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Halloween Weekends: Scary Stories, Parties, Burlesque and More

Looking for Halloween and autumn events this weekend? Check out this roundup of things to do across Massachusetts this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This is Halloween! 'Tis the season when happy haunts begin to materialize and grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize. Of course, there's plenty to do in Salem, the Halloween Capital of the World, but there are lots of local events happening, too.

Here's a roundup of Halloween and autumnal events taking place in and around Needham this Friday, Oct. 12, Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14.

NEEDHAM

Family Fun at Carter Pumpkin Patch—Saturday, Oct. 13, 1-3 p.m. Free. Bring the kids over to Carter Memorial United Methodist Church's Pumpkin Patch on Saturday afternoons throughout October to pick out a pumpkin from their wide selection and enjoy fun activities. On Oct. 13, the church will offer a trackless train ride around the church grounds. Learn more at www.carterumc.org.

WELLESLEY

The Ellie Fund's Superheroes Party—Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. $10. Fly, zip and zoom over for an action-packed afternoon of fun: visits and photos with your favorite superheroes; meet and greet with local heroes from the Wellesley Police and Fire departments. Temporary airbrush tattoos, superhero and Halloween crafts, super treats from Roche Bros and Qdoba, and fun gift bags (one per pre-registered child). All funds raised by the event will benefit the Needham-based Ellie Fund and be used to provide critical support services to local women and families fighting breast cancer. 

NEWTON

Newton Harvest Fair—Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14. Free admission. Celebrate fall in Newton at the 37th annual Harvest Fair in Newton Centre. On Saturday there are kiddie amusement rides, sand and face painting. On Sunday there is something for everyone! Kiddie amusement rides, free pumpkin decorating, 150 craft booths, delicious ethnic and American food, the "Big Feat" Memorial Walk of the Circle of Caring at Hospice of the Good Shepherd, and terrific live entertainment by local dancers and musicians. See the performance schedule at www.newtoncommunitypride.org.

WATERTOWN

Watertown Mall 21st Annual Scarecrow Contest—Oct. 15-31. No entry fee. Any individual, family, group, school, class, business, or organization is invited to enter the 21st Annual Scarecrow Contest at the Watertown Mall. Scarecrows will be displayed in the Watertown Mall from Oct. 15-31 and shoppers can vote for their favorite display. Third place will receive a $50 mall gift certificate, runner-up will receive a $100 mall gift certificate, and the grand prize winner will receive a $200 Watertown Mall gift certificate.

WALTHAM

Frightful Fridays at Gore Mansion—Friday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. $15, $10 children ages 5-12 and members. Hear traditional ghosts stories told in several rooms of the 1806 Gore mansion. A great way to celebrate the Halloween season and enjoy this beautiful historic house. 

CONCORD

Big Joe The Storyteller Presents: SPOOKY-OOKY at Barefoot Books—Sunday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. $7 per child, $15 max per family. Ages 3 and up. Registration recommended. It's creepy, it's kooky, it's Big Joe the Storyteller's "SPOOKY-OOKY"—an all-new Halloween show guaranteed to give you a frightfully good time. Filled with spooky tales of ghosts, goblins, ghouls and things that go bump in the night, Big Joe will have you shaking and shivering (but mostly from laughing). There will be creepy puppets, strange and weird props but most of all there will be spooky fun for everyone. 

SALEM

Haunted Harbor Cruise—Departure times at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Adults $25, Kids $20. Come learn about the haunted happenings of Salem Sound on this 90-minute cruise aboard the historic (and heated) Hannah Glover. Passengers will enjoy a fun-filled, informative trip filled with spooky stories of ruthless local pirates, haunted lighthouses and living monsters who wreak havoc on local ships to this day. Full bar and grill on every cruise—hot beverages available. Cruises are daily. 

—Saturday, Oct. 13 from 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. $25 per person. A Halloween Party Fundraiser to benefit PALS Animal Life Savers of Salem. Entertainment by Beau Paris and Steve Sarmanian, additional entertainment by Pat Shea. Party hosted by Salem's "Gigi." Costumes are optional, but be sure to wear your dancing shoes. Prizes for the best costumes. Food and Cash Bar. Join in for some Halloween spirit and to help homeless pets. 

WOBURN

Scarecrow for Solutions—Saturday, Oct. 13 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. $15. Build your very own scarecrow. All proceeds to go to the North Suburban YMCA's Outreach Program. 

MELROSE

Horace Mann Pumpkin Festival—Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. A PTO-sponsored family event including pumpkin sales, a haunted house, pony rides, crafts and games. 

SOMERVILLE

'The Wrathskellar' Burlesque—Friday, Oct. 12, Saturday, Oct. 13 and Friday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. $25. Something wicked comes to Davis Square, when "The Wrathskellar" opens for business this October. A staple of the Halloween season, the Boston Babydolls' annual dark burlesque is an immersive blend of cabaret and haunted house. A departure from The Boston Babydolls usual mix of bubbly fun and retro glamour, "The Wrathskellar" is a moody whirlpool of sinister dirges, predatory laments, and torch songs in a minor key. Instead of big band and swing, the soundtrack for "The Wrathskellar" features atmospheric and evocative works from Lotte Lenya, Dead Can Dance, Leonard Cohen, and Gogol Bordello. 

CANTERBURY, NH

Ghost Encounters Brings True Ghostly Tales to Life at Canterbury Shaker Village— Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-17. Canterbury Shaker Village debuts Ghost Encounters, a performance tour stocked with seven true tales of ghostly encounters at the Village. Visitors will hear six characters—the Guide, the Sous Chef, the Intern, the Textiles Expert, the Historian and Eldress Elizabeth Stirling—tell their tales of Village encounters with other-worldly spirits. Reservations are required. Not recommended for younger children.

Know of a great Halloween or fall-themed event this weekend or coming up? Add it to the Needham Patch Calendar and send the link to becca.manning@patch.com.

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