.m.-6 p.m. in the historic district of Ellicott City. There is no cost to participate. For more information, call 410-750-7676.

Nightmare Penitentiary

The Bowie Baysox are holding Nightmare Penitentiary: A Haunted Adventure, but despite the host, it's not about baseball. In its 16th year, Nightmare Penitentiary is Bowie's longest running Haunted House. Forty actors will bring visitors live-action scares with an assortment of props to supplement the frights.

Admission to the haunted house is $10 for adults and $8 for youth. The house is open 6 p.m.-10 p.m. today and 6 p.m.-11 p.m. tomorrow. It is at Prince George's Stadium, U.S. 301 south of U.S. 50, in Bowie. For more information, call 301-464-4851 or visit www.bay sox.com.

Spooky science

Armed with scientific investigations, Peter A. Jordan shares evidence that ghosts are real in "Peter A. Jordan's Ghosts." Using frightful video footage and photographs, Jordan explains the science behind the search for proof of life after death. Among his cases are personal accounts from individuals who have had contact with the supernatural, the moving of objects and poltergeists, which Jordan describes as "haunted people."

The show is tomorrow at the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville campus, at 9 p.m. in the Fine and Performing Arts Center Theatre. The show is presented by the Guest Artist Committee in association with the Special Events Committee and is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and children and $2 for CCBC students and staff. For more information, call 410-455-4508.

-- Meredith James

Poe and more

If it takes more than candy and bobbing for apples to make your Halloween a treat, the Halloween Tour of Westminster Burying Ground and Catacombs is the cultural event for you. The tour takes place tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Westminster Hall and Burial Ground at the corner of Fayette and Greene streets in Baltimore. Hear theatrical readings of Poe's Annabel Lee and watch a performance by Frank the Body Snatcher, the University of Maryland School of Medicine's resident grave robber. Visit Poe's grave and explore Westminster Catacombs. Tread Westminster Hall as eerie music is performed on the fully restored 1882 Johnson Pipe Organ. Admission includes popcorn, cider and prize drawings.

No reservations are required. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. For information, call 410-706-7228.

Arbutus nightmares

Anonymous eyes peering from behind cracks in the wall. Skeletons popping out of coffins. Disfigured patients lying helpless in hospital beds. Don't miss these frights and more at Nightmares from Elmridge Haunted House at 5400 East Drive in downtown Arbutus. The house will be open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday.

Admission is $6.50 for thrill-seekers ages 10 and up and $4.50 for ages 4 and up. For more information and to order advance tickets or T-shirts, visit www.vcattractions.com.

-- Julia Furlong

OUTSIDE

Haunted castle

If you can't remember the last time you crept through a dark, medieval castle inhabited by gruesome ghouls, make a point of visiting Bennett's Curse "House of the Vampyres" in Hanover. The castle doors will be open from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. today and from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday. Look for the 4,000-square-foot castle at the outdoor lot adjacent to Arundel Mills, next to Jared Jewelers and across from Costco, off Arundel Mills Boulevard.

Bennett's Curse "House of the Vampyres" is geared to ages 10 and older. It is a self-guided tour and is handicapped-accessible. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children under 12. Coupons and more information are available at www.bennettscurse .com.

Walk in the park

Gather your nerve before embarking on the ninth annual Ghosts of the Patapsco Female Institute walk tomorrow through Sunday at the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park. Watch out for lurking spirits as you explore abandoned fireplaces, secret passageways and the sacred chapel. Tread carefully around hollow trees, forgotten gardens and buried treasure in more than 8,000 square feet of ruins. Don't forget a costume, walking shoes and a flashlight.

The tour begins at Mount Ida Visitor Center at 3691 Sarah's Lane in Ellicott City at 6:30 p.m. and lasts until 8:30 p.m. Admission is $4 per person. The walk is recommended for ages 6 years and up. All proceeds benefit the programs of the Patapsco Female Institute. For more information or to place reservations for 10 or more, call 410-465-8500.

Dungeon tour

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