In September 2014, visitors take a hayride back to the barn after picking pumpkins at Sharp's at Waterford Farm, a 530-acre working farm in western Howard County.
In September 2014, visitors take a hayride back to the barn after picking pumpkins at Sharp's at Waterford Farm, a 530-acre working farm in western Howard County. (Jerry Jackson, Baltimore Sun photo)

In the month of October, when darkness comes early and a chill fills the air, the time is right to celebrate fall with hayrides, pumpkins and perhaps a ghost or two. There are numerous events, both festive and spooky, throughout Howard County this month to enjoy. So grab a sweater or don a costume and go!

Patapsco Female Institute

3655 Church Road, Ellicott City

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Take a guided tour of the 181-year-old ruins, enjoy s’mores around a campfire, and listen to the stories and legends surrounding the ruins before exploring them yourself using professional ghost hunters’ equipment to gather evidence of paranormal activity. Tours are at 8 p.m. Oct. 11 and 18. Cost is $25.

Clark’s Elioak Farm

10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City

410-730-4049, clarklandfarm.com

Hayrides to the pumpkin patch are offered daily as are pony rides and rides on the Enchanted Express train. There is a Spookley the Square Pumpkin scavenger hunt and a hay bale maze. Costs vary.

On weekends, the farm hosts special events, too.

  • Oct. 12-13: Gem mining and geode cracking
  • Oct. 19-20: Countdown to Halloween
  • Oct. 26-27: Halloween costume parade
Tyler Wade, 4, and his brother, Zephaniah Wade, 8, search for pumpkins in the Clark’s Elioak Farm pumpkin patch in 2013.
Tyler Wade, 4, and his brother, Zephaniah Wade, 8, search for pumpkins in the Clark’s Elioak Farm pumpkin patch in 2013. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Old Mill Café

4 Frederick Road, Ellicott City

410-465-2253, oldmill-cafe.com

Presented by Maryland History Tours, Becca with Inner Nature and Old Mill Café, the Haunted Tea and Tarot includes a tarot reading and the sharing of ghost tales and legends. Tea and pastries available. It will be offered from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13.

Wine Bin

8390 Main St., Ellicott City

410-465-7802, winebinec.com

The horror movie “A Quiet Place” will be shown at 8 p.m. Oct. 19. Free to attend.

History of Witches by Candlelight tours will begin at the Wine Bin on Oct. 17 and 24 at 6:30 p.m. Maryland History Tours will share the history of the 12 people accused of felony witchcraft in Maryland. Cost is $15.

Rockburn Branch Park

5400 Landing Road (east), 6105 Rockburn Branch Park Road (west), Elkridge

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The Haunted Experience offers both a haunted hayride for those faint of heart and one for those ready for a good scare.

The Happy Haunted Hayride is for fun, not fright and is offered at 2 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27. Cost is $5.

The spooky hayride goes through eerie trails to a ghostly dwelling and is offered at 7 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26. Cost is $10.

Robinson Nature Center

6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia

Halloween Tricks, Treats and Trees is a self-guided tour with various stations offering “tricks.” Inside, participants can make potions, hear Halloween music, see puppet shows, make crafts, enjoy treats and more. The tour is offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20. Cost is $5-$10.

Manor Hill Farm

4411 Manor Lane, Ellicott City

Harvest at the Hill Festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 19. Beer will be provided by Manor Hill Brewing, along with live music, farm tours, educational activities, food truck rally, yard games and more. Cost is $15-$30.

Manor Hill Brewing's Harvest at the Hill Festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 19.
Manor Hill Brewing's Harvest at the Hill Festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 19. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

North Laurel Park

9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel

Scarecrow DIY at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 is for ages 3 to 12. Bring a baby-footed pajama outfit and everything else will be provided to make a scarecrow. Cost is $10-$15.

Montpelier Mansion Historic Site

9650 Muirkirk Road, Laurel

On Oct. 19 at 5 p.m., enjoy Tea with the Dearly Departed. Wear a costume and the tea room will be decorated in eerie decor. A prix fixe menu of finger sandwiches, cakes, pastries, scones and tea will be offered. Cost is $30.

Sharp’s at Waterford Farm

4003 Jennings Chapel Road, Brookeville

410-489-2572, sharpfarm.com

Professional pumpkin carver Trevor Travis will show participants how to carve the best pumpkin from noon to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 20. Bring your tools and buy a pumpkin and learn.

The farm hosts Dog Days on Oct. 26 and 27. Dress your dog in a costume and receive a $1 off a pumpkin.

The Elkridge Furnace Inn

5745 Furnace Ave., Elkridge

410-379-9336, elkridgefurnaceinn.com

An Edgar Allan Poe Literary Dinner will be offered at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25. The event will include readings from Poe’s stories and poetry in between a six-course dinner and wine pairing. The courses will be created around the six cities where Poe lived. Cost is $85.

River Hill Community Association

Claret Hall, 6020 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville

410-531-1749, villageofriverhill.org

Check out Haunted Hallow’ Eve from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25. Activities include a haunted house, crafts, games and a magic show, along with trick-or-treating at River Hill Village Shopping Center shops.

Gary J. Arthur Community Center

2400 State Route 97, Cooksville

A trunk or treat will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 26. Dress in a costume and trick-or-treat at all of the vehicles. Live music, hayrides, face painting, children’s activities, giveaways, food trucks will be offered. Cost is $2.

Amherst House at Kings Contrivance

7251 Eden Brook Drive, Columbia

410-381-9600, villageofkc.org

Halloween Happenings from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 will include magic shows and trick-or-treating at the Village Center merchants. A haunted house will be sponsored by the Hammond High School music department.

Ghost tours are offered every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Savage Mill.
Ghost tours are offered every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Savage Mill. (Nate Pesce)

Historic Savage Mill

8600 Foundry St., Savage

443-604-3578, savagemill.com

Join the Halloween Spooktacular Board Game Night at 6 p.m. Oct. 26, with a costume contest at 7 p.m. Trick-or-treating and a variety of spooky games will be available to play. Cost is $5.

Ghost tours are offered every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Costumed tour guide and historian Marty Schoppert leads the tours. Cost is $15.

Belmont Manor & Historic Park

6555 Belmont Woods Road, Elkridge

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410-313-7275, belmontmanormd.com

Monster Mash Murders will be offered at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30. Presented by Ovation Dinner Theatre, the production is an interactive comedy-mystery whodunit that includes cocktail hour and a three-course meal prepared by Zeffert & Gold Catering. Cost is $85.

Larriland Farm

2415 Woodbine Road, Woodbine

410-442-2605, pickyourown.com

Hayrides to a pumpkin patch or through the woods decorated for Halloween are offered on weekends from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The farm also hosts evening hayrides that end with a campfire. A fee is charged for all hayrides and reservations are required for some. For more information, call 410-489-7034.

Larriland also has a straw maze built with 1,000 bales of straw and a Boo Barn for ages 4 to 6, featuring animated, not-too-scary ghosts and goblins.

Apple fritters and food trucks are available on weekends.

Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City Ghost tours

  • Every Friday at 8:30 p.m., Mount Misery tours begin in front of the Museum of Howard County History, 8328 Court Ave.
  • Every Saturday at 8:30 p.m., Haunted Main Street tours begin at the Howard County Tourism Welcome Center, 8267 Main St.

Tickets must be purchased by 5 p.m. the day before the tour and are $11-$14.

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