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Trails to Terror

Don't look now, but sloppy Britney costumes might be all the rage this Halloween. Who doesn't like their festivities decked with little clothes (and shame), lots of drink and lots of candy? Whether you're tethered to kids or tired of wearing undies, we have an activity for everyone. There's no reason to stay in the dark tonight. — Melissa Richter

ONGOING

Alamo Drafthouse
West Oaks Mall (Westheimer and Hwy. 6, 281-920-9211) and Mason Park (531 S. Mason Rd., 281-492-6900), www.drafthouse.com

The Alamo theaters will satisfy your lust for blood, guts and suspense all month long. Features include Rob Zombie's over-the-top gore-fests House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. The Mason Park location will cover the classics with two of Hitchcock's finer films, Rear Window and Dial M For Murder. Days and times vary. $6.

Ashton Villa
2328 Broadway, Galveston, 409-762-3933

Some believe Ashton Villa is haunted. "Miss Bettie," the daughter of the house's first owner, James Moreau Brown, is said to appear from time to time on the second floor landing in a long turquoise gown. Some have even heard the piano in the Gold Room played at night by unseen hands. Miss Bettie never learned to play the piano in life, but her sister played both piano and violin. Noon to 4 p.m. Special "Are We Haunted?" tours begin at the top of each hour, daily. Through October 31. $6 for adults; $5 for students (half price for students in Halloween costume).

Discover Houston Tours Ghost Walks
713-222-9255, www.discoverhoustontours.com

Listen to ten tales of murder, death, haunting, hanging and war on this leisurely stroll and MetroRail ride. All are original haunts of Houston. 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October. $15 adult; $10 children. Advance reservations required.

Downtown Aquarium
410 Bagby, 713-223-FISH, www.downtownaquarium.com

Every weekend in October, there will be all kinds of Halloween activities at Boo on the Bayou. These G-rated activities include the haunted exhibit tour, monster magic shows and more. The event is free, but ticket prices vary for exhibits.

Houston Zoo
1513 N. MacGregor, 713-533-6500, www.houstonzoo.org

If you feel guilty about your kiddos associating Halloween with all the candy, then take them to Zoo Boo, where they can learn a few things about nature. The House of Slither has a 73-foot snake and spiders galore. Pick a pumpkin to decorate and enjoy the Monster Mashquerade, plus all the usual haunts. Get discount admission tickets at Fiesta. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. October 20, 21, 27 and 28.

Kemah Boardwalk Halloween Festival
Kemah, 281-334-9880, www.kemahboardwalk.com

Rest assured that Grandma and the kids will enjoy Boo on the Boardwalk this spooky season. There will be trick-or-treating and pumpkin decorating. Halloween costume contests take place on October 20 and 27, with prizes for the top ten best-dressed kids. Free; times vary. Brave souls can visit the Dungeon of Doom Haunted House, open daily. $10 per ticket.

Nightmare on the Bayou
1515 Studemont, 713-868-3344, www.nightmareonthebayou.com

2007 promises more scares, more screams and more fun. This haunt has been completely redesigned, but it's still located next to Houston's oldest cemetery. Employees swear some ghosts are real. Open rain or shine. $25 regular ticket; $35 VIP tickets. Look online for discounts. Open Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, and nightly from October 25 to 31.7:30 p.m. Nightmare on the Bayou stays open as long as the crowds keep coming!

Phobia Haunted Houses
18777 Hwy. 290, and 1-45 S. at Mall of the Mainland, Texas City. 713-526-DEAD, www.darke.com

With more than 20 years of experience, Phobia Haunted Houses has earned the reputation as the scariest, most high-tech thrill in Houston. Phobia operates seven separate haunted attractions at two locations. A parent should accompany children under 12. Phobia Haunted Houses will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, and nightly from October 25 to 31.

At the 290 location, expect thrillers like The Darke Institute, Mind Control Asylum, 3D Clown Phobia, Simon Fowler Woods Tour, the path of the 290 Killer and ClaustroPhobia. Don't expect to have dry pants after these tours.

There are also two new haunted attractions at I-45 Mall of the Mainland, DarkeWorld and Phylo Darke, as well as an old favorite, Mania.

ScreamWorld
2225 N. Sam Houston Pkwy., 713-914-1313, www.screamworld.com

More than 30,000 Houstonians have visited this haunt annually since these creaky doors opened in 1989. Originally located in downtown, in 2001 ScreamWorld moved to a 4.5-acre facility comprised of three haunted houses and an outdoor maze. This year they added an outdoor cemetery. Besides high-tech animatronic monsters, expect to dodge racing cars, ankle-biters and cobwebs. Watch where you step.

The temple of terror opens nightly at 7:30 p.m. October 4 to 7, October 11 to 14, October 18 to 21, October 25 to 31 and November 2 to 3. General admission tickets are $22 per person to visit the five haunted attractions, and $30 for a VIP Fast Pass, with no waiting in line. A downloadable $3 discount coupon and advance tickets sales are available at www.screamworld.com.

 

ScreamWorld is not recommended for children under the age of 12.

Texas Renaissance Festival
www.texrenfest.com, 800-458-3435

Any event where you dress up is part of the Halloween season. Despite what Miss Pop Rocks might think of these followers, all who attend have a good time. Not only do toddlers like it, but even Holly from The Girls Next Door gets into it. The festival runs Saturdays and Sundays from October 6 through November 25. Tickets $10-$21.

Texas Seaport Museum
Pier 22, 22nd St. and Harborside Dr., Galveston, 409-763-1877

Galveston's a good place to look for real-life ghosts. It's been home to the allegedly cannibalistic Karankawa Indians and merciless pirates, including the famous Jean Lafitte, whose lavish and lawless den of thieves made the island's first European settlement. Galvestonians in the 19th century knew fires, epidemics of yellow fever and malaria, military occupation and bitter war, and, of course, storms. Um, there's bound to be some ghosts somewhere. One-hour narrated excursions go through October 31. They leave at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12

Houston Zoo
1513 N. MacGregor, 713-533-6500, www.houstonzoo.org

We're not sure if Feast with the Beasts means you can eat with your hands and throw poo at each other. We do know you'll enjoy exotic culinary fare from Houston's hottest independent restaurants and live performances on three entertainment stages, including Yvonne Washington and the Mix, and Urbana. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. $75 for members; $80 for nonmembers.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25

The Roxy
5351 W. Alabama, 713-850-7699

Carmen of Carmen's Boutique and Video doesn't only sell sexy costumes, she's now hosting her own party, and any party she threw wouldn't be complete without a Carmen look-alike contest. There'll also be other costume contests and Latin and hip-hop music to shake to all night long.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26

ComedySportz
901 Town & Country Blvd. 713-868-1444
www.comedysportzhouston.com

Catch the most treats for your Halloween dollar with the "Hysterical Horrors" show. In this special match, two teams of improv comedians will battle for points and laughs, while a wisecracking referee keeps things moving, all with a Halloween theme. Wear a legitimate costume and they'll let you in for half price. 8 p.m. October 26 and 27. $14; costumed patrons get in for $7.

Houston Museum of Natural Science
One Hermann Circle Dr., 713-639-4629, www.hmns.org

All museums seem hip to the idea of turning into party central when the sun sets. Come dressed in costume for an evening of music by the Fab Five, free food, cash bar and festivities. The ticket alone is worth the admission to The Dark Side of the Moon in the Burke Baker Planetarium. 8 p.m. to midnight. $13 members; $15 nonmembers.

Russian Bear Restaurant
1801 S. Dairy Ashford, 281-496-4018

Enjoy the scenery with belly dancers and a Russian show. Of course, the half-price Russian vodka should help to make everything look that much better.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27

6th Street Bar & Grill
2701 White Oak, 713-880-5999

This corner in the Heights is doing its best to become a party haven any day of the week, and Halloween is no exception. There will be drink specials, costume contests and a live DJ.

Bohemeo's
708 Telephone Rd., 713-923-4277, www.halloweenfilmfest.org

The 4th Annual Houston Halloween Film Festival is a grassroots short-film festival and costume party. Like Dr. Frankenstein said, "It's alive! It's alive!" 7 p.m. to1 a.m. $15 entry includes food and drinks.

Doubletree Intercontinental
Derrick's Saloon, 15747 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 281-848-4000 www.bbwpartysite.com/Houston­TxBBWHalloween.html

This annual HoustonTxBBW Halloween Bash will have you shaking your booty all night long. Fabulous door prizes, costume contest and DJ Sweety Sexxy will help make the night complete. 9 p.m. $10 before October 15; $13 afterward. Rooms start at $72 plus tax.

Lucky's Pub
801 St. Emanuel at Rusk, 713-522-2010
www.luckyspub.com

The Pimp 'n' Ho Prostitute Ball has become infamous for a night of much drink and even more eye candy. Live music, DJs and $4,000 in cash and prizes. 8 p.m. to2 a.m. $15 in advance; $20 at the door.

Mike's Ultimate Sports Bar
8670 Hwy. 6 N., 281-855-1194, www.mikesultimate.com

This all-day Day of the Dead Festival Party will include a bike and roadster car show, fajita cook-off and costume contest. While chowing down and gazing at the vehicles, enjoy music by the Nationals and Strange Brew. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Mosaic
530 Texas, 713-236-1100

You know a party called "Bond Girls Are Forever" will be a good time.

 

Numbers
300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551, www.numbersnightclub.com

This Houston institution likes to celebrate the season all weekend long. It starts Saturday with SINth night's Halloween edition. Hear your favorite Numbers Classics with a twist of bloody Synth! No cover.

Rocbar
530 Texas Ave., 713-236-1100

Do the Monster Mash with Mohawk Steve and the Swingers.

Trader's Village
7979 N. Eldridge Pkwy., 281-890-5500, www.tradersvillage.com

Here's another event for the whole family. Boo Bash for Kidz has continuous live entertainment and special guests from some of Houston's major sports teams, a kid-size and wildly wicked Haunted Hallway, a maze, magic, music and more from 1 p.m. to4 p.m. Saturday, October 27.

Boo Bash transforms into a celebration of Mexican culture on Sunday, October 28, as the market presents Día de los Muertos en Traders Village. Staged in cooperation with Houston's MECA, the Red Expo at Traders Village will be filled with traditional Day of the Dead art and altars, music from performers such as Mariachi MECA, food, drinks and other colorful customary trappings. Día de los Muertos is from noon to 5 p.m.

Tumbleweed Texas
13101 Kuykendahl, 281-872-7829

Get out your favorite, most eclectic Halloween gear for the best party on the north side. Costume contest with over $500 in cash and prizes. This party will be broadcast live on the air with 93Q.

Venue
719 Main, 713-236-8150

All-night Halloween party with drinks, fun and a costume contest.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28

Houston Community College Town and Country Campus
1060 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. N.

Halloween Spooktacular Concert. Celebrate the Lone Star Symphonic Band's first concert of its 15th anniversary season with spooky-good live music. Music from TV and the movies such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, JAWS, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Phantom of the Opera will be performed. For tickets, call 713-893-5026 or e-mail tickets@lone­star­symphonicband.com. 7 p.m. $10 adults; $5 ­children.

Numbers
300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551, www.numbersnightclub.com

Sunday is the Underworld's Halloween Bash featuring Bella Morte with special guest ThisMeansYou. 8 p.m. $8.

Trader's Village
7979 N. Eldridge Pkwy., 281-890-5500, www.tradersvillage.com

Here's another event for the whole family. Boo Bash for Kidz has continuous live entertainment and special guests from some of Houston's major sports teams, a kid-size and wildly wicked Haunted Hallway, a maze, magic, music and more from 1 p.m. to4 p.m. Saturday, October 27.

Boo Bash transforms into a celebration of Mexican culture on Sunday, October 28, as the market presents Día de los Muertos en Traders Village. Staged in cooperation with Houston's MECA, the Red Expo at Traders Village will be filled with traditional Day of the Dead art and altars, music from performers such as Mariachi MECA, food, drinks and other colorful customary trappings. Día de los Muertos is from noon to 5 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31

The Continental Club
3700 Main, 713-529-9899, www.continentalclub.com

As part of their Wicked Wednesdays series, tonight they will feature The Reverend Vince Anderson and Whiskey Boat. Expect a show consisting of four bands with a sexy burlesque show between set changes. Sound naughty? It is.

Jonny's Sports Bar
2511 Bissonnet, 713-521-9928

If you're looking for a crazy Halloween freak show, then check out the 3rd Annual Circus Tripp party at Jonny's. From midgets and muff divers to stilts and stilettos, you'll see it all. There will be three different costume contests throughout the night, with more than $2,500 in cash prizes. Look for the searchlights in the sky and the moonwalks outside.

The Meridian
1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717, www.meridianhouston.com

Hallowe'en Helmet with special guests Burning Brides & Totimoshi. 8 p.m. $15.

Numbers
300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551, www.numbersnightclub.com

The legendary Hollow's Eve tradition. Costume contest at midnight with cash prizes. DJ Wes Wallace and uninterrupted music and videos all night. 9 p.m.

Rouge
812 Westheimer, 713-520-7955

Enjoy an evening of live music by Unique Soul, a costume contest and great music. 8 p.m. to midnight. $25.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1

Bohemeo's
708 Telephone Rd., 713-923-4277

The Mexican holiday Day of the Dead is a time to honor all those who have died. Today enjoy this celebration with great artwork to go along. "Los Colores de la Vida y Muerte" will include artists Armando Castelan, CUTTHROAT and Christian Jesus Navarrete, with live performances by DJ Breejock/Lord Mysterioso, Jesus "El Guero" Romero, The Umbrella Man, and special guest Mark Pinon. Exhibition runs October 22 to November 7.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3

Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main, 713-528-5858, www.lawndaleartcenter.org

For 20 years, Lawndale has asked artists to contribute retablos, Mexican traditional tin devotional paintings, for their Annual Day of the Dead events. This year they have submissions from nationally known artists such as Bale Creek Allen, The Art Guys, Dixie Friend Gay, Joe Havel, Sharon Kopriva, David McGee, Jesús Moroles and Al Souza. More than 300 retablos will be on display and available for auction at Lawndale's gala, along with fun-filled family activities all day. Noon to 4 p.m.

 

COSTUMES AND DECORATIONS

Arne's Warehouse Store
2830 Hicks St., 713-869-8321

From costumes to candy, you'll find everything for the holiday in this two-story warehouse.

Bedrock City Comic Co.
Multiple Locations, www.bedrockcity.com

The Lucky 13th annual Halloween sale has finally come. 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.

Bizarre Bazaar
Five locations, www.bizarrebazaarhouston.com

Your Halloween costume one-stop. Bizarre Bazaar has everything from sexy-cop to teachers-pet costumes, as well as a full line of men's costumes.

Cindie's
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, www.frankelcostume.com

This store began in 1950, so there's more than 55 years' worth of stuff here. No wonder we keep making them Best Costume Shop.

Katz 24 HR Boutique & Smoke
1710 Hwy. 6 S., 281-496-5285

Sales event for the season — gag gifts, lingerie and DVDs.

Leather Forever
604 Westheimer, 713-526-6940

Need that perfect accessory? If you can't find what you're looking for in-store, they'll do custom garments.

Party Boy
1515 Studemont, 713-861-9080

Party Boy offers costumes and decorations.

Simply Irresistible Funwear
12260 Gulf Fwy., 713-944-3223

Choose from a large selection of sexy costumes and accessories.

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.


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