On account of Halloween proper being on a FRIDAY this year you get a whole week of Halloween magic coming your way, and then some. And since Halloween is/has always been/will always be the ultimate BYT holiday we assembled this extremely useful, all-inclusive, DC Halloween guide for you. It includes: movies, parties, food and drink specials, and more. It will be a blast. As Vincent Price would say:
Before you dig in, make sure you peruse these links too:
- While we wait for this year’s HALLOWEEN COSTUME EDITORIAL inspirations check out the 2013 IF LOOKS COULD KILL Halloween costume editorial. Amazing. (also worth revisiting in the Halloween inspirational department: Girls on Film, Television Terror, and Girls Will Be Boys – each of these costumes can be put together on the fly, and definitely on the cheap.)
- also: COSTUME IDEAS ONLY DC COULD LOVE.
- The BYGays Guide to Halloween-since NO ONE does Halloween better than the gays. NO ONE.
- and our KILL, REPEAT, KILL: the BYT journey through horror originals and remakes
- and our HAUNTED DC guide right here
- Silver Spring Zombie Walk – October 25 – Pick your favorite zombie style and dress up. After you dress up, walk. At least that’s what I am assuming you are supposed to do. The website doesn’t give much info.
- #Crankparty Halloween– October 25- Price: $10 (includes free open bar before 11pm!) – DJs will be dressed like other DJs and you should dress like a more famous version of yourself, too!
- Undead & Undressed: A Tribute to Horror Movies Burlesque @ Bier Baron – October 25 – VC Variety’s October show pays tribute to all things Horror Film! Plus, My Enemy Complete playing live (or they may be dead) before the burlesque takes the stage. BONUS for memento seekers: Cori Dials will be there selling her amazing Horror Calendars!
- Nightmare on M Street – October 25 – Price: Starting at $27.50 – For the 15th annual Nightmare on M Street, organizers have expanded it to include 35+ bars, including ones in Gallery Place. This means endless costumed partying and drinking.
- Goblin Gallop – October 26 – Price starts at $18 – After a night of partying, why not wake up and participate in Goblin Gallop. The 1k fun run begins at 8:30am while the 5k run/walk beings at 9:00am. Participants will receive a really cool glow in the dark shirt.
- Zombie Bike Ride – DC Bikespace and Bardo join forces to host a zombie bike ride and costume party. Come dressed to be possessed on DC BikeSpace’s annual Halloween ride: The Night of the Bicycling Dead! Participants are asked to assemble at Mt. Vernon square around 7pm to prepare for a 7:30 departure time. Riders will cruise around downtown and end at Bardo with a costume party. Prizes will be awarded for costumes. Both events are free of charge.
- Sun Ra Centennial Weekend – Celebrate the centennial of Sun Ra’s arrival with all of Washington. A pop-up museum, costume procession, concert, artist talk, and more make up a weekend-long celebration honoring this “pioneer of afrofuturism,” a prolific jazz composer, big bandleader, poet and spiritual guide who is said to have touched down on Earth’s soil for the first time one hundred years ago.
- Pumpkin Carving Contest @ Eat the Rich, October 26, 3pm – Come carve pumpkins at Eat the Rich from 3 to 5 p.m. They’ll provide the pumpkins and help instruct first time carvers. plus, they’ll also have pumpkin carving kits and patterns. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Eat the Rich. Pumpkin punch and beers will be on special along with Halloween cookies and candy. Kids are welcome!
- Halloween Karaoke @ DC9 – October 26 – GHOULISHLY HEINOUS PREMATURE HALLOWEEN EDITION of Chris & Jonathan’s DC9 ROOFTOP INDIEROCK KARAOKE!! Chris & Jonathan present a PUN-FREE HALLOWEEN EDITION of our monthly indierock karaoke night, RIght in the SHATTERED HEART of INDIEROCK DC, THE ROOFTOP OF DC9. Costumes will be duly applauded but not mandatory, and certainly not given SPECIAL TREATMENT
- Monster’s Ball Halloween Brunch – October 26 from 11:00am-6:00pm – STK is hosting a costumed Halloween Brunch. It’s a great way to test drive you costume before the big day(s) while drinking bottomless cocktails.
- 17th Street High Heel Race – October 28 – This is probably one of our favorite events. Watch as hundreds of drag queens race down 17th street in full drag – including heels.
- Spirits in Black – October 30 – $8 will get you into the best heavy metal cocktail night in DC. Plus you get to see EVILIVE (a Misfits supergroup cover band) and Loud Boyz (rumor has it-DRESSED AS CATS (the musical)). UNMISSABLE.
- Halloween PubCrawl – Runs from Oct 30 – Nov 1 – Price: $30 for unlimited access all three nights – Go on a three day bender through Dupont in the spirit of Halloween! On Halloweekend, you can get unlimited access to food and drink specials at bars like Bread&Brew, The Front Page, Dirty Martini and Buffalo Billiards for a single price. Registration gets you a wristband and a map, which you’ll hopefully be too drunk to follow by the time the night ends.
You, crawlin’ to that next pub.
- Doggy Howl-O-Ween – October 30 at 5:00pm – Jackson 20 is hosting a Halloween costume contest for dogs. I repeat, a Halloween costume contest for dogs! Do I need to say any more? Well there will be Halloween-themed cocktails, dog-themed beer, and light food. But still, dogs in costumes.
- Night of the Living Zoo – October 30 – Price: $30 for non-FONZ members – If chainsaw-wielding zombies aren’t your thing, maybe you’d prefer going to the National Zoo after hours for live music performances, fortune tellers and glow-in-the-dark lawn games.
- BYT Presents: Super Best Friends Forever …in 3D! – A spooky edition of our dumb DJ night where we get our music nerd friends to play tunes off their ipods round robin / turntable.fm style. You can join in for a round if we like your selection.
THREE DAYS OF HALLOWEEN SPECIALS @ The Republic: Thursday October 30: Belgian Americain Beer Dinner Chef Danny Wells and Bar Manager and Cicerone Brett Robison will collaborate on a “Belgian Americain” (an homage to the space’s previous tenant, Video Americain) beer dinner, at 7pm. Space is limited and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 301.270.3000 then Friday October 31: Pirate Party with Live Music and Costume Contest On Halloween, Republic will deck out the restaurant for a pirate–themed Halloween evening featuring live music from Tony Grasso and One Word starting at 10pm. All are welcome, with no cover charge, and a costume contest will begin at 10:45 p.m (spoiler alert: prizes are GOOD). Bar manager Brett Robison will be serving up “Zombie Killers” a rum-based punch cocktail with house-made alcoholic gummy worm garnishes, in addition to a lineup of special Belgian-style beers on tap. And then blissfully on Saturday, November 1st: Day of the Dead Hangover Brunch During Republic’s Saturday brunch, from 11:00am to 2:30pm, there will be live (and mellow) music from The Moon and You, and an array of drink specials. Mezcal shots will be served with orange wedges and chili salt for $8, a twist on the restaurant’s popular wood-grilled charred bloody marys with house-made arbol and guajillo pepper chili paste with mezcal will be available for $10, and ‘beermosas’ made with Port City Optimal Wit will cost $8, in addition to a special Day of the Dead burger made with Smith Meadows farm beef with a fried egg and smothered with a spicy pepper sofrito on a brioche bun from Chef Danny Wells.
- Tortured Soul Halloween Eve Show with Sol Power All Stars – October 30th 9pm-2am – Tropicalia (2001 14th St, NW, Lower Level – Corner of U & 14th), go listen to Tortured Soul and Sol Power All Stars and dance it out literally all night long. $18 in advance, $25 at the door.
- Halloween Social @ W Hotel – October 31st, 8pm – BOOs with a (hell of a) view.
- Halloween Boo Cruise – October 31 – Price: $45 – If you prefer your Halloween spent drinking and dancing and eating hors d’oeuvres on a boat, that’s how you know you’re an adult. Celebrate adulthood on a Spirit cruise.
- Bowlloween Costume Bash – October 31 at 9:00pm – Price: $20 – Lucky Strike is hosting the craziest Halloween bowling party you will go to. There will be a DJ, drink specials, and a costume contest. Winner gets $500 so you should probably show up in something more original than a bowling shirt
- The Loser’s Lounge & Halloween BOOgie Down @ Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, October 31, 6pm –Learn dance steps to the “Monster Mash,” “Time Warp,” and “Thriller.” Test drive your moves with one of New York City’s best party bands, The Loser’s Lounge. Dance lessons by Quynn Johnson begin at 5 p.m., with live music starting at 6 p.m. Free, no tickets required. BONUS: Wear your most creative costume for the chance to win fabulous prizes in the following categories: Best Kid Costume (ages 6 and under, 7-12, 13-17); Best Character (TV, movies, theater, literature, comics, you name it! Extra points if it is Kennedy Center-related!); Funniest (Here’s your chance to be ironic, clever, or just plain silly!); Scariest (Need we say more??). In the spirit of creativity, preference will be given to homemade costumes.
- Toast to Poe – October 31 – Mockingbird Hill is throwing a Poe party for Halloween. There will be $4 Amontillado sherry, food, and a performance from Kerry McGee.
- U Hell Halloween Party with BrEaCh – October 31 at 10pm – Price: $12 – U Hall is hosting a Halloween party and costume contest. If you are going to the RL Grime show this event is free to enter. The winner of the costume contest gets free entry into U Hall for a year so you better kill it with your costume.
- The Halloween Circus – October 31 – Price: $12 – Black Cat is hosting a music/burlesque/slideshow extravaganza on Halloween. Performing will be Johnny Graves & the Tombstones, Rocky & The Pressers, and Humble Fire. Cherie Sweetbottom and Ruby Rockafella will be performing burlesque.
- THRILLER ON H Street – Join Joy of Motion Dance Center for probably the best dance class of all time? Learn the entire Thriller routine from the iconic Michael Jackson music video. Wear your costumes, your red leather jacket, do not hold back. It’s Halloween night, and once you learn the dance we will release you onto H Street! Best costume wins free stuff.
- WeWork Presents: Darkside of the Moon @ Blind Whino: open bar for $20, hip DJs, cool, young people and one of the probably best Halloween destinations in DC. We’re giving tickets away to it here.
- DISCO IS DEAD Halloween Bash @ The Passenger, October 31st – Booze, Blood and Bellbottoms! Join the Passenger for another epic Halloween party- Disco is Dead! The ultimate zombie disco party. Can you stay alive? Groovy tunes in the Warehouse Theater by DJ Honest Lee, far out cocktails and lots of blood! Come dressed to impress. BYOB- Bring Your Own Blood, OR blood will be provided as well. $5 at the door after 9pm
- BOORITO AT CHIPOTLE! – October 31 5pm-close – We all love chipotle, and on Halloween if you are in costume you can get a burrito, tacos, bowl, salad, whatever, for $3. They also do this every year, so keep that in mind. There’s also a costume contest.
- Mixtape Halloween at Howard Theatre – October 31 – MIXTAPE, voted “DC’s Best Gay Dance Party” by Washingtonian Magazine and “Best Monthly Party” by Brightest Young Gays Ponies Choice Awards, is a monthly dance party hosted by DJs Shea Van Horn and Matt Bailer. The duo play an eclectic mix of electro, alt-pop, indie rock, house, disco, new wave, and anything else they think you can dance to. This nomadic party has been venue hopping since September 2008, and will host a hot haunted houseparty at The Howard Theatre.
- Halloween 2014 at The Maryland Science Center (Baltimore) – October 31 – The Maryland Science Center is awesome no matter when you go but imagine partying there at night in full costume with the likes of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, E.L.M., and Second Self performing. You also get Rooftop entertainment courtesy of Charm City Folk & Bluegrass, plus DJ’s in Digital 360 will be KILLING IT in the Planetarium and craft beers thanks to our good friends at Flying Dog. This is 4 areas of music, drinks, a costume contest and science! Advanced tix $35. Advanced VIP tix $65.
- Chief Ike’s Zombie Room – October 31, 8pm – close! – Slowly drag yourself to Chief Ike’s Mambo Room for their tribute to the Walking Dead! There will be 90 cent drinks from 8 – 10pm! Costume Contest (sign up at 9pm!), and all the brain-flavored drinks you can handle! Yum.
- Zombiefest at Blind Whino – November 1, 8pm – Midnight – Two floors of music and a lineup of DJs, you have to come dressed as a zombie and if you don’t then they’ll transform you into a zombie when you get there. You also get a zombie drink, and there is zombie artwork. It’s $15 ahead of time, $30 at the door.
- Paul has special halloween treats – There are a bunch of special breads and pastries at Paul from the middle of October to November, so go check that out. If you show up in costume on halloween they’ll give you a treat.
- Day of The Dead Menu @ Oyamel – get the whole scoop here.
WILLIAM CASTLE CENTENNIAL @ AFI SILVER SPRING ,Now Through Nov 4th – Celebrate one of the original cult horror masters with a FULLY FLEDGED bloody festival. And while you are to late to catch THE TINGLER on the Highlights left over include the Monday Nov 27th double feature of THE NIGHT WALKER with WHEN STRANGERS MARRY and ROSEMARY’S BABY on Halloween proper.
NSO POPS Presents: Danny Elfman Music From Tim Burton Movies, October 23, 24th, 25th – Not a movie event per se but clearly what Halloween movie dreams are made of. Score memories will include: Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Alice in Wonderland, and more. John Mauceri conducts his music with visuals from Burton’s films.
HALLOWEEN on the BIG SCREEN @ Rhode Island Row, October 25th – Rhode Island Row, in DC’s Brentwood neighborhood, will be the first venue to screen the digitally remastered “Halloween (1978)” film on a 20-foot outdoor jumbo screen on Saturday, October 26 at 7 pm. This version has never before been available to the public. BONUS: The event will feature an outdoor beer garden and food by Bergami’s Pizza. This event is 21 and over.
NOT SO SILENT CINEMA PRESENTS: CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI @ Artisphere, October 25th – From the Artisphere site: “Not So Silent Cinema presents a new score to the classic German-Expressionist horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. With its jagged, angular sets painted in dream-like abstractions and the stylized, jerky movements of its actors, the film became a hallmark of the German-Expressionist style. For this silent film classic, Not So Silent Cinema has put together a brand new score drawing on the wide musical palette of the quintet. The score will blend some of the Klezmer influences that form the backbone of their much loved Nosferatu score, with a haunting tapestry of demented circus music, avant-garde soundscapes, and pulsating minimalist textures.”
CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST @ Landmark E Street, October 24th and 25th – from the Landmark site: “In 1979, four documentary filmmakers and their guide went into the jungles of South America to shoot a film about cannibalism. They never returned. Six months later, New York University along with the Pan American Broadcasting Corporation sent in a search team, looking for the filmmakers. They could never be prepared for what they would find. Long before Blair Witch was a twinkle in a young filmmaker’s eye, Cannibal Holocaust shocked the world with its grisly “found footage” gimmick, resulting in a movie that was banned almost everywhere. Now this legendary gore-fest can be seen in the U.S., completely uncut and uncensored! No One Under 18 Admitted.”
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW @ Landmark E Street, October 26th, October 31st and Nov 1st – If we need to explain this to you why, then we give up.
HALLOWEEN MOVIE MONDAYS @ Dodge City, October 27th – A seriously, fabulously spooky triple (& a half) feature, with all the classics! Movies as follows: 8:00 “Are You Afraid of the Dark: THE TALE OF LAUGHING IN THE DARK”; 8:30 THE ADDAMS FAMILY; 10:15 HOCUS POCUSl 11:45 DEATH BECOMES HER. Bonus fun facts: $6 High Life & whiskey shot combo, $5 Rail drinks, $1 off all drafts! Chili cheese dogs!VEGAN dogs!, Popcorn! FREE CANDY!
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Sing Along @ Alamo Drafthouse, October 27th – A singing plant. A daring hero. A sweet girl. A demented dentist. Steve Martin. Rick Moranis. All your Halloween camp dreams in one handy package.
HAUNTEDWEEN @ Alamo Drafthouse, October 28th – the only slasher in history to combine Little Richard impressions, a Danzig-meets-Morrissey theme song, “Foot Locker SLAM FEST!” t-shirts, and a gore-soaked haunted house on Halloween night. 16mm packed with cult classic fun.
BOUND BY FLESH: The Story of Daisy & Violet Hilton @ Artisphere, October 29th – Born in 1908 in Brighton, UK, conjoined twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton (Freaks, Chained for Life) were SOLD AT BIRTH and displayed in carnival sideshows by their legal guardians until adulthood. Bound By Flesh, a film by Leslie Zemeckis (director of “Behind the Burly Q”), is the real, untold story of the Hilton Sisters, featuring friends and family of the twins and sideshow expert, James Taylor (Shocked and Amazed: On and Off the Midway), among others. Don’t miss your chance to catch this EXCLUSIVE screening of the film, followed immediately by a LIVE Q&A with the film’s director, Leslie Zemeckis and Shocked and Amazed’s, James Taylor.
Sewer City Productions Horror Marathon @ The Passenger, October 30 – A trio of hella amazing horror films films: Just ease up to the back end of the bar and get your ticket to watch our mixed treat bag of uncut and uncensored versions of 80’s classics like “Halloween III”, “Trick or Treat”, and “Lady in White”. We promise cameos by the Ozzy Osborne, sinister synthesizer soundtracks, and killer cloak rooms to fulfill any unholy needs. So lace up, get handy with your candy, and bring your pals to a night of freaky flicks and drinks before stepping out this Halloween Weekend.
HOCUS POCUS @ Early Mountain Vineyards, October 30th – The last installment of the outdoor movie series “Sips & Cinema”: show time is at 7:00 p.m with Hocus Pocus playing for guests on the lawn. Picnic blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. Tickets are $6 and include popcorn. Wine and additional movie snacks are available for purchase. The featured on-site food truck will be The Flat, a Charlottesville based crêperie truck. Costumes are encouraged, and prizes are in store for the best Halloween gear. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the door or online.
FEAR AT THE FREER @ FREER SACKLER Galleries, October 31st – A great all around date night for Halloween: learn about spooky objects in the Freer & Sackler collection, make your own Freer-inspired mask, and enjoy Japanese food for sale from the Tokyo in the City food truck. Then, get in the Halloween spirit with a screening of Ring (aka Ringu), the movie that inspired the American thriller The Ring, at 7 pm.
PSYCHO @ Angelika Pop-Up, October 31st – The Hitchcock original, not the dubious Van Sant remake. Shower beforehand because God knows you won’t be able to afterwards.
TIM BURTON: MELANCHOLY, MIRTH AND MAGIC, Part 1 @ AFI Silver Spring, October 31st-November 6 – Come on Halloween for Sleepy Hollow and Beetlejuice, stay through the first week of November for Corpse Bride (screened in conjunction with some choice shorts) and (OMG!) the 20th anniversary of ED WOOD on Nov 3rd.
SHAUN OF THE DEAD @ Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, October 31st – If all this was a little too much, and you’re looking for a mini-laughter break.It is only appropriate that the Comedy Bucket List Meet Up group is hosting a screening of the single greatest zombie comedy on Halloween. Don’t even try and act scared.
The Island of Dr. Moureau @ Synetic, now through Nov 2nd – Dripping macabre, this highly physical, deeply unsettling, originally scored adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic finds a shipwrecked survivor is rescued to a remote island inhabited by the mysterious, (& definitely deranged) Dr. Moreau and his “children” – experimental human-like animals or animal-like humans.
5th Annual Cabaret Macabre @ Theatre Project in Baltimore, now through Nov 2nd – The Helen Hayes nominated Edward Gorey inspired Theatrical Collage is back for its fifth run, though now you have to travel to Baltimore for it. The Washington Post says it is “Wickedly funny…a Gorey illustration brought to life. It’s a feather that will tickle your fancy.”
Washington Improv Theater’s HOWL Series – Now until Nov 1 – Price: $12 advance, $15 at the door – Every weekend in October, Washington Improv Theater has a special show lineup just for Halloween, including “Commonwealth Presents: The Scarold,” “Ugh Presents: Witch, Please!” and “Tales from a Haunted [Non-Geographic Location].” However, the highlight of HOWL is probably “Die!Die!Die!,” in which cast members use audience suggestions to create an on-the-spot live slasher movie.
Kleckscography: Haunting Monsters @ Atlas Performing Arts Center, October 25th – Six short plays from six different perspectives – all written and staged in one week. See what happens when “we reveal the monsters’ monsters”.
Nightfall with Edgar Alan Poe @ DCAC, Nov 6th – Dec 7th – While the Molotov Theatre Company is waiting until AFTER Halloween to start performances on their latest, there’s no reason not to use it as an excuse to keep the spirit of the Holiday alive through December. Asking the classic question of “Was Poe insane or psychically tormented?” this play dramatizes four of Poe’s best known works: “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”Bonus: every Thursday is PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN at the door only.
courtesy of Deanna Martino and Esther Hur in last year’s Haunted DC guide
- The White House – Some previous tenants of the White House never admitted to seeing the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, but they claim they felt his presence. I would not recommend breaking into the White House at night to prove this, though. (Is it spooky to get shot? If it is, I do recommend breaking into the White House at any time. -ed.)
- The Navy Yard – Washington Navy Yard is allegedly haunted by two spirits–one a harmless (former) commandant who is said to stare out of windows, and the other the ghost of a former Marine, the neighborhood’s resident poltergeist. (Once the Whole Foods opens in 2017 it’ll be haunted by people that refuse to identify as gentrifies. -ed.)
- Rock Creek Cemetery – Let’s just get it out of the way: all cemeteries are haunted if you believe in ghosts, and if you do not believe in ghosts, all cemeteries are places where bones become dust. Rock Creek Cemetery is haunted because it’s very, very large so it has a lot of bones buried underground! Scary! Another reason is the The Adams Memorial, a grave marker and statue for Marian “Clover” Hooper Adams, the wife of Henry Adams who committed suicide. It’s haunted because, well, it looks scary. It’s also a memorial for a person who committed suicide, so that’s weird. So you can see that and get scared. Don’t believe us? Read its Yelp page. It has a Yelp page.
- The National Theatre – Even though the original National Theatre building was torn down and replaced, it’s still claimed to be haunted by actor John McCullough who was killed there in the 1880s.
- Mary Surratt’s Boarding House – Now the location of Wok and Roll in Chinatown, Mary Surratt’s former school and personal home is said to be haunted by with reports of inexplicable weeping and footsteps. (Maybe Mary just hates puns? -ed.)
- Woodrow Wilson House – Staff and visitors have said they have seen the ghost of President Woodrow Wilson in the House, sitting in his rocking chair and have heard the shuffle of a man walking with a cane, and heard a man sob. (I’d much rather be haunted by ghost Woodrow Wilson than real life Woodrow Wilson because I don’t think ghosts can be racists. -ed.)
- Halcyon House – The Halcyon House was built in 1787, is in Georgetown, and is not the Exorcist stairs. In addition to containing its own tomb (That is a very nice luxury I would one day like to afford. -ed), the home’s creepiness factor is absurdly high when it comes to hauntings (reported to be vexed by the ghosts of runaway slaves crying and moaning in the night). (This doesn’t sound fun. Let’s go to the stairs. -ed.)
- Exorcist Stairs – Made famous by the devil, the Exorcist stairs are the only reason kids that wear pleather and dye their hair black have ever visited Georgetown. Also, it has a Yelp page. Who reviews stairs? 72 people. As of this writing, it currently has a 4.5 star rating. Rose from Queens only gave the stairs three stars even though she said the following, “fun place to visit if u’ve ever seen the exorcist. the stairs r quite steep so be wary when walking. and it’s right next to the house that the priest flew out of. nice little tourist attraction right by the Georgetown campus.” That seems like a pretty good time to me, Rose! What exactly did you want, Rose? Maybe it’s time to lighten up, Rose!
- M Street Bridge – Speaking of Georgetown, while most are already familiar with the tale of Bunny Man Bridge, we’ve got our own haunted underpass right here in DC. Be on the lookout for a little drummer boy, a vision of a stagecoach, and even a large headless man. You know what? Maybe just avoid that bridge. (Don’t avoid a bridge due to visions. Bridges are where future legendary musicians are living. Avoiding bridges due to rumored hauntings is dumb. Avoid bridges to avoid addicts and collapses. -ed.)
- The Capitol – The Capitol is said to be one of the most haunted building in Washington. Apparently, several spirits haunt the building due to tragedies associated with its construction, which makes the upcoming construction much more spooky. Also, many politicians with strong personalities (Assholes, strong personalities means they were assholes. -ed.) are rumored to still roam the halls long after their death. You’re not allowed to roam the halls when you’re alive and not elected. Those people are staffers.
- The Octagon House – Home to Colonel John Taylor and his family in the early 19th century, both his daughters fell to their deaths in their home during fights with their father. One of which is often seen crumpled at the bottom of the stairs and many visitors have witnessed a candle moving up the stairs on its own. (This is also the premise to Eric Clapton’s massive hit “Tears In Heaven” which is real and much scarier. -ed.)
- The Westin Washington DC City Center – This hotel, formerly known as the Vista International Hotel Washington is where DC Mayor (for life) Marion Barry was arrested by an undercover FBI agent in 1990. The hotel is rumored to be haunted by “Bitches (who) set me up,” and features reasonable hotel and conference room rates.
- Lafayette Park – check out some of the most spine-tingling ghost stories of DC on a Haunted Walking Tour that begins at the “most haunted home in Washington,” the Octagon House.
Some of these require you traveling to the middle-of-nowhere Maryland, which is a terrifying thought in itself.
- The Curse of Frau Mueller, 50 Florida Ave NE, Washington DC -The largest haunted house in DC happens to be one of the most unique. Each year Gravensteen Haunted Productions tells a different story. For the second year in a row, it’s the story of Frau Helga Mueller, the disappearance of six children and a legacy to haunt DC for over 100 years. The video below has us creeped out/intrigued. by Deanna Martino and Esther Hur . The Curse of Frau Mueller will be open from Sep 26 – Nov 1. Tickets range from $30-$45.
- Fright at the Museum: Dead Men Walking, Crime Museum, 575 7th St. NW. The Crime Museum’s sixth annual haunted house will take visitors through a combination of real artifacts important to crime history (electric chair, anyone?) combined with classic haunted house elements to make for an educational (but not really) haunted experience. Fright at the Museum: Dead Men Walking will open on Oct 23 for a few select nights until Nov 1st. Tickets are $30.
- DC Dead , Capital Fringe’s Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave. NW DC Dead is unlike any other haunted house experience on the list, because you are an active participant in the experience. While zombies chase you around Capital Fringe’s headquarters, you and your team of six participants chase them back, armed with Nerf guns. It’s like real-life Left 4 Dead. DC Dead is open Thursdays-Sundays Oct 9- Nov 1. Tickets are $35.
- Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt , 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA 23047. Every year, Kings Dominion does the most with their Halloween Haunt takeover of the theme park. This year is no exception– as if eight themed mazes and six scare zones weren’t enough– they’ve added another new asylum-themed maze, a circus and live music in the form of a concert called “Eternal Jamnation”. Halloween Haunt runs Friday- Sunday until Nov 1. Tickets start at $35 if you buy them online in advance.
- Fright Fest at Six Flags America, Six Flags America, 13710 Central Avenue, Bowie/ Mitchellville MD. You’ll need to buy a day’s admission to the park in order to get in on their nightly scare action, but don’t fear–the lines aren’t terrible during the day (even manageable on weekends) and gives you the most bang for your buck when you’ll essentially be forking over an additional $20 for the haunted trails and houses. Also, more scary suburban teens! by Deanna Martino and Esther Hur. Park hours are from noon to 10:00 pm Tickets are $60, plus extra for the Haunted Houses.
- Markoff’s Haunted Forest 19120 Martinsburg Rd. Dickerson, MD, Though the main event at Markoff’s is the Haunted Forest (where visitors choose one of two equally horrifying wooded paths), there’s also a zip line, hayride and maze, amongst nine other haunted attractions. Markoff’s Haunted Forest is open Thursday-Saturday until Nov 1. Tickets are $22 in advance on Thursday, $30 on Friday and Saturday.
- Bennett’s Curse , F7967 Max Blobs Park Road, Jessup, MD. According to Haunted House professionals (see mom, it’s a real thing!), Bennett’s Curse is one of the scariest Halloween attractions in America. With three haunted houses including a new 3D experience (whatever that means), we’re inclined to believe them. Bennett’s Curse is open Thursday-Sunday before Halloween week, and every day of Halloween week. Tickets are $30.
- Field of Screams 4501 Olney-Laytonsville Rd Olney, MD. The URL to the Field of Screams website is literally www.screams.org. Field of Screams owns all of the screams. They cover all of the bases, too — a trail of terror, a haunted house, a hayride and a thing where you shoot glow in the dark paintballs at zombies. Field of Screams is open Thursday-Sunday until Nov 8. Tickets are $45 for access to all attractions, but you can buy admission to each separately.
- Nightmare Manor, 10240 Fingerboard Rd., Ijamsville, MD. This is a Haunted House in an actual Haunted House! Seth’s Folly is a 200 year old mansion where a terrible guy and his family his family got their house set on fire. Though the house survived, the family did not and they continue to haunt the space today. Nightmare Manor is open Friday-Sunday until Halloween. Tickets are $25.
- Bradley Farm Haunted House The Bradley Farm Barn, 13159 New Parkland Dr, Herndon, VA. Man, these farms love Halloween. This one is better for people who aren’t looking to spend a ton of money or be scared shitless. Bradley Farm Haunted House runs on Oct 24 and 25. Tickets are only $5.
- Cox Farms Field of Fear, 15621 Braddock Rd Centreville, VA 20120. This is essentially a creepy field that is open every Friday and Saturday night in October. They call it a maze, but it’s actually more of a path. There are creepy costumed people that jump at you and scare you and they can actually touch you, so that’s wildly uncomfortable. Shit’s creepy. There’s also a “dark side hayride” and a bonfire and cider and pumpkins and all that cute fall stuff too.The basic ticket is $13 which is admission to the Firegrounds, one Dark Side Hayride (does not include Cornightmare). The Fear Plus Ticket is $19 which includes includes admission to the Firegrounds, one Dark Side Hayride, plus one entry to Cornightmare.
- Shocktober 601 Catocin Circle NE, Leesburg, VA 20176. A three story manor in the middle of a field in Leesburg, the people who run Shocktober have transformed it into a super creepy haunted house. There are actors roaming around the premises, they come up to you and talk to you and scare you and so on. In addition to the freaky house, you can also go into a smaller creepy-clown infested tent, as well as into the basement of the house. It’s a good level of creepy. I didn’t pee my pants but I also couldn’t comfortably walk through it with my eyes open. I also screamed a lot. For those of you who are super scared, you can buy a glow necklace that tells the actors not to fuck with you in the house. With that being said, when I went they ran out of those necklaces so maybe don’t bank on that. It starts at $10 for just the basement, $25 for just the house, $30 for all the interactive stuff, and so on. ALSO all of the proceeds go to Paxton Campus, a Loudoun nonprofit that helps children and adults with disabilities.