As I take a moment to look up from my computer in my office in downtown Bedford, I glance out the window at the First Parish Church, the changing leaves of the large Maple tree on the common and a mother and her two small children walking on the sidewalk, I can’t help but reminisce about my childhood growing up in this wonderful town! I fondly remember the jail at Bedford Day, which we were happy to resurrect this year, I think of parades with floats, scouts, and militia, bike rides, school crushes, the prom stroll, trick or treating and the annual haunted house! Back then it was held in the old town hall and I recall meeting my friends as we stood on the steps, anticipating being frightened by the ghosts and goblins that lurked within. We would scream with delight as we walked the haunted halls and cling to each other for support in laughter!
Yes, remembering the good old days! The haunted event only took place for a few years, but the memories last a lifetime. In recent years, the First Parish Church resumed the haunted tradition and it has been growing each year! This year will be even more frightening as the church celebrates its 200th anniversary with three floors of exhibits as it transports guests back in time where they will witness a Witch Trial, see first-hand the living dead in the Influenza Ward of 1917 or head through a time tunnel down to the Dungeon of Doom. It all sounds spooky, scary and spine-tingling fun to me!
There are two nights of fright - The First Parish Haunted House - Friday, October 20th from 6 to 9:30 and Saturday, October 21st from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and then again from 5:30 to 9:30 pm.
But this isn’t the only frightening Halloween haunt in the area. Older kids will delight in fright at Witch’s Woods' Haunted Hayride and Halloween Scream Park in Westford. The woods at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area have been taken over by spirits, zombies, witches and howling werewolves. I am shuttering at the thought, but it is an annual tradition and loads of fun! The haunted woods run through October from 6:30 to 10:30 pm.
Nearby Salem, MA, the City of Witches, comes alive (or is that dead) during Halloween each year and is a must visit during the Halloween season.
Here are a few other haunted attractions in the area.
Frightful Friday Ghost Stories and Tour at the Gore Mansion – Waltham, MA
October 20 and 27 at 7 and 8:15 pm - Website
Hillside Halloween/Fruitlands Museum - Harvard MA
October 28th from 10am to 5pm - Wesbite
Third Degree of Terror – Ayer, MA
Free and with age-appropriate tours tailored for each group, this fun haunted home is open on Saturday, October 28th and Sunday, October 29th and then on Halloween from 6 to 9 pm. - More Info
Lost Lake Cemetery – Groton, MA
Walk this spooky cemetery at 474 Lost Lake in Groton with other ghost seekers! (Anytime!)
And not for the faint of heart, Dudley Road in Billerica is the home of the “nunnery” (actually called St. Thecla Retreat) where ghost hunters and area high school students alike have been known to see full-body apparitions that walk across the road, feel spirits by an eerie looking tree or claim to hear voices and smell strange odors that emanate from an old abandoned house.