Bayou City

Space City Haunts: The 2017 Houston Press Halloween Guide

This year, Houston has plenty of tricks and treats up its sleeve for Halloween.
This year, Houston has plenty of tricks and treats up its sleeve for Halloween. Illustration by Kat Phelps/Source image by Getty Images
It’s time for spooks and sweets, frights and fangs, and boos and booze! Halloween 2017 is right around the corner. This year, Houston has plenty of tricks and treats up its sleeve, from spine-chilling treks through some of the city’s most terrifying haunted houses to enchanting ghost tours and kid-friendly costume parties, pumpkin patches and Halloween mazes.

Here’s how to get your Houston spook on this Halloween.

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The Hotel Galvez at dusk
Photo courtesy of Hotel Galvez

Hotel Galvez Ghost Tour and Dinner
2024 Seawall, Galveston. 6 p.m. $56,
In celebration of “ghost season,” Hotel Galvez & Spa hosts weekly dinner and ghost tours during the month of October. Staff will guide participants through the ghastly past of the hotel, which is then followed by a multi-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. Advance reservations are required.


Zoo Boo at the Houston Zoo
6200 Hermann Park Drive,
Guests can bring their little ghouls and goblins to the Houston Zoo for Zoo Boo, where they can enjoy safe Halloween trick-or-treating, music and fun activities with a wild twist. Times and dates are Fridays, October 20 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, October 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All Zoo Boo activities, including a pumpkin patch and Halloween maze, are included with paid zoo admission. Zoo Boo is free for zoo members.

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Halloween Monster Mayhem at the Children's Museum of Houston
Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Houston

Boo on the Boardwalk
215 Kipp, Kemah,
All ages are welcome to partake in a spookily good time when the Kemah Boardwalk transforms into an eerie playground on weekends throughout October. Guests are invited to 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 can explore the Little Boo Haunted Fun House, plus enjoy activities like trick or treating throughout the retail stores, Halloween movie nights and pumpkin decorating. Weekly features include Freaky Fridays, Scary Saturdays and Spooky Sundays, with a special Halloweenfest on October 31.

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,
Kids can embark on trick or treat monster hunts every day through Halloween Night during Monster Mayhem at the Children’s Museum of Houston. See how the museum has transmogrified and partake in spine-tingling experiments, spirit-lifting activities and spooktacular fun. Don’t miss the Halloween Monster Mash Bash on October 31.

Putt-Putt FunHouse’s Emoji Halloween
806 East NASA Parkway, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday,
On weekends in October, guests can collect emoji stickers and play emoji bingo for prizes, as well as play haunted laser tag, available all month long.


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; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, $3-$5,
The seventh annual Halloween Haunted House will run all month long, with a family-friendly atmosphere and goosebump-inducing fun. 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. Tickets are half price when purchased with museum admission. Other special events include the tenth annual Halloween Classic Car Show on October 28 and the Día de los Muertos celebration, held November 1-4.


Ghostbusters (2016) Screening at GreenStreet
1201 Fannin, 8 p.m., free,
Friday Flicks on The Lawn gets festive with the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters. Blankets and lawn chairs are all welcomed.


Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $13 pre-order and $15 at the door for ages three and up,
All the little goblins and ghouls (ages three and up) 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, train rides, live owls and reptiles, pumpkin decorating, face painting and pony rides.

BarkHappy Halloween Dog Costume Party
FM Kitchen & Bar, noon to 2 p.m., $10-$12,
Bring your pup for a howling fun time at our BarkHappy Halloween Dog Costume Party. Enjoy a “Halloween Costume Fashion Show” and an exclusive raffle drawing, plus dog training lessons, dog treats and a hilarious treat eating contest.

Houston Zombie Walk Halloween Fest
200-300 blocks of 19th Street, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., $10,
The seventh annual Houston Halloween Fest will feature fright-filled entertainment for the entire family, with live music, beer gardens, artist and business vendors, food trucks, a costume contest and a large kids zone with trick or treating, a kids costume contest, and arts and crafts.

Houston Halloween Festival Bar Crawl in the Heights
6 to 11 p.m., free,
The Houston Wave, the Houston Zombie Walk and five Heights bars — Eight Row Flint, Heights Bier Garden, Southern Goods, Johnny’s Gold Brick and D&T Drive Inn — have teamed up to produce a spectacular bar crawl around the 7th Annual Houston Halloween Festival. Two buses from the Houston Wave will run in a constant rotation between the bars, free of charge.
October 25

Psycho at Market Square Park
301 Milam, 7 p.m., free,
This special Halloween edition of Alamo’s movie under the stars will showcase Hitchcock’s Psycho on the big screen.

OCTOBER 26-27; 31

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


Scream on the Green
Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney, 6 to 10 p.m., free,
Hit this free festival to catch a showing of Hotel Transylvania 2 on the big screen, participate in a costume contest and win free candy and prizes. The movie will begin at 7:30 p.m. on the Sarofim Picnic Lawn.

Fanatical Change Presents Carnival Freak Show
BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., $40-$500,
The Fanatical Change Foundation, a charitable organization that raises money for families who have suffered recent life-altering tragedies, will be hosting 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.

Not Your Mummy’s Halloween Party at Lucky’s Pub West
17754 Katy Freeway, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $9.45 to $35,
Sportsmonkey, Lucky’s Pub West and 94.5 The Buzz have teamed up to bring locals a Westside Halloween for the books. Expect a costume contest with cash prizes, Halloween cocktails and adrenaline-pumping music. Both general admission and RIP VIP tickets (limited) are available; VIP tickets include a private area with its own bar, complimentary draft beer and three cocktail drink tickets.

Massacre At The Playboxx Mansion Halloween Party
Life HTX, 2512 Woodhead, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $100 and up,
Playboys and bunnies are invited for a provocative and horrifyingly hip Halloween party at the “PLAYBOXX Mansion,” where the drinks flow like The Grotto waterfall and different types of entertainment collide. Expect an exotic-taboo show and a “Sexy Playmate Costume Competition” for cash prizes.

Halloween Party at Hotel ZaZa
5701 Main, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The ZaZa Family’s haunted mansion will rock a live DJ, specialty drinks and delicious bites for its annual Halloween fête.

Bishop's Palace in Galveston
Photo courtesy of Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

Haunted House at Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land
13016 University, 7 to 10 p.m., $5 for members, $10 for non-members,
This family-friendly haunted house is back to usher in the horrors of Halloween. Explore every creepy corner as you step into the darkened museum after hours.

Lanternlight Tours of the 1892 Bishop’s Palace
1402 Broadway, Galveston, 7 and 8:30 p.m. $30,
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.


Monster Mash Run
Karbach Brewery, 2032 Karbach, 7:30 a.m. (9:15 a.m. for kids run), $15-$50,
Halloween costumes are encouraged at this family-friendly 5K, 10K and Kids K fun run. All participants will receive a T-shirt and a Karbach pint glass, and participants 21 and older will receive two beer tickets. Kids K participants will receive a T-shirt and a trick-or-treat bucket for the candy station at the halfway point on the kids run.

Tricks, Treats & T.Rex at Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land
13016 University, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $3 for members, $12 for children, $15 for adults,
Join the HMNS for a family-friendly spookathon, featuring carnival games, trick-or-treating, a pumpkin patch, face painting, crafts and a grand costume contest.

Sailor’s Apprentice Party at Texas Seaport Museum
2100 Harborside, 1 to 3 p.m., free to $10,
Guests are invited to enjoy some Halloween fun on the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa’s Birthday, with pumpkin carving, games and festivities.

Pearland Town Center Trick or Treat on Our Street
11200 Broadway, 5 to 9 p.m., free,
Trick-or-treaters can head to Pearland Town Center for 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.

Montrose Pub Crawl
6 p.m. to 2 a.m., free,
Now in its 11th 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 spots like Poison Girl, Stone’s Throw and Slick Willie’s. As always, there’ll be no covers and no tickets, with drink specials running all night long and a portion of drink sales going to the Houston Area Women’s Center.

Coppa’s Dead Hollywood Halloween
5210 Morningside, 7 p.m. to midnight,
Go glam or bring your favorite Old Hollywood movie to life at Coppa Osteria’s annual Halloween party. Wear a costume and enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne. Call 713-522-3535 for reservations.

Heights Fright Night Halloween Party
7 p.m. to 1 a.m., free
Northern Heights bars — including Big Star Bar, D&T Drive Inn, Eight Row Flint, Johnny’s Gold Brick, Lei Low Bar, Presidio, Rehab on the Bayou and Southern Goods — 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.

Spirits & Skeletons at Houston Museum of Natural Science
5555 Hermann Park Drive, 8 p.m., $25-$50,
Ghosts and ghouls, monsters and mummies, and witches and werewolves are invited to shake their stuff with a stegosaurus, grab a drink with a skink and get spellbound by bewitching gems, all to live music from The Space Rockers. Food trucks will be parked outside and the bars are cash only.

Stranger Things Party
Avant Garden, 411 Westheimer, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., $11 to $50,
This completely immersive Stranger Things theme party will explore the small town of Hawkins and the Upside Down. Expect ’80s music, dark electro, screenings, drink specials, arcade games, a costume contest and waffles.

14th Annual Halloween Erotica Ball
The Ritz, 10520 Gulf Freeway, 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., $45,
Unleash your carnal cravings at the annual Halloween Erotica Ball. Partygoers can expect a night of costumed erotica and stimulating adult fun where you can leave your inhibitions at the door.

The Vampires & Vixens Ball
Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $135 and up,
Indulge in a one-night-only celebration of ghoulish glamour. Hosted by actress and model Charlotte McKinney (of Baywatch and Dancing with the Stars fame), this adults-only celebration will feature a celebrity DJ, a haunted house, live performers and creepy clowns, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Easter Seals Greater Houston Harvey relief. All-inclusive tickets start at $135, with tables and private cabanas also available.

Brasserie 19’s Sixth Annual Halloween Costume Party
1962 West Gray, 9:30 p.m.
It’s a Halloween masquerade, as guests are invited to put on their best masked costume for a night of fun.
October 28 and 31

Ghost and Spirits Boat Tour on the Buffalo Bayou
Allen’s Landing, 1001 Commerce, 6 to 7:30 p.m., $45,
Join historian and “ghost writer” Andrew Groocock as he shares stories of haunted tales and legends along Buffalo Bayou. Enjoy libations courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewing Company and light bites from Spaghetti Warehouse. Costumes are encouraged in keeping with the Halloween spirit.


Monster Margarita Festival
Kingwood Town Center, 8 North Main, noon to 6 p.m., $10 to $25,
Enjoy margaritas, food trucks, a costume contest, live music and tours of the haunted woods at this two-day festival.


Ghostly Gardens
One Hope, 2 to 4 p.m., free,
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.

Dog Costume Contest at Eight Row Flint
1039 Yale, 6 p.m.,
Eight Row Flint will host a dog costume contest on the patio to benefit Rescued Pets Movement. To enter the contest, owners must bring pet food for a donation.


Musical and Literary Ofrenda
Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main, reception 5:30 p.m. and performance at 6 p.m., free,
The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) celebrates the Mexican Day of the Dead with an annual musical and literary ofrenda at Lawndale Art Center. This year’s performance features the premiere of five new miniatures by composer Marcus Maroney. Additionally, Houston-based baritone Timothy Jones joins a trio of ROCO musicians performing on oboe, viola and cello.


Halloween Monster Mash Bash
1500 Binz, 3 to 8 p.m, $12,
Kids are invited to howl at the moon and let the ghoul times roll as they boogie to the hauntingly hip tunes of a wicked DJ alongside monstrous characters. They can also try glow-in-the-dark monster slime, and trick-or-treat the night away. Costumes are encouraged.

Trick or Treat at the 1838 Menard House
3302 Avenue O, Galveston, 5 to 7 p.m.,
Galveston’s oldest residence opens its gates for one night of ghostly fun. Take your kids for treats. The event is free for all, and be sure to bring your ghost-hunting equipment.

Pearland Trick-or-Treat Trail
4141 Bailey 5:30 to 8 p.m., free,
Ghosts, goblins and trick-or-treaters of all ages are invited to this free communitywide event at the Pearland Recreation Center & Natatorium, where local businesses and organizations will line the “trail” to pass out candy and other goodies.

Sailor’s Superstition Tour at Texas Seaport Museum
2100 Harborside, Galveston, 6 to 7 p.m., $12 to $15,
Check out this spooktacular tour of the 1877 iron barque Elissa and learn what makes sailors so superstitious. The hourlong guided tour will delve into the supernatural world of nautical know-how and uncover the landmark’s ghostly past.

Boo, Bridges & Brews
Under the Radar Brewery, 1506 Truxillo, 6 to 9 p.m., free,
Join BCO and HTXO for a haunted walk followed by some boss brews for those who make it back from the haunted Houston bridges. Costumes are welcome, and comfortable walking shoes are encouraged. The two-mile walk will leave Under the Radar Brewery at 6:45 and will return about 7:45 p.m. This is a dog-friendly event.

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Zombie Charge 5K
Photo courtesy of Zombie Charge

Zombie Charge 5K
Tanks Paintball, 22011 Southwest Freeway,
Houston has been infected. 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.


Galveston Graveyard Tours
Broadway Cemetery, 4201 Broadway,
Take a walking tour of Galveston’s famous Broadway Cemetery, with ghoulish details and a glimpse into the graveyard’s storied past.

Ghost Tours of Galveston
Galveston, $20 for adults, $15 for children ages four to 12,
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, Galveston, 409-762-6677, $10,
The only year-round haunted house in Texas 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, Galveston, free,
Hotel Galvez offers a free audio tour app for smart phones. Guests and the public can enjoy 25-minute history tours and 20-minute ghost tours year-round.

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The Creepy Hollow Haunted House in Rosharon starts Sunday, October 22.
Photo by Yuri Pena

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 22), plus hours on Halloween night and first weekend of November, $30 to $40,
This fear-inducing haunt provides a scare you may not come back from, with multiple attractions including the 288 Scare Factory, a mobile viral genetic research facility gone awry; the dense Dark Woods, looked after by a caretaker hoping for fresh skin to replace his burned flesh; and Pitch Black, a holding facility gone wrong where you’ll find plenty of psycho killers in between moments of flashing lights and complete darkness. Tickets are $30 for all attractions, with a $10 speed pass available for purchase at the box office.

Houston Scream Fest
1500 Elton, Thursday through Sunday plus extended hours through Halloween, $40,
Get ten attractions for one price at this family-friendly scream fest. Hit up haunts like the haunted sanitarium, the medieval castle of doom, the Texas chainsaw maze and the zombie paintball shoot.

The Kingwood Asylum & Haunted House
1963 Northpark, Fridays through Sundays in October, plus Halloween and November 3-4, $30,
Run by the mad Dr. Philip Blackman, this haunted hit features caves and hallowed grounds outside and a deranged asylum inside. Look out for $5 coupons online.

Nightmare on the Bayou
1515 Studemont, 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and Halloween, 7 to 10:30 p.m. all other nights, $22 to $45,
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 scares boasts terrifying twists and turns, freaky actors and potential spirits lurking throughout the two attractions.

5250 South Sam Houston Parkway East, Friday-Sunday through October 22, Thursday-Tuesday October 26 through Halloween night, $15 to $65,
This year’s horror factory features three separate attractions and three linked attractions for a total of six electrifying haunts. Dare to enter the Dawn of the Machine, where the abyss of technology eclipses humanity; the mutant-packed Genetic Nightmare; and the Mind Control, a mental hospital that has lost all control. Don’t miss the three-part Exile — a journey through a deadly packing plant, a contaminated savage ground and a contagious dark lab.

2225 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Thursday-Sunday, plus October 24 through Halloween night and weekend of November 3-4, $17 to $37,
Five blood-tingling attractions range from an old-school slaughterhouse and zombie graveyard to a seriously creepy asylum maze packed with clowns. Pay online and save $5.

Terror Dome
16030 East Freeway, $20 to $38, extended weekends through Halloween,
Expect this dome of terror to be more frightening than ever. In addition to the new for 2017 “Sacrifice,” guests can hit Sicko and Freako’s 3D funhouse and live clown paintball shooting gallery. Tickets are available at all Spookers Halloween Super Stores.


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

Erotic Cabaret Boutique
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, from sexy superheroes to time period costumes.

Frankel’s Costume Co.
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.

Halloween City
13802 Northwest Freeway, 914-847-6047; 6150 Highway 6 North, 914-847-6040; 3949 Fairway Plaza, 914-529-2069 (coming soon),
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,
Find everything from costumes, wigs and stage makeup to prosthetic items, spooky decorations and inflatables.

Party Boy
1515 Studemont, 713-861-9080,
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,
This chain is a bit more toned down than other local shops, which means that chances are they’ll have what you’re looking for when everything else is sold out.

Southern Importers & Exporters
4825 San Jacinto, 713-524-8236,
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,
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,
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 are a must-hit.

TopDog Halloween Madness
Multiple locations,
Get fashionably frightening and downright ghoulish at these Halloween havens. 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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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano