Boo at the Zoo
Boo at the Zoo | Peggy Kohn
Boo at the Zoo | Peggy Kohn

Austin's Coolest Halloween Events & Parties This Month

Much like Christmas (or every self-obsessed friend's birthday), Halloween is actually celebrated throughout the whole month of October in Austin -- only amateurs wait until October 31 to start scaring up some fun, if you will. We’re not just talking about popping into Lucy’s to start searching for the right IT redux costume here, either. From family-friendly corn maze shenanigans to a horror-core rave, spotting nocturnal creatures at the moonlit zoo to a creepy aerial cabaret, October is jam-packed with opportunities to get really creepy. Here are your must-hit parties and events, culminating in the big night itself.

Boo at the Zoo Austin
Peggy Kohn

Boo at the Zoo

Through Saturday, October 26
Austin Zoo
Austin’s Zoo is small but mighty; as befits our big-hearted city, it’s a rescue zoo with animals that need some TLC. The yearly Boo at the Zoo gives attendees a rare opportunity to explore the zoo at night with flashlights, seeking out the nocturnal animals that aren’t typically up and about during a day trip. With a haunted mansion, an eerie train ride, and extensive Halloween decorations, this is a spook-tacular way to bring the whole family (or your friends) for something different than your average costume crawl. Pro-tip: You can pack a picnic!
Cost: $17.50

The Haunted Drive-In

Through Thursday, October 31
Blue Starlite Drive In
Drive-ins are strangely thrilling, especially during the spookiest month of the year when any number of creepy creepers could look in your window. (Note to self: Lock all the doors.) This entire month, Austin’s own retro movie theater is showing all your favorite Halloween horror flicks. Sit back in the comfort of your sweet ride and watch Shaun of the Dead, The Addams Family, The Craft, Pet Sematary, Army of Darkness, and tons of other frightful films. Walk the haunted forest path, see movies on three screens, roast s’mores, and BYOB.
Cost: $8+

Barton Hills Corn Maze

Weekends through November 4
Barton Hills Farm
This is the stuff fall enthusiasts dream of: picking out a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch, live music, farm animals, taking fall photos, jumping on the “jumping pillow,” and playing yard games. The five-acre corn maze is a sight to behold, specifically designed for people to get lost in and then find their way out with interactive clues. They have a concession stand onsite with lemonade, cold beer, and frozen sangrias plus hot dogs, beef burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and kettle corn.
Cost: $15.95

Alamo Drafthouse House of Terror
Vishwanand Shetti / © 13th Floor Entertainment Group

Alamo Drafthouse of Torment

Wednesday, October 9 - Thursday, October 31
House of Torment
House of Torment has, well, been tormenting Austin for years. It’s legitimately the scariest haunted house in Austin, and now they’ve teamed up with Alamo things are about to get real. It’s a whole month of “spine-tingling horror screenings like Us, Child’s Play, Night of the Living Dead, and The Cabin in the Woods. There will be a cash bar and food options and you can choose tickets as a standalone or add it to the House of Torment admission. 
Cost: $15

Dark Harvest: Halloween Haunted Festival

October 18-19, 25-26-27 and Thursday, October 31 
Pioneer Farms
We love our local farms, and we love them even more when they freak us out. Spooky scarecrows, ghoulish goblins, ghost stories, and all things creep-tastic will be featured at their annual Haunted Halloween Trail festival, where they’ll debut a new Ghost Run haunted trail. Storytellers will be on-site spinning stories about your past or future, and they’ll have something for the little ones as well, like a pumpkin carving contest. Whatever your costume, be sure to wear your dancing boots for the live music in the historic dance hall. 
Cost: $15

Halloween Ball and Aerial Cabaret

Friday, October 25
The Belmont
Ditch your neighbors' lame attempt at a Halloween party and watch bedecked babes soar through the air in this death-defying Halloween ball and aerial cabaret. Sexy-flexy pole dancers, amazing aerialists, crazy contortion, busty burlesque dancers will strip down to pasties and panties in an eye-popping display of athleticism in fourteen acts. Costumes aren’t required, but we’re gonna guess you’ll feel left out if you don’t wear one.
Cost: $20

Annual Murder, Mayhem, and Misadventure Walking Tour

Saturday, October 26
1601 Navasota St., Austin, TX 78702
Austin’s cemeteries are remarkable places -- there’s history buried there, y’all, along with some fascinating characters that you won’t know about unless you do this tour. The 13th annual Murder, Mayhem & Misadventure walking tour is a free tour highlighting the chilling, untimely deaths of “residents” of Oakwood portrayed by actors at their grave sites. It’s part history, part cemetery walk, part Austin legend and lore. You're advised to wear closed toed shoes, but kids are welcome (with supervision).
Cost: Free

Austin Seance
Alex Garcia and Artisan Oddities Entertainment

Halloween Seance at the Vortex

Monday, October 28 through Thursday, October 31
The Vortex
What if there were a way to speak to spirits on the other side? To commune with the long lost? To hear your loved one’s dulcet tones again? This could be your chance! The Austin Séance brings their particular brand of spookery to the Pony Shed at the Vortex. Lucio and Jake will lead a series of mysterious spiritual sessions that include a brief exploration of American spiritualist history, a guided meditation and, naturally, a full-on séance. BYO unresolved issues.
Cost: $20

Horrorweb’s Halloween Party

Thursday, October 31
Fourth Tap Brewing
Halloween has gotten so soft these days… it’s like the era of sexy outfits ushered out the truly terrifying. Not so, at HorrorWeb’s Halloween party. Self described as a “wild and horrifying rave-themed evening,” the event features live DJs, Gore Noir's blood shower, a House of Thwax's whips for tips booth, sideshow entertainment, horror and gore related vendors, the girls from Zombie Peepshow, lots of beer, and multiple live performances. Come dressed to impress… or kill. 
Cost: $8

Ghost Hunting with Austin Metaphysical Academy

Thursday, October 31
AMA Headquarters
Make like Wednesday Addams and wake the dead! On the night when the veil between this world and the next is thinnest, the Austin Metaphysical Academy is hosting a night ghost hunting on Halloween. They’ll have voice recorders, spotting lights, and ghost hunting equipment to suss out the lurking entities. You’ll also learn how to ghost hunt and speak to the spirits if you dare. Bring a snack or a shareable, plus an open mind, and maybe an extra pair of underwear.
Cost: Free

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Kelly Stocker wasn't born in Austin, but she got here as fast as she could. If you want to follow her adventures around town, find her on Twitter and Instagram.