Special holiday events on tap

By Ryan Cornell

It’s only a week away from Halloween, and the holiday festivities scheduled for this weekend include a wide array of ghost tours, costume contests and trick-or-treating events.

Learn about the haunted history of Strasburg at its ghost walking tours this Saturday.

Tours will begin at the Hotel Strasburg from 6 to 9 p.m., and feature spooky stories about 10 locations, including the Balzer-Huber House, E. Pearls, Hi Neighbor, Spengler Hall and A.C. Stickley Bed and Breakfast.

Walking tours leave every 15 minutes and last about an hour.

A special bus tour for those with disabilities will start at 3 p.m. from the First Bank parking lot. Reservations are required, and can be made at 540-233-2250.

Another event, held inside the Old Mill Grill, will feature ghost stories and a ghost hunt by paranormal investigators beginning at 10 p.m.

Tickets for the tour are $3 in advance at the Strasburg Town Office and $5 the day of the event.

For more info, visit http://www.goo.gl/5idpnQ or call 540-233-2250.

The Warren Heritage Society will host its own Haunted Tour of Front Royal beginning at 8 p.m. Friday from the Ivy Lodge on Chester Street.

Tour guide Patrick Farris will lead visitors on a walking tour through Downtown Front Royal along with a selection of ghost stories from the town’s past.

The event is free to attend and is open to the public.

Lantern tours of the New Market Battlefield this Saturday will transport visitors back in time to the evening after the battle in May 1864.

Costumed interpreters will share stories and recount the day’s events.

Tours begin at 7 p.m. and run every 15 minutes until 8:45 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12 years old and free for children 5 and younger.

For more info, call 540-740-3101.

Be on the lookout for zombies this Friday as the second annual Zombie Walk winds its way through Front Royal.

The parade is free for anyone, dressed as a zombie, to join.

It begins from Bing Crosby Stadium at 6:30 p.m., crosses Commerce Avenue and ends at the Main Street gazebo.

The Zombie Walk will also accept donations for the Humane Society of Warren County, the Warren County C-CAP and Music & Memory.

Woodstock hosts its free Halloween on Court Square event from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday for younger kids.

Court Square will fill up with an inflatable bounce house, a petting zoo, pumpkin painting, face painting, mask making, storytelling, trick-or-treating and a magic show starting at 1:30 p.m.

In addition, Halloween on Court Square is the only opportunity for kids 5 to 12 years old to register to win the honor of lighting the town Christmas tree with Mayor Jeremy McCleary at the Light Up Woodstock Celebration in December.

Kids of all ages are welcome at the Halloween Costume Party and Trunk-or-Treat event at the Family Drive-In Theatre in Stephens City from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Scheduled activities include a bounce house, duck pond, pumpkin decorating, magic shows, face painting, car decorating contest, costume contest, hayrides and trunk-or-treating at cars.

Movies being shown on screens at the theater include “The Goonies,” “Beetlejuice” and “Night of the Living Dead,” among others.

Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children 3 to 11 years old.

For times of activities and ages of eligibility, visit the theater’s website at http://www.goo.gl/vjvGWi.

Old Town Winchester’s walking mall gets a little spooky this Saturday with the return of its Spooktacular trick-or-treating event.

Starting at 1 p.m., Posh Pets Boutique will offer pet treats and prizes for best pet costume, following a pet parade up and down the mall.

From 2 to 4 p.m., kids can trick-or-treat at participating stores on the walking mall.

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Kernstown presents a night of thrills and chills with its Dismember the Alamo horror movie marathon on Saturday.

Featuring “Monster Squad,” “Night of the Creeps,” “Night of the Comet” and Halloween III” — as well as a special appearance by “Halloween III” actress Stacey Nelkin — cinephiles can usher in the Halloween season with a proper scare.

The marathon begins at 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10.

Marker-Miller Orchards invites those of all ages to come find “the great pumpkin” at its pumpkin festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The orchard’s bakery will have a variety of pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin bars and pumpkin donuts for sale.

Marker-Miller is located at 3035 Cedar Creek Grade in Winchester.

As a participating store in Halloween ComicFest, Four Color Fantasies is handing out free comics along with some special discounts on Saturday.

The comic book shop is located at 80 Weems Lane in Winchester.

Other events include:

Blithe Spirit — A novelist accidentally brings back the spirit of his dead wife in this comedy. // Schultz Theatre, 1957 N. Congress St, New Market; 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday; $11-$13; 540-740-9119; http://www.goo.gl/0muFyb

Craft Show — Vendors and crafters fill the New Market Community Center this weekend for its annual craft show. // 9184 John Sevier Road, New Market; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Free; 540-740-4257; http://www.goo.gl/kPAFNq

Kamalakiran Vinjamuri — The teenage violin prodigy will bring his talents to Shenandoah University for its Carnatic Classical Music Concert. // Goodson Chapel, 1400 L P Hill Drive, Winchester; 7 p.m. Friday; Free; 540-535-3546; http://www.su.edu