By Mary Heyl

Halloween is the perfect occasion to lighten up and enjoy thrills, chills, treats and more before settling in for a long winter. Whether your plans involve traditional trick-or-treating, finding the perfect pumpkin or being scared silly, there are many ways to revel in the remainder of the season and make some new traditions with friends and family!

Why not start a new family tradition by visiting Pumpkinville during the month of October? Pumpkinville, located at 4844 Sugartown Rd. in Great Valley, is open daily now through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve this year and enjoy Pumpkinville’s seasonal goodies in their stores. Shop for homemade pies, freshly-made fudge, and their famous pumpkin donuts! The Pumpkinville Grill serves chicken barbecue on the weekends, as well as fresh kettle corn. Families can purchase activity wristbands for their children; this all-day pass includes use of the 96-acre corn maze, farm pedal carts, hayrides and more! Visit for more details.

The Rotary Club of Ellicottville and the American Legion are sponsoring their annual Community Halloween Party for youth on Saturday, Oct. 31 at the American Legion on Maples Road in Ellicottville. From 6 to 8 p.m., children ages 12 and younger can trick or treat in this indoor location and participate in games, crafts and hayrides (weather permitting). This fun, free evening has become the place to be on Halloween and is a great opportunity to support your community, too! Drop boxes will be available at the entrance to the American Legion to collect donated canned and dry foods for the Ellicottville Food Pantry. Call Colleen Blanchard at (716) 699-8066 for more information or to donate candy and prizes.

If your idea of Halloween fun is a scary adventure with friends, then the Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville St. is the perfect destination. Nightmare Hayrides take place on weekends (Friday through Sunday) now through Nov. 1 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. No reservation is needed for this 25-minute tractor-drawn ride, which includes a ride through the haunted maze, haunted barn, the gothic chamber and the vortex tunnel. Be prepared for a night of frights from live scary creatures that will give you nightmares!  Visit or call (716)699-4839 for more details.

There’s lots to do at the Cattaraugus Free Library throughout the month of October! Take part in a Paranormal Investigation at the Cattaraugus Free Library at 21 Main St. in Cattaraugus on Saturday, Oct. 9 from 8 to 11 p.m. For just $10, you can investigate strange sights and sounds like the professionals; all proceeds go toward the library’s annual Haunted Halloween Maze. This event is limited to participants ages 12 and up. Those interested should contact Laurie Wagatha at (716) 801-5270.

The 7th Annual Haunted Halloween Maze at the Cattaraugus Free Library takes place on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 9 p.m. Take some time out of your trick-or-treating to visit this indoor maze, which is created using the shelves of the library, and get some candy, too! Admission is just $1 per person with special discounts for families.

There’s fun for all at Gowanda Harley Davidson, located at 2535 Gowanda-Zoar Rd. For the first time, GHD is hosting a “Bagger’s Night” on Friday, Oct. 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. This new event invites riders to decorate their bikes, dress up and fill their bags with candy for trick-or-treaters. A play on the “trunk or treat” event, this fun night provides a safe, controlled environment for children and families to trick or treat. The next day, on Halloween, GHD is hosting a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, contact Delaney Peters at (716) 532-4584.

Few buildings are more known for paranormal activity than old theaters across the United States, and Gowanda’s historic Hollywood Theater at 39 West Main St. is no exception! Horror at the Hollywood 2015 is the perfect opportunity to discover this beautiful but spooky theater firsthand. The event takes place on the following dates and times: Sunday, Oct. 25 from 6-8 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 30 from 6-9 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 31 from 6-9 p.m. All proceeds benefit the restoration of the theater. For more information, visit