It's scream time, Houston, and whether you party funny or sexy, know that with a Friday-night Halloween, it's going to be huge. The clubs around town are getting together to give you something special to do, and plenty of beer to wash it down with. Trend watchers say many of you will even go political as Barack Obama look-alikes hit the streets in droves. And John McCain?...
The Haunted Trails
11500 Antoine, 713-618-DEAD,
An outdoor experience with a theme of terror! From 8-11:30 p.m. $13.
Nightmare on the Bayou
1515 Studemont, 713-868-3344 ext. 4, www.nightmareonthebayou.com
Nightmare on the Bayou, located next to Houston's oldest graveyard, claims to be Houston's only real haunted house.
18777 Highway 290; second location, I-45 South at Mall of the Mainland, 713-526-DEAD, www.darke.com
Phobia's creepy attractions include The Dark Institute, Simon Fowler Woods, ClaustroPhobia and more.
2225 N. Sam Houston Pkwy., 713-914-1313, www.screamworld.com
This high-tech haunted house features movie-set quality scares.
The Alamo Drafthouse
531 South Mason Rd., 281-492-6900,
Take in a show at the Alamo Drafthouse on the weekend of October 10, and you'll get the treat of being scared out of your mind by the original 1979 Amityville Horror. This spooky treasure, in which a dream house turns into a spirit-possessed nightmare, will make it hard to sit still while you wait for your meal to come around. Ticket prices are $6.50, and the showings are at 10 p.m. both nights.
The Alamo Drafthouse will be warming up for All Hallows' Eve with a special showing of The Exorcist (1973) at 10 p.m. Based on William Peter Blatty's novel about the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism, this movie will thrill and chill in equal measure. The Drafthouse promises that split pea soup will not be on the menu. Tickets are $6.50.
Join the Drafthouse gang at midnight for a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with live shadow cast The Beautiful Creatures.
The Drafthouse is throwing a Halloween party in the Biergarten and inviting everyone to come, full costume, for a night of face-painting, psychic readings and mesmerizing magic tricks from 8 to 10 p.m. And, if you stick it out to the end, you can see the 1½ Mexicans' presentation of The Lost Boys at 10. The price for this commodity is the standard $6.50, and it's easily worth it to enjoy the comedic stylings of the group as they lambaste the vampire classic The Lost Boys for everyone's enjoyment. The best costumes will be rewarded with prizes and Alamo swag, along with the usual Alamo atmosphere.
410 Bagby, 713-223-FISH,
Join Sharkey and friends for the Downtown Aquarium Halloween Kids Fest, where kids can enjoy pumpkin painting, photo opportunities with animals, and the Octavius moonwalk. Also included are exhibit feedings and demonstrations, a chance to meet Shaggy and Scooby in the Mystery Machine, and the promise of hauntingly good entertainment.
The Health Museum
1515 Hermann Dr., 713-521-1515,
The John P. McGovern Museum of Medical Science, a.k.a. the Health Museum, will feature Haunted House 4D, a cinematic version of the traditional haunted house. Complete with rain, thunderstorm effects and even thick, pearly fog, this daily dive into a world of terror will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention. Recommended for children ages seven and up. General admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children and senior citizens, but children two and under, as well as museum members, are admitted for free. Admittance to Haunted House 4D requires another $4 per person.
813 Congress St., 713-229-9399,
Twice weekly, La Carafe will be having Meet and Greets at 8 and 10 p.m., followed by seances at 9 and 11 p.m. Join in for an unsettling look at the other side.
Saturday, October 18
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
4501 Woodway Dr., 713-681-8433
Have a green Halloween at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center's annual Ar BOOretum. Designed as a family adventure, you can learn about animal predators on the trick-or-treat nature trail, see live snakes and owls, enjoy pony rides, the petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, face-painting and a cake walk. Proceeds benefit the Arboretum. The program starts at noon and ends at 5 p.m. Cost is $15 per for ages three and up and includes all activities in the event. Join as an Arboretum member and get in free.
Saturday, October 25
The Charles Brown Music Festival
9th Avenue N., at Nessler Park, Texas City,
This concert, named for one of the most influential blues artists of the 20th century and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, features Sparky's Jazz Express, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Hamilton Loomis, and The Zydeco Dots, promising a night of exceptional blues, rock, Cajun and funk all rolled into one. Aside from the musical entertainment, there will be arts and crafts, concessions and a children's area. Free admission.
Ernie's On Banks
1010 Banks, 713-526-4566
Ernie's is going to have its traditional Halloween party, complete with $100 in cash prizes for best costumes and drink specials all around. They'll also open their new 2,100-plus-square-foot deck, featuring a built-in "bags" game.
2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838
A night of fun awaits at the Halloween Music Frenzy presented by The United Music Alliance. This 12-hour celebration includes 20 different bands and $2,000 worth of prizes from a custom Halloween Halo Guitar to a six-hour limousine ride by Action Limousine. All ages are invited. $12 under 21; $10 over 21.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science
One Hermann Circle Dr., 713-639-4629,
This is a perfect place to take small children in preparation for a night walking the streets and begging for candy. Those who attend will experience the pleasures of meeting Mad Scientists, Creepy Chemists and Terrifying Taxidermists for an educating show in explosions, vital organs and crispy critters. End the day with world-renowned illusionist Steve Wallach for magic and mayhem that will leave everyone at a loss for words, not just kids. Tickets are $5 for nonmembers and $4 for members. Kids are encouraged to wear their costumes.
801 St. Emanuel at Rusk, 713-522-2010
Lucky's Pub is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a Halloween party, the theme of which is "Golf Pros and Tennis Hos." Those planning to attend should come wearing their very best in golf and tennis attire. Wear the best outfit and you could win the prize for Best Golf Pro or Sexiest Tennis Ho; don't and you still get to enjoy complimentary drinks and appetizers from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be no cover charge to enjoy this precursor to Halloween, and there'll be DJs on hand to entertain you while you dance.
Tuesday, October 28
Dean's Credit Clothing
316 Main, 713-522-8592 x 2.
Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) presents Salon: SWAMP Thing Halloween Party, at 7:30 p.m. Bring your costumes for free drinks and a chance to win best costume, and get ready to welcome the Ghouls of Honor: "The fiendish Dr. Phil Nichols and Melissa 'MONSTERELLA' Nichols." The brother-sister team of makeup artists founded Nichols Studios in 1985, which became Facades FX Makeup Lab. There will be palm reading and fortune telling as well.
Thursday, October 30
The Backroom at the Mink
3718 Main, 713-522-9985
Speakerboxx and the Tipping Point present Spookyboxx at 10 p.m. in the Back Room. Entrance is free with no cover, restricted to those who are 21 or older. Costumes are encouraged at this pre-Halloween celebration.
The darkly unique BooTown theater group, presenter of the popular Grown-Up Story Time series, is welcoming Halloween with a classic fairy tale — in its most twisted, gruesome form. Spaghetti Head, adapted from the Grimm Brothers' "Rapunzel," is sure to contain the macabre and delightfully morbid. The performance will last approximately one hour, and, while BooTown is nonprofit, the presenters suggest a donation of $5. Audience interaction is encouraged.
4606 Washington Ave., 713-862-4448
In a partnership between JMG Magazine and HOT 95.7, the Citizen Lounge will be hosting the group's First Annual Halloween Bash for a night of cocktails, music and seduction. A costume contest will, of course, be held, with a first-place prize of a weekend getaway to Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, a second-place prize of a one-year membership to 24 Hour Fitness and a third-place prize of Houston Dynamo playoff tickets. A DJ will be there for all musical needs from the party kickoff at 10 p.m. to its conclusion at 2 a.m.
Friday, October 31
Ashford Arms Pub
14605 Perthshire Rd., 281-497-5316,
The Pub will be holding a Halloween party complete with costume contest. A cash prize of $100 goes to the winner, $65 to second place, $35 to third place and an "Irish pat on the back" to fourth place. Judging will begin at 11 p.m. No cover.
The Continental Club
3700 Main, 713-529-9899,
Halloween night at the Continental Club will bring a visit from the group Disco Expressions, for a 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. celebration of Discoween. In the words of the Club, "Do a (spooky) little dance, make a little (haunted) love, get down tonight!" The cover charge is still on.
2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838
Halloween night will bring ten bands including Los Skarnales, not to mention the unavoidable costume contest and much more.
1701 Commonwealth, 713-521-3528
Spend Halloween night at The Flat with Jibril. No cover charge.
Foozies Bar & Billiards
Inside the Kroger Shopping Center on the corner of Garth Rd and Baker
Foozies will be holding a Halloween bash featuring two live bands. They plan to double the fun with two costume contests — one for Best Costume and one for Best Couples Costume, each with a $200 incentive. Cover charge is $10.
Frank-N-Stein's Bar & Grill
9907 Hwy. 6 South, Sugar Land, 281-568-5593
233 S Mason Rd., Katy, 281-578-5593
This restaurant is the perfect place for your Halloween party headquarters, featuring food, drink and shot specials all night long. Also available is the chance to embarrass yourself in front of all your friends when you volunteer for karaoke. And, of course, don't forget to come prepared for the traditional Halloween costume contest for a possible prize of $1,000. Come to either location for a fun-filled Halloween night.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science
One Hermann Circle Dr., 713-639-4629,
Go to the museum on Halloween night to find a party of massive proportions. Watch an IMAX adventure and get sucked into the fun. This night will feature the electrifying music of The Chromatics as well as another visit from Steve Wallach. Fight to win in the Most Triumphant Costume Contest, and prepare yourself for your future with the help of Fatima and her team of psychics. Admission is $15 for nonmembers and $13 for members.
Houston's First Baptist Church
7401 Katy Fwy., 713-681-8000,
A lively Halloween festival known as First Fest will include activities to suit all ages, including everything from a dunking booth, fire truck and mechanical bull to a petting zoo, pony rides and candy galore. Admission is only $5 per person for a complete evening of all-inclusive entertainment.
Hyatt Regency Hotel
1200 Louisiana, 713-654-1234,
The Hyatt Hotel is hosting Phantom at the Hyatt, the hotel's take on the traditional Halloween party. The costume contest will include prizes such as round-trip tickets, a 42-inch plasma TV, gift cards and $3,500 in cash for winners. The party will also feature a Salsa and Brazilian show as well as body painting and a great deal besides. Presale tickets (online) are $15 and tickets at the door are $25. The party will run from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Last Concert Cafe
1403 Nance St., 713-226-8563,
The Last Concert Cafe, a musical Mexican restaurant devoted to original music, not to mention drum circles and alternate lifestyles, will be hosting Havok On Halloween. The celebration will be one to remember, featuring such artists as Hit By A Bus, Muchos Backflips, Live Oak Decline and Jessica Leza for live performances while you enjoy the usual Tex-Mex standbys. The prices stand at $12/18+ and $10/21+.
801 St. Emanuel at Rusk, 713-522-2010
It's the 12th Annual Pimp & Prostitute Ball, featuring live music from the Lost Boys as well as multiple DJs spinning in the background throughout the night. The quintessential costume contest has been amped with a prize of $4,000. Winning titles will include Pimp of the Year, Classiest Ho and Best Overall Costume. Those who wish to participate must sign up by 10 p.m. The party will last from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and will come with the benefits of $3 beer and $3 Skyy, Malibu and Tuaca brands. Tickets are $15 in advance (order online) and $20 at the door. Although the theme is Pimp and Ho, all kinds of costumes are allowed.
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999
McGonigel's Mucky Duck is presenting Clandestine for Halloween. The Celtic music group from Houston will wail away with bagpipes, guitar, fiddle and drums (bodhrán and conga drums), certain to put you in a brooding Halloween mood. The festivities go from 7 to 9:30 and the tickets are $15.
Messina Hof Winery & Resort
4545 Old Reliance Rd., 800-736-9463
A healthy alternative to the commonplace Halloween party, Messina Hof will be hosting a Halloween Murder Mystery Dinner called Disappearance of Death. The plot is: The Great Radinski, world-renowned magician, has been found dead along the shore of Mystic Lake. Participants must try to figure out who brought him to his murderous fate while enjoying a Halloween feast paired with exceptional wine. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $69.95 plus tax and gratuity.
2200 SW Fwy. #150, 713-528-MEZZ,
Head over to the Mezzanine Lounge after dark for the Vampire Ball 2008. Come in costume for a "bloody" treat and the possibility of a $200 prize when the costume contest starts up. Upstairs music will be provided by DJ Robic, so arrive early for seats and don't worry about a cover charge. In celebration of this vampiric occasion, drinks will be sold at $3.50 all night long.
Santito's Bar & Grill
11520 N.W. Fwy., 713-682-3404
This bar's celebration promises to be a lively one, with a heady cultural mix of Halloween and El Día de los Muertos, the Mexican day of remembrance for the deceased. On the one hand, there will be a costume competition, live band performances in a wide variety of genres and the prize of a bucket of beer to whoever answers the band members' questions. On the other, the bar will be sporting the Día de los Muertos altar adorned with pictures of loved ones and their favorite foods and beverages, as well as a lucha libre (Mexican masked wrestling) theme for the bar. This restaurant plans on combining the best of both worlds, the height of which is none other than: free tequila.
The 2nd Annual Montrose Crawl
A new Houston tradition, this event calls for anyone and everyone of drinking age to join in for a night of pub-crawling down Westheimer in the Montrose. Participants enjoy such benefits as drink specials in the finest bars Montrose can offer, as well as an opportunity to compete in a costume contest, the Grand Prize Winner of which will win a brewery party for himself and a group of his closest 99 friends featuring all-you-can-drink Saint Arnold's beer. Along the way, lesser prizes will be awarded for other superior costumes, along with other Halloween activities at such favorites as Poison Girl, Boondocks, Etro Lounge, Catbirds and the final stop, Slick Willie's Pool Hall, where the Grand Prize will be awarded. Entrance in the Crawl is free, and no cover charges or minimum drink fees will be required at the designated stops. A portion of all drink sales will be donated to the Houston Women's Center. To take part, be at Brasil at 6:30, and don't forget your costume.
1732 W 18th St., 713-864-4485
The Spot is holding a Halloween party with a live band made up entirely of lawyers, called Randy Marshall and the Law. The costume contest winner will be awarded a cash prize, so don't forget this Houston bar when Halloween rolls around. The party starts at 9 p.m. No cover.
Costumes and Decorations
Bedrock City Comic Co.
Multiple Locations, www.bedrockcity.com
The Lucky 13th annual Halloween sale has finally arrived. Come in costume October 31 and get fabulous loot at fabulous sale prices. Not brave enough for a costume? It's okay, everyone saves. November 2,3 and 4.
Five locations, www.bizarrebazaarhouston.com
Your Halloween costume one-stop. Bizarre Bazaar has everything from sexy-cop to teacher's-pet costumes, as well as a full line of men's costumes.
Six locations, www.cindies.com
Cindie's sells costumes filled with fantasy and fun.
Danny's Trix & Kix
3400 FM 2920, Spring, 281-353-6618
Danny's offers Halloween costumes and accessories.
Frankel's Costume Co.
2801 Polk, 713-228-9445,
Costumes, costume accessories, makeup and magic.
1515 Studemont, 713-861-9080
Party Boy offers costumes and decorations.
5705 Richmond, 832-251-8400
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Pleasure Zone offers costumes of all kinds for men and women alike, as well as anything else you might need for a sensual and sexy Halloween, or a funny Halloween if that's more your speed. There are plus sizes and the most diverse collection in Houston.
The Way We Wore
2602 Waugh Dr., 713-526-8910
The Way We Wore offers a great selection of ready-to-wear and rentable costumes, as well as wigs and vintage clothing for all your Halloween costume needs.