Celebrate Horror, Harvest and Local Haunting's in October

By Michele DeBella

It’s that time of year when we ply ourselves with candy, compete for the best Halloween costume, and pay good money to scare ourselves silly. Luckily you have plenty of opportunities for all of the above this month.

Cayo Industrial Horror Realm

upstatehorror Instagram 1954 ig 1366381826750633447 1817690850This seasonal attraction, now in its 16th year, is unlike your typical haunted house. The action takes place in the industrial district of Utica, inside an old building that’s been transformed into an eerie post-apocalyptic landscape. There are four walkthrough experiences visitors can choose from, all of which represent the underworld of a character named Surgeon. Each of the four attractions takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. See all four for the full horror experience. Cayo Industrial Horror Realm aims to unnerve those who don’t scare easily. Not recommended for children.


Weekends through November 3, 2018
6:30 – 10:30 p.m.
811 Broad Street, Utica, NY 13501

See here for admission. Cash only. ATM on site.

Folklore and Frost: Spirits of Sylvan Beach

This hour-long film follows Jason and Joe, real-life paranormal investigators, as they try to get to the bottom of the ghost stories at Sylvan Beach Amusement Park. The story centers on a young couple enjoying an innocent first date until things start to get weird in a haunted kind of way. All local actors were used in the film, which is rated PG-13. Three free screenings will be held in October:

-Kallet Civic Center, October 13 at 6:00 p.m. (followed by a Q&A with the producers)
-Rome Capitol Theatre, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. (followed by a Q&A with the producers)
-Black River Drive-In, October 26 at 8:00 p.m.

Ghost and Toast

yukfoo  Instagram 1954 ig 1801651023006433845 47483613Ghost and Toast can be thought of as a paranormal show that pairs food with ghosts. The investigators visit restaurants, pubs, and taverns that are rumored to have a ghostly presence. Episodes begin with a cooking segment before the paranormal investigation begins. The Ghost Seekers of Central New York have paired up with The Empire Plate to create a truly unique reality show. The first two episodes will premiere at Rome Capitol Theatre. Arrive early to meet the cast and crew and have your photo taken with the Ghostbusters Mobile. All ages are welcome.

October 20, 2018
6:00 p.m. Meet cast and crew
7:00 p.m. Viewing begins
Rome Capitol Theatre
220 W. Dominick Street, Rome, NY
$7 per person

Utica Zoo Spooktacular Harvest Festival 

Halloween comes early at this annual event, now in its 32nd year. Don your best costume and head to the Utica Zoo, where admission includes a full day of festivities on top of access to the zoo. See dance performances, listen to live music, stroll through the local farm and craft marketplace, and much more. Trick-or-treat stations will be set up throughout the zoo. Costumed visitors are welcome to join the Costume Parade.

October 20-21, 2018
Utica Zoo
1 Utica Zoo Way, Utica, NY

See here for admission.

Scare-a-Con Film Festival 2018

scareacon Instagram 1954 ig 1602988497300237823 507702614The Turning Stone is the place to be for horror and pop culture fans. Celebrate your favorite genres and actors with a two-day line-up of movies that will scare your socks off. Appearances will be made by actors from horror film favorites like Paranormal Activity, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Children of the Corn. Photo ops will be available (for an additional cost) with icons like Malcolm McDowell and the casts of Friday the 13th Part VII and Weekend at Bernie’s.



October 26-28, 2018
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Turning Stone Resort Casino
5218 Patrick Road, Verona, NY

See here for admission.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

RockyHorrorThe Stanley Theater will commemorate the 43rd anniversary of this interactive, cult favorite film. Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. with a Rocktail Party that includes music provided by DJ Larry. A costume party and refreshments are also part of the fun. Prop kits will be available for $3.00. No outside participation props are allowed. The film begins at 9:30 p.m. (Rated R).

October 30, 2018
Stanley Theatre
261 Genesee Street, Utica, NY
$10 Advance; $12 Day of Show; $20 VIP