With limited options for social engagement, Halloween is looking very different this year. Normally, students would be prepping for costume parties or heading over to Franklin Street. My own sparsely decorated dorm room isn’t quite enough to get me in the spooky spirit. Thankfully, the Triangle has a vibrant array of fall festivities of which students can enjoy all month.
Paint a pumpkin at Perkins Orchard! 2020 marks the 50th season for this Durham fruit stand. For those eager to participate in the time-honored tradition of pumpkin decorating but are not keen on the art of carving, pick up a $10 kit that includes a pumpkin, paint, paintbrushes, glitter, stickers and a pair of googly eyes — open everyday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.. Perkins also offers homemade fresh-fruit sorbets and popsicles as an alternative (or addition — let’s be real) to Halloween candy.
Bright Spirits Holiday Market
The Bright Spirits Holiday Market is getting into the fall spirit with an autumn-themed Harvest Market. Hand-made goods and food will be sold at the outdoor market, which will be held Oct. 24 at noon in the Motorco Music Hall parking lot. As the name suggests, Bright Spirits normally runs during the winter holidays, but while no plans have been announced for this December, the Harvest Market promises to cater to your thrifty needs in the meantime.
Witch’s Haunted Barn
The not-so-scary, “whimsical” Witch’s Haunted Barn at Firefly Farm is open every Saturday this month from 1-5 p.m. If you’re looking for a taste of the spooky season without the nightmares on the side, this haunted house is perfect for you! Your $15 ticket will grant your whole friend group access to the barn for a half hour. When your time slot is up, you can enjoy other activities around the farm, like petting donkeys and miniature horses or strolling through a sunflower field.
Durham Zombie Lurch
What’s Halloween without monsters? Friday, Oct. 23, from 6:30-8 p.m., Durham will be overrun by the undead. The 14th Annual Durham Zombie Lurch is an opportunity for Durhamites of all ages (and species — some people bring their pets!) to embrace their inner zombie and “lurch” along a mile-long route. Lurchers are encouraged to be as creative as they want to with their costumes. The route begins at Brightleaf Square, which is walking distance from East Campus.
Raleigh’s Mordecai Historic Park is home to one of North Carolina’s most haunted houses. The 235-year old house is said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman named Mary Willis, who allegedly died in the house in the early 20th century. On Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24, you can ride the Haunted Trolley which starts at the Park and visits other haunted locales in downtown Raleigh. Tours last one hour and fifteen minutes — starting at 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 pm — and cost $10 per person.
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Haunted Hillsborough Ghost Tours present the "Haints Misbehaving" walking tour. Over the course of two hours, you will hear seven scary stories and visit three haunted houses in the historic North Carolina town. Every night from now until Oct. 30, tours are being offered at 6:00 and 8:30 pm at $15 per person. Additionally, the Haunted Hillsborough Stream and Scream is an online event being held Oct. 23 and 25. The virtual tour includes stops at the Roulhac-Hamilton house and the Old Cemetery and costs $10 per group. All tours are led by Enoch Pughs, a Hillsborough resident from the 1700s.
Food Truck Flix
Have you been missing food trucks on campus (or if you’re a freshman like me, wishing you had that option in the first place)? The Triangle’s "first food truck cinema experience," may just be the mobile food fix you’ve been craving! Food Truck Flix is an organization that sponsors local food trucks at film showings in Raleigh and Durham. Similar to a drive-in movie theater, moviegoers pay $25 per car for a pass to park at the venue. Movies are displayed on one large screen, and the audio plays from a designated station on your car’s radio. Each event features two savory trucks and one dessert truck. October’s movie line-up caters to every taste. For a spooky staple, check out "Edward Scissorhands," playing on Friday, Oct. 16. If you would rather bypass Halloween altogether and fast forward straight to the holiday season, you can catch “Home Alone” on Oct. 24. Halloween night boasts a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” double feature as well as “Book of Life,” an animated film about Día de los Muertos. You can order food from the Street Food Finder website or app.
Autumn in the Triangle has a little something for everyone — food, crafts and happy haunts. Most of these activities are outdoors, taking advantage of the beautiful North Carolina fall weather. Of course, masks are required to participate in anything listed above. Have a happy (and safe) Halloween!