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Sea of howlin’ fun at NY Ascarium

Buzz Lightyear hobnobbed with Batman while Spiderman whizzed around with butterflies, immersing thrill-seekers in a sea of spine-tingling escapades at the New York Aquarium, which morphed into a spooktacular Ascarium over the weekend to celebrate the year’s most phant-astic day.

Tremulous thrill seekers made a beeline for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s annual haunted habitat — demonically plopped against the Coney Island Boardwalk and landscaped by the Atlantic Ocean — where ghosts, goblins and other ghoulish folk made sure a ghastly good time was had by one and all, whatever floated their boo-tastic boats.

Halloween was the magic password for the young and the young-at-heart, who tried to cram in such awesome attractions and activities as the Haunted Sea-fari. Revelers departed there wobbly-kneed but wiser for the eerie-fic experience, and with a better understanding of how to preserve our oceans. If visitors had any illusions about the hair-raising holiday, kid-friendly, aquatic-themed magic shows provided the thrilling proof.

There was gourds of fun, of course — from pumpkin-carving demonstrations and creepy crafts to spooky storytelling and trick-or-treating — but it was the scary sounds, courtesy of Annie and the Natural Wonder Band, which put the happy hordes into a hoppin’, howlin’ mood. That and the cute kid costumes. Some of our faves included Chelsea Muccariella’s spellbinding witches garb, and the “all-American cheerleader,” better known to her family and friends as good-sport Rachel Casaceli.

The fearsome frolics continue this weekend — if you dare to brrr-ave — so head on over, and don’t forget to come dressed to thrill.

Ascarium at New York Aquarium [Surf Avenue at W. Eighth Street in Coney Island, (718) 265-FISH; www.nyaquarium.com], Oct. 30-31, 11 am to 4 pm; $13 (adults), $9 (children ages 3-12), and $10 (seniors).

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