The spooky, the scary and the spectacular: A guide to East Texas fall festivities

Yasmeen Khalifa • Managing Editor

Corpse Grove

Looking for the haunt of your life? Corpse Grove is going on its second year of scares, and this year, the lady in white awaits. She lurks in the dark, waiting for her next victim in the depths of the haunted trail. Take a walk through the trail or the haunted house … if you dare. Open through Halloween on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 p.m. to midnight. Each haunt costs $10.

Feral Hog Fest

Nothing quite says yee-haw like a feral hog festival in the Wild Hog Capital of Texas. This Ben Wheeler based celebration includes a parade, arts, food, craft and outdoorsmen vendors, live music and a feral hog cook‑off. Oct. 25.

Boo at the Zoo

Lions and tigers and scares, oh my! Boo at the Zoo offers a chance to channel your inner child and have some safe, spooky fun. There will be costume contests, a pumpkin patch, a bat café, a spooky reptile house, inflatables, up-close animal encounters and more! This two-day event takes place on Oct. 26 and 27 from noon to 4 p.m.

Halloween Painting at Pinot’s Palette

Unleash your inner artist with Pinot’s Palette’s Halloween-themed painting sessions. On Oct. 25, the studio is conducting a “Nightmare in a Bottle” session, with full-sized wine bottles and fairy light corks. On Oct. 30, The Pinot’s artists are teaching pupils to paint a Halloween version of Starry Night, and on Halloween night, they are hosting an “Eyes Aglow” session. It is $35 per painter.

“Halloween” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at Liberty Hall

Prop bags, scripts and doing the “Time Warp Again.” Get immersed in an interactive experience with Liberty Hall’s annual showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Showings are on Oct. 25 and 26 at 11 p.m. Tickets are $20. More of a sit back and watch type of person? Liberty Hall is also showing the 1978 cult-classic, “Halloween” on Halloween night. Tickets are $6.


While this family-friendly farm is a bit of a drive (about an hour from Tyler), it is well worth it. During the months of October, Yesterland hosts a fall festival and “Spooktacular Nights.” The fall festival features everything from a pumpkin patch, pumpkin houses and a corn maze to an “amaze-ment” park featuring roller coasters and vintage mechanical rides. With their Texas flag wall, pumpkins galore, and colorful shops, this vibrant farm is stock full of photo-ops. Looking for a spook while you’re at it? Their “Spooktacular Nights” include Zombie Paintball, a Creepy Corn Maze, Chuckles Funhouse and a Vertigo Vortex. Don’t forget to stick around for a fireworks show at the end of the night on Fridays and Saturdays! Hours: Friday 6 p.m.- 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.- 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Yesterland Farm
Yesterland also has an Animal Town, with pig races, a Donkey Dentistry, and a Funky Llama Floral Shop. You can grab some festival food from one of the many food stalls and root for your favorite pig racer!

Golden Sweet Potato Festival

Held in Golden, Texas, this festival brings thousands to the Sweet Potato Capital of the World. The festival includes several small-town staples, like livestock competitions, pageants, mutton bustin’, horseshoe competitions, baking and photography contests, a sweet potato auction and even a special appearance from Miss Texas herself. Portions of festival proceeds help support local fire stations and scholarship funds, as well as charities such as Meals on Wheels. Oct. 24 to 26.

Big Sandy Pecan Festival

Home to Texas’s some of the oldest pecan trees, this small town has been celebrating pecans since the 80’s. After being discontinued, Big Sandy brought back the beloved festival last year. Now, it’s bigger and better than ever, with vendor booths, a farmer’s market, a car show, an artist fair and market, live music and BBQ. Oct. 27.

Hot Pepper Festival

Boosting 200 vendors, the Hot Pepper Festival is sure to spice up your day. Hosted in Historic Downtown Palestine, the festival includes a slew of food, arts and crafts, vendors and a farmer’s market. The main attraction is the Hot Pepper Eating Contest, fitting for their motto “Everything is hotter in Texas.” Oct. 26.

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