GRIPPING GOOD TIMES: A rundown of where ghosts and goblins can get their tricks and treats this Halloween

Encore’s event calendar is oozing with Halloween-themed events and activities. From haunted houses and trails, to dinner theatre and dancing with the dead, there are plenty of scary (and less scary) scores for adults, kids and the entire family leading up to All Hallows’ Eve. To find more Halloween activities or list events, visit’s calendar.

BOO!  Hell’s Belles and the Colonial Damned at Bellamy Mansion and Burgwin-Wright House is one of many frightful events this Halloween. Courtesy photo.
BOO! Hell’s Belles and the Colonial Damned at Bellamy Mansion and Burgwin-Wright House is one of many frightful events this Halloween. Courtesy photo.

Phobia Haunted Trail
Fri.-Sun., now through Oct. 31
Daytime hours: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Regular hours: 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
Cardinal Lanes • 3907 Shipyard Blvd.
Tickets: $10-$16

Phobia Haunted Trail features live actors set in disturbing and frightening scenes in the search for mad Psychiatrist Dr. Luke Von Witz—assumed to be conducting unlawful experiments on his former patients. Guests will weave their way through mazes of mayhem. Though actors won’t touch participants, it’s a course not for the faint of heart.

This year’s haunted attraction also features a less scary daytime version for kids ages 5 to 12, while no one under the age of 13 will be admitted for night events. Tickets:


NHHS Lyceum Academy Haunted House
Fri. – Sat., 7 p.m. – midnight; Sundays, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
920 Princess St. (corner of Princess and 10th streets)
Tickets: $10

This full-scale immersive haunted house was imagined and created by Lyceum Academy students at New Hanover High School. All proceeds generated from screams and terror benefit the academy. Doors open at 7 p.m. and lines close at 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights; Sundays and Halloween night will run from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.


Paranormal Ghost Tours
Fri., Oct. 21 and 28, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tours: 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Poplar Grove Plantation
10200 US Hwy 17 N.
Tickets: $15

Last year Poplar Grove Plantation debuted its Paranormal Ghost Tours and encore discovered truth isn’t just stranger than fiction—it’s scarier. Historic haunts offer stories of real people who in many ways still reside there. Poplar Grove continues to celebrate its own spirits and haunts—err, haints—of the past, from 1850 through the 20th century, all of whom hover in and around the Manor House, Tenant House, graveyard, and Poplar grounds (it even includes a murderous crime of passion).

This year folks can download a “ghost” app for their phones before visiting the plantation. There are two Friday night tours left on Oct. 21 and 28—the latter date featuring tarot-card readings.

Tour groups are limited to 15 and adult tickets must be pre-purchased at


Haint Blue: All Hallow’s Masquerade
Sat., Oct. 22, 8 p.m.
Poplar Grove Plantation
10200 US Hwy 17 N.
Tickets: $50

Aside from haunting tours, Poplar Grove’s courtyard gates of the Manor House will open again for their second annual All Hallows’ Masquerade on Oct. 22. In celebration of haint blue Southern porch ceilings to ward off restless spirits, folks will gather in the double piazzas (with cocktails in hand) for an evening of masquerading revelry.

Along with beer and wine, signature cocktails will include Caramel Apple Martinis, Bloody Sangria, and a mysterious Bourbon concoction. Middle of the Island will cater the event and DJ Bryan from Cape Fear Entertainment will have everyone dancing with the dead.

Tickets for this 21+ events are $50 and include an open bar from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tickets must be pre-purchased at


Mystic Elements Cauldron Bubble
Sat., Oct. 22, 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Mystic Elements
4403 Park Ave.

Mystic Elements Cauldron Bubble will be a Halloween extravaganza! Best costumes of the night will be awarded, with raffles and other ways to win prizes. Madame Von Sloopenstein and Madame De Borah will give 10-to-15-minute card and palm readings. There will be several booths featuring a psychic medium, bone castings, rune binding, and local artists, as well as a fire-dance performance and drum circle at 7 p.m. (BYOB drums and rattles!)

Admission to Mystic Elements Cauldron Bubble is free, with varied prices on activities. Parking will be available at Two Wheeler Dealer, the empty gravel lot next to Mystic Elements, and along neighboring streets.


Haunted Zombie Laser Combat
Sat.-Sun., Oct. 22-23 at 7 p.m.
Battlefield Live Wilmington
3936 Market St.
Tickets: $12 – $15

Tag, you’re it … for dinner! In Haunted Zombie Laser Combat, the undead are swarming Battlefield Live Wilmington, and they’re targeting passersby. Pick up a laser arms for combat in a terrifying and thrilling haunted adventure—open to everyone 7-years-old and up. Admission is $12 for 7-12-year-olds and $15 for 13 and up. Visit


Hell’s Belles and the Colonial Damned
Fri., Oct. 28, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 29, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Bellamy Mansion • 503 Market St.
Burgwin-Wright House
224 Market St.
Tickets: $25

Come face to face with all that goes bump in the night at two historic houses this Halloween season. The colonial-era Burgwin-Wright House and antebellum Bellamy Mansion will jointly present Hell’s Belles and the Colonial Damned on Oct. 28-29. Featuring the supernatural talents of local comedy troupe Pineapple-Shaped Lamps, guests will be emerged in terrifying scenes and troupe of the dancing dead. To preserve shock value of the evenings’ eerie events, folks will have to venture out to Bellamy Mansion and Burgwin-Wright House. Proceeds benefit the preservation of the historic houses and their operations as museums. Tickets are available at the door for $25 and include admission to both houses.


Ghost Chase
Friday, Oct. 27, 6 p.m.
CFCC Union Station Building 3rd Floor 502 N. Front St.
Tickets: $15

CFCC Anthropology Club’s Ghost Chase is a scavenger hunt charity event meant to take participants back to Ancient Greece in search of Poseidon’s stolen trident. The hunt will lead folks on a quest to questioned gods and goddesses, find clues to help solve this mystery and prevent a war between the gods. Ghost Chase will start on the third floor of the Union Station building at

CFCC’s downtown campus. Free food and drinks are available with admission of $15 per person, with prizes awarded for returning Poseidon’s trident. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. and hunt begins at 6 p.m.


In Memoriam: A Victorian Mourning Program at the Latimer House
Fri.-Sat., Oct. 28-29,
and Mon., Oct. 31
Tours at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Latimer House • 126 S. 3rd St.
Tickets: $12

Halloween isn’t always about other-worldly spirits or horrific haunts, the reality of death can be just as unsettling this time of year. Discover customs and rituals of death in Victorian-era America this Halloween at the Latimer House. Docents will guide visitors through this tour examining full-mourning decorations with authentic Victorian funerary objects, clothing, burial practices, and foods that were customary for Victorians when death visited their families. Tickets are available at the Latimer House. Call 910-762-0492 or visit for more details.


Trick-or-Trot for Preservation 5k and 1-Mile Trick-or-Treat Walk
Sat., Oct. 29, 8:30 a.m.
Greenfield Lake Park • 310 Willard St.
Registration: $15 – $35

Greenfield Lake Park will be invaded by superheroes and ghosts, goblins and princesses for historic preservation. The Trick-or-Trot for Preservation 5k will award the top three finishers in each age group, as well as to best costume, most original costume, best group costume, and more. The 1-Mile Trick-or-Treat Walk Entry is free with 5k registration, or can be purchased separately, and features candy stops for hungry goblins. Proceeds from the event support Tar Heels Go Walking and historic preservation programs throughout the Lower Cape Fear Region. After the run/walk, all registrants are invited to enjoy Port City Java coffee and doughnuts from RISE Biscuits and Donuts. To volunteer, donate or learn more, contact Christine Divoky at or call 910-762-2511. Visit


Haunted Library Spooky Storytelling Festival
Sat., Oct. 29, at 2 p.m.
NHC Main Library • 201 Chestnut St.

The fifth annual Spooky Storytelling Festival will show off the newly renovated Carolina Courtyard at NHC Main Library in downtown Wilmington. Kids and families can come in costume for spooky stories and silly activities for all ages. The center of the park will feature performances by Mr. Scooter, The Dance Element, Jocelyn Beam-Walson, and Beth & Bailey. Outside, around the park’s perimeter, spooky bubbles, mummy wrapping and other activities will be stationed while Memory Lane Comics will give away free comic books. Inside, folks will navigate through creepy digital decorations to the second floor of the library for a spooky Story Walk based on Ed Emberley’s book “Go Away, Big Green Monster.” Contact Dorothy Hodder at 910-798-6323 or, or visit

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