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Haunted houses, fall fests and other Halloween happenings

Things to do for Halloween in Pasco and Hernando counties
A vistor at Harvest Moon Fun Farm's grabs a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch in Masaryktown. [ANGELIQUE HERRING  |  Tampa Bay Times]
A vistor at Harvest Moon Fun Farm's grabs a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch in Masaryktown. [ANGELIQUE HERRING | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 21, 2019

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. 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

Haunted Tram: Pepper Creek Trail will transform into a trail of haunting scenarios from 6 to 11 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27 at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, 4150 S Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa. The tram will take patrons down and back on the three-quarter mile Tram Road, where scare experts will thrill and fright along the way. There will also be Halloween costume contests, a fun slide, and refreshments. The tram ride is $5, $3 for ages 12 and younger; admission to the haunted house is $2. Call (352) 628-5343.

Family Harvest Fun Event: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25, at Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville. Includes 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 Magic Show: J.D. Stanton performs magic feats and mystery at 8 p.m. Oct. 25 and 26 at Merlin’s Theater, 7148 Congress St, New Port Richey. Escape artist David Evangelista, who channels Houdini, is the opener. Tickets are $12.50-$17.50. A ‘Not-So-Scary’ Magic Show for the younger ones will be at 2 p.m. Oct. 26. It will include lots of magic, Halloween stories and laughter. Seating is limited. Tickets are $10 general seating; $15 for VIP seats. Call (727) 748-8800.

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. Oct. 25-27, 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. 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.

Sweetfields 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. 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. 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.

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.

Family Fall Festival: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at First United Methodist Church, 5901 Indiana Ave., New Port Richey. A pumpkin patch sets the scene for a fall festival with hay rides, bounce houses, games, pumpkin painting, crafts, cake walk, pumpkin pie eating contest and bingo. Free. Call (727) 842-7674.

Wesley Chapel Pumpkin Patch/Trunk-or-Treat: Celebrate all things fall at this pumpkin patch and festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27 at the Grove, 6105 Wesley Chapel Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel. Trunk-or-Treat starts at 4 p.m. Admission is free. Call (727) 674-1464.

Pumpkin Fest: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 26, at Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes. Includes pumpkin decorating, pumpkin golf, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin carving, tic tac toe with pumpkins, pumpkin toss and other pumpkin games, as well as music. Visitors should bring their own pumpkin for the games. Free. Sponsored by the Friends of the Land O’ Lakes Library. Call (813) 929-1214.

Latin American Civic and Cultural Association’s Masquerade Party: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Oct. 26, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church hall, 6193 Spring Hill Drive. Music provided by DJ Willie Matos. Cash prizes awarded for best costumes. Guests may bring their own beverages; coolers allowed. Ice provided. Tickets are $10. Call Luis Sierre at (352) 277-2915.

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.

Halloween Howl: Starting at 4 p.m. Oct. 26 in Historic Downtown Zephyrhills. The event includes five hours of fright with a haunted house, safe trick-or-treating, hay ride, costume parade, bounce houses, carnival games and live music. Free. Call (813) 780-1414.

Halloween at the Nudist Camp: 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Caliente Resort and Spa, 21240 Gran Via Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. The nudists cover up with costumes for a “Day of the Dead” themed Halloween party with a buffet dinner, DJ dancing and live music by NoFilter. Tickets are $100-$125; free-$70 members. Call (813) 996-3700.

Knot So Scary Halloween on the Lake: Noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at Knotted Roots on the Lake, 3310 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. Bring your costumed kids for pumpkin patch photos, candy, a haunted bridal house, costume contest, prizes and snacks. Free. Call (727) 351-3222.

Trunk or Treat: 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 27 at Hope Lutheran Church, 12321 Canton Ave., Hudson. For children ages 10 and younger. Call the church at (727) 863-6446.

Haunted Marmion: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Saint Leo University, 33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo. All floors of Marmion-Snyder Hall will be transformed into a fear-themed haunted house. Trick-or-treating will be on two floors. There will be games, crafts and other activities in the Lion’s Den for those not participating in the haunted house or trick-or-treating. Free, but please donate a nonperishable food item at check-in for a local food bank. Contact Kari Grippo at (352) 588-8379 or

Scare Fair Open House: 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30, at Keiser University, 6014 U.S. 19 N, New Port Richey. Includes a costume contest with prizes, pumpkins to decorate and take home, trunk-or-treat, games, music and food. RSVP at For information, call (727) 484-3110.

Spooky Trivia and Pizza for Adults: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. Adults 18 and older are invited to put their Halloween and general knowledge to the test. Come solo or with a group, and play to win prizes. Pizza will be served. The program is free. Call (727) 861-3040.

Halloween Storytime: Toddlers and their caregivers are invited to sing, dance and share stories at 10 a.m. Oct. 31 at Land O Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes. Ms. Karen at the library will present this special Storytime. Fun Halloween activities will follow. Geared for children ages 1-5, who are encouraged to come dressed in their costumes. Free. Call (813) 929-1214.

Mall-O-Ween: 5 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at Gulf View Square Mall, 9409 U.S. 19, Port Richey. Put the kids in their costumes and take them trick-or-treating at this glow party with face painting, photo booths, activities, games, refreshments and a glow in the dark dance party. Free. Call (727) 873-0455.

Trunk or Treat: 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31, Christ Lutheran Church, 475 North Ave. W, Brooksville. Kids in grades kindergarten through 5th can come in costume to collect treats from trunks and enjoy hay rides, bounce houses, ring toss, games and snacks. Free. (352) 796-7918.

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.


  1. Hudson High student Kaitlyn Helzer introduces herself to a curious corn snake during the Nature Coast Envirothon, held Feb. 19 at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Sumter County. Students from Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Citrus counties tested their knowledge on aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife while vying for a spot at state competition. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
  2. The Southwest Florida Water Management District has declared 1,044 acres of its Annutteliga Hammock property in northwest Hernando County surplus. Most of those parcels are in the  area of Royal Highlands. The district has been seeking buyers for the individual parcels. [Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Associate professor of biology Caitlin Gille leads the Pasco-Hernando State College faculty union, which challenged the school's public comment rules.  (Photo Courtesy of Caitlin Gille)
  4. Anthony Jackson, 24, of Spring Hill, faces burglary and grand theft auto charges. Tyreece Germe, 23, whom deputies identified as one of Jackson’s accomplices in some tow truck misadventure, also faces a grand theft auto charge. [Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik  [Times staff]
  7. The annual Paulie Palooza festival in downtown Zephyrhills draws a big crowd to a day filled with eight bands performing on the Main Street Stage, food trucks along Fifth Avenue and a variety of vendors. This year's event will be from noon to 9 p.m. Feb. 29, and is a benefit for Gulfside Hospice. [Kirsty Churchill/Gulfside Hospice]
  8. Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
  9. A "for sale" sign beckons Friday along Sixth Avenue N in the Kenwood area of St. Petersburg. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
  10. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Tampa Bay Times]
  11. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
In 2014, widening of Cortez Boulevard west of the Suncoast Parkway was ongoing. Now state road planners are talking about taking the first steps in the next widening project, which will increase Cortez from four to six lanes east of Brooksville and west of Interstate 75 in about 20 years. [JONES, OCTAVIO  |  Tampa Bay Times]