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Haunted Halloween happenings

Riders clamber aboard a hay wagon with their legs dangling precariously from the sides. Will ghouls jump out at you? Yes. Guests watch an electrocution, meet Michael Meyers, greet the Headless Horseman, and drink spider cider served by witches gathering around a cauldron.

The hayride runs Thursday through Sunday nights until Halloween; reservations are required by calling 884-9122.

Ghostly Tours, Saratoga Springs N.Y.

Sponsored by the Saratoga County Arts Center, participants are led on an exploration of the city's notorious haunted sites: area restaurants and pubs, Skidmore College dormitories, and the Trask family home at Yaddo. Tours are led by local photographer and historian Michael Noonan of Ballston Spa.

The Ghost Walks are led Friday and Saturday nights in October at 7 p.m. To reserve a spot, log onto www.saratoga-arts.org.

Haunted Museum and Pumpkin Patch, New York State Museum, Albany.

This attraction is aimed at youngsters not quite ready for creatures to jump out from behind trees. Kids and adults can learn from their afternoon jaunt; the event incorporates artifacts and items from the museum's teaching collections and past exhibits, including a mummified cat, a reconstructed prehistoric tree, 20 bear furs and more.

Visitors over age 10 can enter the "Mine Shaft," with increasingly tighter spaces, pass through the "Greenhouse Infect," encounter a legion of huge, unpredictable scarecrows and travel through the 60-foot "Black Whispers" corridor with sounds of mysterious wheezes and groans.

The Pumpkin Patch encourages children under age 10 to come in costumes for arts and crafts, face painting and a parade through exhibit halls.

This event runs Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 28 and Sunday, Oct. 29. The Haunted Museum portion is open from 11 a.m. " 5 p.m.; the Pumpkin Patch opens its gates from noon " 4 p.m. Call 474-5877 for information.

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