Fright at the Fort returns Friday, Oct. 17, at the Fort Knox State Historic site, off Route 174. Always held the last Friday and Saturday nights in October, this year’s Fright gets an extra night — Halloween itself. Fright at the Fort is scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 17, 18, 24, 25 and 31, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. (visitors should arrive by 8:45 p.m.).

Every year, the 19th-century granite bastion is transformed into a bad nightmare designed to put a chill into the bravest of living souls. Visitors are guided through the dark, fog-filled, twists and turns of the massive granite fortification, where the senses are bombarded by sights, sounds and lights that may as well have crawled out of the scariest horror movie.

The overall theme of this year’s Fright is What’s Bugging You? Visitors will encounter all manner of bugs — from above, below, to the side and, worse of all, staring them in the face.

Event organizers work to ensure that each version of Fright is different from the year before and add different elements on each of the nights. Those who have not been to Fright before and would like a sense of what the experience may be like are encouraged to visit the Friends’ website at

Opening night, Oct. 17, is Crew Night; groups of four or more will receive a free pumpkin (while they last). On Oct. 18, there will be Ghostport activities all day across the river in Bucksport, prior to Fright and continuing into the evening. A Star 97 radio-simulcast fireworks display (rain date Oct. 25) will cap the night at 9:30 p.m., viewed from Bucksport and sponsored by Friends of Fort Knox. “The Hanover House,” a Maine-made indie horror film that was named Best Feature Film at last month’s HorrorHound Weekend film fest, will be screened 10 p.m. at Northeast Historic Film’s /Alamo Theatre, Main Street, Bucksport.

Oct. 24 has been dubbed Beat the Crowds Night, and Oct. 25 is the night to come in costume; random prizes will be awarded. Of course, the same goes for Halloween night itself.

Tickets for Fright are $10 per adult and $5 for children younger than 12. Fright express tickets, $12 per person, allow people to avoid waiting in line and may be obtained by calling the Friends of Fort Knox at 469-6553 or at Spirit of Halloween stores in Bangor, Augusta, Brunswick and South Portland.

Proceeds from the Fright event helps the Friends of Fort Knox fulfill their mission to restore Fort Knox and enhance its educational, cultural and economic value for the people of Maine. Funding from last year’s Fright is currently being used for masonry work on the National Historic landmark.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or