Everyone’s favorite spook-tastic holiday is back! And this year, it’s looking to be bigger and better than ever. Mark your calendars, because Houston-area haunts have quite the show to put on. From naughty parties and seriously freaky Halloween parties to nerdy museum nights and family-friendly festivals, we’ve rounded up the hottest 2015 Halloween festivities in Houston (and we’ve even included a lineup of Halloween stores for your shopping pleasure). Check out your 2015 Houston Press Halloween Guide.
by Brooke Viggiano
Through October 31
Monsters’ Museum of Houston
1500 Binz, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays (Free Family Night 5 to 8 p.m.), Sundays noon to 6 p.m., Halloween 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., $10, cmhouston.org
Monstrous mayhem will be unleashed when the Children’s Museum of Houston Frankensteins itself into the Monsters’ Museum of Houston. Bring the kids to see how monsters have rummaged, scoured, combed and turned the museum upside down to make room for their monster lairs. “Catch monsters” in the act, participate in monster hobbies and discover why monsters may just simply be misunderstood! The hair-raising experience will also feature trick-or-treat monster hunts, pumpkin disguising (painting), shrieking monster calls and slime blobs. The freaky fun culminates with Moe’s Monster Mash Bash on Halloween.
Through November 2
National Museum of Funeral History
415 Barren Springs, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, nmfh.org
There’s no doubt Halloween in Houston wouldn’t be as eerie without a trip to the National Museum of Funeral History. This year, the museum is celebrating with a variety of Halloween happenings. (Note: All events require paid admission.)
Visit the family-friendly Haunted House to get “scared to death” as you explore different scenes designed to give goose bumps to young and old alike while taking a lighthearted view of a usually very serious subject. 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, but you can get half off when you also purchase admission to the museum.
At the “Myths and Legends of the Graveyard” exhibit, dare to walk through a garden of slabs and headstones, stroll across the boneyard and let the graveyard’s secrets reveal themselves like a shadow crawling from within. Museum admission ($10 for adults; $9 for seniors and vets; $7 for children ages 6-11; and free for children five and under) includes access to the exhibit “Myths and Legends of the Graveyard.”
On Saturday, October 24, you’ll have the chance to see more than 150 cars from classic to contemporary at the 8th Annual Halloween Classic Car Show. Enjoy the family-friendly fall festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can expect face painting and arts and crafts for the kids, barbecue and cupcakes from local vendors, a live DJ and a silent auction. Admission is $3 for individuals or $5 for couples and families. Admission to the museum is separate and is not included.
On Sunday, November 1, learn more about the Latin customs surrounding the Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos celebrations held for deceased loved ones. Explore authentic altars made by local artists, commemorate your loved one by leaving him or her a message in the Book of the Dead, 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.
Geeks Who Drink: Walking Dead Trivia
Revelry on Richmond, 1613 Richmond, 8 p.m., free
You can expect crazy costumes, huge prizes and lots of geekery as fans celebrate both Halloween and the sixth season of one of TVs most popular shows.
Precinct 4 Hosts Harvest Moon Costume Dance
Humble Civic Center, 8233 Will Clayton, 1 to 4 p.m. $7 suggested donation
The young at heart can get into the Halloween spirit, too! Everyone 50 years of age and better is invited to this event, featuring Texas Western Swing hall-of-famers the River Road Boys, light refreshments and a costume contest. Prizes will be awarded for costumes in the following categories: spookiest, funniest, best couple and best overall. A $7 suggested donation helps defray event costs. To make reservations and secure tickets, call Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program at 281-893-3726, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Spook-tacular Halloween Rainforest Cafe
5015 Westheimer, 5 p.m., rainforestcafe.com
Ghosts, goblins and ghouls are invited to join the holiday fun. Families will enjoy plenty of fun activities including free arts and crafts, games, raffles, prizes and much more. Additionally, visit the Rainforest Cafe’s website to get a special coupon for a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée on Halloween night, October 31.
“Spooktacular Golf Event” at Northgate Country Club
17110 Northgate Forest, 2:30 to 7:30 p.m., $59 for WOC members and $89 for non-members, womenoncourse.com
Hosted by Women on Course, America’s premier networking organization that’s introduced more than 30,000 women to golf and its amazing lifestyle, this event welcomes all to dress up in their best Halloween outfit and enjoy an evening of golf and networking. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., participants play until dark followed by dinner and a glass of wine or beer. Prizes will be awarded for longest drive, closest to the pin and best costume.
Houston Halloween Pub Crawl
$6.66 to $25, pubcrawls.com
Get ready to put on your best Halloween costume for a killer bar crawl through top Houston bars, including Midtown Drinkery, Gage Lounge, Little Woodrows, Howl at the Moon, Sage County, The Dogwood, Bovine & Barley and more. Choose from Midtown or Downtown crawls upon registration. At registration, you’ll retrieve your wristband, cup, and map, outlining all of the participating venues. Tickets start are $6.66 to $9.66 or $25 for a 3 day all access pass.
The Masque of the Red Death at Prohibition Supperclub & Bar
1008 Prairie, 7 to 8:30 p.m.; 9:30 to 11 p.m. (two performances per night), $10 to $65, plus the $45 prix-fixe meal, masqueofdeath.com
The Moonlight Dolls are getting naughty during this immersive theatrical experience based on Edgar Allan Poe’s immortal short story. Guests will be gladdened through feast (a three-course meal), dance and performance in the face of a living horror.
3rd Annual Undead Fest Lucky’s Pub
801 St. Emanuel, 9 p.m., $9.45 to $35, sportsmonkey.com
94.5 The Buzz, Sportsmonkey and Lucky’s Pub are teaming up for one hellish party. Come dressed as a zombie, vampire, ghost, ghoul, mummy, etc., or in any costume you want. But make it good. Dinah from The Buzz will be hosting a $3,000 (cash and prizes) costume contest for Best Undead and Best Original starting at approximately 11 p.m.
Critical Massacre starting at Market Square Park, 6:30 p.m., criticalmasshouston.com
The biggest rolling costume party in all of Texas is getting haunted. Wear your best costume, dress up your bike and invite all your friends as you join 2000-plus riders on the Critical Massacre 2015! You’ll find the sure-to-be-awesome after party at Liberty Station.
Fanatical Change Presents Superhero Halloween
501 Crawford, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., $40 regular admission, $150 VIP, fanaticalchange.org
What’s better than a Halloween party for a good cause? This year’s supercharged theme is “Superhero Halloween: Cocktails & Costumes, for a Change.” Don your best Bruce Wayne costume (anyone have a spare Batmobile we can borrow?) and head to the Minute Maid Park Diamond Club for a night of live music out on the field, a $2,000 his and her costume contest, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, an auction of unique items, and the company of individuals, successful entrepreneurs and professionals who desire to see a change come to Houston and how a transparent charity works.
Halloween feat. Mango Punch! 51fifteen
5115 Westheimer, 9 p.m. to midnight, 51fifteen.com
Come dressed in your Halloween best, as this party features live Latin Pop artist Mango Punch! In addition to a costume contest.
9th Annual Bayou City Outdoors Haunted Hike and Pizza Party
Memorial Park near rugby parking lot, 6:30 p.m., free, bayoucityoutdoors.com
What better way to spend Halloween than by taunting forest trolls? Get your spook on as the ghouls at BCO guide you on a slithering hike through Memorial Park’s off-the-beaten-path wooded trails. Meet at Memorial Park near the rugby/soccer field parking lot before the event, and then finish with a costume pizza party. That is, if you can make it out of the forest! The walk is free to attend, but bring a flashlight, bug spray, beverages and $5 for pizza.
“ADULTS ONLY” Halloween Party Costume Contest
Spaghetti Warehouse, 901 Commerce, 9 p.m. to midnight
Hit this adults-only party — held in the bar area — for all day-drink specials and the chance to win $1,000, $750 or $500 in the costume contest (beginning at 11 p.m.).
Darwin’s Theory’s 1 Year Anniversary Halloween Party
33 Waugh, until 2 a.m., darwinstheoryhouston.com
Darwin’s will be celebrating Halloween and the club’s first birthday with a free keg, a costume contest, and surprises and giveaways all night long.
Fuego’s Saloon’s Halloween Bash
817 Durham, 7 p.m., facebook.com/fuegossaloon
This party, featuring creepy drink specials, costumes and DJ Synergy, will run well into the night.
Get Your Ghoul On! at MKT Bar
1001 Austin, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., $12, phoeniciafoods.com
Get ready for an evening of ghostly goodies and festive fun. Hit Phoenicia Specialty Foods’ MKT Bar to nosh on spook-tacular snacks, with party potions available at special prices. Partygoers are encouraged to dress up in their best costumes for a chance to win prizes and be ready to dance the night away. Admission includes light bites. Halloween-themed drink specials will be available for purchase.
Halloween at Julep: Shipwrecked!
1919 Washington, door prizes starting at 6 p.m., $5 suggested donation to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, julephouston.com
As all Southern port cities have their share of pirate stories, Julep is transforming itself into a historic shipwreck scene for Halloween night. Check out the club’s new fall menu and dress the part for the party, which features grower champagne by the glass, door prizes, MCs and DJs, and a $1,000 prize for the best costume — based on creativity and presentation and incorporating the shipwreck theme. Judging begins at 10 p.m., when contestants “walk the plank” to present their costumes to the judges. Extra points are awarded for applause by the audience. Individuals, couples and groups can enter, and all will be judged according to the same criteria. Email email@example.com to secure your entry.
Halloween Fright Night in the Heights
7 p.m., treadsack.com
Big Star Bar
1005 West 19th (open until 2 a.m.)
D&T Drive Inn?
1307 Enid (open until 1 a.m.)
Johnny’s Gold Brick?
2518 Yale (open until 2 a.m.)
Lei Low Bar?
6412 North Main (open until 2 a.m.)
632 West 19th (open until 2 a.m.)
Town In City Brewing Company
?1125 West Cavalcade (open until midnight)
Leave your hearse behind and take a shuttle to six of your favorite Heights haunts for Fright Night in the Heights: Big Star Bar?, D&T Drive Inn?, Johnny’s Gold Brick?, Lei Low Bar?, Southern Goods? and Town In City Brewing Company are banding together for one epic Halloween party. The complimentary shuttle service will take you from bar to bar starting at 7 p.m., with the last pickup at 1 a.m. Ghouls who complete the entire frightening tour will receive a commemorative gift they can take to the grave. Throughout the night, you’ll be sipping on spirits and suds from sponsors Town In City Brewing Company?, Sailor Jerry? and Jim Beam?. And don’t forget: Daylight saving time means an extra witching hour at a few of the locations!
Hotel ZaZa’s Halloween Bash
5701 Main, 10 p.m., $75, hotelzaza.com
Hotel ZaZa’s killer costume party features entertainment by Lady Bunny, drink specials, late-night bites and plenty of mayhem.
Moe’s Monster Mash Bash
1500 Binz, 4-8 p.m., $10, cmhouston.org
Howl at the moon while you bask in Houston’s ultimate Halloween party for kids. Let the ghoul times roll as you boogie to the hauntingly hip tunes of DJ Frankenstein. The bash includes Monster Feet Making, a face painter and balloon artist, dancing and trick or treating. All activities and events are included with general admission ($10). Be sure to come dressed in your most BOO-tiful or frightfully freaky monster costume.
Monster Mash Run
2032 Karbach, 7:30 a.m. (9:15 a.m. for kids run), $15-$50, monstermashrun.com
Feel better about your inevitable Halloween candy binge by pregaming with this family-friendly 5K/10K and Kids K. The run will take place at the recently renovated Karbach Brewery 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-or-treat bucket for the candy station at the halfway point on the kids run. Awards are given to the top three finishers in each five-year age category. And, of course, costumes are encouraged!
Montrose Pub Crawl
Starts at 1505 Westheimer, 7 p.m., free admission, montrosecrawl.com
The historic, shady streets of Montrose are practically made for Halloween, so it’s only natural to celebrate with the freaktastic annual event, dubbed “Vampire Mardi Gras” and “Satan’s Fourth of July.” Now in its ninth year, Montrose’s very own Halloween party 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 — starting at Pistolero’s, Poison Girl and the Free Press Graveyard and heading to Boondocks, Stone’s Throw, Etro Lounge, Catbirds, Royal Oak, Doc’s Motorworks, Slick Willie’s, Hay Merchant and El Real Tex-Mex. The idea is to keep crawling to Slick Willie’s for the costume contest finals at midnight, but everyone is free to get there at his or her own pace. As always, there’ll be no covers and no tickets, with drink specials running all night long.
Return to Emerald City — Halloween Costume Ball 2015
Mr. Peeples, 1911 Bagby, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., GA $25, VIP $35+, EmeraldCityHalloween.com
Travel a long, golden road leading to a city of wonder, mystery, excitement and magic as you prepare yourself for the Return to Emerald City. Guests can expect four floors, four themed areas, seven styles of music, 20-plus DJs , a $10,000 cash costume contest, a live performance by Lady L, party favors and a laser light show. VIP group packages with full-service bottle service are available.
Revival Market’s Hallow’s Eve Fall Festival
550 Heights, 5 to 9 p.m., $35/adult, $10/child, revivalmarket.com
This year enjoy post-trick-or-treating fun for the whole family at this fall festival, which takes place in the parking lot in front of the shop and cafe. With DJ music, a pumpkin-carving contest, face painting and games for the young and young at heart, there’s something for everyone, including prizes for best costumes. Raffle prizes include gift cards from hot spots like Coltivare, Paul’s Kitchen and Underbelly. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at Revival Market or at the door the day of the event, and include hot dogs and hamburgers grilled by the Revival Kitchen Team, a harvest salad and drink tickets for Karbach brews.
Spirits & Skeletons
5555 Hermann Park, 8 p.m., $50 for nonmembers, $25 for members, hmns.org
Calling all ghosts and ghouls, monsters and mummies, witches and werewolves! Head to the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s annual spookfest, when the entire museum opens up for one scarily good night. Shake your stuff with a stegosaurus, grab a drink with a skink and get spellbound by bewitching gems, all to live music and your favorite hits played by DJs with fantastic food trucks parked right outside. Whether you go with scary and spooky or fab and kooky — dress up, and party the night away.
Unplugged Adventure: Not So Scary Prairie
Indiangrass Preserve on the Katy Prairie, 31950 Hebert (Waller), 5 to 8 p.m., katyprairie.org
Looking for a “wild” trick-or-treating opportunity for the family this Halloween? Head to Katy Prairie, where you can enjoy an evening of adventure as you collect treats and learn about the spooky nighttime animals that inhabit our prairie. The sights and sounds of the prairie after dark will provide entertainment for all ages. Cost is $5 per person. Advance registration is required.
Vampire’s Ball featuring TroyBoi
6400 Richmond, 9 p.m., $15 to $20, stereolivehouston.com
Halloween’s most scantily clad will be bumping to the beats of southeast London’s TroyBoi at Stereo Live’s Sixth Annual Vampire’s Ball. The multitalented musical mastermind recently signed to Timbaland’s right-hand man and U.S. super-producer Jim Beanz. We’re sure you can expect nothing short of mayhem this Halloween night. As is tradition.
Day of the Dead at Cuchara
214 Fairview, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cuchara will be celebrating el Día de los Muertos with special menus, performances by Aztec dancers, music and face painting. Enjoy Michoacán-inspired food specials at brunch; for dinner, the restaurant is offering a four-course meal for $65 with two cocktails (starting at 7 p.m.). Reservations are a must. The bar and patio are open for anyone at night. Expect a great party!
Ghost Tours of Galveston
Want to spook yourself with a proper ghost tour this season? Look no further than nationally recognized paranormal expert Dash Beardsley’s Original Ghost Tour on the Strand. The year-round walking tours — on which you’ll delve into the haunting past of Galveston’s historic downtown district — get a bit spookier in the month of October. Don’t believe us? Take one and see for yourself. Other tour options include the Restless Spirits Tour, which zones in on the island’s stories and reports of paranormal activity; the Secret Society Cemetery Tour, in which you’ll take a haunting and historic journey through one of the area’s oldest cemeteries; and the Jack The Ripper Mystery Island Tour, where you’ll hear compelling evidence that the legendary Jack the Ripper may have actually killed on this very island.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in October
Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour Dinners
2024 Seawall, $45, hotelgalvez.com
Hotel Galvez’s bone-chilling ghost tour opens up to the public three days a week all throughout October. Make your way through the ghostly past of the hotel before finishing the spooktacular night with dinner in the Galvez Bar & Grill (you earned it!). Friday-night tour dinner packages are available exclusively as part of an overnight ghost package. Advance reservations are required.
Extended Weekends in October
Creepy Hollow Haunted House
12872 Valley Vista, Rosharon, 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Sunday (starting October 18), $30 to $40, creepyhollowhauntedhouse.com
For an extreme scare you might not come back from, hit this fully loaded haunted house. Creepy Hollow features multiple attractions, including the dense Dark Woods, looked after by a caretaker hoping for fresh skin to replace his burned flesh; and Pitch Black, a research facility gone wrong where you’ll find plenty of psycho killers in between moments of flashing lights and complete darkness. Good luck with that one. Tickets are $30 for all attractions, with a $10 Speed Pass available for purchase at the box office.
Nightmare on the Bayou
1515 Studemont, Fridays and Saturdays, 7 to 11 p.m., all other nights 7 to 10:30 p.m., $22 to $45, nightmareonthebayou.com
Get ready for your heart to skip a beat and the creeps to crawl under your skin, 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. Find out for yourself as you make your way through the twists and turns, filled with serious freaky actors and potential spirits drifting throughout. The duo of haunts takes about 60 to 90 minutes to get through, depending on the lines. Children under ten must be accompanied by an adult. The haunt will be open October 15-18 and 22-31.
5250 South Sam Houston Parkway East, Friday-Sunday through October 18, Thursday-Sunday October 22 through October 25, and Wednesday-Sunday through October 28 through October 31, $15 to $30, darke.com
With Phobia’s all-new location, you can expect your phobias to be bigger, louder and more terrifying than ever. The horror factory features two houses and a total of five killer attractions. Hold onto whichever poor soul is next to you as you make your way through the Dawn of the Machine, the Genetic Nightmare and the Exile — a three-part journey through a deadly packing plant, contaminated savage ground and a dark lab dubbed “Contagion.”
2225 North Sam Houston Parkway West
Thursdays-Sundays, plus the entire week of Halloween, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 8 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Halloween weekend, $25 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 you as a pack of prowling evil clowns hunt you down. If that doesn’t get a scream out of you, we don’t know what will.
COSTUMES / PARTY FAVORS
Arne’s Warehouse & Party Store
arneswarehouse.com, 2830 Hicks, ?713-869-8321
Visit this 60-plus-year-old Texas-size party store for all your costume and Halloween party needs.
costumecauldron.com, 1321 Upland, Suite 1614, 800-890-0409
This shop kicks into high gear every Halloween, sporting one of the largest collections of characters, accessories (including wigs), decorations and sizes in the city.
Erotic Cabaret Boutique
eroticcabaret.com, 1222 Westheimer, 713-528-4565
This adult novelty store is the place to go for those who want to be scantily clad and a bit more risqué.
Frankel’s Costume Co.
frankelcostume.com, 2801 Polk, 713-228-9445
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.
halloweencity.com, 8232B Kirby, 302-379-5409
Find all locations online at stores.halloweencity.com/tx/houston.
Head to any location for scarily good lawn decor and a serious lineup of costumes in all shapes and sizes.
Houston Galaxy Halloween
houstonhalloweengalaxy.com, 21311 Katy Freeway, 281-599-8066
You’ll find pumpkin patches and staged picture taking areas on the outside and everything from costumes, wigs and stage makeup to prosthetic items, spooky decorations and inflatables inside.
partyboytexas.com, 1515 Studemont, ?713-861-9080
This massive warehouse will be your one-stop shop for costumes, wigs, accessories, partystuffs and decorations. You’ll also find the haunted house Nightmare on the Bayou right next door.
partycity.com, 3225 Southwest Freeway, ?713-667-5811
Find all locations online at stores.partycity.com/tx/houston.
This chain may be a bit more toned down than other local shops, which means that chances are Party City will have what you’re looking for when everything else is sold out.
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southern-importers.com, 4825 San Jacinto, 713?524?8236
From bagged-up, ready-to-wear versions to high-end costumery, this place is your source for hard-to-score pieces. The collection of theatrical Halloween decor is no joke, either.
spirithalloween.com, 9633 Westheimer, 713-283-8985
Find all locations online at spirithalloween.com/custserv/locate_store.
Spirit stores run the gamut on costumes for any age and in just about every price range.
spookershalloween.com, 16020 East Freeway, ?281-860-9800; 10739 Gulf Freeway, 713-910-3411; 11803 Westheimer, 281-920-3250
With a massive inventory of more than 5,000 in-stock costumes and more than 300 different styles to choose from at each location, this trio of stores is a must-hit. The East Spookers Halloween Superstore is also home to the intense Terror Houston Dome Haunted House.
Top Dog Halloween Madness
topdoghalloweenmadness.com, ?3106 FM 2920; 23822 State Highway 249; ?20432 Northwest Freeway; 4725 Atascocita
Three area locations (plus one in College Station and one in Tomball) means five times the chance to get fashionably frightening and downright ghoulish. Creative consultants will be on hand to help you find what you need, and you’ll also find SFX makeup, prosthetics, decorations, inflatables and equipment.