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Halloween events in Philadelphia

HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS   Fright Factory Through Nov. 1 Fright Factory 2200 S. Swanson St. $25-$55, This “high scare” haunted house is nationally renowned for its professional quality frights. Insanity, zombies, blood, guts and gore — this is not kid stuff. And it’s only gotten madder since they collapsed all their smaller shows into one big one last year. Afterward, you can get your picture taken with the monsters, which has led to some awesomely surreal Facebook posts.    Terror Behind the Walls Through Nov. 8  Eastern State Penitentiary  22nd St. and Fairmount Ave.  $14-$39, 215-236-3300  It's almost not fair, having a haunted house in the cellblocks of a massive old stone  prison — what other attraction could possibly compete? And while Eastern State Penitentiary no longer houses inmates, we're not convinced you won't spot one of their ghosts during a creeptastic outing through of the most popular Halloween attractions in the country. The very brave can opt to don a glow necklace and be marked for extra frights.     TOURS   Ghost Tour of the U.S.S. Olympia Through Nov. 1 Penn’s Landing 211 S. Columbus Blvd. $22, 215-413-1997 There are plenty of tours of old abandoned buildings on offer, but this is one of the few haunted ships in the area. Legends about paranormal activity on the Olympia date back to 1895. You’ll hear macabre tales of murder and suicide on the high seas, and the story of “Gunner” Johnston, one of the ship’s more famous ghosts.   Mutter Museum Flashlight Tour Oct. 28 and 30 Mutter Museum  19 S. 22nd St. $25, 215-563-3737 The collection of anatomical oddities at the Mutter Museum is pretty creepy already, but seen by flashlight, it ought to be Halloween material for sure. They’re also a powerful reminder of all the things that can go wrong — sometimes horribly wrong — with human bodies. And that’s a lot scarier than imaginary stuff like vampires or zombies.    Ghost Tales and Goosebumps: Local Legends by Firelight Oct. 30, 7 p.m. Laurel Hill Cemetery 3822 Ridge Ave. $20, 215-228-8200 Of course we can’t list Halloween events without a walk through a cemetery, can we? After an introduction by author Susurrus Din — no stranger to the grotesque and arabesque — you’ll tour the grounds in the night by the lights of candles, lanterns and campfire as your guides spin some of the area’s classic ghostly and macabre legends.     THEATER   ‘The Second Annual Penny Dreadful Show’ Oct. 26, 8 p.m. L’Etage 624 S. Sixth St. $10, 215-313-8266 The magic/burlesque troupe Envoute will present their Halloween show for the second year, taking you into the always spooky world of Victorian England, specifically London’s highly sketchy East End, where Jack the Ripper stalked the streets. And if he didn’t kill you, the tuberculosis would. How do magic and burlesque fit into all this morbidity? The answer is: perfectly.   ‘War of the Worlds’ Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 Black Box Theater, URBN Center Annex 3401 Filbert St. $10-$15  This performance re-creates Orson Welles’ notorious 1938 radio theater adaptation of  “War of the Worlds.” Welles’ innovative conceit — presenting the alien invasion tale as a sequence of live news bulletins — caused a minor but legendary panic in the area, and secured his reputation as an edgy young genius. Makes you wonder how he’d do it today: A series of live tweets, perhaps?    ‘Jug-Baby: An Autobiography’ Nov. 2, 7 p.m. The Rotunda  4014 Walnut St. Pay what you can This one-woman puppet show is about a genderless creature that spent its infancy in a jug. Released into the wide world, it discovers it can to mold itself to reflect the desires of whomever it meets. It's not strictly a Halloween show, but it sure sounds creepy enough to be included. Two more performances take place later in November at other venues; check the website for details.        PARTIES   Heaven and Hell Halloween Party Oct. 31, 8 p.m. Lucky Strike Lounge and Lanes 1336 Chestnut St. $5-$20, 21+, 215-545-2471 Lots of bars have DJ sets and costume contests on Halloween and that’s fine, but a few people get more creative, which is even better. Lucky Strike Lounge and Lanes has two themed floors for their Halloween bash, one “Heaven” and one “Hell.” If you want to bowl, you’ll have to go in on a group ticket.   Fright Night Nov. 1, 10 p.m. Zee Bar 100 Spring Garden St. $20-$30, 215-922-2994  This bar party may not take place on Halloween, but runs until 6 a.m. on Nov. 2, so that makes up for the imperfect timing. So if the season — or that Monster Energy Drink you just chugged — has got you feeling diabolically energized, this is the place to be.    Walk the Dead Carpet Oct. 31, 8 p.m. Paddy Whacks Irish Sports Pub 150 South St. $5-$20, 732-779-6884 At this Halloween party, you’re encouraged to dress up as your favorite dead celebrity or TV/film character. As if to tempt you to toe the “too soon” line, the event poster shows the motley crew who’ve passed this year, from Shirley Temple to Joan Rivers to Casey Kasem. Will you dare? How can you not? Make it a tribute!   Boo2! Halloween Concert and Dance Party Oct. 31, 8 p.m. Temple Performing Arts Center 1837 N. Broad St. $10, DJ Statick provides bookending sets for this concert by a 12-piece costumed band called Boo, led by trombonist Steve Tirpak and performing a range of covers in styles including blues, R&B, jazz, rock and hip-hop. You’re encouraged to wear you own costume — and dance!       FESTIVALS   East Passyunk Fall Fest and Spooky Saturday Oct. 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. E. Passyunk Ave. at Tasker St. Free, 215-336-1455 This festival is full of different events for all ages. Fall Fest includes arts and crafts vendors, food trucks and seasonal bites from area restaurants and live music, while the more kid-oriented Spooky Saturday features pumpkin painting, cider and doughnuts, costume contests for kids and dogs, and trick-or-treating at local shops.        MOVIES   Sinister Cinema: Halloween at the PFS Roxy Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 Roxy Theater 2023 Sansom St. $7, 267-239-2941 Philadelphia Film Society presents a selection of classic and modern frights, from Todd Browning’s immortal 1931 “Dracula” to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 take on the Bram Stoker novel. There are also two Roger Corman Poe adaptations, “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “House of Usher,” plus “The Night of the Living Dead” and John Carpenter’s “Halloween.”      COMEDY   Stay Dead! An Improvised Horror Comedy Oct. 24 through Nov. 1 Adrienne Theater 2030 Sansom St. $10-$12, 267-233-1556 Horror and comedy already have a lot in common — scares depend as much on timing as laughs. So it’s only natural that Philly Improv Theater is celebrating Halloween with this show, where the team will make up a new horror film on the spot each night. It’ll be just like “Troll 2,” except intentionally funny.    


Canada's Harper vows tighter security after Parliament attack30Photos

Canada's Harper vows tighter security after Parliament attack

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged more surveillance and detention powers for security forces in Canada on Thursday after a gunman killed a soldier and raced through parliament before being shot dead. Addressing the House of Commons just meters from the spot where the gunman, a reported convert to Islam, was shot dead on Wednesday, Harper said lawmakers would expedite new powers to counter the threat of radicals.   "The objective of these attacks was to instill fear and panic in our country," Harper said. "Canadians will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant, but we will not run scared. We will be prudent but we will not panic."   Harper pledged to speed up a plan already under way to bolster Canadian laws and police powers in the areas of "surveillance, detention and arrest."   Harper said the attack - following an incident on Monday when a convert to Islam ran over two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one - would strengthen Canada's response to "terrorist organizations."   The attacks in Ottawa and Quebec took place as the Canadian government prepared to boost the powers of its spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.    Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney said last week the new legislation would let the agency track and investigate potential terrorists when they travel abroad and ultimately prosecute them.   At the start of parliament's session on Thursday, the guard credited with killing the gunman received a prolonged standing ovation, reopening debate in the House of Commons dressed in his usual ceremonial garb and struggling to maintain composure.    Harper and members of parliament stood in the legislature as Kevin Vickers, Canada's Sergeant-at-Arms, led the traditional parade that opens every session of the House of Commons.   While parliament resumed, tensions in Canada's capital remained high.    Police arrested a man at gunpoint just steps from the prime minister as Harper and his wife were laying a wreath at the National War Memorial to commemorate the killing of the soldier there, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24.   Police, shouting and with guns drawn, surrounded a man and ordered him to the ground. Ottawa Police said the man was arrested for "disturbing the crime scene" at the war memorial. The man's intent was not immediately clear.   Harper himself was pulled back from the crime scene after he and his wife briefly lifted the crime scene tape and attempted to lay flowers, and then reversed themselves and laid their wreath outside the crime scene.    The tense moment was captured on camera and seen by throngs of people and politicians who had gathered at the war memorial.   Some vowed not to let the shooting mar the Canadian capital's open atmosphere, where government buildings are far more open to the public than in the neighboring United States.   "We have to be very introspective before we make any rash decisions," Peter MacKay, minister of justice, told reporters. "We're not talking about closing off the hill, we're talking about ways we can ensure greater security."                 ONE GUNMAN               Police said on Thursday they were satisfied that only one person was involved in the attack.  Canadian police were investigating a man named Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as the possible suspect, said a source familiar with the matter. U.S. officials said they had been advised he was a convert to Islam.                The attacks on soldiers in Ottawa and near Montreal took place after Canada announced this month it would send six jets to take part in air strikes against Islamic State fighters who have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.               A leading British Islamist preacher, Anjem Choudary, rejected assertions he had influenced either attack but warned that Western military involvement in the Middle East could inspire similar attacks. Monday's attacker followed Choudary on Twitter.               "People need to wake up to the reality that their own countries are being dragged into a war far away - the Syrian and Iraqi people are not occupying Britain or Canada - so they are seen as the aggressors," Choudary told Reuters.               Defense Minister Rob Nicholson said Canada's deployment to Iraq would go on unimpeded. Tighter security was evident all over the sprawling parliamentary zone in downtown Ottawa. Armed Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers stood outside the door where the gunman rushed in on Wednesday.               The flag flying over Parliament's Center Block, where the gunman had burst in on Wednesday morning, was at half mast.               "There was only one gunman," said an RCMP officer who was guarding Parliament Hill early on Thursday.               He said in the confusion on Wednesday morning, witnesses saw things from different angles, suggesting the possibility of a second shooter but videos and further interviews showed this was not the case.               Bullet holes could be seen in the carpet just inside the front door and in the masonry in the hallway where he was shot.               In front of the war memorial, a crowd of about 100 people gathered at the police barricades in front of the war memorial  early on Thursday.                "We're devastated that this has happened. I feel terrible for the individual that has lost his life, Cpl. Cirillo," said Stephen Miller, who was standing at the barricades holding a bouquet of flowers.               Asked if he was afraid for his safety being at the monument, Miller said, "Maybe a little but there is no courage without fear."