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Walks, talks, trick-or-treats, and music play roles in the South Shore region’s celebration of a traditionally child-centered holiday that in recent decades has been crashed by adults.

With Halloween in the offing, some public programs invite celebrants to take a walk on the dark side. Spirit of Plymouth Walking Tours is offering an interactive Halloween themed tour titled “Murder, Mystery and Mayhem!”

According to the company, “Live actors will bring the darker side of Plymouth history to life by the light of the moon.”

The tour’s dark stories are historically founded, said company founder Vicki Harrington. “We based the tours on local true stories.”


One of the Halloween tour’s true crime stories concerns the 19th-century murder of Plymouth Police Captain Josiah Baxter, who was shot to death while searching for an itinerant farm worker wanted for the murder of his wife.

A dozen stops are featured over the hour and a half walking tour that takes place on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29 and 30, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The cost is $25 for adults; $20 seniors. Purchase tickets online at www.spiritofplymouth.com or call 508-517-8355. The company said it will donate 10 percent of its profits from the tour to Kind Hearts for Kids Inc., which serves children in foster and adoptive care.

Harrington, who has lived in Plymouth for 24 years, said entertainments such as hers are typical of the old town’s increasing liveliness.

“In the early days, nothing was happening,” Harrington said. “Now there’s something happening every night, and I’m loving it.”

One of the region’s best-known historical attractions, Plimoth and Patuxet Museums (formerly known as Plimoth Plantation), is holding “A Historically Spooky Halloween” for family groups. The museum describes the event as “a cozy fall evening” for families. Participants are invited to “follow lantern and pumpkin-lit paths” to a “Family Game Pavilion.”


While parents keep warm by an outdoor fire, children are invited to try their hands at 17th-century games such as “gourd bowling, jumbo Nine Men’s Morris, and our Pilgrim Hat Hoop Toss.” The historically informed fun takes place on Oct. 29 and 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Children can expect to take home a bag of Halloween goodies. The cost is $10 for each child; adults go for free. For tickets, visit plimoth.org.

Also in Plymouth, the town’s Chamber of Commerce offers a free event called “Witches, Goblins and Ghosts, Oh My! Halloween” to take place on Friday, Oct. 29, from 3 to 5 p.m. Families are invited to take part in a “trick-or-treat walk” on Main Street through downtown Plymouth. More than 70 merchants will be participating. The event kicks off from Memorial Hall, with free parking offered at St. Peter’s Church and in the bottom deck of the South Russell Street parking garage.

The event is free; no registration is required. For more information, visit plymouthchamber.com.

World’s End, a popular nature reservation in Hingham managed by the Trustees of Reservations, is offering “a creepy nighttime walk to explore nocturnal wildlife,” on Friday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

“At World’s End the carriage roads come alive in the dark when all the humans go home,” the Trustees’ Aaron Gouveia said of the event. “We welcome people to join us for a guided night hike that requires using our senses to look and listen for nocturnal animals.” Tickets are $15; you can reserve them at thetrustees.org/events/.


A Halloween afternoon event for all ages takes place at another Trustees property, the Bradley Estate in Canton, on Sunday, Oct. 31, when the “Blues at Bradley” concert series presents Willie J. Laws, who performs a “funk blues sound” nurtured in the heart of Texas.

“Guests will be able to trick or treat with [costumed] nocturnal animals,” Gouveia said. The event takes place from 12 to 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for children; go to thetrustees.org/events/.

A broad look at the region’s witchery history is the subject when Marshfield’s Ventress Memorial Library hosts a talk on “New England Witchcraft Tales” by author Roxie Zwicker on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. The author of eight books, Zwicker goes beyond Salem in her talk on the role of witchcraft in New England’s early history.

“The presentation also highlights the evolution of customs and superstitions relating to witchcraft throughout New England,” the library stated. “Attendees might find themselves checking underneath their front doorstep, in their chimneys, or in their backyards for remnants of these stories!”

The program is free, but those planning to come should register with the library at ventresslibrary.org.

Robert Knox can be reached at rc.knox2@gmail.com.