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Haunting celebrations planned in Hernando and Pasco

Fall fests, haunted trails and other scares kick off Halloween festivities.

From fall festivals and costume contests for dogs, to scary train rides and a Halloween haunted house in a real haunted house, there is plenty to do in Pasco and Hernando counties to celebrate the season:

Hernando Historical Museum Haunted House Festival: The annual event features a Halloween haunted house inside the supposedly haunted May-Stringer House that is home to the museum. The event will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 18 and 19, and Oct. 25 and 26, at the museum, 601 Museum Court, Brooksville. Tours of the haunted house are $7, $5 for ages 12 and younger. Not recommended for young children. Outdoors will be a bonfire with marshmallows roasting and storytelling, a fortune teller, a $1 children’s maze, free children’s games, face painting, food trucks and homemade baked goods. Call (352) 835-1535 or (352) 835-1626. Visit

Pumpkin Patch at Harvester Community Church/Fall Festival: The patch hosts a fall festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 19 at Harvester Community Church, 2432 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes. The patch includes hundreds of bulk pumpkins and bins of smaller pumpkins for children. It is open 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31. Call (813) 948-2311.

Scream-A-Geddon: The scares and thrills of Halloween are alive throughout October at the annual Scream-A-Geddon at 27839 Saint Joe Road, Dade City. Open daily through Nov. 2; hours are 7:30 to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. This year features a monster midway and zombie paintball assault with multiple scare zones, including Bozo’s Beer Garden, Rage 3D, Demons Revenge, Blackpool Prison, Deadwoods and Infected: Ground Zero. Tickets prices vary from $21.95 to $35.95. Call (813) 452-5412 or visit

Spook-A-Thon at the Concourse: Includes Spooky Train and Spooky Trail from 5 to 9:30 p.m. each Friday and Saturday through Oct. 26, as well as Oct. 27, at the Concourse, 11919 Alric Pottberg Road, Shady Hills. A daylight train suitable for young and sensitive children will be from 5 to 7:15 p.m., with spooky rides starting at 7:30. Tickets will be available at the gate only. The West Pasco Sertoma Club will have food concessions. The cost is $6 for the train or trail, or $10 for both. Children 12 months and younger admitted free. On Oct. 25 and 26, festivities include Spooky Town and Spooky Fun: The adjacent child-size village of Pasco Safety Town will become Spooky Town, featuring lighted buildings, face painting and trunk or treat. Spooky Fun will be at the Rotary Pavilion, offering entertainment for kids as well. Call (727) 639-7639.

Corn Maze: The annual corn maze returns at Sweetfields Farm, 17250 Benes Roush Road, Masaryktown. Check out pumpkins, and get lost in a corn maze with a mystery theme. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 3. Also open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Fridays through Oct. 28. Admission is $9.50, $5 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. Call (352) 279-0977.

HarvestMoon Fun Farm’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch: The maze is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 10 at HarvestMoon Fun Farm, 15990 Stur St., Masaryktown. Find the hidden farmer in a five-acre “Lighting Maze” with a 70-foot jumping pillow, pumpkin patch, a candy cannon, cow train, Wizzer ride, petting farm and live entertainment. Flashlight nights held on select Saturday nights. Admission is $11.95, 2 and younger free. Call (800) 373-4811.

The Haunted House on 41: Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources hosts this event from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 18-19, and 25-26, at the Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. The interior of the community center has been transformed into a dark and terrifying maze, with spooky characters meeting them at every turn. The cost is $3, cash only. There will be free popcorn and drinks, plus photo opportunities. Call (813) 929-1229.

Scream Acres: Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources hosts this event from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 18-19 and 25-26 at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, where tormented souls will be wondering the trails and cabins, terrifying all who enter their domain. Admission is $3; the event will be at the cabin area. Recommended for ages 16 and older. No costumes allowed due to safety and security concerns. Call (727) 942-7439.

Boo Shakalaka: A Halloween dance for seniors will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at CARES Rao Musunuru, M.D. Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson. With live music by Geared Up, food, entertainment, refreshments and prizes for most scary, funniest and most creative costumes. Benefits CARES, $8 advance, $10 door. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at (727) 863-6868.

Barktober Fest: The three Rotary clubs of Hernando host this event from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Rotary Centennial Park, 10375 Sandlor St., Spring Hill. There will be vendors, a dog costume contest, food, drinks and activities for dogs and their owners. Admission is free. Call (570) 807-3188.

Family Harvest Fun Event: The event will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, north of Brooksville. Includes family fun with games, crafts, night hikes and treats for the kids. Geared for children ages 3 to 11 who can make a creepy eye lantern or create other edible treats. Admission is $2 per person. Call (352) 754-6722.

Halloween Howl: Main Street Zephyrhills hosts this event from 4 to 9 p.m. Oct. 26 in downtown Zephyrhills. There will be a haunted house, trick-or-treating from vendors and downtown shops, hayride, costume parade, bounce houses, carnival games, free entertainment on the stage and more. There is no cost to attend. Call (813) 780-1414 or email

Halloween Movie in the Park: The City of New Port Richey Parks and Recreation will have a family movie night at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Sims Park. The movie to be shown is Goosebumps 2, Haunted Halloween. There is no cost. Bring lawn chairs. Please keep dogs at home. Call (727) 841-4560.

NPR After Dark Hallowe’en Downtown: Rock the Boat Productions hosts this event Oct. 26, starting at 8 p.m. and lasting until about 2 a.m. throughout downtown New Port Richey. Participating businesses will host costume parties, live music and entertainment, and offer specials.

Mutt Strut: San Francis Veterinary Hospital hosts this annual dog costume contest and parade Oct. 26 at Crews Lake Park, 16739 Crews Lake Drive, Shady Hills. Check-in and judging begins at 4 p.m.; the parade starts at 4:30 p.m. This is a free event. Friendly, socialized dogs on leashes are welcome to participate in the costume contest and/or parade. The Crews Lake Middle School Band will perform the National Anthem and lead the parade. Awards will be given for the best pet costume. Raffle prizes will be awarded. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Angel Fund, which provides financial relief to pet owners who face financial hardship in providing medical care for their pets. Call Ciara at (352) 848-0940.

NPR Trick or Treat Downtown: Rock the Boat Productions hosts this event from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 in downtown New Port Richey. Businesses and organizations will have tables set up along Main Street, Grand Boulevard and Nebraska Avenue to offer treats to children in costumes. The New Port Richey Art Scene and First United Methodist Church will host a free pumpkin painting station. Call (727) 385-5375.

The Haunting of Peace Hall: New Port Richey Parks and Recreation will host this event from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31 in Sims Park. The cost to enter the haunted Peace Hall is $3. Call (727) 841-4560.

Harvest Fest: 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31, at Great Life Church, 14494 Cortez Blvd., west of Brooksville. The event includes bounce houses, trunk or treating, candy, games and other activities. Costumes (not scary) are encouraged. The event is free. Call (352) 293-7673.