Have a spooktacular Halloween

We’ve got a calendar full of fun events for the season.

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Children gathered for trick-or-treating pre-COVID. There are plenty of activities scheduled for this Halloween. — Lexi Pline

As the chilly evenings of October arrive and leaves begin to flood driveways around the Island, the anticipation of candy collecting and haunted houses on Oct. 31 grows for kids and families.

It’s that time of year again, and it doesn’t matter what town you live in. There are so many Halloween activities to check out.

Island libraries never disappoint when it’s time for trick-or-treating and other fun activities for little ghouls and goblins.

From Thursday, Oct. 21, to Saturday, Oct. 23, the Vineyard Haven library hosts a haunted gingerbread house contest. Take those gumdrops and icing and make your gingerbread house look spooky and delicious. Folks can pick up the gingerbread kit from the library and join library staff on Zoom the final day of the contest for judging. To sign up, email jrapuano@clamsnet.org, or call 508-696-4211.

The Chilmark library also offers crafts for kids on Thursday, Oct. 21, and Thursday, Oct. 28. Kits are available for pickup on the porch starting at 11 am each day. The first day, kits will include everything needed to make a glowing autumn luminaria, and the following day kids and families can craft a Halloween-themed spider wreath. For questions, email chil_mail@clamsnet.org, or call 508-645-3360.

And for the adult crowd, the library also hosts bingo on Saturday, Oct. 23, starting at 6 pm via Zoom. Land on a trick-or-treat square and receive a prize, and play to win a gift certificate to Bunch of Grapes bookstore. To sign up and receive the game board, email tthorpe@clamsnet.org, or call 508-645-3360.

Also the week of Halloween, the West Tisbury library invites kids age 12 and under to become their own pumpkin Picasso with a decorating and carving contest. Decorate your pumpkin and return it to the library anytime between Thursday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 30, for a chance to win a golden pumpkin prize. If you have questions, email lhearn@clamsnet.org, or call 508-693-3366.

And for those looking for a more whimsical experience, the library also hosts a fairy and troll house building day on Saturday, Oct. 23. The 9th annual event lets kids and families bring in nature-found items like bark, shells, feathers, and pine cones, and create homes for all the fairy folk. For details, email lhearn@clamsnet.org, or call 508-693-3366.

Felix Neck always knows how to use their sprawling property and a little imagination to create an enjoyable event for all. Families can head to the nature preserve on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 1 to 3 pm, for a Halloween “trunk-or-treat”, complete with a hayride and trail walk. Folks can decorate their vehicles and bring their kids around to the various candy-givers. For more information, email mvpcspto@gmail.com.

Of course, we can’t forget about the Edgartown library, which puts on creative events for all ages each Halloween. Adults can sign onto their Kanopy library app using their library card any day to view a free screening of “The Witch.” Then, on Monday, Oct. 25, at 11 am, everyone comes back together on Zoom to discuss the movie. The film is rated R and promises to give quite a fright. For details, email programs@edgartownlibrary.org, or call 508-627-4221.

The following day, from 7 to 8 pm, learn all about the early days of horror cinema and how the stories of Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and others permeated our culture early in the development of American film. Tune into the Zoom with film historian Frank Mandosa, who will share clips, trailers, and lead some themed trivia for the group. Email or call the library to receive the Zoom invitation.

Also provided by the library, from Monday, Oct. 25, to Saturday, Oct. 30, pick up a kit to craft your very own trick-or-treat bag. Kids who arrive in costume on Saturday will also receive a special Halloween goodie bag. 

There are even more fright-filled events to look forward to toward the end of the Halloween week. Enjoy a two-day spooky reading of  “The Haunting of Hill House” screenplay starting Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 12 to 1 pm. Reach out to the Oak Bluffs library for Zoom access or a possible casting assignment — email ccooney@clamsnet.org, or call 508-693-9433.

Don’t fret if you’re late getting on the pumpkin-carving train. There’s still plenty of opportunity at the Oak Bluffs School on Friday, Oct. 29, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Drop your best creation off before or after the school day on Friday for a chance to win some cool prizes. For questions, email oakbluffspto@gmail.com.

That same day, from 7 to 8 pm, the Edgartown library brings fiddler Nikki Engstrom and singer-guitarist Sean Brennen of the Celtic duo Stanley and Grimm onto your screen at home for a Samhain concert. Celebrate the Gaelic festival with jigs, tunes of lost love, and songs of the rolling hills of the old country. For Zoom access, email programs@edgartownlibrary.org, or call 508-627-4221.

As the weekend arrives, the Aquinnah library hosts trick-or-treating to start off a sugar-filled Saturday on Oct. 30. From 12 to 3 pm, stop by the library to show off your best costume and get a head start on the sweets. For more information, email jmatejcek@clamsnet.org, or call 508-645-2314.

Also Saturday, Circuit Avenue will be bustling with ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, as the area opens up to trick-or-treating and a scavenger hunt that starts at the Basics store. Take some Halloween pics at Post Office Square and join in a parade starting at 1 pm at the Island Theatre. For questions, email oakbluffsassociation@gmail.com, or call 774-563-9197.

Ever wonder how the imagery of the witch became popularized in modern Halloween culture? The mother-daughter duo of Ehris and Velya of Grounded Goodwife will shed light on the history of Halloween and witches at 5 pm Saturday via Zoom. Offered jointly by the Chilmark and Vineyard Haven libraries. 

On the day of Halloween, from 2:30 to 4 pm, come in costume to the West Tisbury library and hop on a hayride, play some games, decorate a pumpkin, and enjoy some tasty treats and refreshments for the annual Halloween bash. All ages are welcome. Face masks are encouraged outside, but required inside.

To close out the festivities, the town of West Tisbury hosts their annual Halloween party and hayrides at the Agricultural Hall from 6 to 8 pm. Families are welcome to come in costume, but remember to wear a mask. For questions, call 508-696-0147.