Love haunted houses but wish they had a plot? Join the action of these immersive performances instead.
Inspired by an 1897 concert in the Paris Catacombs, Les Innocents, by (Re)Discover Theatre, is a queer thriller that follows a composer on a quest for love through the land of the dead. Conjure spirits, face mortality, and help goodness prevail in this interactive experience. Through 11/4: Thu-Sun 8 PM, ASL-interpreted performance Fri 10/19, Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence, 312-884-1733, rediscovertheatre.com, $30.
Rough House Theater presents The Walls of Harrow House, a truly harrowing performance created with puppetry and sound design. Visitors explore the home of an infamous Chicago architect and watch his horrific story unfold. Through 11/3: Thu-Fri 8 and 9:30 PM; Sat 8, 9:30, and 11 PM, Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, roughhousetheater.com, $25, $15 industry.
Strawdog Theatre Company premieres Masque Macabre, an immersive theater experience inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Guests travel from room to room, following 14 stories of revenge and murder. You may need to see it multiple times to get the full experience. Through 10/31: Thu-Sat 7 and 9:30 PM, Sun 2 and 5 PM; also Mon 10/29-Wed 10/31, 7 and 9:30 PM, Strawdog Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice, 773-644-1380, strawdog.org, $50, $40 seniors.
To celebrate the centennial of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, four theater companies are putting their own spin on Frankenstein. Two are currently running through November: Remy Bumppo presents Shelley’s classic from the creature’s perspective (and Nick Sandys and Greg Matthew Anderson alternate in the roles of the doctor and the monster), while Lifeline Theatre turns Frankenstein Freudian and female. Frankenstein Through 11/17: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM; also Wed 10/24, 10/31, and 11/14, 7:30 PM; and Sat 10/20, 11/3, and 11/17, 7:30 PM, Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-975-8150, remybumppo.org, $37.75-$62.75. Frankenstein Through 11/11: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM, Sun 4 PM, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood, 773-761-4477, lifelinetheatre.com, $40, $30 senior,s $30 students.
For a show with material more lighthearted than reanimated corpses, Lifeline is performing Bunnicula, the children’s Halloween staple about a rabbit who sucks the life out of vegetables. 10/20-11/25: Sat-Sun 11 AM and 1 PM, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood, 773-761-4477, lifelinetheatre.com, $15.
If you’re interested in the horror-comedy Chicago does best, go to the iO Theater. Two shows run every Wednesday: The Campfire (10 PM), an evening of scary improvised storytelling, and The Mansion Show (8 PM), a musical set in a haunted house in desperate need of repairs. Also playing at iO on Saturdays: Grand Guignol: Bad Milk and House Lafayette (both 10:30 PM). Through 10/31: iO Theater, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 312 929-2401, ioimprov.com, $10-$14.
Annoyance Theatre is hosting A Wet Dream on Elm Street, a musical about Freddy Krueger’s hot brother, and Splatter Theater, a classic Chicago evening of hilariously gruesome deaths now in its 31st year. A Wet Dream on Elm Street Through 11/4: Sun 8 PM; Splatter Theater Through 10/27: Sat 10:30 PM; also Wed 10/31, 8 PM, Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 773-697-9693, annoyancetheatre.com, $18-$20, $15 students.
Another Chicago Halloween show with familiar characters: Golden Girls, the Lost Episodes: Bea Afraid, which wonders, What would happen if Sophia were possessed by a demon? Through 11/2: Fri-Sat 10:30 PM, Sun 3 PM; also Tue 10/31-Fri 11/3, 7 PM, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, handbagproductions.org, $25.
Not enough dancing zombies? Check out You’ve Got Red on You, the musical adaptation of Shaun of the Dead, about a man coasting through life . . . until the dead rise outside his pub. Through 11/3: Thu-Fri and Sun 8 PM, Chief O’Neill’s Irish Pub, 3471 N. Elston, cowardlyscarecrow.com, $24.50.
Finally, the Goodman Theatre will be bringing back its annual Unnatural Weird Wonderfest (Uwwfest), chock-full of short plays by Chicago writers inspired by urban legends. Sat 10/27, 5 and 7 PM, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, 312-443-3800, goodmantheatre.org, $20, $35 both performances. v