Haunted Halloween happenings

Who says you have to be a kid to enjoy a good old spine-tingling scare this season?

Even if you're too old to dress up as Dracula or the Bride of Frankenstein and go door-to-door accumulating a year's worth of candy, there are plenty of ways to spook yourself silly between now and Halloween. Don't be afraid to scream, run from ghouls, or, if worse comes to worse, hide behind your own children for protection. Happy haunting!

Here is a sampling of spooky destinations in the local area:

The Ultimate Terror at the Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont.

Billed as very intense on the fright scale, this features five individual attractions. The first place to test your courage is the Skull Manor, with more than 16 rooms guarded by an enormous (human) skull.

There's the Code Blue Haunted House, where a horrific toxic disaster has taken place, causing all kinds of mutant monsters to prowl, and the 3-D Chaos maze of terror with all kinds of twists and turns. If you dare, venture into Professor Morgan's Dark Museum, filled with his macabre collections, and take in the Creepy World live show.

For the tamer of heart, take your best shot at the Rain Ball room, a black light paintball gallery with targets that are alive and moving.

Want to take the experience home with you? Festoon yourself with a temporary skeleton tattoo at the tattoo parlor, or have your palm read by a psychic.

Haven't lost your stomach yet? Dig into Texas barbecue treats, calzones, cotton candy or apple cider doughnuts.

Gates open at 6:15 p.m.; head there early to avoid crowds. For information and directions, go to www.ultimateterrors.com.

Double M Haunted Hayride, Malta.

Literally thousands of thrill-seekers flock to this popular nighttime scream ride through the woods of a horse farm.

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