Credit: Bekir Dönmez / Unsplash

Life is spooky and scary enough these days, so even if traditional haunted houses were open in Chicago, most of us would skip the eerie sights and sounds in favor of a nice night alone with a bucket of candy. We may have the beginnings of a real-life I Am Legend (or for Vincent Price fans like me, 1964’s The Last Man on Earth) LARP out there these days, but maybe it’s best to keep on keepin’ on. I wasn’t in the Great Fire, just for the record, but I do know Chicagoans survived that, plus budget shortfalls, and reigns of terror.* Despite it all, we’re still here.

What to do with all your angst and terror this weekend? Loud music! I highlighted the art from Riot Fest’s upcoming Halloween special shows on my Gig Poster of the Week column this week: two drive-in screenings of classic seasonal movies paired with loud-ass bands, what’s not to like? There are also some compelling online shows scheduled for this weekend too: Gossip Wolf mentioned the 24-hour livestream blowout to honor the DIY space Situations as it closes. And the Hideout is hosting a guest-and-ghoul-filled edition of its Cosmic Country showcase series, tonight on Noonchorus.

For those looking for candy opportunities in the suburbs (for the kids, Bev, it’s for the kids), you can check out SPACE in Evanston or FitzGerald’s in Berwyn on Saturday. Both are running outdoor family-geared events from 11 AM to 1 PM.

In the city, we’ve got Halloween fun available for families with dogs at Urban Paws in the South Loop: from 5:30-7:30 PM tonight and tomorrow, Urban Paws’ outdoor play area is open for a $10 entry with a hay maze and games for the kids. In Pilsen, Victory Outreach City Church is hosting an outdoor trick-or-treat experience on Halloween from 2-5 PM (kids can pick up candy from six different stations, all outside near 23rd Street and Western).

People looking for a spooky art experience can check out Sideshow Gallery’s Halloween Pop-Up from 1-5 PM, featuring prints and zines by artist Corinne Halbert, Sideshow’s new gelato flavors to taste and buy, and a mini circus performance for the little kids. At all these events, it behooves you to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in addition to your costume. And, for the love of Harold Washington, please leave the sexy coronavirus get-ups at home.

*you can define “reigns of terror” any way you like but let me just say: Ribbie. Rhubarb. To be honest, Andy the Clown always kind of skeeved me out too.

More virtual and in-person events coming up:

  • Through 11/1, times vary: Boo Fest at the Museum of Science and Industry features family-geared “science of Halloween” exhibits and candy chutes throughout the museum.
  • Fri 10/30 and Sat 10/31, 7 PM: The Chicago Magic Lounge presents CML (Virtual) Cocktail Hour, an interactive magic experience through Zoom.
  • Sun 11/1, 7 PM: An encore presentation of the voter drive/music festival All Souls to the Polls will air on the organization’s Facebook page (featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie, Fantastic Negrito, Los Lobos, Isaiah Collier & the Chosen Few, and more).