Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain which means roughly, the end of summer. It’s also the name of Glenn Danzig‘s band after The Misfits, for all you lovers of horror-rock out there (see video below). Samhain usually lasted several days and had elements of other festivals’ for the dead. People and their livestock would walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual and cast the bones of slaughtered livestock into the flames. The first day of Samhain was October 31st and many of the traditions associated with Halloween come from both the secular Gaelic celebration of Samhain and the Catholic holiday All Saints Day. For example, trick-or-treating bears similarities to the medieval practice of souling, where peasants would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls’ Day (November 2). Similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. In Mexican tradition, the Day of the Dead or Dia De Los Muertos (November 1) also shares similarities to Samhain and All Saints Day.
So, there’s a little history for you. For those of us that don’t trick or treat any more, Halloween means dressing up and going out to crazy, horror-themed Halloween events and whatever your schedule and location, we got an event for you. If you got the kids, no worries, we got family friendly events too. I’ve made a list of some of the events that seemed interesting but we got a lot more than these so hit the website and search for more events in your area or leave a comment and let us know what you’re doing this Halloween.
Friday, October 28
Nightmare At Beaver Lake – Sammamish, Washington The Nightmare at Beaver Lake is an annual indoor/outdoor Halloween event produced by the Rotary Club of Sammamish and Scare Productions. This family-friendly haunted house experience includes not-quite-so-scary Family Scare from 7 to 7:45 PM with toned-down performances. Full Scare starts at 8 PM and closes at 10 PM on school nights and 11 PM on Friday and Saturday performances. All cast members and production staff are volunteers from the community.
Haunted Detroit Tours – Ghost Hunting Tour – Clawson, Michigan You will become a real-life GHOST HUNTER as you join us a 2.5 hour ghost-hunting paranormal and historical tour through Metro Detroit! Its unlike anything you’ve ever done before. Haunted Detroit Ghost Tours include transportation to haunted sites and the use of state of the art ghost hunting tools such as EMF detector, digital cameras, and infra-red thermometers to help detect and maybe even capture images of spirits from the OTHER SIDE! The tour is a great mix of spooky themed fun, history, and paranormal investigation all wrapped in one. Haunted Detroit Tour guides are local history buffs and paranormal enthusiasts who get a real kick out of sharing Metro-Detroits haunted history and lore with you! It’s educational AND entertaining! Your journey will begin at the designated meeting place. Guests will then be shuttled on chartered transportation to various local haunted sites before taking in refreshments at one of Metro-Detroit’s finest snack-stops, before seeing and learning about more spooky sites!
DAMNED IV – An Exhibition of Enlightened Darkness – Detroit, Michigan Each night of DAMNED IV will have a unique theme for its ambiance and performances. The theme for Friday is “The Enlightenment” – A night of the extrospective self enlightened through light, fire and the ethereal. This grand night of dark art exhibition, ethereal ambiance and exotic performances begins at 7 PM and VIP admissions gains you access to the sensually lush VIP Mezzanine with private bar and live televised performance simulcasts all night long.
Evenings In Quarantine: The Zombie Opera – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania “Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera” is an original hybrid theatrical stage and film production by Artistic Directors Bonnie Bogovich and Elizabeth Rishel, featuring the talents of Film Director Barry Bogovich, Special Effects Make-up Designer Arvin Clay, and Director of Photography Edwin Huang. A full-length video projection serves as the moving, interactive backdrop to this horror opera highlighting some of the Steel City’s most prominent iconic locations and celebrating the keystone creature of Pittsburgh’s cultural heritage, the zombie.
Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show – Hoboken, New Jersey The Theater Company of Hoboken presents Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show” for three performances just in time for Halloween! Presented in February 2011, “The Rocky Horror Show” brings the cult classic movie to the live stage. Frank-n-furter, Brad and Janet, Riff Raff, Magenta, Columbia, Eddie, and of course Rocky are all a part of the show, along with a band of freaks to round out the fun. Sing and dance along, shout out responses, or just sit back and enjoy the fun. Crowds loved the show in February, and you will love it now!
Stagefright 3 – Greensboro, North Carolina Six original plays of horror and suspense will be presented each night as part of this annual series by the Greensboro Playwrights’ Forum.
The Tale of Frankenstein’s Daughter – Brooklyn, New York Praised by critics as “fabulously horrific”, “fantastic and unique”, and “franklyperfect”, the year-long project focusing on Mary Shelley’s classic novel climaxes with Playwright Stanton Wood’s “THE TALE OF FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER.” By completely re-imagining and integrating the competing narratives from our two earlier Frankenstein projects, Rabbit Hole Ensemble has crafted a cohesive new play that honors and invigorates Mary Shelley’s classic story by giving it a surprising new twist. We have changed the genders of the Doctor and Creature to sharply focus on the powerful consequences and responsibilities of creation. Is Doctor Frankenstein’s crime creating her monster/daughter…or rejecting it? Directed by Artistic Director Edward Elefterion, the production naturally features our signature minimalism including specific physical work, innovative design, techniques from story theatre, musical elements from Kabuki theatre, two actors playing the same role, and multiple points of view. Now is the last chance to come see what Brooklyn’s buzzing about. And if you saw earlier versions, prepare to be surprised!
Miss Kitty’s World Famous Electrosex Halloween Ball – Los Angeles, California LA’S MOST NOTORIOUS HALLOWEEN PARTY RETURNS – A massive four area haunted disco playground for wild boys and naughty girls. A haunted mansion nightclub featuring 4 areas of sin, performance, music and haunted decadence: live erotic fortune tellers + haunted hayride boy & girl lapdancers naughty gogo monsters photo booth (starring you) + costume runway strip off dirty on stage contests absinthe bar + cider drinks horny haunted maze + burlesque dancers. 2 DANCEFLOORS: Area 1 / Nudisco Electro with dj Barbeau & Xian. Area 2 / 80s + glam rock with DJj Jasten King. Hosted by the one and only world famous MISS KITTY and featuring Courtney Cruz, Rudeness, and The Miss Kitty’s Filthy Family of Performers, including and all of Hollywood’s underground monsters, b list celebrities, porn stars, art queens & strippers.
New Orleans Horror Film Festival – New Orleans, Louisiana The inaugural New Orleans Horror Film Festival takes place deep in the heart of the world famous French Quarter. From the Friday night festivities (Opening Night Party, Filmmaker’s Meet-&-Greet, Special Midnight Screening), through two days of the best horror & sci-fi programs (Features & Shorts Screenings, Filmmaker Q&A’s, Panel Discussions, Special Guests), to the Sunday night events (Awards Ceremony, Closing Night Party), the NOHFF is going to be a weekend to remember. What better place to experience a horror film festival than the “most haunted city in America?” And when you come to the New Orleans Horror Film Festival, be sure to stick around for Halloween on Bourbon Street (the 2nd coming of Mardi Gras).
Séance de Femme – Austin, Texas Gaze into the crystal ball of Victorian era curiosities and find the darker side of Sassy Delure, Coco Lectric, Ruby Joule, Pearl Lux, Goldie Candela, with special guest GoGo McGregor of St. Louis and comedienne Nicole Lucas… a truly sultry, haunting adventure! The Jigglewatts Burlesque Revue presents a decadently haunting evening of Victorian mystery. Enter a chamber of forbidden secrets as the ladies of the Jigglewatts conjure the seductive spirits of untold realms! A mesmerizing take on the Victorian séance.
Tipsy Gypsy Halloween Ball – Nevada City, California Can you hear the jangle of a gypsy caravan as it pulls into Nevada City filled with dancers, musicians and magic of all kinds? Get ready for an event to remember:
Bourgeois Gypsies and friends provide live music, Costume Ball, Belly and fire Dancers, Fortune Telling, Contests and Prizes. All will be entertained, rewarded and will participate in the hoopla, with prizes for best costume, King and Queen of the Ball, giveaways to upcoming shows, CD’s, T-shirts and trinkets. All this takes place within the walls of the historic Stonehouse in Nevada City.
Saturday, October 29
Askew Theatre Company’s Halloween Drive-In Triple Feature – North Hollywood, California A zombie apocalypse. The demise of an aging B-movie actress. A dictator in search of love in Tinseltown… with the exception of the first, these premises hardly seem like ideal subjects for Halloween. But on closer examination, all three plays really do share one thing in common. Whether it’s literal brain-eating zombies taking over the planet, or the horrific events that follow a madwoman’s determination to make a return to former glory, or a sadistic dictator who uses his totalitarian power to get what he wants; they’re all depictions of varying degrees of what the horror genre refers to as “monsters.” So what better way to explore these themes than by paying homage (or downright borrowing) from the film world? After all, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery and there is no doubt that the three writers hold these genre films near and dear to their hearts. While the B-movies of the 50s, 60s, and 70s aren’t exactly considered high art, they do tap into the dark recesses of society, offering up commentary on social issues – with tongue always firmly planted in cheek – intentionally or not. Askew Theatre Company welcomes you to this Halloween Drive-In Triple Feature with three original One-Act comedies. They may or may not send chills down your back… But they’ll definitely tickle your funny bone!
Whooo’s the Wickedest Ghost? A Spooky Trial – San Diego, California Would you like to meet “real” ghosts and learn their stories? Come to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to hear and see scary, funny, and tragic stories of people who once lived in early San Diego during the 1800s. Meet the spirits as they answer the comical Judge Oliver Weatherby. Do they have secret stories? You will be present at a trial where the audience becomes the jury and determines “Whooo’s the Wickedest Ghost?” You, the jury, will judge their guilt or innocence. This is an approximately 60 minute walking tour with performers. Not recommended for children under age 6. Holders of children’s tickets must be accompanied by an adult.
Burtonween: A Sideshow Spectacular – Seattle, Washington Ever wonder what happened to all those fantastical characters by Tim Burton? Have you been curious about Sally, Ed Wood, Veruca Salt, Frankenweenie or Edward Scissorhands? Where are they now? Well, they all ran away with the circus hosted by Tim burton himself. Featuring the visual beguilement of: Lili Delight, Boom Boom L’Roux, Whisper DeCorvo, Persephone, Twisted Trystan, La Petite Mort, Rebella Revolver and more. Eargasm enjoyment provided by El Randito and Jeff Ferrell. Hosted by the always entertaining Sir Eddie Van Glam as your Ring Leader Tim Burton!
SHOW Us More Tricks! A Halloween Circus Burlesque Spectacle – Northhampton, Massachusetts Last year, SHOW Circus Studio teased, delighted and amazed Northampton with “SHOW Us Your Tricks,” an original Circus/Burlesque cabaret. This year, they’re pushing the envelope even further! Kick off your Halloween week-end with acts by the hilarious and beautiful Serendipity Galore and her gorgeous (voted “Most Beautiful” at the 2010 Boston Burlesque Expo) partner, the incomparable Bettysioux Taylor, the bendy and glittery Captain Elastico, the sultry and talented Vince McSquirrely, Cluck Kent on his Super-trapeze, all hosted by the sassiest M.C. this side of the Mississippi, Hors D’oeuvres. You will be tantalized by the grace and beauty of the performers, amazed by the acrobatic feats, and shocked by the saucy repartee of the Mistress of Ceremonies. Come join us as we make the magic happen again.
Vagabond Opera’s CD Release Party — Annual Transylvanian Voodoo Ball!! – Portland, Oregon Vagabond Opera presents the fifth Annual Transylvanian Voodoo Ball, a celebration and seance for those come and gone.
This will ALSO be their CD RELEASE PARTY for their new upcoming album, “SING FOR YOUR LIVES” at the Star Theater – Portland’s oldest live restored burlesque theater! Other acts include: Chervona – Balkan Gypsy Brass Band, Rachel Brice – Neo-tribal belly dance, Amy Hatfield – Fire Arts and The Dolly Pops – Sassy Swinging dance revue! Also featuring a day of the dead altar, psychic readings by dino tarot and more! Costumes HIGHLY encouraged!
Live Burlesque in Las Vegas presents…The Halloween Stripshow – Las Vegas, Nevada For Live Burlesque in Las Vegas’s show will get scary and sexy. Their out of town guests include: From LA Bobbie Burlesque, Sophia Sirena, Jessabelle Thunder, and from San Fran Ginger Skyye. Las Vegas favorites Lady Luck, La Rosa Muerta, Black Widow, Ivanna Blaize, Miss Karla Joy, Renea’ Le Roux and Sinsity Pearl. Hosted by Blanche DeBris. Take walk through our Haunted House…if you dare! Costume Contest with AMAZING prizes.
A Night of Murder Ballads – Saratoga Springs, New York Folksingers have long enthralled audiences with woeful, spine-tingling ballads recounting murders both real and imaginary. In honor of everyone’s favorite creepy holiday, Caffe Lena offers you a whole night of music to die for! From “Pretty Polly” and “Tom Dooley,” to “The Banks of the Ohio” and “Down By the Willow Garden,” you’ll hear tales of dastardly deeds done in the style of bluegrass, Celtic, Appalachian, and more. Plucking at your heartstrings will be Alien Folklife, the Broken String Band, Lost Radio Rounders, Phil Drum & Sonny Speed of The Resonators, Special Creek Bluegrass Band and more! Special desserts and other treats await you, and, all tricks aside, the proceeds will benefit Caffe Lena so they can keep bringing you the finest folk year round.
Leche De Tigre’s Latin Gypsy Funk Halloween in Kona – Kailua Kona, Hawaii Get your Halloween party started with Leche De Tigre, the 8-piece group that plays a musical style known as latin gypsy funk. Their sound is laced with rock influences and relies on the percussive and melodic impact of acoustic guitars to engage the audience. This party features two sets of live, original music, dancing by the fantastic Nouveau Gypsy Bellydance, a DJ set before and after show and a costume contest with prizes (latin/gypsy/funk costume theme).
Masquerade Macabre – Brooklyn, New York Gemini & Scorpio cordially request your presence at Masquerade Macabre, a marvellous and mysterious event; a Halloween celebration of the extravagant and the grotesque; an all-night spectacle of atmosphere, costumery and diverse entertainments; an explosion of live music, dancing, circus arts, fire and late-night revelry, snake-charmed into an absinthe-fueled early-morning speakeasy. Live entertainment includes dark, danceable anthems of mischief by Shayfer James & his gentlemen band, expressionist puppet ballet by the Royal Baritarian Players, blasphemous burlesque by Fox Trotsky, lewd Alfred Douglas and Anja Keister, ukelele-meets-Shakespeare by Stav Meishar, mad Weimar poet Gregor of Berlin, Victorian troubadour accordionista Karen Yair and a demonic dance floor by handpicked DJs. Also exciting diversions such as fantastical face & body painting by Painteresse Elyzabeth, mystifying silver film likenesses produced in front your very eyes by Tsirkus Fotografika, live party painting by Yao Xiao, frighteningly accurate fortunes told by practitioners of the occult arts and absinthe and other mind-altering potions by The House of St Eve.
Sunday, October 30
Island of Lost Souls (1932) & Them! (1954) – Los Angeles, California New Beverly Cinema presents Halloween films selected by Joe Dante, director of Gremlins. ISLAND OF LOST SOULS – 1932, USA, 70 minutes, 35mm, Universal Pictures (Paramount) Directed by Erle C. Kenton. Screenplay by Philip Wylie & Waldemar Young.
Based on H.G. Wells’s novel “The Island of Dr. Moreau” and starring Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi and Kathleen Burke. PLUS, on the same program THEM! 1954, USA, 94 minutes, 35mm, Warner Bros. Directed by Gordon Douglas. Written by Ted Sherdeman & Russell Hughes. Based on a story by George Worthing Yates and starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness and Fess Parker. This is a double feature so your ticket admits you to BOTH films!
PhantasmaGorey 2011: An Edward Gorey Halloween Brunch Spectacular – New York, New York Dances of Vice & Shien Lee Creative Group Present: PhantasmaGorey 2011 featuring the haunting murder ballads of Beat Circus, admonitory aerial ballet by the captivating Jennifer Kovacs, beguiling burlesque by Miss Ruby Valentine and The Flying Fox, the fleeting footsteps of mischievous tap maven Gin Minsky of the infamous Minsky Sister and a special appearance by international sensation Johanna Constantine, with the devastatingly villainous vamp Miss Astrid as your mistress of ceremonies! PUREVILE! also returns with another Gorey-inspired funereal fashion show of jewelry and accouterment! DRESS CODE: Neglected Murderesses, Doubtful Guests, Gashlycrumb Tinies, Hapless Children, Gilded Bats, Anguishing Artists, Restless Widows, Lonesome Mourners &c. Prizes will be awarded to best Gorey costumes!
Halloween! Monday, October 31
The 8th Annual Cabaret Macabre featuring The Bad Things, Baby Gramps and more! – Seattle, Washington Celebrate Halloween with the Columbia City Theater, The Bad Things and a bunch of their friends at the 8th Annual Cabaret Macabre! The 8th Annual Cabaret Macabre features Seattle’s premier junkyard cabaret band The Bad Things, Northwest legend Baby Gramps and from Los Angeles The Peculiar Pretzelmen and Eliza Rickman, who will be peforming with a local string section. The evening will also feature dance performance by Troupe Hipnotica, the Skinny Dip Gals, La Petite Mort and Triptych. Your Mistress of Ceremonies will be the incomparable Diva Le Deviant of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles fame. Costumes are highly encouraged.