Frightober festivities

Halloween officially falls on Monday, Oct. 31, but that means even more fun because celebrations are taking place throughout the long weekend all over Western North Carolina. Here’s a roundup of some of the local and regional Halloween fun.

Oct. 27

• A Halloween Egg Haunt (for ages 12 and under) at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 — Costume judging begins at 7 p.m. and winners announced before the egg haunt begins at 7:30 p.m. Jackson County Recreation Park.

Oct. 28

• Pumpkin Carving Party and Contest at Nantahala Brewing Co. in Bryson City from 6-10 p.m. on Oct. 28. Starting at 10 p.m., the Tuckasegee Tavern Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Party featuring the band Solito will begin (21 and up only). 828.488.9880.

• Enchanted Forest Trail, Oct. 28, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Highlands Nature Center — Come trick-or-treat through the woods and discover friendly forest creatures who teach nature facts about themselves. $1 per person. 828.526.2623.

• Scary-Oke and Costume Party, Oct. 28, Maggie Valley Club — Get your costumes on and warm up the vocal cords for the Halloween Scary-Oke Night. Karaoke and costume contest. Reservations at 828.926.4848. Tricks, Treats and Haunted Hayrides at Maggie Valley Club on Saturday, Oct. 29, 1-3 p.m. $10 per kid. Bring out the little goblins for games, candy, prizes, and a haunted hayride. RSVP in order to attend and insure a spot on the hayride. Contact Kristin Hawk at 828.926.4826 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Oct. 29

• Dillsboro Costume Parade from 4-7 p.m. with parade beginning at 6 p.m. on Oct. 29 — Kids, parents and friends are encouraged to enter the costume contest. Trick or Treat around downtown. Free movies, music and more. Vote for the spookiest shop. or 828.586.5700.

• Pumpkin Patch at Full Spectrum Farm from 12-4 p.m. on Oct. 29 — Pick and carve pumpkins, make leaf rubbins and other crafts.  Enjoy a campfire and celebrate fall. Located at 1185 Wayehutta Road, Cullowhee. or 828.293.2521.

• Smoky Mountain Sk8way’s Halloween Party, Oct. 29, 6-10 p.m. — Includes Late-Night skate until 1 a.m., with costume contest and prizes. Free pair of skates to winners of costume contest, skate passes for second and third places. 828.346.9124 or

• A screening of the classic “Nosferatu” with live music from 8-10 p.m. on Oct. 29 — 1922 silent movie gem, the first vampire movie ever. Live music performed by Ian Moore, Jonathan Wertheim, Adam Bigelow and Adam Wolslagle. At the Jackson County Library. Donations appreciated.

• Jackson County Recreation’s Pumpkin Patch Trail, Oct. 29, 7-9 p.m. — Outside at the Jackson County Recreation Park, moved inside in case of rain. A donation of $1 is recommended per child age 3 and up.

• Boo Boo in the Mall at Whistle Stop Mall in Franklin from 1-5 p.m., Oct. 29 — Come dressed in costumes. Children will receive candy. Coloring contest for kids kindergarten to seventh grade. Live music by C-Square.  Donations of art supplies for the Arts Council will be appreciated. For more information contact 828.369.1881.

Oct. 31

• Treats on the Street in Downtown Waynesville from 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 31 — Merchants offer treats to young children.

• Downtown Bryson City trick or treating at 3:30 p.m. on Oct 31 —Everett Street merchants dress up in costumes to hand out candy to the kids. There’s even a costume contest for several age groups. 828.488.3681.

• Halloween in the Park on Oct. 31 — Macon County Veteran’s Memorial Recreation Park. 828.349.2090.

• Halloween in downtown Highlands, Oct. 31 — Main Street closed to traffic, merchants pass out candy.

• Spooky Raku at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 at The Bascom — Spooky Raku will feature glowing red pots against the black night sky, creating a mood for All Hallows Eve. Everyone is invited to come by the Bascom.


Multi-day Halloween events

Oconaluftee Village in Cherokee

• Nightly at 7 p.m. through Oct. 31 — The entire Oconaluftee Indian Village — which is an authentic reproduction of an 18th century Cherokee Indian river town — has been transformed into a fright-fest of haunted, ghoulish mayhem as only the Cherokee Indians can do it.

“In the traditions of the Cherokee people, storytelling is a prominent way that the history has been preserved and lessons are taught to younger generations,” said Robert Jumper, tourism manager for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. “Some of the stories are tales of frightening creatures and some not-so-friendly spirits, making for a perfectly spooky Halloween.” 

With the entire village “haunted,” the scary fun is amplified as visitors go from one frightening experience to another as they walk from the roundhouse to the square grounds and hut-stations where, during normal Village operation, the Cherokee people share their traditional and contemporary craft and artistic abilities.

• A Myths and Legends tour on Oct. 27 — All-aboard the ride that mixes modern tales of the supernatural and ancient stories while riding along with guests to various stops throughout the Qualla Boundary. Two tours beginning at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

• Illusions & Mind Games on Oct. 28 — Performing at the Mountainside Theatre, three of the area’s top illusionists and mentalists will astonish guests with amazing tricks and treats. 8 p.m.

• Cherokee Monster Ball on Oct. 29 — Old-fashioned fun with a twist awaits as Cherokee celebrates the harvest with a monster bash at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds. The Exhibit Hall will be decked out in honor the season. Party-goers will be treated to a live band, costume contest, games and special foods from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. or 800.438.1601.


Nantahala Outdoor Center

NOCtoberfest, a celebration of Halloween and traditional fall fun at Nantahala Outdoor Center is Oct. 28-30. Festivities include:

• Beer and Brats by the River Friday-Sunday at River’s End Restaurant.

• Kids and family activities from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday include painting, coloring and festive fun for the kids.

• Great Pumpkin Pursuit at 2 p.m. on Saturday is a free-for-all paddling dash through Nantahala Falls as 200 numbered pumpkins are dumped into the Nantahala and paddlers compete to collect as many pumpkins as possible, hoping to find the one that is worth a $500 gift card for NOC’s Outfitter’s Store and other great prizes.

• Pumpkin Decorating and Costume contests on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. will award prizes to the best pumpkin, most festive costume, and the best costume worn on the water by a Great Pumpkin Pursuit contestant (pumpkin carving tools provided).

• Live Music at Slow Joe’s Café at 4 p.m. on Saturday.


Fontana Village

• Fontana Village resort’s annual Hauntober Weekend starts at 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 with the Ghost Tour, which describes eerie stories about what happened at the Fontana hospital during construction of the dam. After the tour there will be a campfire and marshmallow roast at the Gunter Cabin fire pit.  

• On Saturday, Oct. 29, the Kids’ Hauntober Fun Time at the General Store from 1:30- 3:30 p.m. includes bobbing for apples, sidewalk chalk art contests, face painting and colorful hair spraying for costuming, games, crafting and more. There will be a pumpkin carving contest at 3 p.m. for aspiring carvers. Guests can take their ghastly pumpkin creations home or back to their cabin to enjoy all weekend.

• More gaming and fun is planned at the Outdoors Program Center beginning at 4 p.m., followed by hayrides around the village beginning at 5 p.m. The Haunted Trails of Fontana tour begins at 7 p.m. Take an unnerving stroll by the old Village cemetery with graves from the late 1800s. As the daylight fades and darkness falls on the village, visit the old hospital ward and morgue with its restless spirits and shadows dancing on the walls. When the shivering becomes too much, head back to the Gunter cabin for an evening around the campfire beginning at 9 p.m. A full schedule of the weekend events can be found online at 828.498.2211.


Stingy Jack’s in Pisgah Forest

This is the last weekend of Stingy Jack’s Pumpkin Patch Festival at Pisgah Forest. Guest attractions include trolley rides, a corn maze, hay rides, nightly musical entertainment, storytelling, vendors and Stingy’s spectacular illuminated pumpkin trails. Stingy’s illuminated pumpkin trails are uniquely crafted art scenes created from over 1,000 craft pumpkins by local artists. The largest scene, a mystical dragon, is 70 feet in length. Tickets are sold online and at the gate. Prices are $15 for ages 13 and over, $12.50 for ages 6-12, children 5 and under are free.  Mountains and Meadows Event Venue, 324 McGuire Road, Pisgah Forest. All parking is located on Airport Highway just west of McGuire Road. Guests will be transported via trolley from the parking area to the festival entrance. Parking is $5 per vehicle., 855.784.6497.

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