The colors and haunts of October

As I write this, foliage was expected to hit its peak this weekend (Oct. 16 and 17) and next weekend (Oct. 23 and 24). My plan: Drive around this peninsula and then onto Damariscotta and check out the giant pumpkins!

Now, lots of people will tell you this is their favorite time of year. And, why not? The weather is delightful. Come October, that earthy scent of fall is lighter than it will be after the trees lose their leaves for another season and those leaves begin to break down; and here in Boothbay Harbor the scent of salt air blending with that earthiness is olfactory heaven!

Walking in the woods is particularly magical in the fall. In October, sunlight filtering through those leaves of yellow, red, gold and orange is rather prismatic, don’t you think?

Saturday and Sunday I drove around enjoying the colors of October. Even without the sun, the beauty of the season is still outstanding. Even more so because the trunks and branches are deeper shades of brown.

This week straight through the weekend will be dynamite for walking, riding, and just sitting outside surrounded by the colors in your backyard.

Now, beyond the sightseeing, the haunts of October cannot be forgotten … perish the thought!

Our good friend and Lady in the Red Cloak, Sally Lobkowitcz is offering those famous Haunted History Tours – the teletour version during this COVID time. Sally and Greg Latimer are history buffs who have pulled together some incredibly informative and entertaining lessons through folklore, history and, this time of year, ghost stories! For more info on tours for our region and Wiscasset – and beyond, really, visit

Corn mazes: The notice from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry cited a corn maze patterned after “Charlotte’s Web!” So, I had to check it out online. It’s a drive from here, but the scenery keeps you occupied on the way to Treworgy Orchards (3876 Union St., Levant). Check this out: Its maze has been named the second best in the country. That’s right, the country! There are vocab games and riddles leading you through the five acres of corn stalks. And – this maze hasn’t any dead ends! The maze is open through Oct. 31. Oh and there is a Night Maze too – this Friday and Saturday are the last nights for this year, but it’s not a scary event, except for the fact that you travel through with a trusty flashlight … and get Halloween candy an extra night! Check out the website: or call 207-884-8354. Tix are just $12.

Speaking of children’s stories, Boothbay Region Land Trust’s Story Trail is featuring the children’s book “Room on the Broom!” through Nov. 2. Read aloud with the family as you walk the one-mile trail about this witch and her cat, who while flying on her broomstick end up losing some very important items: a magic wand, her hat and a bow. There’s even a dragon in this tale written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The Story Trail is at BRLT headquarters, Oak Point Farm at 60 Samoset Road in Boothbay Harbor.

Adults looking for an elevated level of the season’s thrills and chills should check out these hair raisers. The Farmington Fright Nights at Farmington Fairgrounds are this Friday and Saturday as well as next (Oct. 29 and 30). The creepy places include the 15-room Cabin in the Woods, a Carnival of Chaos, and the Slaughterhouse … OK, even I’m getting the heebie-jeebies now! Tickets and more info for all you fright fest fans are found at  Closer to home, there’s a Halloween Haunted Trail in Livermore too. There’s also a Trail of Terror at Aquaboggan in Saco 6-10 p.m. (Insert sharp intake of breath) What was that? Brushing up against me?! Ohhh. Nevermind. It was my cat, Pyewackett.

Back to the kiddos: Don’t miss the Trunk or Treat event in Wiscasset at the Speedway on Halloween from 2-4 p.m.

Boothbay Railway Village Museum’s Ghost Train rumbles around the narrow gauge tracks during the Community Halloween Party on Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Games, trick or treats, rides and more await.

In Alna, the WW&F Railway Museum is operating its Halloween Train & Treat to SeaLyon Farm on Saturday, Oct. 30. Ticket price includes the ride on the steam train, hayride/admission to SeaLyon Farm, activities and games at the farm, a trick-or-treat goody bag stuffed with Halloween goodies, games, and fun. To get tickets, visit

October is the only month each year for thrills, chills – and not just from the crisp night air, color  and scents that only happen the 31 days it is here. Spin those favorite holiday tunes … “Monster Mash,” “Season of the Witch,” “Boris the Spider,” “Werewolves of London,” Black Magic Woman,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “I Put A Spell On You,” “This Is Halloween,” “Time Warp,” “They’re Coming to Take Me Away,” … Oh! And remember those songs you sang in grammar school? Like “Five Little Pumpkins?” I was just singing that one to my pupster Rondibear on a walk this weekend.

And whatever you do, don’t forget to watch those fave scary  movies!! From the classic Dracula, Frankenstein, Creature of Black Lagoon, “The Ninth Gate,” “Scream” (1 and 4, 2 and 3 were disappointing), “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Bell, Book & Candle,” ANYTHING with Vincent Price, “Psycho,” “The Omen” – the original, not the remake; ANYTHING based on a Stephen King novel; “The Witch,” “The Conjuring” …

Mixed age groups gathered round the TV with pop and candy corn can enjoy (crank up the way-back machine) “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” and/or the Invisible Man; “Hocus Pocus,” “Practical Magic,” … I’m sure you all have your favorites!

And remember, as Vincent Price once said, “It’s as much fun to scare as to be scared,” so get out there and have some good old Halloween play … I’m quite sure whatever you choose will prove to be extremely diverting!

Assistant Editor Lisa Kristoff and her buddy Merlyn: | Merlyn, Weekly newspaper, Behind the scenes