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How to scare up a good time in Queens

By Tammy Scileppi

It’s time to gear up for another ghoulish Halloween, so hang up those spooky decorations and stock up on treats to avoid getting tricked by a zombie or mutant turtle.

No matter who or what you decide to be on All Hallows’ Eve, everyone is bound to have a devilishly good time here in Queens during the last week of October, right through to Nov. 1, when Día de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead — will be celebrated.

“Queens is a happy conglomeration of neighborhoods where people know each other, and the borough is home to many immigrants who are still learning about Halloween,” said Queens Economic Development Corp.’s director, Rob MacKay. “So it’s an exciting, safe, and at times, fascinating place to experience this fun and creative tradition. Forest Hills Gardens and Sunnyside Gardens are the best places to go trick-or-treating. The areas are flat and full of single-family homes that get into the spirit. The only down side is that they get very crowded.”

In western Queens, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City will hold its annual Halloween Harvest Festival Saturday, from 11 a.m to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

“The park’s annual Halloween celebration gets bigger and better every year, and the 2014 festival is no exception,” said Shaun Leonardo, director of programs at Socrates. “Everyone’s favorite Canine Costume Contest is returning to showcase the most imaginative dog characters in Queens, and we’ve added not-to-be-missed performances by the Hell’s Gate Philharmonic and the Streb Extreme Action Kids Company.”

If you would rather stay indoors for your scary fill, check out the Museum of the Moving Image Saturday and Sunday for a cinematic screamfest.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, catch the classic silent picture “Nosferatu” — the unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula.”

Then on Sunday beginning at 3 p.m., settle in for a triple feature starting with Lon Chaney in “The Phantom of the Opera,” with live music by Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton.

Then catch Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester in “The Bride of Frankenstein” and the George Romero classic “Night of the Living Dead.”

“Horror is one of the most enduring and powerful of movie genres. From ‘Nosferatu,’ the classic 1922 German version of the Dracula story, to Tobe Hooper’s and Steven Spielberg’s 1982 ‘Poltergeist,’ (which screens Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m.) the films in the series span 60 years,” said David Schwartz, the museum’s chief curator. “We selected some of the most timeless films, movies which have truly stood the test of time and which demand to be seen on the big screen.”

For a south-of-the-border ghoulish time, head to El Paraiso Tropical in Corona Sunday for the Latin American Cultural Center of Queens’ Spooktacular 2014 Halloween Party.

Dance to live music under the direction of Francisco Cantilo.

More live music is on tap at Sunday’s Waltz-Astoria Halloween Social 2014. Queens musicians and poets, including Billy Conahan, The Firth Sisters and Nicholas Howard, will perform.

The show is at Tantra Lounge. There will be a $10 cover charge and one drink minimum.

Little Waltzers will hold its party Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., which will include sing-a-longs, Halloween snacks and a best costume contest. Tickets are $10 per family.

When the big day rolls around Oct. 31, Queens will teem with witches, goblins and ghosts.

Families can head to Flushing Town Hall for a hands-on Halloween bash, including mask-making, ghost stories and Mexican sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos.

“Flushing Town Hall welcomes our community to a family-friendly Halloween festival,” said Gabrielle Hamilton, director of education and public programs. “We’re excited that this event has become a popular annual attraction.”

More family fun can be found in Long Island City along Vernon Boulevard.

Stroll the streets in costumes for the annual Trick-or-Treating March.

Along the way stop in to hear ghost stories at Manducatis Rustica, have your picture taken with costumed superheroes at Modern Spaces or take your chances in a haunted house set up at Cross-Fit Gantry on 47th Road.

“We are thrilled to continue the march led by Parade Marshal Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, (state) Sen. Mike Gianaris and Assemblywoman (Catherine) Nolan,” said organizer Sheila Lewandowski. “We gather at Gantry Plaza and march at 4:30 p.m. The route is the same as last year.”

Lewandowski said it is great to see all the events that have sprung up around the parade, which started with a few mothers and young children about seven years ago and can now attract 1,000 revelers.

The borough’s largest parade — and second only to Greenwich Village’s event — takes place in Jackson Heights Oct. 31. The route runs along 37th Avenue from 89th to 76th streets.

And who says Halloween cannot also be educational?

This weekend and next, Dead or Alive: Halloween at the New York Hall of Science returns.

Visitors can expect to see catapults chucking pumpkins, learn about bioluminescence — animals that naturally produce light — along with bats.

“Dead or Alive began four years ago as a way to engage different and larger audiences around Halloween,” said Liz Slagus, director of public programs. “We wanted to build a festival-like experience for young people and their families that engaged them with different science and cultural activities inspired by Halloween and Los Dias des Muertes, which immediately follows the holiday on Nov. 1.”

And what Day of the Dead would be complete without a visit to a cemetery?

Co-sponsored by the Queens Historical Society and the Voelker Orth Museum, a walking tour of Flushing Cemetery takes a look at the history, notable individuals buried there and horticulture of the site.

Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.event‌brite.com.

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