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Halloween 2014: Where to go and what to in Boston

MOVIES

The Master of Schlock: A Centennial Tribute to William Castle
October 24 through October 30
Brattle Theater
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
$8-$12, 617-876-6837
www.brattlefilm.org

William Castle was a film producer working in the 50’s and 60’s who brought some of Hollywood’s classic B-movie thrillers to the screen, publicizing them with charmingly ridiculous hyperbole. This retrospective includes “House on Haunted Hill”, “13 Ghosts”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Tingler” and several other weird, over-the-top treats whose mix of camp and creep make them ideal Halloween fodder.

Evening of Evil
November 1, 7 p.m.
Wilbur Theater
246 Tremont St., Boston
$32-$44, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

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Yes, we know this event is the day after Halloween, but it’s a screening of the classic 1981 gore fest “The Evil Dead” with an appearance in the flesh by star Bruce Campbell himself, so you can understand why we couldn’t keep ourselves from mentioning it. Any day that Bruce Campbell is in town automatically counts as Halloween. That’s just science.

MUSIC

Scared for Good
October 31, 7:30 p.m.
Old South Church
645 Boylston St., Boston
Free, 617-536-1970
www.oldsouth.org

For this annual event, Harry Huff will perform ghoulish music—mostly from popular films including pieces from “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Sweeney Todd”, “The Exorcist”, and “Harry Potter”—on the spookiest of all instruments: a giant pipe organ, in a big old church. Wherever you’re headed on Halloween night, this should put you in the right mood.

THEATER
Nevermore: An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe

October 31, 8 p.m.
Somerville Theater
55 Davis Sq., Somerville
$25, 617-625-5700
www.feitheatres.com/somerville-theatre/

Not the partying type? Rather take in a play this All Hallow’s Eve? We hear ya, and we’ve got the perfect play: popular horror/sci-fi actor Jeffrey Combs performs the life of Edgar Allan Poe in this one-man show. Spoiler alert: his life was rough. Stick around afterward for a screening of “The Masque of the Red Death”, starring Vincent Price.

COMEDY

Gorefest 2014: The Gruesome Tale of Penny Dreadful
October 23 through November 1
ImprovBoston
40 Prospect St., Cambridge
$25, 617-576-1253
improvboston.eventbrite.com

ImprovBoston’s annual Halloween show, “Gorefest”, has varied from year to year, but there is one glorious constant—gobs and gobs of fake blood. Expect to splattered. This year sees a revival of their self-described “intimate splatter musical”, “The Gruesome Tale of Penny Dreadful”, a murderous romance set in the Victorian age. “Dismemberment, disfigurement, disgust and dancing abound,” they promise.

TOURS

Haunted Ghost Tour of Historic Boston
Ongoing
Boston Common
Boston
$18, 800-979-3370
www.zerve.com/HauntdBoston

This spooky tour of downtown Boston mixes true history with urban myth. You’ll be taken to former sites of public execution, and you’ll hear about the haunted T stop, the book in the Boston Anethaeum bound with human skin, the ghosts of the Omni Parker House Hotel and other grisly factoids from the seedy side of Boston’s past.

PERFORMANCE

Cirque of the Dead
October 23 through October 31
Oberon
2 Arrow St., Cambridge
$25-$30, 617-547-8300
www.americanrepertorytheater.org

“A macabre and tasteless night of circus, live music, and gore!” goes the teaser for this event. Sounds perfect. The Boston Circus Guild will perform burlesque, aerials, acrobatics and juggling. Music varies night to night between two different bands, Johnny Blazes and the Pretty Boys and Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band.

BARS/CLUBS

Bowlloween 2014
October 31, 9 p.m.
Lucky Strike Boston
145 Ipswich St., Boston
$20-$150, 21+, 323-604-6030
www.ournightlife.com

Lucky Strike offers something the average bar Halloween party cannot: bowling. For those with no game, they’ll have a DJ spinning tunes on a dance floor just like the other bars. But don’t get bummed if you’re not the only one showing up dressed as The Dude from “The Big Lebowski”. Order a White Russian and challenge him to a game!

All Souls: the Manray Halloween Reunion
November 1, 8 p.m.
The Paradise
967 Comm. Ave., Cambridge
$13, 18+, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

Central Square’s notoriously freaky nightclub Manray, where it wasn’t unusual on any given night to see someone being led around on all fours by a leash with a ball in their mouth, has been closed since 2005, and despite occasional murmurings of a re-opening, it remains a memory, save for special events like this annual Halloween reunion—but that just makes it more special.

The Brahmin Halloween Bash
October 31, 9 p.m.
The Brahmin
33 Stanhope St., Boston
$40-$650, 21+, 617-855-9240
dream-team-halloween.ticketleap.com

One of Boston’s hottest Halloween parties took place at the spooky old music hall at Villa Victoria, but the party got so crazy last year that the Victoria’s owners said “no mas.” The ghost of that party will haunt the Brahmin this Halloween. It features a costume contest with a $300 first prize, and a liquor delivery system called the ice luge.

There’s an Eyeball in My Highball Halloween
October 31, 8:30 p.m.
Daddy Jones
525 Medford St., Somerville
$25, 21+, 617-690-9095
highball.eventbrite.com

Of the many Halloween parties we’ve scoped out in the area, this one probably has the silliest/best name. And yes, you really can get a cocktail with a fake eyeball inside. They’ll have lots of food and the obligatory costume contest as well. If you live north of the city and don’t feel like going downtown, this will be a nice option.

A Nightmare on Boylston Street
October 31, 9 p.m.
Town Stove and Spirits
900 Boylston St., Boston
$30, 21+, AccessBOS@gmail.com
www.eventbrite.com

This event’s organizers boast that their party will be so off the chain that even if you can’t get in you’ll want to watch through the windows. One thing’s for sure: they’re holding it at a classy spot that rarely hosts these sorts of parties. In addition to the standard fare—DJ and costume contest, they promise additional Halloween entertainment.

ADVENTURE

Spooky World
Friday and Saturday through Nov. 8,
Starting at 6 p.m.
454 Charle Bankroft Highway, Litchfield, NH
$30-$60, 603-424-7999
www.nightmarenewengland.com

Spooky World is not the only attraction in New England where actors dress up and terrify you when they jump out from unexpected hiding places in the carefully detailed haunts that probably began production shortly after the previous Halloween. However it is the oldest, and they do a bloody good job of it. One of the highlights of this year's setup is an attaction called Carnage. Set up to look like a haunted junkyard where some gruesome murders must have taken place. There are old Airstream trailers in various states of disrepair, spattered with blood, with all sorts of creatures lurking within, and pursuing you as you try to make it out alive. On Nov. 8 Spooky World presents a special "lights out" event, where the bravest of visitors try to make it through their five attractions with the aid of only a glow stick!

 
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