North Halsted Halloween Parade 2008
North Halsted Halloween Parade 2008 Credit: James Walsh

Halloween Events

All Things Evil This late-night torture-themed Halloween party includes drinks till midnight. Advance tickets required.  9 PM-4 AM, Evil Olive, 1551 W. Division, 773-235-9100,, $25.

Anna in the Darkness 2009: The Basement A play in which small-town fundamentalists try to kill a teacher for trying to get kids to like reading.  Through 11/1: Fri 10:30 PM, Sat 4 PM, also Thu 10/29, 10:30 PM, and Sun 11/1, 9:30 PM, Dream Theatre, 556 W. 18th, 773-552-8616,, $15.

Annual Nocturna All Hallow’s Eve Ball Costume contest, CD giveaways, and a Halloween-themed belly dance by Read My Hips. DJ Scary Lady Sarah spins.  Sat 10/31, 11:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203,, $19, $16 with costume, 18+.

Boolesque Revue Piccolo Theater’s Halloween burlesque show.  Thu 10/29, 8 PM, Evanston Arts Depot, 600 Main, Evanston, 847-424-0089,, $15-$25.

The Brides of Ghost Hunter Richard Crowe: Zombies Built Chicago This show enacts local supernatural stories; there’s a costume afterparty on Halloween.  Through 11/21: Fri and Sat 8 PM, Liar’s Club, 1665 W. Fullerton, 773-665-1110, $10.

Carpenters Halloween The Carpenters’ pop songs meet John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic in this musical comedy.  Through 11/7: Tue-Sat 8 PM, Mary’s Attic at Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 N. Clark, 800-838-3006,, $15-$20.

Chicago Supernatural Ghost Tours “Ghosthunter” Richard T. Crowe leads bus tours of graveyards, gangster massacre sites, and disaster locales.  Through 11/1: Mon-Fri 7-11 PM, Sat-Sun 1-5 PM and 7-11 PM, Goose Island Brew Pub, 1800 N. Clybourn, 708-499-0300,, $44-$54.

Chronicles of the Cursed The “most chilling urban experience the fear-hungry have ever witnessed,” with 20,000 square feet of carnage, corpses, and creatures. Not recommended for kids under 13.  Daily through 11/1, 7-11 PM, 560 W. Grand,, $20.

Cinegasm This Halloween bash features music by the Lifeline, Diagon Alley, and Seven Day Sonnet, burlesque by the Chicago Starlets, video and performance art, costume contests, and drink specials.  Sat 10/31, 10 PM, Reggie’s Rock Club, 2105 S. State, 312-949-0121 or 866-468-3401,, $15, $12 with costume, 18+.

Creatures of the Night Nocturnal animals including fruit bats, owls, and spiders will make a daytime appearance at this educational kids’ event.  Sat 10/31, noon-3 PM, Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park, 312-922-2322. 

Dead on Division Joints on Division between Rush and Clark (and the Hangge Uppe on Elm) pitch in for this street spectacle including costume contests, a scavenger hunt, palm reading, and drink specials.  Sat 10/31, 7 PM,

Devil’s Night Vaudeville The Artistic Home acting ensemble and studio’s Halloween party, with music and burlesque.  Fri 10/30, 9 PM, Belle Plaine Studio, 2014 W. Belle Plaine, 866-811-4111,, $15.

Dia de los Muertos and Halloween Ball Portoluz presents a Day of the Dead celebration, including a community building of the ofrenda, or decorated altar, from 2 to 3 PM, and an all-ages concert by JaroChicanos from 3 to 5. A costume ball, “Encuentro de Jaraneros,” starts at 8 PM with music by Son del Viento, Tarima Son, Fandanguero, and Los Cojolites; it’s 21+.  SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, 847-492-8860,, concert $5, ball $20.

Disturbed Drawn from the beginning cantos of Dante’s Inferno, a 15-minute performance piece designed to be “crap-your-pants scary.” Admission every half hour.  Daily through 11/1, 8-10:30 PM, Oracle Productions, 3809 N. Broadway, 773-244-2980,, $8 donation.

Halloween PUPkin Party Bring your dog for a costumed pet parade, giveaways, drawings, and a canine-human look-alike contest.  Sat 10/31, 9 AM-noon, Brands Park, 3259 N. Elston, 773-478-2414, $5 per dog.

Double Door’s 13th Annual Halloween Bash Black Angus as Black Sabbath, Midnight Shows as Huey Lewis & the News, Catfish Haven as Nirvana, Viceroy as Cheap Trick, Blackbox as Snoop Dogg, Hobo & the Boxcar as the White Stripes, and DJ Erik as Johnny Thunders. Costumes welcome.  Fri 10/30, 8 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212,, $12.

Dream Reapers Haunted House These 22 rooms—”14,000 square feet of sheer terror”—feature animatronics and more than 40 actors. All ages allowed; not recommended for young children.  Through 10/31: Thu, Sun 7-10 PM, Fri-Sat 7-11 PM, Dream Reapers Haunted House, 1945 Cornell, Melrose Park, 708-344-2084,, $16.

Dungeon of Doom Haunted House Sixty actors roam attractions like Dead Bums Alley, Cabin of Carnage, and Sewer Underground. Not recommended for kids under 13.  Through 10/31: Thu 7-10 PM, Fri 7 PM-late (“till the last body crawls”), Sat 6 PM-late, Sun 6-10 PM, Dungeon of Doom, 2701 Deborah, Zion, 262-331-0092,, $15-$25, VIP $35.

Enchantment Under the Ground Prom This Devil’s Night prom features performances by the “horrifyingly professional” Johnny & the Limelites; “Gory” Mory Lestat the Neurotic Vampire Comedian; Rutherford B. Bloodbath and His Halloween Band Who, Thankfully, Will Not Be Covering Any Misfits Songs Tonight; and DJs Melissa and Sam.  Fri 10/30, 10 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401,, $8.

Exquisite: A Series of Corpses This writing and visual art series launches with a Halloween-themed edition. Following the exquisite corpse method, artists, poets, and writers will create works inspired by a live model; audience participation is welcome and costumes are encouraged.  Fri 10/30, 7-11 PM, Saint Paul’s Cultural Center, 2215 W. North, 773-278-7677,

Extreme Halloween “Gothic illusionist” Ron Fitzgerald hosts a benefit for Chicagoland Halloween’s Haunts Against Hunger food drive. Bring a can of food to donate.  Sat 10/31, 7:30 PM, Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway, 773-472-3492,, $15.

The Fear Haunted House Zombie Army Productions presents a haunted house designed for teen and adult audiences. Kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.  Through 11/1: Thu, Sun 6-10 PM, Fri-Sat 6-11 PM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 773-843-3327,, $20.

Franken Plaza Halloween-themed activities including mask-making and arts and crafts, as well as performances by acrobatic troupe the Midnight Circus and fire-dancing troupe Pyrotechniq.  Through 10/31: Thu-Sun 11 AM-8 PM, Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, 312-744-3315,

Frankenstein The Hypocrites’ take on Mary Shelley’s story; see page 61 for Justin Hayford’s review.  Through 11/1: Wed-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 and 7:30 PM, also Fri-Sat 10/30-10/31, 10 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-280-2660,, $10-$25.

Freaktoberfest Beer Tasting A tasting of more than 60 seasonal brews, including Schmaltz Brewing Company’s Freaktoberfest Blood Red Lager and Sword Swallower Steel Hop Lager, all part of its Coney Island line. Plus: sideshow-style entertainment in the bar’s vintage tent and Coney Island hot dogs for sale. Costumes encouraged.  Thu 10/29, 7-10 PM, Cigars & Stripes, 6715 W. Ogden, Berwyn, 708-484-1043, $20.

Fright Fest Six Flags’ month of Halloween-themed weekends, including kid-friendly events like the Candy Trail and performances by the Wiggles, as well as a zombie parade, a mesmerism performance, a monster musical, and a freak show. Horror movie screenings and haunted house areas cost extra.  Through Sun 11/1: Fri 5-11 PM, Sat 10 AM-10 PM, Sun 10 AM-9 PM, Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee, 847-249-4636,, $35.

Galaween This benefit for the Chicago Cultural Center includes a night of dancing, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and a costume contest with a $1,000 grand prize. DJ White Shadow spins. Costumes or cocktail attire required.  Sat 10/31, 7:30 PM-1 AM, Chicago Cultural Center, studio theater, 77 E. Randolph, 312-744-1364, $75-$90.

Hallowed Halls: On Stage! Family activities including mask and costume making, a playwriting and acting workshop with arts education theater ensemble Barrel of Monkeys, and a performance by the ensemble of a Halloween version of their play That’s Weird, Grandma.  Sat 10/31, 10 AM-1:30 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630,

Halloween at the Abbey Pub The Shaking Hand as AC/DC, Tomorrow the Moon as Psychedelic Furs, the Delafields as the B-52s, the Webstirs as Fleetwood Mac, and Tiny Speakers as the Everly Brothers.  Sat 10/31, 8 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-463-5808 or 866-468-3401,, $10-$12.

Haunted Hotel This costume ball features a performance by Kaya Jones, formerly of the Pussycat Dolls, and music from local DJs including Nathan Scott, Victor R, and Rock City.  Sat 10/31, 8 PM-2 AM, W Hotel Chicago City Center, 172 W. Adams, 312-332-1200,, $30.

Hellraiser A Halloween-themed exhibition with work by Clive Barker, Richard Haugh, Gigi Gross, and others. Reception Sat 10/31, 8 PM-midnight. Costumes encouraged.  10/31-1/31, Gallery Provocateur, 2125 N. Rockwell, 773-661-2341.

Helter Skelter Halloween Kitty Zombie hosts this late-night event (daylight savings means you can technically dance until 6 AM) and costume contest as DJ Jeff Moyer spins industrial, goth, and other “spooky favorites from the darker side.”  Sat 10/31, 10 PM, Neo, 2350 N. Clark, 773-528-2622, $10.

Hideout Gets Heavy II The second annual Monster Mash Bash features music from Arriver, Rabid Rabbit, and Den of Vipers. Stay for the Monster Mash Dance Party with DJ Velcro Lewis at 11:30 PM.  Sat 10/31, 9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401,, $8.

Hotel Massacre This haunted house has doubled in size since last year, to 11,000 square feet. “Where many have checked in, none have checked out.” On Halloween night it’s 21+.  Through 10/31: Wed-Thu 7-11PM, Fri-Sat 7 PM-midnight, 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th, Merrionette Park, 630-254-0523,, $20-$35.

Houdini Seance Supernatural Chicago re-creates a Victorian seance on the anniversary of Houdini’s death.  Sat 10/31, 7:15 PM, Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn, 800-979-3370,, $25.

Jukebox of the Dead The tenth anniversary edition of Lincoln Hall’s Halloween show features the theme Fame and “amputated, resewn, and rearranged” pop covers by Detholz!, Bobby Conn, and Loto Ball Show.  Sat 10/31, 9 PM, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, 773-525-2501,, $10, 18+.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: A New Folk Musical The Filament Theatre Company’s take on Washington Irving’s famous ghost story.  Through 11/9: Thu-Sat 7 PM, Sun 5 PM, no show 10/22, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 773-296-6024,, $10-$16.50.

Magic Chicago Presenting “Fear and Fate,” A Halloween celebration with magician Eugene Burger.  Fri 10/30, 11 PM, Sat 10/31, 11 PM, City Lit Theater Company, Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, 773-293-3682,, $25.

Mind Shivers Psychic Sidney Friedman performs his annual show of telepathy, ESP, and premonition.  Sat 10/31, 8 PM, Sun 11/1, 7 PM, Davenport’s Piano Bar & Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee, 773-278-1830,, $17, two-drink minimum.

The Modern Prometheus In Brad Lawrence’s version of the Frankenstein story, set during the Franco-Prussian War, the famous doctor fashions his famous monster from parts of dead soldiers and resurrects a dead little girl for an encore.  Through 11/21: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, RBP Rorschach, 4001 N. Ravenswood, 773-750-2033,, $15 suggested donation.

Monster Burlesque Academy Vaudezilla’s Halloween show.  Sat 10/31, 10 PM, Portage, 4050 N. Milwaukee, 773-736-4050, $20, $15 in advance.

Mouse in a Jar This 80-minute one-act depicts a frightened family of illegal immigrants threatened by a hideously masked monster.  Through 10/31: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont, 773-329-1088,, $10-$20. 

Halloween Movieoke To “movieoke” is to do a classic movie scene for an audience, karaoke style. This Halloween-themed installment features scenes from Army of Darkness, It, Scream, Frankenstein, Nightmare on Elm Street, and the like. Presented by the Vintage Theater Collective.  Mon 11/2, 9 PM, the Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-3530,

Nightmares on Lincoln Avenue Corn Productions’ collection of 11 horror vignettes.  Through 10/31: Wed-Sat 8 PM, Cornservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln, 773-458-6151,, $7-$15.

North Halsted Halloween Parade The theme of this year’s parade, which runs on Halsted between Belmont and Addison, is “Mad Hatter’s Ball.” The street will be closed to other traffic from about 3 to 9 PM. Registration for the costume contest and parade starts at 4 PM.  Sat 10/31, 6 PM, 312-391-3355,

Peek-A-Boo!: An Ooky Spooky Halloween Burlesque Revue Chris O. Biddle premieres his latest vaudeville-comedy-meets-striptease creation.  Through 10/31: Fri and Sat 10 PM and midnight, Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-404-7336,, $10-$25.

Pumpkin Patches The Chicago Park District allows kids to pick out and decorate pumpkins in parks around the city, as well as offering hayrides, petting zoos, games, pony rides, and more. See for a complete schedule.  Through 10/31: Fridays-Sundays,, $1-$5.

Reaper’s Realm Haunted Attractions This haunted house boasts “three floors of terror” and attractions including the Haunted Mansion, Reaper Woods, Psycho Circus, and Carnevil.  Through 10/31: Fri-Sat 7 PM-midnight, Sun 7-10 PM, Reaper’s Realm Haunted House, 626 177th, Hammond,, $10-$35.

Reverse Trick or Treating Workshop Kids can learn about fair-trade chocolate and child labor on cocoa farms and “reverse trick or treat” by giving vegan fair-trade chocolate to adults. Info cards and chocolate provided.  Thu 10/29, 5-6 PM, Greenheart Shop, 1911 W. Division, 312-264-1625,

Rhymes With Evil InFusion Theatre Company’s midwest premiere of Charles R. Traeger’s psychological mystery.  Through 11/8: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Fri-Sat 10/30-10/31 only, 10 PM, Storefront Theater, Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph, 312-742-8497,, $15-$25.

Richardson Corn Maze This corn maze, one of the largest in the world, includes a five-acre section haunted by local firefighters on Halloween.  Through 11/1: Wed-Thu 3-10 PM, Fri 3-11 PM, Sat 10 AM-11 PM, Sun noon-10 PM, Richardson Farm, 9407 Richardson Road, Spring Grove, 815-675-9729,, $8.50-$11.50.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show This screening of the 1975 cult movie includes a preshow dance party and costume contest.  10/30-10/31, midnight, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604,, $10.

Salem! The Musical Written and performed by a five-woman ensemble under the direction of Mark Vannier, this production centers on a Bible-thumping preacher in 17th-century Salem whose independent-minded niece is accused of witchcraft because of her insistence on thinking, reading, and treating slaves as people.  Through 10/30: Fri 8 PM, Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, 773-561-4665, $15. 

Scared Stiff A closeted gay teenager in 1980s Britain—the son of a professional ghost hunter—falls for a ghost.  Through 10/31: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1420 W. Irving Park, 800-838-3006, $12.

Splatter Theater Annoyance Theatre’s annual parody of slasher flicks.  Through 10/31: Sat 10:01 PM, Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, 773-561-4665, $15.

Seadog Haunted Tours Costumed tour guides will describe “supernatural and odd occurrences” from Chicago’s history, including the Fort Dearborn massacre and the Eastland Disaster, on this cruise along the Chicago River.  Through 10/31: Fri-Sat 6:15 PM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 312-822-7200,, $27 adults, $15 kids 4-12, kids under 4 free.

Spooky Science Activities on Halloween include pumpkin smashing, slime making, cow-eye dissection, and a haunted coal mine.  Through 11/1: Sat-Sun 9:30 AM-4 PM, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th and Lake Shore Dr., 773-684-1414,, $13, $9 kids.

Statesville Haunted Prison Prison-themed haunted house with 30 “maximum-security cells” and a “City of the Dead.” It’s 10+ but kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  Through 11/1: Thu, Sun 7-10 PM, Fri-Sat 7-11 PM, Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm, 17250 S. Weber, Lockport, 877-722-7332,, $30.

Trails of Terror This re-creation of a seaside town haunted by the ghostly remains of boat crews boasts half a mile of “spine-tingling terror.” Recommended for ages eight and up.  Thu-Sat 10/29-10/31, 6:30-9:30 PM, Peterson Park, 5801 N. Pulaski, 312-742-7584, $8-$10.

West Town Bike Tour This architectural and historical bike tour of West Town, hosted by Big Shoulders Realty, West Town Bikes, and Ciclo Urbano, covers 15 to 18 miles and coincides with Haunted Paseo Boricua, a Halloween celebration where four blocks of Division are shut off for a street festival, haunted house, trick-or-treating, and a parade. Riders are encouraged to wear costumes and helmets; prizes will be given for best costumes (including one for best use of a bike helmet in a costume). Mechanics from West Town Bikes will be on hand to do free mini bike tune-ups before the ride. Meet at California and Division.  Sat 10/31, 10 AM-2 PM, 773-772-6523. 

Wunder’s Cemetery Tour Goldie’s Place, a support center for the homeless, hosts this “all-lights-out” tour of Wunder’s Cemetery. After the hour-long tour, the group will head to the nearby Holiday Club (4000 N. Sheridan), where your tour ticket will get you one free drink.  Fri 10/30, 8 PM, Wunder’s Cemetery, 3963 N. Clark, 847-909-0767,, $20.

Zombie Doug’s Lula Cafe’s tradition of dressing up as another restaurant for Halloween continues this year with Zombie Doug’s. Hot Doug’s proprietor Doug Sohn will be guest chef, preparing special orders of his famous dogs.  Sat 10/31, 9 AM-11 PM, Lula Cafe, 2537 N. Kedzie, 773-489-9554,

For full reviews of Halloween-related theater productions, see