The calendar says Halloween is on a Saturday night this year, which usually means there’ll be plenty of scary-fun things to do.

But is the same true in a pandemic, which is scary but not all that much fun?

The answer is a qualified yes. While there won’t be large costume balls or crowded Halloween dance parties this year, there are some spooky and silly things to partake in. These include horror flicks to watch, pumpkin trains to ride, treat decorating and haunted house and woods experiences.

Federal and local officials are cautioning against high-risk Halloween activities, including traditional trick-or-treating where kids grab candy out of someone’s hand. So the Halloween events that are taking place in Maine have been adapted for the pandemic, with social distancing, mask requirements, timed entries and limited crowd sizes. Some will be virtual and others will be outside, to take advantage of the fresh air.

Here, then, are some things to do on this pandemic Halloween.



If you’re looking for an alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating for your kids, consider the Whooptoberfeast at Cape Whoopies on Cottage Road in South Portland. Kids are invited to decorate whoopie pies in the bakery’s parking lot, wearing protective masks and Halloween costumes, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Children must be registered in advance by phone: Call 409-0957. Only six children will decorate at a time, for no more than 15 minutes. Families will get a photo of their child in costume with their decorated treat. The cost is $7 per child, including a whoopie pie, decorations and a pre-packaged treat. It’s $5 for each additional whoopie pie. Registration is limited, so call as early as you can. For more information, see upcoming events on the Cape Whoopies Facebook page.

The 2018 film “Halloween” will play at Bridgton Twin Drive-In Halloween weekend. Photo by Ryan Green/Universal Pictures/IMDB


Scary movies abound in southern Maine on Saturday, outdoors under the cover of darkness. The 2017 film version of Stephen King’s “It” will be shown Saturday night at the Thompson’s Point entertainment complex on the Fore River in Portland, as part of the Moonlight Cinema series. People are encouraged to bring their own chairs – and blankets – to sit on, and groups will be spaced 6 feet apart. Tickets are $8, or $28 for four tickets and a guaranteed fire pit. For more information and tickets, go to the Moonlight Cinema listing at

The Bridgton Twin Drive-In will show two scary screen gems Saturday night, the 2018 version of the classic “Halloween” and Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride.” Admission is $15 per car and gates open at 6:15 p.m. For more information, go the Bridgton Twin Drive-In Facebook page. The Prides Corner Drive-In in Westbrook will be showing the 1993 witch comedy “Hocus Pocus” on Saturday night, with a 6:50 p.m. showtime. Admission is $15 per car. For more information, go the Prides Corner Drive-In Facebook page.


Take a ride on the Pumpkin Train for Halloween at Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad in Portland. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum will offer family-friendly rides aboard its pumpkin trains Saturday. Trains leave from the railroad’s station at 49 Thames St. in Portland on the hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  The rides along the Eastern Promenade and Casco Bay are about 35 minutes long. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes and can pick out a mini pumpkin. Trains are running at 50 percent capacity and masks are required. Tickets are $6 to $12. For more information, go the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum Facebook page.



The Grand, a historic theater in Ellsworth, is hosting its socially-distanced Terror Theater Act II from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday. The theater and its grounds will be transformed into a scary scene – with strobe lights, stage fog, loud sounds and scenes of blood and gore. Only one party of up to eight people enters the theater at a time, and masks are required. Tickets are $5 to $10. Not recommended for small children. For more information and tickets, go to the Grand’s Facebook page.

Johnson Hall Theater in Gardiner is hosting a “Spooky Walk” through its building 4-9 p.m. Saturday, for ages 8 and up. Groups of up to five people will walk through a dozen spooky scenes, then get to an area with carnival games to play. Masks are required, temperatures will be taken, and all traffic through the theater will be one-way. Admission is free. To register for a timed entrance, go to the Spooky Walk listing at Eventbrite.


Trail of Terror is an 18-scene haunted walk behind Aquaboggan Waterpark in Saco, which will be open 6-10 p.m. Saturday, and has been open every weekend in October. Organizers say you never know who will be lurking behind the trees or even under the ground. The socially-distanced and masked walk is about 30 minutes long and hosted by OOB365, an Old Orchard Beach community promotion organization. Tickets are $10 to $20. For information and tickets see “upcoming events” on the OOB365 Facebook page.


Photo courtesy of the Strand Theatre

If you’re looking to get into a Halloween spirit without leaving home, you have options. “Strand on the Air” is a radio show put on by performers affiliated with the Strand Theatre in Rockland. Modeled on a radio variety show, it’ll feature a “fun-size bag of Halloween laughs and tunes” including a visit to a place called Abysmal Point where characters confront the “Curse of Wilton Waldrop.” It airs 3 p.m. Saturday on midcoast radio station WRFR-FM and will be streamed on

The Maine Academy of Modern Music will present its “Ghoul of Rock: Virtual Halloween Bash” online during the day Saturday. Students of the statewide music school will make videos of themselves performing – with spooky songs and costumes encouraged. In the past, student bands have covered “Monster Mash” and “Thriller,” among other Halloween pop music staples. The videos will be shared on MAMM’s social media on Halloween day.

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