It is almost the witching hour -- but not quite.
The weekend before Halloween offers a wealth of chances to celebrate this dark and atmospheric time of year with style and a touch of elegance. Here are some options to consider. This is the perfect time of year to try something different.
Supernatural rumors swirl around the Buffalo Central Terminal, a place of awe-inspiring architecture. At 6 p.m. Oct. 26 and 5 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28, you are invited the tour the beautiful behemoth. Who knows if there are ghosts in it -- the point is, you get to admire this grand building's towering architecture and meditate on how life is fleeting. The terminal is at 495 Paderewski Drive. $20. Visit beyondghosts.com.
At 10:30 a.m. Oct. 27 and 8 p.m. Oct. 28 at Kleinhans Music Hall, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes Cirque Symphonique, circus artisans who specialize in the weird and the wonderful. Among them are aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen. John Morris Russell, the orchestra's principal pops conductor, conducts, and he is including scary classics like Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre," Mussorgsky "Night on Bald Mountain" and, yes, music from "The Phantom Of The Opera." Admission is $29-$84. If you choose the Oct. 27 concert, arrive an hour early for complimentary coffee and doughnuts. Call 885-5000.
Listen to the music of a freakish genius and explore the romance of autumn at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Orchard Park High School (4040 Baker Road, Orchard Park), when the Orchard Park Symphony, led by guest conductor Ahmed El Saedi, presents its fall concert. Featured is the Symphony No. 1, written at 15 by Felix Mendelssohn, one of history's greatest prodigies. Rounding out the concert is an atmospheric concerto for double bass by Bottesini, with soloist Xavier Foley. The concert starts with the overture to Beethoven's "Fidelio." Adults $15, seniors $10, students admitted free.
More than a dozen food trucks ... costumes encouraged ... trick or treating ... music by Black Rock Zydeco. Need we say more? All these good things are part of Truck and Treat at Larkin Square, taking place from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at 726 Exchange St. It's presented by Food Truck Tuesday, the famous summer weekly food fest. Admission is free.
Party in Parkside! The Holy Name Society at St. Mark's Church (399 Woodward Ave.) is rolling up the rugs for a Halloween party at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 in the school gym. And it's just for grown-ups, 21 and older. The price of your ticket includes beer, wine, pop and the funky music of CO Jones, led by St. Mark's alumnus Dave Schulz. Bring your own snacks. And come in costume, because there will be group and solo costume prizes. Tickets are $20 presale, $25 at the door until capacity is reached. For advance tickets, visit squareup.com/store/SMKHalloween2017.
Places rumored to be haunted don't have to be dark and full of spiderwebs. The Roycroft Inn (40 S. Grove St., East Aurora), is luminous and warm. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, enjoy live music by Doug Yeomans and the Lo Blu Flame, in the Craftsman Lounge of the Roycroft Inn. Say hi to Elbert Hubbard if you see him drifting down from his office, as it is whispered that folks do. Call 652-5552.
The spirits at Old Fort Erie are restless. On Oct. 27 and 28, All Hallows' Eve at Old Fort Erie invites you to a meet and greet. Tours at 7:30, 7:45 and 8 p.m. lead you by lantern shine by old stone walls and into dark corners. The fort promises "ghost stories of the fallen soldiers who may or may not remain on Canada’s bloodiest battlefield." Refreshments follow. Old Fort Erie is at 350 Lakeshore Road, Fort Erie, Ont. Admission is $13.84; children age 6-12 $8.98; children 5 and younger are admitted free. Be prepared and dress for any kind of weather. For info or tickets, visit niagaraparks.com/events or call (905) 871-0540.
Theatre of Youth is leading the way for a spooktacular Halloween weekend in Allentown revolving around "Bunnicula," the family friendly play about a pet vampire bunny. You're invited to come in costume to celebrate the fun activities before and after the play, which starts at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29 at the Allendale Theatre. Food trucks will be on Elmwood in the Pasion parking lot from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 28. After the play, show your ticket stub for treats at some area businesses. Info: theatreofyouth.org
All aboard for Halloween craziness! The Medina Railroad Museum invites kids at noon and 1:20 p.m. on Oct. 28 for the excursion it calls the Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree, with face painting, bean bags, arts and crafts and treats. Tickets are $34 for first class, $19 for coach. Adult tickets are a dollar more. Costumes are encouraged. At 5 p.m., adults 21 and older are invited to Terror on the Tracks, a two-hour ride with wine and beer tastings and a light dinner. Costumes are again encouraged. Tickets are $60 first class, $45 coach. The Medina Railroad Museum is at 530 West Ave., Medina. Call 585- 798-6106 for info. Get your tickets at medinarailroad.com.
Whooooo.... whoooooo! That can only be the whistle of a genuine, coal-burning, huffing and puffing steam locomotive. The legendary Arcade and Attica Railroad, over a century old, has Halloween trips scheduled for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29. Trips take you to lonesome Currier and back, through beautiful farm country, and each trip is about two and a half hours long. Hop aboard at the quaint station/museum at 278 Main St., Arcade. Tickets for the Halloween excursions are $20. Call 948-0505.
Comes a time for madness, so put on something black, order a glass of red wine, and celebrate the powers of the subconscious with "Alto Madness," a show in MusicalFare's popular Jazz Cabaret series. Bebop alto saxophonist Richie Cole has been called "Billy the Kid packing an alto instead of a revolver." He performs with the Rich Thompson Trio featuring pianist Bill Dobbins at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at MusicalFare (4380 Main St., Amherst at Daemen College). Reserved seats are $30. Call 839-8540.
At 2:30 p.m. Oct. 29, the cirque artists return to Kleinhans Music Hall, this time for a family concert, "Symphonic Spook-tacular." You'll hear some of the classics played at the grown-up Halloween concert, and things culminate in the famous kids' costume parade across the Kleinhans stage. Come an hour early for stories, games and crafts. Superheroes and cartoon characters will roam the lobby, and there are spooky crafts and stories and eerie music at the Instrument Zoo presented by Twin Village Music and Buffalo Suzuki Strings. $14-$24. Call 885-5000.
Westminster Presbyterian Church (724 Delaware Ave.) is playing host to a good, old-fashioned solo organ concert. This time of year is not complete without one. The visiting soloist is Diane Bish, internationally known organist and host of the PBS TV program "The Joy of Music." She performs classics and original compositions at 4 p.m. Oct. 29. Tickets are $25 and include the opportunity to meet the artist. Westminster Presbyterian Church is at 724 Delaware Ave. Call 868-6182.