Halloween events are typically served with a shot of scare, much to the delight of thrill-seekers who wait year round to get shouted at by a costumed man carrying a chainsaw. But, if that’s not your cup of hot apple cider, don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of Halloween happenings, ranked from the most blood-curdling of terrors to events so tame they’ll make even the scaredy-est of cats purr.
Scare level: Low
Bust out those Halloween costumes early for the Ocean City Halloween Parade, 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. The parade, which will feature local families, bands and entertainers, begins on Sixth Street and proceeds down Asbury to 11th Street. To participate call 800-813-5580.
Enjoy one last weekend of Birch Grove Park’s Family Friendly Halloween Hayride, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. Located at 1700 Burton Ave. in Northfield. Tickets are $5. Go to CityofNorthfield.org.
Downtown Wildwood will offer some free Halloween fun 5:30 p.m., Oct. 27. Head to Byrne Plaza for a movie under the stars and some seasonal treats. Located on Pacific Avenue between Oak and Cedar. Go to DOOWW.com.
At The Palm’s dinner theater, taking place 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, guests will enjoy a three-course dinner and “A Bewitching Murder” mystery show. Reserve your seat by calling 609-344-0483. Located at 2801 Pacific Ave. in Atlantic City. Tickets are $85. Go to ThePalm.com.
Leave behind the inherent (and delightful) tackiness of Halloween at Congress Hall’s Masquerade Ball 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. Costumes are encouraged and over $1,000 in prize money will be doled out to the winners of costumes contests like Best Couple, Funniest, Scariest and Crowd Favorite. Located at 200 Congress Place, Cape May. Tickets are $25. Call 609-884-6542.
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Boo at the Zoo is the Cape May County Zoo’s Halloween celebration, taking place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Guests are invited to come in costume and enjoy contests, games, candy, entertainment and more. Located at 707 N. Route 9 in Cape May Court House. Admission is free. Go to CMCZoo.com.
The Atlantic City Rotary will bring some spooky spirit to A.C. with its first annual Halloween parade Saturday, Oct. 28. Those interested in walking the parade should head to the Boardwalk at New Jersey Avenue at 2 p.m., dressed in costume. The parade steps off at 3 p.m. Go to ACRotary.org.
This 30-minute tour will take you through the eyebrow-raising mourning rituals of the 19th century. Check it out at the Physick Estate 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Located at 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Go to CapeMayMAC.org.
Last year’s Halloween Comicfest at Level Up Entertainment in the Hamilton Mall was a huge success. This year, it returns 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, with a cosplay competition from 4 to 5 p.m., panels, a workshop with author of the new “Pizza Tree” comic Mark Pulton, vendors and Halloween makeup and pumpkin demos. Located at 4403 E. Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing. Go to ShopHamilton.com.
Stone Harbor gets in the Halloween spirit 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at its Kids’ Harvest Festival. Free hay rides, fall crafts and activities will be available. Located at the downtown shopping district. Go to StoneHarborNJ.org.
Tea & Confessions may sound like an Oscar Wilde play, but it’s actually an afternoon tea event hosted by the Physick Estate 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, where guests will meet “The Bride of Frankenstein” and hear her story while they sip. Located at 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Admission is $30. Go to CapeMayMAC.org.
The Rusty Nail is always looking out for man’s best friend, and Halloween is no different. Head there noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, for a dog-friendly party with a costume contest (registration from noon to 1 p.m.) and pumpkin decorating (2 to 4 p.m.). Costume award categories include: guest favorite, funniest, scariest, Rusty Nail theme, couple and best overall. Located at 205 Beach Ave., Cape May. Go to CapeResorts.com.
“Fall at the Farm” at Beach Plum Farm will feature pumpkin picking and decorating, hayrides, games, farm-fresh food and brews from Cape May Brewing Company, Saturday, Oct. 28. Bring the kids along, in costume of course, and hit one of the walking trails, where special stations will be set up to hand out candy from 4 to 7 p.m. Located at 140 Stevens St., West Cape May. Go to TheBeachPlumFarm.com.
The Reeds at Shelter Haven will be transformed into a haunted Halloween town for its “strange and unusual ‘Beetlejuice’ inspired brunch,” 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29. Fun items like voodoo scrambled eggs, graveyard French toast and mummy franks in a blanket will be offered. Located at 961 3rd Ave., Stone Harbor. Admission is $15 for ages 12 and under, free for 3 and under and $45 for adults. Wear a costume and get $5 off. Go to ReedsAtShelterHaven.com.
Catch dinner and a show when the In-House Players present “The Devil, You Say” at Rifici’s Restaurant 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29. Solve the mystery and get the chance to win prizes. Located at 308 Absecon Blvd., Absecon. Tickets are $40. Call 609-641-2000.
The Atlantic City Ballet is back with its annual production of “Dracula,” an original work choreographed by the Ballet’s Artistic Director Phyllis Papa, who assures that this production is as family-friendly as they come. Check it out 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars Atlantic City. Located at 2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City. Tickets are $45 for adults and $20 for 18-and-under and students. Go to ACBallet.org.
A massive collection of Dept. 56 Halloween collectibles is about as non-scary as you can get this Halloween. Find one at the Physick Estate in Cape May through Oct. 31 daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Free admission. Go to CapeMayMAC.org.
Though scare is quite literally in its name, scarecrows tend to exclusively frighten those with more flighty constitutions. So, the Physick Estate’s Scarecrow Alley is a pretty sure bet for families, running 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Oct. 31. After your stroll through the alley, be sure to vote for your favorite decorated scarecrow. Located at 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Free admission. Go to CapeMayMAC.org.
Sahl’s Father Son Farm has all the requisite fall activities — a corn maze, hayride, pumpkin patch and more. Open 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 5. Located at 420 W. Pestalozzi St., Galloway. Individual admission is $10.69. Call 609-965-9300 or go to FatherSonFarm.com.
If wandering around the street for your kid’s obligatory Halloween candy isn’t quite your thing, here are some local Trunk-or-Treats and other alternatives to hit:
North Wildwood: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Located on Olde New Jersey Avenue between 2nd and Walnut, North Wildwood. Go to NorthWildwood.com.
Ocean City: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Down Asbury Avenue at select stores. Go to OceanCityVacation.com.
Wildwood Crest: 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29. Located at Wildwood Crest Pier parking lot at Heather Road on Ocean Avenue. Go to VisitWildwoodCrest.com.
Atlantic City: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. At Pop Lloyd Stadium, 1227 N Indiana Ave., Bass Pro Shop, 30 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., and Bader Field, 600 N Albany Ave. Go to BassPro.com.
Physick Estate: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. Located at 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Go to CapeMayMAC.org.
Scare level: Medium
The Physick Estate is supposedly one of the most haunted spots in South Jersey. This Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27 and 28, you can check it out for yourself during the Phantoms of the Physick Estate after-dark tour, running from 7 to 9 p.m. Located at 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for children ages 3 to 12. Go to CapeMayMAC.org.
Historic Smithville Village will turn into a scene from “The Walking Dead” from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Zombie Walk. Head there in your best zombie get-up, or have makeup artists turn you into the undead for $6. Live music from the Black Flamingos and the Primitive Finks and more will liven this deadly walk. Located at 1 N. New Road in Galloway Township. Free to walk. Go to HistoricSmithvilleNJ.com.
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The Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tour will wind through the streets of West Cape May telling tales of paranormal activity, and end with a spooky story from a costumed Cape May Lighthouse keeper, after which guests will be invited to climb up to the top. The tour begins at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Tickets are $22 for adults and $14 for children. Go to CapeMayMAC.org.
The Absecon Lighthouse will have the New Jersey Researchers of Paranormal Evidence on hand during its Haunted Lighthouse tour, 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Join them for a climb and an investigation of the over 100-year-old lighthouse. Located at 31 S. Rhode Island Ave. in Atlantic City. Tickets are $20 and must be reserved in advance. Tickets include snacks and beverages. Go to AbseconLighthouse.org.
Largely regarded as the first horror film, the German Expressionist masterpiece “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” will be screened at The First Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29. Live organ music by Wayne Zimmerman will accompany the film. Located at 500 Hughes St., Cape May. Tickets are $15, with ages 12 and under free. Reservations are recommended. Go to EastLynneTheater.org.
Not everything on the Ocean City Boardwalk is closed up for the season. Haunted Golf is open 3 to 9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The indoor mini golf course is full of spooky decorations and themed rooms, not to mention the talking skeleton outside. Located at Music Pier & Boardwalk, Ocean City. Go to HauntedGolf.com.
Scare level: High
The Scullville Fire Company is back for its 17th season with Terror in the Junkyard. Open 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 29, the frightening venue hosts a hayride ($10), a car maze of terror ($5) and zombie apocalypse paintball sessions ($5 for 50 balls). Located at Fleming’s Junkyard, 353 Zion Road, Egg Harbor Township. Go to ScullvilleFire.org.
The Cornfield of Terror at R&J Farm is exactly what it sounds like — a corn maze where zombies and other terrifying things jump out at you. The weak of heart can opt for the non-haunted maze that they can navigate using only a flashlight. Admission is from dusk to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays and dusk to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays, through Oct. 29. Located at 723 W. Hershel St. in Egg Harbor City. Adult tickets are $14 or $19 for the combo, and kids 10 and under are $10/$15 for the combo. Go to CornfieldOfTerror.com.
Ghostly pirates and sea captains will haunt the Tuckerton Seaport at the aptly named Haunted Seaport event, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 26 to 28. A meet and greet with the Jersey Devil and a hunted hayride will also induce some screams, though non-scary entertainment will also be available, like a pumpkin patch and magic shows with Joe Holiday. Located at 120 W. Main St., Tuckerton. Admission is $10, and free for Seaport members and kids under 5. Go to TuckertonSeaport.org.
Perhaps the most visceral of terrors taking place this weekend is at St. Babs Church, where guests will get the chance to know what it’s like to be buried alive, complete with a funeral procession. This demonstration runs 7 to 10 p.m. through the weekend. Admission is $15. Tromeo’s Halloween Scare at St. Babs, a romp through its haunted graveyard, runs Thursday through Sunday, and on Halloween night, head back at 8 p.m. for a zombie prom. Donations accepted at door. Located at 321 North Delsea Drive, Goshen. Go to St. Babs on Facebook.