Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 10/13/2005

Now is the time for
Salem Halloween Happenings, in Salem, Massachusetts, Oct 6-31, which didn’t really get going much last weekend. There is a lot going on! There are several haunted houses, the usual museums… the Witch History Museum being the best, but also check out the Pirate Museum and the House of Seven Gables. More importantly, since they are special to the season, check out some of the theater performances and tours. It’s all in their handy brochure, which is easy to read.
The bigger haunted houses in Massachusetts, beyond Hallowscream Park (see last week) seem to be
Asylum of Horror and
Factory of Terror, both in Fall River</a>,
Barrett’s Haunted Mansion, in Abington, MA, which is on the south shore off of Rt 3 South. I’ve done a pretty exhaustive web search and these three seem to be the biggies. They have the best websites and the biggest marketing budget. If you’ve heard of SpookyWorld, it appears to be dead. Somebody email me and let me know what’s up, I called but their voicemail box is full.
And also consider these lesser haunted houses.
Jaycees Haunted House @ Walpole Mall,
Haunted Mansion @ Victorian Park, in Salem, NH,
and Castle of the Damned at Hammond Castle, in Gloucester, MA, which is on the North Shore,
and Haunted Ghost Town @ Marshfield Fairgrounds.
These all seem to be haunted houses worth visiting. I have cut out numerous dumb little haunted houses I found on the web of no interest. The Foxboro Jaycees has a “not so scary” haunted houses for little kids daytimes which is a really nice twist.
What, you want more? What am I, some sort of Boston Events Slave? Oh yea, I guess I am. OK, well this weekend there are two competeing open studios. Open studios are when local artists open up their private homes and art studios to the public. You get to walk around and admire the artwork, and buy something to support a local artist. Plus you get to actually meet and interact with the artists and see some of their passion first hand. Also, there is free food. Every artist is given a small budget to buy snacks and some of them are great and some of them suck. So you have to always be munching on these open studios. I have been to the
Fort Point Open Studios, Oct 14-16, in South Boston, which was very good. I haven’t been to the Arlington Open Studios, Oct 15-16, which is bound to be smaller. You start by visiting the website and figuring out where to pick up a map.
The hokey event of the week is bound to be
Wachusett Mountain Applefest, Oct 15-16, which is out at Wachusett Mountain near Worcester. The event itself is a bunch of vendors selling every kind of New Englandy craft imaginable, plus hot apple cider. I went one year and there was a huge trampoline for $5 and “Robinson’s Racing Pigs” which is, believe it or not, a guy who drives around the country in a trailer showing off his racing pigs to people. It’s like a state fair but worse. However! There is a gondola ride to the to of Wachusett Mountain which is breathtaking during fall foliage season. That’s going to be expensive and you can just drive to the top for $2 though. I would recommend stopping by to visit Wachusett Mountain if you are in the area visiting Davis Farmland, which you really must go to with their petting zoo and corn field maze (see previous weeks). Wachusett has a festival every weekend in the fall, by the way, for example next weekend Oct 22-23 is “countryfest”, and recently I had the misfortune to attend “rockfest”, which is cool but only if you are a motorcyclist, like hundreds attend, wow.

Bonus event of the week is the performance 700 Sundays w/ Billy Crystal, Oct 18-29, at They say it’s the biggest grossing non-musical event from Broadway ever. I may go, I’m not sure.