By Lurdes Abruscato

Halloween might mean candy and costumes to some, but it means much more to Baltimore.  After all, this is the final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, home to forts and ports said to house wandering souls, and a cultural center heavy on artists who get particularly crafty this time of year.  We’ve highlighted these top Halloween events with our scare-o-meter (courtesy of an 11 and 8 year old):
Blue Eyed Devil by Artist Drogoul via Outreach Coordinator

The Great Big Halloween Parade of Light and Luminaria

Patterson Park, Eastern & Linwood Avenues
(410) 276-1651
Saturday, Oct. 29
Hours: Fall Fest at 3 p.m., Parade Lineup at 6:30 p.m., Parade at 7 p.m.
Price: Free entrance; food vendors on site

This year, parade organizers drafted Laure Drogul, the grand dame of avant-garde performance, as the new director for this enchanting Baltimore tradition, and the results are expected to be spectacular.  Glowing lanterns and illuminated costumes made of repurposed materials (producers are soliciting plastic bottle donations) will thread through the park.  Register for free workshops (Oct. 16 & 23 at the Patterson, Oct. 29 at the Fall Fest) and create luminaria to use in the parade.  The “Wildlights Wildlife” theme celebrates park animals and will carry throughout the designs.  CBS Baltimore Insider Tip: Don’t miss the floating lanterns on Boat Lake. 

Baltimore Ghost Tours, permission granted from Melissa Rowell Owner of Baltimore Ghost Tours

Baltimore Ghost Tours

The Original Fells Point GhostWalk (departs outside Max’s Sidebar, 735 S. Broadway)
The Mount Vernon GhostWalk (departs outside The Owl Bar, 1 E. Chase St.)
Fells Point Haunted PubWalk (21+ only; departs outside Max’s Sidebar, 735 S. Broadway)
(410) 357-1186 or 1-877-Baltimore
Hours: Tours start at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays through end of November
Price: GhostWalks – $13/adults, $8/kids under 12, on-site tickets – $15/adults, $10/kids under 12; PubWalk – $20, drinks not included, 21+ only; tickets can be purchased online at

Reviews, Directions & More Info

Part history lesson, part paranormal storytelling, the one-hour walking tours are led by costumed guides who introduce visitors to “spirited” spots around town, including Fells Point (with an emphasis on its maritime history and vibe) and Mount Vernon (stressing the striking architecture – and former residents – of this cultural district).  The two-hour pub walk stops in three haunted pubs.  Tours run rain or shine in dark, outdoor conditions.

Photo Credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Image

Monster Mash Up

The Strand Theater
1823 N. Charles Street
(443) 874-4917
Hours: 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27
Price: Free, but must register here  
Reviews, Directions & More Info

Want to learn more about your favorite monsters and create a Halloween tale?  Join the Strand Theater and the Maryland Humanities Council at this pre-Halloween event, with costume making, dancing, refreshments and a special monsters/storytelling workshop with Erik Kjeldgaard, associate professor of anthropology at UMBC.

Edgemere-Sparrows Point Recreation Council

Fort Howard Haunted Dungeons

Fort Howard Park
9500 North Point Rd., Fort Howard
(410) 887-7529
Hours: Starts at dusk, Fridays and Saturdays in October
Price: $15/adults, $10/children under 54”

Touted as a “scaretastic adventure,” visitors walk the dungeons and woods, haunted through the assistance of gory volunteers.  Not recommended for children under 7, the area includes waiting areas for families with non-participating youngsters, as well as food/drinks for purchase. 

Photo Credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Westminster Burying Ground & Catacombs: Annual Halloween Tour

Fayette & Greene Streets
Hours: 6-9 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31
Price: $5/adults, $3/children under 12

Burial site to some of Baltimore’s most notables, Westminster hosts an elaborate Halloween tour, including presentations of Poe’s creepiest short stories, eerie performances and music (courtesy of its 1882 pipe organ), and special “chats” with legendary Baltimore ghosts (General John Stricker, Sarah Sigourney Rice and Frank the Body Snatcher), all while meandering through the spooky underground catacombs. 

Honorable Mentions:

The Baltimore Poe House & Museum,

The Fort McHenry National Museum & Historic Shrine,

Lurdes Abruscato is local freelancer writer, mother of two and chief investigator of things that go bump in the night.