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On Halloween, houses for sale with lots of character

Work is exhausting. Your kids are fighting. Your furnace is faulty, your boiler’s broken, and your next-door neighbors have decided to take yodeling lessons.

What better time than Halloween to slip into another identity, if only in your dreams? These personality-packed houses each offer the perfect setting for a bit of escapism. Pretend you’re Austin Powers in a mid-century modern outside Worcester. Stage your very own reenactment of “High Noon” on a horse farm in Marlborough. Or perhaps dispatch the butler to greet guests at your glamorous Wenham estate. All you need is a little imagination — and a down payment, of course.

Embrace your inner Scarlett O’Hara and get ‘Gone with the Wind’

At right: Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara.
At right: Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara.Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

519 Main St., Dunstable

Move over, Tara, here’s Calmore. This classic white Federal manse resembles a Southern plantation, with its pillars, lush landscaping, and rolling lawns. Sip cocktails in the solarium, knit on the side portico, and woo suitors on a two-story porch. There are eight bedrooms in total, including a master suite with dressing room and an in-law apartment to keep the family close. The home also offers a barn, an orchard, and a Hartley Botanic greenhouse. This house has a welcoming history; in the mid-20th-century, Calmore was known as the Old Acres Inn.

Price: $1.599 million

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Style: Colonial, Antique

Lot size: 2.68 acres

Year built: 1812

Square feet: 6,687

Bedrooms: 8

Baths: 6 full, 2 half

Taxes: $12,923 (2014)

Let your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder roam

At right: Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder.
At right: Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder.Kristen Turchek

134 Vaughn Hill Road, Bolton

This white-pine log cabin harks back to a simpler time spent gathering around the fire, chasing fireflies, and watching the world go by on the front porch. Set on 1½ acres, the property has sweeping views of Wachusett Mountain, plus its very own sledding hill. Inside the cabin, there’s a cozy family room with a stone fireplace; in the kitchen, you’ll find an antique wood stove where the owners used to cook their Thanksgiving turkey. The kitchen is also enhanced with modern amenities like granite countertops and a six-burner Thermador cooktop and hood — things the Ingalls never had.

Price: $399,900

Style: Log

Lot size: 1.52 acres

Year built: 1980

Square footage: 3,105

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 2 full, 1 half

Taxes: $8,730 (2014)

Indulge like Austin Powers and get groovy, baby!

At right: Mike Myers as Austin Powers.
At right: Mike Myers as Austin Powers.Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

6 Alrene Drive, Paxton

Austin Powers would find this house “smashing!” This mid-century modern has been referred to as the “Brady Bunch House,” thanks to its unsullied funk quotient. The features are original to the 1963 construction, with all those delicious mod trappings: sunken living room for Tupperware parties, built-in NuTone entertainment system for grooving, terrazzo floors, wet bar, double-vanity sink and sunken tub in the retro pink bath, stylish recessed toaster, and even a fallout shelter. Send the kids to the heated garage for band practice while you fix a nice martini.

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Price: $339,900

Style: Contemporary, multilevel ranch

Lot size: 0.46 acre

Year built: 1963

Square footage: 2,016

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 2 full, 1 half

Taxes: $5,064 (2014)

Have a ball here, Cinderella

At right: Cinderella.
At right: Cinderella.Karl Blaser Photography

15 Wildmeadow Road, Boxford

So you want to be a princess. Who could blame you? This Prince Charmingly handsome Tudor in Boxford has a massive circular drive for your carriage, a three-season gazebo in which to entertain suitors, a pergola with wisteria vines for romantic interludes, a spiral staircase for grand entrances, a bedroom with balcony for secret escapes, a heated saltwater pool, and a waterfall for relaxation. Don’t forget about the au pair suite for your faithful attendants, and the pool house with full bath and Murphy bed.

Price: $1.32 million

Style: Tudor

Lot size: 2.46 acres

Year built: 1980

Square feet: 5,100

Bedrooms: 5

Baths: 4 full, 1 half

Taxes: $15,049 (2014)

Live like a proper country squire or an American aristocrat

At right: Commodore Vanderbilt.
At right: Commodore Vanderbilt.John Bellenis

97 Larch Row, Wenham

After a long day of polo, this property’s gated columns beckon. Roam the proper English gardens, visit the heated greenhouse, and admire the sculptures. When the sun begins to glint off the reflecting pool, retire to Seven Pines, the affectionate name for this Neo-Georgian brick mansion. Catch up on reading in the mahogany-paneled library, take tea in the formal living room, or sip Scotch in front of one of your eight fireplaces. Expecting guests? Invite them to alight at the formal motor court, offer them a choice of seven bedrooms (many with ceiling murals), and queue up a phonograph record in the conservatory.

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Price: $5.5 million

Style: Neo-Georgian

Lot size: 30.78 acres

Year built: 1927

Square feet: 15,000

Bedrooms: 7

Baths: 7 full, 3 half

Taxes: $45,420 (2014)

Capture the Wild West

At right: Gary Cooper in “High Noon.”
At right: Gary Cooper in “High Noon.”Whitney Shaw

80 Dudley St., Marlborough

High Nooncq” comes to Massachusetts. This four-acre equine haven has stalls, a barn, a tack and hay room, several outbuildings, and easy access to riding trails lined with perennials and rock walls. The open-concept floor plan is breezy and simple, and there are lots of windows — all the better to gaze out on endless paddock and pasture views. When it’s time to head into town for supplies, you don’t have far to travel: Routes 495 and 20 are just minutes away.

Price: $524,900

Style: Cape, contemporary

Lot size: 4.17 acres

Year built: 1928

Square feet: 2,734

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 2 full

Taxes: $5,734 (2014)

Get swept up in a Victorian romance

At right: Madeleine Stowe in “The Magnificent Ambersons.”
At right: Madeleine Stowe in “The Magnificent Ambersons.”John Blanding/Globe Staff

322 Humphrey St., Swampscott

This Queen Anne Victorian would make the perfect setting for a juicy 19th-century novel: stately double doors, carved staircase, mantel with beveled mirror, a living room and parlor illuminated by chandeliers, and intricate stained-glass windows. When it’s time to get away from the rigors of daily life, escape to a romantic third-floor turret room with panoramic oceanfront views. Gaze wistfully into the distance and pen a letter to your long-lost beloved, so far across the sea.

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Price: $879,000

Style: Victorian

Lot size: 0.15 acre

Year built: 1883

Square feet: 3,344

Bedrooms: 5

Baths: 3 full, 1 half

Taxes: $15,106 (2014)

Find your zen like a Hollywood celebrity

At right: Maria Menounos.
At right: Maria Menounos. Marek Biela/BostonRep

22 Bray St., Gloucester

Om sweet om: Let your inner spiritual guru fly free at this contemporary Deck House festooned with an indoor Zen garden, skylights, heated floors, an expansive deck overlooking acres of gardens, and a 150-gallon koi pond with a waterfall. There’s also a herb garden adjacent to the kitchen. Once you’ve achieved maximum serenity, take your horse for a trot in the property’s riding ring.

Price: $925,000

Style: Contemporary

Lot size: 5.61 acres

Year built: 1977

Square feet: 3,800

Bedrooms: 4

Baths: 2 full

Taxes: $9,448 (2014)

More coverage:

Most expensive homes for sale in Mass.

Resident evil: readers’ Halloween displays

Home of the Week: Converted firehouse in East Boston


Kara Baskin is a regular contributor to the Globe. Send comments to kcbaskin@gmail.com.