Ghosts & Goblin Galore

  • Visit North Central

Pirates and princesses. Horrpexels-charles-parker-5859676ibles and (super)heroes. Gnomes and goblins. You’ll find them all — and more! — strolling through North Central Massachusetts in October.

After all, Halloween is a great time to let imaginations run wild! And with all that enthusiasm, the celebrations are bound to last for more than just one day.

Think of it: There are downtown parades for pint-sized treat-or-treaters. Haunted hayrides and haunted gazebos for those willing to venture out into the dark of night. Homes decorated to the hilt with all manner of horribles, many of them illuminated and waving in the breeze for your drive-by enjoyment.

Let the fright time begin!

Take a tour of homes decorated for the scary season in Leominster: Pick up a map at City Hall, 25 West St., to take self-guided tours of homes decked out with inflatable monsters, creative scarecrows,  and lots of things that go bump in the night.

Catch a parade! Young hobgoblins will be touring Leominster’s business district from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday, October 23, and Fitchburg’s downtown from noon to 2 pm on Saturday, October 30 in the communities’ annual trick-or-treat parades. In Fitchburg, the ghosties can also collect Halloween swag at a “Villainous Trunk or Treat Bash” being held at parking lot at 166 Boulder Drive on October 23.

Embark on a frightful adventure. The Lions Clubs in Athol, Hubbardston and Templeton are gearing up for fright-filled nights to celebrate the season.  The Hubbardston tour of terribles will be held on October 22 and 23 at Rietta Ranch (flea market) on Route 68 and features scary seasonal skits suitable for all ages. Visit for details of this community fund-raising event. Athol’s hayrides at Silver Lake in mid-October include separate (less scary) tours for pre-schoolers as well as the more frightful skit-packed rides for the less faint of heart. This year’s hayrides run on October 15-16; in case of “extreme weather,” the event moves to October 22-23.

In Templeton, the Lions Club welcomes kids to show off their Halloween costumes and stop by the Haunted Gazebo on the town common, at Routes 2A and 101, for a few holiday tricks and some treats. The Common, serving as the heart of the community for more than two centuries, is surrounded by Templeton history, including a pre-Revolutionary War burial ground — so who knows what spirits may be out enjoying the evening with you?

Ready? Dust off your witch’s hat and Frankenstein mask — join in the fun as the entire region gets in the Halloween mood!