BYT Halloween Guide: 2017 Edition

Halloween is 11 days away so hopefully you’ve spookified your Instagram name, changed your profile picture to a photo of you dressed up as child and let cobwebs cover your home for a few weeks in honor of the ghostiest day of the year. We recognize Halloween as the king of holidays so we’ve compiled the ultimate Halloween guide to help you make the most of your Halloweekend. We’ve got movies, parties, food and drink specials, and more so you can do it your way.

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Before you dig in, make sure you peruse these links:

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  • If you’re not a dog but a human being that likes zombie related things, you may enjoy perusing our Zombie Walk photo post.

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Our Murder House Party at the Renwick is sold out. Spooky sold out. Buy tickets to our November 4 party National Air and Space Museum + BYT Present: FOUND IN SPACE. It’s your last chance to appropriately wear a costume in 2017.

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  • Raven’s Night @ Birchmere – This two-night (October 21 and 22) event’s got a belly dancing show, tarot card readings, hoopers, and a live band, all in the name of Halloween. I’ve never seen spooky belly dancing but it’s probably quite a thing.
  • Cut it off! An Amputation Demonstration @ Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Get spooked by watching a Civil War medical historian amputate a fake leg in the most realistic Civil War style possible on the 29th.  It’s like an old timey 127 Hours, but with legs, and bone saws. Don’t worry, there will be post-op beer to calm your nerves and help you forget.
  • Boos & Brews Halloween Bar Crawl – Grab drinks at some of D.C.s best watering holes while wearing your finest costume.
  • Cover Benefit Show @ The Pinch – Put on your costume and stop by The Pinch for a night of tributes to Patti Smith, Sleater Kinney, Weezer, and more – some of the proceeds from the show will also be going to victims of Hurricane Harvey.
  • Addams Family Burlesque and Variety Show @ Ottobar – Grab a MARC ticket and head to Ottobar for a macabre evening with some of the area’s best burlesque performers.
  • Gay Bash Halloween @ Trade – Bring your best Halloween look and head to this show featuring, Jaxknife Complex, Salvadora Dali, Jane Saw, Donna Slash, and Pulp.
  • Boos and Brews Halloween Bar Crawl – Put on your costume and spend your pre-Halloweekend weekend at 8 of Downtown’s best bars.

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  • National Building Museum Ghost Tours Apparently the Museum is haunted, according to their own web site, no less, so on October 22, 28, 29, and 31 the Museum is offering tours at 7:00 p.m and 8:30 p.m. that explore creepy artifacts and happenings within the museum.
  • Halloween Murder Mystery @ Johnny Pistolas – Help raise money for the Capital Area Food Bank at this classic whodunit murder mystery party.
  • Great Pumpkin Party @ Capper Community Center – This free event is the perfect place to bring the kids for the afternoon. With face painting, balloons, games, and candy, this is a can’t miss.
  • Manor Park Community Association’s Halloween Party – This free, family friendly event is the perfect way to spend a spooky afternoon – complete with candy, face painting, crafts, stories, and more.
  • The Walking Dead Pop Up @ Parlay – Celebrate the season premiere of The Walking Dead in costume at this one of a kind event. With an open bar from 8:30-9:30, drink specials, and food being served until 1:00 a.m, you should start this season of everyone’s favorite zombie show in style.
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  • Halloween Hunt @ The Mansion on O – With over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors, prepare to spend some time combing through the Mansion on O from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 and you get to take home any of the Autumn and Halloween themed items you find – you also get a guided tour of the Mansion.
  • Day of the Dead Festival Kickoff Party @ Oyamel – Celebrate the beginning of Oyamel’s annual Day of the Dead Festival with unlimited specialty cocktails, live music, and sugar skill face painting.

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  • The Howling @ Suns – This is screening because the Bentzen Ball edition of How Did This Get Made? is all about The Howling 2. Do your homework and watch the original.

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  • NoMa PumpkinPalooza – This family friendly afternoon event comes complete with pumpkins to carve! Live music, face painting, and a petting zoo round out this free event.

The second year our annual comedy festival is on Halloween weekend! Comedy is spooky.

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If you’re a woman in comedy you’ve been asked about what it’s like to be a woman in comedy. Spooky.

  • Night of the Living Zoo The National Zoo becomes adults only for the rest of the night. In addition to the regular zoo animals there will be craft beer, live music, performances, oddities, food trucks and costume contests.

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Our You’re the Expert show at National Geographic features real life explorers and real life professional comedians. Have you ever thought about how much it costs to go to school long enough to become a real life explorer? Spooky student loan debt!

  • Halloween Yacht Party @ Georgetown Waterfront – This swanky yacht soiree will make your Halloween feel classier than ever. Your ticket comes with a swag bag and a light meal so you can leave with a piece of the elegance.
  • Halloween Monster Bash – Head over to an undisclosed location in Adams Morgan and enjoy a costume contest, food specials, and cannabis inspired cocktails at this 420 friendly party.
  • Dark & Stormy Halloween Party @ Black Cat – Spend the first night of your Halloweekend dancing to electro, goth, and synthwave mixes from DJs Kangal and Mindjacket.
  • The 22nd Annual Capital Hell Ball @ Stanton & Greene – Don your spookiest fetish gear for this kink friendly Halloween party, complete with a dance floor and a full bar.
  • Newseum Nights Loves the 60’s – Kick off your Halloween festivities at this groovy dance party in one of DC’s coolest museums. With snacks, an open bar, body paint, and 60’s themed makeovers, you’ll feel like Don and/or Betty Draper come to life.

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Begin the Saturday before Halloween in the spooky DC Improv (it’s a floor below the street and doesn’t feature windows so that’s spoooooooooky…) laughing with the cast of Superior Donuts.

  • 80s Mayhem Halloween Dance Party @ Black Cat – Black Cat is switching things up with a full club dance party this year. Wear a costume and come hang out with DJ Steve EP, DJ MissGuided, and Killa K in the Redrum and Beetle Juice Room.

  • Halloween House Party – For the sixth year in a row, the Renaissance Hotel is bringing you a night of music, dancing, tarot card reading, and photo booths for maximum spook.
  • Pre Halloween Party @ Mari Vanna – Throw together your best costume, there’s going to be a contest for best dressed.
  • Night of the Crawling Dead Bar Crawl Through Gallery Place – You can fill pretty much your whole Saturday barhopping around Dupont Circle from 2 until 6:00 p.m. You can maybe make it to a night time event as well, but you should probably put on Hocus Pocus and call it a day.
  • Halloween Spooktacular @ Congressional Cemetery – This afternoon event from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. offers fun and games for the whole family, including hay rides and snacks. Don’t forget to wear a costume.
  • Wicked Garden Party @ Dirty Habit – Dust off your best Adam & Eve/Serpent costume or your old Scott Weiland cardigan (this makes sense for all my 90’s babes) because Dirty Habit is throwing a Wicked Garden Party! No ticket needed, pay as you go so go!
  • Halloween Canna-Carnival – In case one cannabis Halloween celebration isn’t enough for you, check out this event offering snacks, drinks, carnival games, and cannabis education
  • GHOSTTOWN @ Town – Town doesn’t mess around when it comes to Halloween. The best costume winner will receive $1,000 cash.

We’re bringing poetry to the Kennedy Center. If you’ve noticed why Amber Tamblyn’s been in the news recently you may think it’s spooky. Systematic sexism and harassment isn’t so much spooooooky but the aveeeeraaaage which is saaaaaad.

  • Kid’s Pastry Class @ DBGB – Stop by DBGB with your kid and watch as they learn to bake some spooky treats to take home. Don’t worry – DBGB is prepared with coffee and mimosas for the adults.
  • Burlesque-a-Pades @ Rams Head On Stage – This burlesque revue straight from NYC is sure to be steamy – it will also likely be spooky. Come to this event in costume for the chance to win more than $500 in prizes.
  • Hallowscene @ Gypsy Sally’s – Get it? Halloween + scene….. like the music scene. Swing by this show and catch Drop Electric, Nappy Riddem, and Staycation.
  • Guillotine Theatre’s Poe in the Vault @ Ivy City Cemetery – It doesn’t get more Halloween than this – stop by an actual vault in a real cemetery and hear members of the Guillotine Theatre read selected works by Edgar Allen Poe.
  • A Burlesque Halloween @ Black Jack and Tilt – Start your Halloweekend off with burlesque dancers, Halloween-themed specialty cocktails, and some intensely spooky Halloween decor.

Our story telling BB show may be the most intentional scary since it’ll feature stories about not wearing underwear, which is inherently spooky.

End your night with Jenny Slate, Max Silvestri and Gabe Liedman at our late show at the Lincoln Theatre. Jenny was on SNL. That’s a spooky institution.

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  • S Street Pet Costume Contest- This contest is open to animals beyond dogs, so if you’ve dressed your parrot up like a pirate or your chinchilla up in a fur coat for terrible fur-ception, you can enter them in this Dupont Circle costume contest tonight at 5:30 p.m.
  • Halloween Hunt @ The Mansion on O – With over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors, prepare to spend some time combing through the Mansion on O (in costume) from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tickets are $50 and you get to take home any of the Autumn and Halloween themed items you find – there’s also a chocolate fountain and a cash bar.
  • Halloween Benefit @ Pub Dread – DC’s hottest pop up bar wants you to drink for a cause this Halloween. Grab a $20, guaranteed entry ticket online and drink to your heart’s content – plus, 100% of ticket sales will go to World Central Kitchen, a charity working to feed displaced people in Puerto Rico.
  • Halloween Whodunit @ Rams Head On Stage – Admit it. You love murder mysteries – everyone loves murder mysteries. Feel free to come in costume and eat and drink your way to the conclusion of this gripping tale.
  • Halloween Bingo & Scaryoke @ District Karaoke – Head over to District Karaoke and jam out for a cause! All proceeds from this karaoke party / costume contest / bingo night bash go to supporting hurricane relief effots.
  • American Horror Story Costume Party @ Lost Society – Stop by Lost Society for this AHS themed Halloween bash, complete with $4 Coronas and a happy hour that goes until 8 p.m.

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  • Espita Mezcaleria‘s Day of the Dead- November 1 is Day of the Dead and Espita Mezcaleria is embracing it with complimentary face painting, custom temporary tattoos and a special Day of the Dead menu.

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  • The Birds @ Miracle Theatre – Head to Miracle Theatre and catch this Hitchcock masterpiece. If you’ve never seen it, you’ll definitely think differently about birds after.

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  • Rocky Horror Picture Show @ E Street Cinema – October 28/29 11:59 p.m. It wouldn’t be Halloweekend without Rocky Horror Picture Show so get the party started just before midnight. It’s also playing on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
  • All Night Patio Party @ Dirty Habit – Dirty Habit has something fun brewing – literally, they’re making a Halloween Punch in a cauldron for this all night party in Penn Quarter. Admission is free, and Live DJ sets and a costume contest will you keep you entertained until closing time.
  • Carrie @ Suns – The original high school horror film still holds up today (minus the popular kids dropping a bucket pigs blood from the ceiling during prom).

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  • The Exorcist @ Suns – Catch this classic at Suns, then head over to Georgetown and see those terrifying steps for yourself.

If you’re too scared to leave your house, we have some helpful scary movie roundups featuring films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other haunted streaming services.

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  • Curbside Cookoff @ Waterfront – Stop by the Waterfront on October 27th for a full day of eating, drinking, and eating more. 10 food trucks will be competing for the coveted Golden Spatula, and guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite eats. Admission is free, but there are food and drink ticket options available.
  • Halloween Trick-or-Treats @ Centrolina – Stop by Centrolina for some special Halloween themed pastries. From spider web cookies to ghost themed cupcakes, you can stock up from October 26th through the 31st.
  • Halloween Specials @ Joseph A. Magnus – Joseph A. Magnus is putting together a special menu of spooky cocktails for the entire month of October – try the Jason, the Norman Bates, and the Pennywise.
  • Halloween @ Pennsylvania 6 – Stop Pennsylvania 6 on Halloween to try their limited edition Halloween menu, complete with cocktails (the Raven), pumpkin spice sugar cookies, and a white chocolate pumpkin pot de crème.
  • Halloween @ Quarter+Glory – Quarter+Glory is gearing up for the spookiest holiday of the year with a new cocktails, aptly titled “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”
  • Halloween Mini Boxes @ Astro Donuts – Pick up one of these boxes on Saturday 10/28 or Tuesday 10/31 for a selection of 6 types of Halloween themed mini donuts.

 

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  • A Dream Within A Dream: Madness at Torpedo Factory– through October 31 Torpedo factory is hosting an interactive play based on the life and works of, you guessed it, Edgar Allan Poe. It’s a multimedia production, incorporating film, music, theatre, dance and lights into a crazy spooky time. There will also be Poe themed foods available beforehand so you don’t pass out from terror/hunger.
  • Creepshow: A Night of Halloween One Acts is playing at the Little Theatre of Alexandria on October 27th and 28th.
  • Klecksography: Toil and Trouble – Stop by the Atlas Theatre for a one night only performance that tells five tales about witches, old and new.

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Some of these require you traveling to the middle-of-nowhere Maryland, which is a terrifying thought in itself.

 

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  • 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 with eight themed mazes and six scare zones including one called the Cleaver Brothers Carnival that’s apparently a carnival where “your worst nightmares will seem like a pleasant dream.” Great. Halloween Haunt runs Friday- Sunday until October 30. Tickets start at $40 if you buy them online in advance.
  • Fright Fest @ 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, The main event at Markoff’s is the Haunted Forest where visitors choose one of two equally horrifying wooded paths. BUT 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 start at $35.

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  • 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 packages start at $45, but you can buy admission to each separately.
  • Bradley Farm Haunted House, 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 $15 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. Tickets are $30 online and $35 at the door. ALSO all of the proceeds go to Paxton Campus, a Loudoun nonprofit that helps children and adults with disabilities.
  • Haunted Hotel at Captain’s Cove, 220 South Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. The Hotel Indigo in Old Town Alexandria is turning into a haunted house for two days only, October 30th and 31st from 4:30-7:00. Taking cues from the area’s nautical history, the haunted house will be pirate themed, and admission is free. Whether you like pirates or not, stop by for a goody bag.
  • Scream City, 2400 E Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003. Two indoor haunted houses (specifically made to feel like you can’t escape). There’s an Exorcism Estate Haunted House and a Slaughter Factory both of which sound like they will live up to their descriptions. Tickets start at  $30. Festivities go from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. or 11 p.m.  depending on the weekend, and they’re open Thursday through Monday.
  • Escape the Movies, 935 Fairlawn Ave., Laurel, MD. If you’re one of those assholes who watched Saw and thought you could have done better, head over to Laurel’s House of Horror which is built within an old movie theatre and has rooms modeled after popular horror films. See if you’d fair better than Johnny Depp in Freddy Kruger’s murderous hands.

 

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 Happy Haunting!

Do you have a spooky events or dish or drink or movie or haunted host you’re producing and want to be included in this guide? Contact us.