This is the month to shiver and scream . . . or maybe chuckle. Throughout the nation, scary or zany Halloween events are being held. Among them:
The Litchfield Hills area of northwestern Connecticut is calling itself the Haunted Headquarters, and well it might, with a Haunted Graveyard ($19.95 adults, $13.95 under 12; hauntedgraveyard.com), Haunted Hayride (7 and over $10, elcct.org) and Haunted Trail Walk (children $4, adults $6, birdstone.org) and a half-dozen other Halloween-related happenings. For information on packages plus a 112-page guide to the area, visit litchfieldhills.com or call 860-567-4506.
Did you know you can sleep with a ghost at 20 allegedly haunted New England inns and bed-and-breakfasts? For a list, go to bedandbreakfast.com and click on Sleep With a Ghost. You will find ghostly inns in other parts of the country as well.
The Old South Meeting House in Boston will host a free talk Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. by author Eve LaPlante on "Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall" (HarperOne, 2007). On Oct. 31 at 12:15 p.m., you can explore the Celtic roots of Halloween through the Irish harp and vocals of Aine Minogue. The price is $5.
Salem's Haunted Happenings will have its usual dozens of events throughout October. CityView Trolley Tours becomes the CityBOO tour, with costumed guides hosting a frightful journey as it visits nine key sites. Riders can hop on and off anytime. Adults $12, seniors and students $10, children $5. Visit hauntedhappenings.org. For trolley information, go to cityviewtrolleys.com.
Speaking of Salem, Emerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport has teamed with the Witch City's Hawthorne Hotel to present a Spooktacular Halloween package. Couples stay at the Emerson two nights, Oct. 26-28, with breakfast included and get tickets and transportation to the Hawthorne's Halloween Ball Oct. 27. Prices from $523-$923, depending on room.
Visit emersoninnbythesea.com or call 800-964-5550.
Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary puts on an evening fright fest called Terror Behind the Walls. This year, through Nov. 3, there will be five separate haunted houses, including a new attraction called Lockdown. Sundays and weekdays $20, Fridays $25, Saturdays $30. You can get a coupon for $3 at the website.
Visit easternstate.org/halloween, where there is also information about dinner and hotel packages.
Universal Orlando says that its Halloween Horror Nights, running through Nov. 3, may be too intense for younger children, what with the presence of such film luminaries as Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface. Among the nerve-racking attractions are eight haunted houses, four new shows, and a Midway of the Bizarre. You can either pay $64.95 for a ticket and pick your date or for the same price you can get admission on 13 selected nights, including Halloween.
Younger children will feel more at ease at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on several nights from Oct. 4-Nov. 2 at the Magic Kingdom. Among the features are Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, trick-or-treating, fireworks, and characters in their favorite costumes. Unlike at Universal, you, too, can come in costume. Ages 3-9 $32.95, 10 and older $38.95 for advance tickets.
Visit disneyworld.com and click on the pumpkin at the bottom of the page or call 407-W- DISNEY (934-7639).
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.