Sarah Sherman, aka "Sarah Squirm," pulls out all the stops (and pubes) at the raunchy Helltrap Nightmare Fri 10/27. Credit: Courtesy of Artist

Halloween isn’t until Tuesday, but this weekend offers plenty of opportunities to scare yourself. Here’s some of what we recommend:

Fri 10/27: Sarah Sherman, one of the most lauded stand-ups in the city, hosts a Halloween edition of Helltrap Nightmare at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia), featuring alt-comics, noise musicians, and a ton of surprises. No material is concrete, so Sherman and coproducer Julia Dratel are likely just as excited as the audience to see what shakes out. Tonight features the Shrimp Boys, musician Grun Wasser, and more. 9 PM, $7

Fri 10/27: The scariest television show around, Downton Abbey, is the theme for the classic cocktail party Spektral Quartet’s Costumed Soirée. At the Downey Mansion (6205 N. Sheridan), costumes are 1900s themed, and music is provided by string quartets. The anticipation is killing the dowager countess. 8 PM, $75, includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres

Fri 10/27: The first episode of the Netflix show Black Mirror is about how social media forced the prime minister of England to have sex with a pig. The members of Improvised Black Mirror create a new episode of this deeply disturbing modern day Twilight Zone. Head to the Public House Theatre (3914 N. Clark) for the psychological horror. 10 PM, $12

Sat 10/28: Halloween cuisine isn’t all eyeballs and brains. Fat Rice (2957 W. Diversey) chef Abraham Conlon has whipped up a prix fixe feast of frog’s legs, gator gumbo, a boudin cake, and myriad other ways to eat odd animals for sustenance at the Big Sl-Easy: All Hallow’s Eve Jazz Funeral. Jazz plays in the background—the most horrifying musical genre because it’s based on the notes not played. What could they be? Minor, dissonant chords?! 6-8 PM and 8:30-10:30 PM, $125

Enjoy the gratuitousness of <i>Splatter Theater,</i> a spoof of horror flicks, at the Annoyance Theatre Sat 10/28.
Enjoy the gratuitousness of Splatter Theater, a spoof of horror flicks, at the Annoyance Theatre Sat 10/28.Credit: Gillian Fry

Sat 10/28: The Reader‘s Steve Heisler writes of the Annoyance Theatre’s (851 W. Belmont) Splatter Theater: “The first ever production the Annoyance mounted 30 years ago, Splatter Theater has become a fall theatergoing tradition—like a macabre, don’t-bring-the-kids Christmas Carol for the Halloween season.” This bloody good time happens tonight, as well as a special performance on Halloween proper. 10 PM, $20, $15 for students

Sat 10/28: During Witches, Winds, and Whirls at University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall (1131 E. 57th), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra plays selections from Hansel and Gretel, Wicked, and other Halloween-appropriate productions. The Hyde Park School of Dance’s students move to the music. 7 and 9 PM, $10, $5 for students

Spend the afternoon dancing in costume at a taping of <i>Chic-a-Go-Go</i> Sun 10/29.
Spend the afternoon dancing in costume at a taping of Chic-a-Go-Go Sun 10/29.Credit: Facebook

Sun 10/29:
Do the Monster Mash at a Halloween taping of the popular public access show-slash-dance party Chic-A-Go-Go. Reader contributor Jake Austen hosts as the puppet Ratso alongside Mia Park, and attendees who show up to the Promontory (5311 S. Lake Park) are asked only to come in costume and boogie. noon-2 PM, free

Sun 10/29: For the last month, Edgar Allan Poe’s eerie poetry has received an outdoor reading and reenactment from local actors at Nightfall With Edgar Allan Poe. Today is the last day Morton Arboretum (4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle) acts as a scary spot for the writer’s work. Ever heard “The Raven” and felt literal chills? 3 PM, $5-$20

For more things to do this weekend—and every day—visit our Agenda page.