Bayou City Haunts: The 2016 Houston Press Halloween Guide
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Bayou City Haunts: The 2016 Houston Press Halloween Guide

Halloween is right around the corner, so it’s time to get spooked. Houston-area haunts are ready to frighten and delight with a fantastic lineup of events. The only thing not scary about the season is that there’s something for everyone. From trick-or-treating for the kids to costume parties for the kids at heart to ghastly ghost tours and haunted houses that are sure to draw some screams, here’s a look at what’s going on in Houston this Halloween (including a selection of festive shops where you can get started on that costume):

Through October 31

Boo on the Boardwalk 
215 Kipp, Kemah, kemahboardwalk.com
All ages are welcome to partake in a spookily good time when the Kemah Boardwalk transforms into an eerie playground throughout October. Halloween lovers can face their fears and explore the dark side in the terrifying Dungeon of Doom Haunted House, located in the breezeway under the Boardwalk Inn. Young ones will love the Little Boo Haunted Fun House, plus treats like pumpkin decorating, trick or treating throughout the retail stores, and weekly features like Freaky Friday Movie Night, Spooky Saturdays, Scary Sundays and a special Zombie Night Party on October 22.

Halloween Monster Mayhem
1500 Binz, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays (Free Family Night 5 to 8 p.m.), noon to 6 p.m. Sundays, Halloween Night open to 8 p.m., $12, cmhouston.org
Monstrous mayhem will be unleashed when the Children’s Museum of Houston is transmogrified into the Monsters’ Museum of Houston for three weeks of Halloween fun. Kids are invited to see how monsters have rummaged, scoured, combed and turned the museum upside down to make room for their monster lairs. The hair-raising experience will allow kids to “catch monsters” in the act, participate in monster hobbies and discover why monsters may just be misunderstood. It will also feature fun events like trick-or-treat monster hunts (4-6 p.m. weekdays, 4-8 p.m.Thursdays and all day weekends through Halloween Night); black widow spider puppet-making and zombie brain mask-crafting; a Ghostbusters Day on October 22; and Moe’s Monster Bash on October 31. All events and activities are included with general admission.

Putt-Putt FunHouse’s Monster Go Family Phone Adventure
806 East Nasa, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, puttputtfunhouse.com
The hunt is on all month long as families are invited on a quest to find the five monsters hidden throughout the FunHouse. Snap a picture with each one and get a free bag of candy.

Through November 2

National Museum of Funeral History
415 Barren Springs, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, nmfh.org
Halloween in Houston wouldn’t be nearly eerie enough without a trip to the National Museum of Funeral History. This year, the museum is celebrating with a variety of Halloween happenings, from the 5th Annual Haunted House to a Día de los Muertos celebration (note: all events require paid admission).

All month long and through November 2, families can get into the Halloween spirit and be “scared to death” as they explore the 5th Annual Haunted House, where the scenes are designed to give goose bumps to young and old alike. The house is rated PG-13 and is recommended for children ages 12 and up. Children under 12 are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. Admission to the haunted house is $5 per adult and $3 for kids 11 and under, with tickets offered at half-price when purchased with museum admission.

On Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests will have the chance to see more than 150 cars at the 9th Annual Halloween Car Show. In addition to both contemporary and classic cars, the family-friendly fall festival will feature face painting and arts and crafts for the kids, food from local vendors, a live DJ and a silent auction. Admission is $3 per person or $5 per couple/family.

And on Saturday, November 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations hope to educate Houstonians on the customs of the Latin American community in honoring deceased loved ones. Guests can marvel at the artistry, explore full-scale models of a traditional Mexican home and graveyard, and bring mementos of the dearly departed to help build the museum’s community altar. There will be sweet treats, fun activities and a story time for kids from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Day of the Dead exhibit and activities are included in museum admission ($10 per adult, $9 for seniors/veterans, $7 for children ages six to 11, and free for children five and under).

Beginning October 15

“Siege of Skeletons” Exhibit at The Health Museum
1515 Hermann Drive, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, $7 to $9 (free for museum members and children under three), thehealthmuseum.org/siege
Earlier this month, artists and groups of all ages were invited to enter their best rendition of a life-size human skeleton in order to participate in a fun and unique creative competition. Beginning October 15, museum visitors can check out the “Siege of Skeletons” exhibit and vote on their favorite entries through October 26. The winning entry will be announced live on The Health Museum’s Facebook page on Friday, October 28.

October 15

Broadway Cemetery Tours
4201 Broadway, 9 and 10:15 a.m., $15, galvestonhistory.org
Tour Galveston’s famous Broadway Cemetery, where, beginning in 1839 with the donation of four square blocks of land, the grouping of cemeteries on the central boulevard grew to include seven separate cemeteries within its gates.

October 21

Hocus Pocus Screening at GreenStreet
1201 Fannin, 8 p.m., free, greenstreetdowntown.com
Friday Flicks on The Lawn gets festive with Hocus Pocus. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome.

October 21 and 28

Museum of Madness and Mayhem Haunted House
13016 University, houstonishalloween.com
The Houston Zombie Walk will play host to a special Museum of Madness and Mayhem Haunted House at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land for two special nights.

October 21-22 and 28-29

Haunted Harbor Tours Onboard the Seagull II
Pier 22, 5:15 p.m., $20 for adults, $17 for youth ages six to 18, free for children five and under, galvestonhistory.org
The narrated exploration of spooky corners and tragic sites in and around Galveston’s storied harbor takes place aboard the 50-foot passenger boat Seagull II, with departures from the Texas Seaport Museum.

October 22

ArBOOretum Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
4501 Woodway, noon to 4 p.m., $13 pre-order and $15 at the door for ages three and up, houstonarboretum.org
All the little goblins and ghouls and their parents are invited to play, learn and have an enchanting day enjoying Halloween festivities at the Houston Arboretum. Kids will love the Trick or Treat Trails, hay rides through the forest, train rides, live owls, a petting zoo and pony rides, as well as pumpkin decorating.

East End Bike Ride — Cemetery Gates #2
911 Milby, 7 p.m., free, criticalmasshouston.com
Critical Mass’s biggest ride of the year will meet at D&W Lounge at 7 p.m. and roll for a 20-mile cemetery bike tour starting at 7:30 p.m. There will be four to five stops featuring some of Houston’s oldest and less well known cemeteries. Cyclists are invited to don their best skeleton costume or Día de los Muertos face paint.

October 27-31

Ghost Tours at the 1859 Ashton Villa
2328 Broadway, 7 and 8:15 p.m., $30, galvestonhistory.org 
Enjoy a rare tour through this 1859 building as guides tell stories of the early days of Galveston’s formation and exceptional life, and possible afterlife, of the home’s Miss Bettie Brown.

October 28

Fanatical Change Presents Politicians, Playboys and Performers Halloween Gala
2200 Texas, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., $25-$125  fanaticalchange.org
The Fanatical Change Foundation, a charity that raises money for families who have suffered recent life-altering tragedies, will play host to this year’s Halloween theme party at BBVA Compass Stadium. Throughout the event, guests can enjoy live music and DJs, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, multiple photobooths and a huge auction of unique items. Costume and cocktail attire are welcome.

Magical Candles — Halloween Craft Workshop
321 19th, 7 to 9 p.m., $28, popshophouston.com
Pop Shop Houston’s Magical Candles Workshop allows crafters to work with essential oils and quartz crystals to make candles scented with florals, citrus and herbs.

Scream on the Green Discovery Green
1500 McKinney, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., free, discoverygreen.com
Bank of America Screen on the Green presents Little Shop of Horrors. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome. Beer, wine and concessions will be available for purchase.

October 28-29

Lanternlight Tours of the 1892 Bishop’s Palace
1402 Broadway, 8:30 p.m., $30, galvestonhistory.org 
Experience Bishop’s Palace in a whole new light, as this special tour lets visitors explore the National Historic Landmark and see how this architectural gem takes on a completely different look in the night.

October 29

1838 Menard House Séance
1605 33rd, 9 p.m., $150, galvestonhistory.org
Join natural-born psychic Sharon Michelle as she guides a group of 12 guests through the spirits of Galveston’s oldest home, the 1838 Michel B. Menard House.

Bayou City Haunts: The 2016 Houston Press Halloween GuideEXPAND
Photo by Marco Torres

2016 Houston Halloween Fest and Zombie Walk
2119 Dallas, 2 to 10 p.m., free general admission, houstonishalloween.com
Kick the Halloween festivities off with this family-friendly Halloween fest, held at EaDo’s East Village. This year, the walk is bringing back the ultimate Depeche Mode tribute band, Strangelove, plus a pumpkin patch, a laser tag battlefield, food trucks and carnival rides. As usual, the after-party will be for adults only.

Heights Fright Night Part II
7 p.m. to 1 a.m., free
Big Star Bar, 1005 West 19th
D&T Drive Inn, 1307 Enid
Eureka Heights Brew Co., 941 West 18th
Johnny’s Gold Brick, 2518 Yale
Lei Low Bar, 6412 North Main
re:HAB Bar On The Bayou, 1658 Enid
Southern Goods, 632 West 19th
Town In City Brewing Company, 1125 West Cavalcade
The Northern Heights bars are back for another epic Halloween Fright Night, with complimentary shuttles running continuously between the bars from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Guests are invited to get into costume and enjoy drink deals and Halloween happenings, and those who hit all eight stops will receive a special treat.

Historic Market Square’s Halloween Bash
301 Milam, 7 p.m. to close, free, marketsquarepark.com
The evening’s entertainment includes a time warp dance workshop and costume contest and a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (beginning at 8 p.m.), plus tricks and treats from the Historic District’s eclectic bars and restaurants.

Monster Mash Run
2032 Karbach, 7:30 a.m. (9:15 a.m. for kids run), $15-$45, monstermashrun.com
This family-friendly 5K, 10K and Kids K run will take place at Karbach Brewing Co. in northwest Houston. All runners will receive a T-shirt, and participants 21 and older will receive a Karbach pint glass and two beer tickets. Kids K participants will also receive a trick-o-treat bucket for the candy station at the halfway point on the kids run. Costumes are encouraged, with awards given for the top three costumes after the race.

Bayou City Haunts: The 2016 Houston Press Halloween Guide
Photo by Francisco Montes

Montrose Pub Crawl Crawl
6 p.m. to midnight, free, montrosecrawl.com
Now in its tenth year, Montrose’s very own Halloween party — dubbed “Vampire Mardi Gras” and “Satan’s Fourth of July” — has become a cult classic. The night combines a traditional pub crawl with the spirit of trick-or-treating, as costumed partygoers make their way through 12 restaurants and bars between Dunlavy and Montrose on Westheimer, including Poison Girl, Stone’s Throw and Hay Merchant, with a final stop at Slick Willie’s for the costume contest finals at midnight. As always, there’ll be no covers and no tickets, with drink specials running all night long and special appearances by the Burger Joint, the Golden Grill and Koagie Hots. A portion of drink sales during the Crawl will be donated to the Houston Area Women’s Center.

Pearland Town Center Trick or Treat on Our Street
11200 Broadway, 5 to 9 p.m., free, pearlandtowncenter.com
Trick-or-treaters can head to the Memorial Hermann Pavilion at Pearland Town Center to pick up a Halloween map before embarking on a fun and spooky night, including trick-or-treating, costume contests for ages 12 and under, karaoke and an outdoor screening of Hotel Transylvania 2.

Spirits & Skeletons
5555 Hermann Park, 8 p.m. to midnight, $25-$50, hmns.org
Every year, the Houston Museum of Natural Science opens up for one scarily good night. Those 21 and up can shake their stuff with a stegosaurus, grab a drink with a skink and get spellbound by bewitching gems, all to live music and hits played by DJs, plus fantastic food trucks parked right outside.

Wicked Woods Party
4501 Woodway, 7:30 to 11 p.m. $50-$75, houstonarboretum.org
The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center opens up for this adults-only haunted holiday celebration. Guests are invited to dress in costume and trick-or-treat with cold brews from Town in City Brewing and bites, including IPA barbecue meatballs and Chocolate City Porter truffles, from Events by Momo. End the night with games and music under the shimmering stars.

October 30

Ghostly Gardens
One Hope, 2 to 4 p.m., free, moodygardens.org
Guests can expect trick-or-treating, creepy crafts and a costume contest for kids, plus $5 admission to Moody Gardens attractions for those with a group member in costume.

October 31

10th Annual Bayou City Outdoors Haunted Hike Memorial Park
Near rugby/soccer field, 6:30 p.m., free, bayoucityoutdoors.com
Guests are invited to release their inner wolves as the ghouls at BCO guide a slithering hike through Memorial Park’s off-the-beaten-path wooded trails. The walk is free to attend, but guests should bring a flashlight, bug spray, beverages and $5 for the post-hike pizza party.

Menard House Trick or Treating
1605 33rd, 5 to 7 p.m., free, galvestonhistory.org
Galveston’s oldest residence opens its doors for one night of ghostly fun.

Moe’s Monster Mash Bash
1500 Binz, 3 to 8 p.m, $10, cmhouston.org
Kids are invited to unleash monstrous mayhem, move and groove to the hair-raising tunes of the dance classic “Thriller” and let the ghoul times roll as they boogie to the hauntingly hip tunes of a DJ at PowerPlay Alcove. Activities include black light slime making and a trick-or-treat monster hunt throughout the museum.

Pearland Trick or Treat Trail
4141 Bailey 5:30 to 8 p.m., free, pearlandparks.com
Ghosts, goblins and trick-or-treaters of all ages are invited to this free community-wide event at the Pearland Recreation Center & Natatorium, where local businesses and organizations will line the “trail” to pass out candy and other goodies. Event activities include a costume contest on the Westside Veterinary Hospital stage, games, music, inflatables and food vendors selling tasty treats and beverages.

November 1

Musical and Literary Ofrenda
4912 Main, reception 5:30 p.m. and performance at 6 p.m., free, rocohouston.org
The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) celebrates the Mexican “Day of the Dead” with an annual musical and literary ofrenda at Lawndale Art Center. Five original music “ofrendas” (offerings) — commissioned by ROCO from Musiqa composers — are woven among four original prose texts by Inprint authors, surrounded by the beautiful retablos (alterpieces) on display at Lawndale.

November 5

Zombie Charge 5K Tanks Paintball
22011 Southwest, $27-$88, zombiecharge.com
This annual zombie fun run is an obstacle race and unique experience in which the sole purpose is to survive. Runners will face a variety of challenges while attempting to make it to the finish line as zombies try to capture their flags.

Tuesdays through Fridays in October

Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour and Dinner
2024 Seawall, 6 p.m. $45, HotelGalvez.com
In celebration of “ghost season,” Hotel Galvez & Spa hosts weekly ghost tour dinners during the month of October. Staff will guide participants through the ghostly past of the hotel, which is then followed by a three-course dinner in the Galvez Bar & Grill. The one-hour public ghost tour is available only as part of the dinner package. Friday night tour dinner packages are available exclusively as part of an overnight ghost package. Reservations are required.

Extended Weekends in October and November

Creepy Hollow Haunted House
12872 Valley Vista, Rosharon, 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday (starting October 23), plus hours on Halloween night, $30 to $40, creepyhollowhauntedhouse.com
This fully loaded haunt provides a scare you may not come back from, with multiple attractions, including the dense Dark Woods, looked after by a caretaker hoping for fresh skin to replace his burned flesh; Pitch Black, a research facility gone wrong where you’ll find plenty of psycho killers in between moments of flashing lights and complete darkness; and a Freak Show VR Experience. Tickets are $30 for all attractions, with a $10 Speed Pass available for purchase at the box office.

Nightmare on the Bayou
1515 Studemont, 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7 to 10:30 p.m. all other nights, $22 to $45, nightmareonthebayou.com
Get ready for the creeps because this bad dream, located right next to Houston’s oldest graveyard along the bayou, is truly terrifying. The 15,000-square-foot maze of high-intensity attractions claims to be the only haunted house in Houston that’s really haunted. See for yourself as you make your way through the twists and turns, filled with freaky actors and potential spirits drifting throughout.

Phobia
5250 South Sam Houston Parkway East, Friday-Sunday through October 16, Thursday-Sunday October 22 through October 25, and Thursday-Monday October 27 through Halloween night, $15 to $30, darke.com
This year’s horror factory features two houses and a total of five killer attractions, including Dawn of the Machine, the Genetic Nightmare and the Exile — a three-part journey through a deadly packing plant, a contaminated savage ground and a dark lab dubbed “Contagion.”

Bayou City Haunts: The 2016 Houston Press Halloween Guide
Photo by Carter Sherman

Screamworld
2225 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Thursday-Sunday, plus the entire week of October 23 through Halloween, $17 to $29, screamworld.com
Five blood-tingling attractions range from an old-school Slaughterhouse to a seriously creepy Clown Asylum Maze, where strobe lights disorient as a pack of prowling evil clowns hunt guests down. New this year are the House of Heads and the Dot Dungeon, where a classic fan favorite movie scene is maxed out and enlarged 300 percent.

Year Round

Ghost Tours of Galveston
Fridays and Saturdays, $20 for adults, $15 for children, ghosttoursofgalvestonisland.com
Nationally recognized paranormal expert Dash Beardsley’s Original Ghost Tours provide a year-round spook, though there is something extra-eerie about taking one during the month of October. Tours delve into the haunting past of Galveston Island, with options including a tour of the historic Strand; the Restless Spirits Tour, which zones in on the island’s stories and reports of paranormal activity; the Secret Society Cemetery Tour, which takes a haunting and historic journey through one of the area’s oldest cemeteries; and the Jack The Ripper Mystery Island Tour.

Haunted at Mayfield Manor
2313 Harborside 409-762-6677, $10, hauntedmayfieldmanor.com
Texas’s only year-round haunted house features the quite insane Dr. Mayfield and 12 rooms of terror that will leave those daring enough to visit screaming.

Hotel Galvez Audio Ghost Tours
2024 Seawall, free, HotelGalvez.com
Hotel Galvez offers a free audio tour app for smartphones. Guests and the public can enjoy 25-minute history tours and 20-minute ghost tours year-round.

COSTUMES/PARTY FAVORS

Arne’s Warehouse & Party Store
2830 Hicks, 713-869-8321, arneswarehouse.com
Visit this more-than-60-year-old Texas-size party store for all your costume and Halloween party needs.

Costume Cauldron
1321 Upland, Suite 1614, 713-574-7254, costumecauldron.com
This shop kicks into high gear every Halloween, sporting one of the largest collections of characters, accessories (including wigs), decorations and size selections in the city.

Erotic Cabaret Boutique
1222 Westheimer, 713-528-4565, eroticcabaret.com
This adult novelty store is the place to go for those who want to be scantily clad and a bit more risqué, from sexy superheroes to time-period characters.

Frankel’s Costume Co.
2801 Polk, 713-228-9445, frankelcostume.com
Don’t let the line around the corner stop you; from the spooky to the kooky, this costume shop is sure to have what you need.

Halloween City
halloweencity.com
Head to any location for screamingly good lawn decor and an excellent lineup of costumes in all shapes and sizes.

Houston Galaxy Halloween
21311 Katy, 281-599-8066, houstonhalloweengalaxy.com
Find everything from costumes, wigs and stage makeup to prosthetic items, spooky decorations and inflatables.

Party Boy
1515 Studemont, 713-868-3344, partyboytexas.com
This massive warehouse is a one-stop shop for costumes, wigs, accessories and decorations. The haunted house Nightmare on the Bayou is also right next door.

Party City
multiple locations, partycity.com
This chain is a bit more toned down than other local shops, which means that chances are it will have what you’re looking for when everything else is sold out.

Southern Importers & Exporters
4825 San Jacinto, 713-524-8236, southern-importers.com
From bagged-up, ready-to-wear versions to high-end costumes, this place is a great source of hard-to-score pieces. The collection of theatrical Halloween decor is no joke either.

Spirit Halloween
multiple locations, spirithalloween.com
Spirit stores run the gamut on costumes for any age and in just about every price range.

Spookers Halloween
16020 East Freeway, 281-860-9800, 2332 South Highway 6, 281-920-3250, 11852 Wilcrest, 281-564-4225 spookershalloween.com
With a massive inventory of more than 5,000 in-stock costumes and 300 different styles to choose from at each location, this trio of stores are a must-hit.

Top Dog Halloween Madness
multiple locations, topdoghalloweenmadness.com
Four locations means four times the chance to get fashionably frightening and downright ghoulish. Creative consultants will be on hand to help guide guests through a plethora of SFX makeup, prosthetics, decorations, inflatables and equipment.

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