10 Spooky Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Austin This Year

The only frightening thing this Halloween would be missing any of these amazing events.

Austin may be known for keeping it weird, but it might as well be known for keeping it spooky, too. After all, the place considered the most haunted in all of Texas, The Driskill Hotel, sits squarely in the middle of Downtown—and, in a move straight out of The Shining, the ghost of a jilted bride apparently resides in Room 525. And while a good ol’ fashioned Halloween ghoul hunt is always an appealing option for those who don’t mind risking possession, we’ve rounded up some other standout activities for those paranormally paranoid. From lands built entirely of everyone’s favorite festive gourd to a wild surrealist ball, this Halloween promises plenty of ways to sink your teeth into a full-sized candy bar’s worth of fun. This is Bat City, after all.

House of Torment texas
House of Torment

Open through November 13
2632 Ridgepoint Drive
Nothing says Halloween more than being chased by strangers in costumes through a haunted house, and there’s no better place to get in the screams than North Austin’s House of Torment—even the hot girl coach herself, Megan Thee Stallion, hit up the attraction after her ACL performance. With three different bewitching spaces to explore, frightful opportunities abound. Themes include The Boogeyman, featuring the title character of your childhood nightmares, and Operation: Laughing Place, which is one to avoid should you ever want to look a clown in the face again. Just remember—no pushing, even if they come after you with a fake chainsaw (eek!).
Cost: Tickets start at $26.99 per person

Austin Psych Fest
Austin Psych Fest | Flickr/Roger Ho

October 28 - October 31
Various locations
While it may not be the most traditional Halloween activity, attending a psych-rock festival is definitely the most Austin thing to do on All Hallows Eve. The genre carries some inherent witchy vibes, and, considering the incredible bill they’ve been able to conjure up this year, we wouldn’t be surprised if some serious magic was involved. While you can’t go wrong with any of the shows, don’t miss Friday’s set by festival founders and Austin natives, The Black Angels.
Cost: Ticket prices vary

Pumpkin Nights Austin
Photo courtesy of Pumpkin Nights Austin

September 30 - October 31
Pioneer Farms
Get that TikTok feed into spooky shape by checking out the always-spectacular Pumpkin Nights Austin. Throughout the half-mile trail, you’ll encounter “lands” made entirely of everyone’s favorite orange gourd—and we don't just mean some half-assed jack-o’-lanterns. These are full-out displays, built using over 5000 real and artificial pumpkins and depicting everything from a pirate’s cove and an underwater reef to China’s famous imperial residence, the Forbidden City. After you’ve had your fill of autumnal thirst traps, hit up the Village Center for games and entertainment—plus drinks and a slice of pumpkin pie, of course.
Cost: Ticket prices vary

Psychedelic Séance
Photo courtesy of Psychedelic Séance

October 27 - November 1
Native Bar & Cafe
Chances are you’ve already emerged from a night at East Austin hotel and party-haven, Native, looking like a mask from Spirit Halloween—and, with all the fun packed into their Psychedelic Séance event, that hangover spell is likely to be repeated. Each night contains its own spooky debauchery, from costume contests to drink specials to special installations and photo-ops for you to show off that Squid Game costume. Not to mention the tunes will be pumping all night long, with after parties for the previously mentioned LEVITATION as well as free entrance to the Museum of Future Present, an interactive series of music-based installations.
Cost: Ticket prices vary

The Surrealist Ball
Photo courtesy of The Surrealist Ball

October 27 - October 31
Devil May Care
For those who love an excuse to put together a head-turning Halloween costume, the infamous Surrealist Ball at Devil May Care is the perfect chance for you to pull out the paper mache. Inspired by the 1972 Rothschild’s Surrealist Ball, your ticket gains you entrance to the year’s most lavish dinner-party—and, with a dress code of “black tie, long dresses, and Surrealist heads,” you better have a ‘fit to match. This year, they’re kicking it up a notch with menu selections from Les diners de Gala, the cookbook written by master Surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí.
Cost: Reservations start at $120 for a table of three

Spooky Silent Disco Austin
Photo courtesy of Spooky Silent Disco

Sunday, October 31
The Belmont
Put those campy club kid boots to good use and hit up The Belmont’s Spooky Silent Disco this Halloween. Pop on the provided headphones and dance the night away to three different DJs: one playing Top 40 dance hits, another giving you all the ‘90s and 2000s throwbacks you crave, and the last serving straight-up hip hop and R&B. Plus, considering the music is playing in your headphones and not on huge speakers, you won’t have to face the fear of ringing eardrums by the end of the night.
Cost: Advance tickets start at $15 per person ($20 at the door)

Barton Hill Farms Austin
Barton Hill Farms

Saturdays - Sundays through November 7
Barton Hill Farms
If your idea of October is a little less horror and a little more Pumpkin Spice, experience all the fall feels at Barton Hill Farms. Engage in Instagram-worthy autumnal activities like combing the pumpkin patch for the perfect jack o'lantern or navigating through the themed, three-and-a-half-acre corn maze, then reward yourself with a local craft beer or cider at the on-site bar, the Barton Hugel Apfelwein & Biergarten, set to a backdrop of live music.
Cost: Admission starts at $21.95 per person

Blue Starlite Drive-In Austin
Photo courtesy of Blue Starlite Drive-In

September 24 - October 31
Blue Starlite Drive-In
Nothing says Spooky Season like a good scary movie—and, whether you're looking for a bloody horror slasher or something more family-friendly, the Blue Starlite has you covered. Catch everything from Beetlejuice and Casper to late night screenings of The Blair Witch Project, Cabin in The Woods, and midnight margarita favorite, Practical Magic. This year, they’re even featuring some new sure-to-be-classics like Michael Meyers’ latest vehicle, Halloween Kills, and creepy farm feature, Lamb. You can even order your candy concessions ahead of time along with your tickets, because what’s Halloween without binging on some fun-sized snacks?
Cost: Tickets start at $30.50 per car

Haunted ATX Austin
Photo courtesy of Haunted ATX

Various locations
If you think ghost tours are fun to begin with, imagine taking one in the privacy of your very own luxury hearse—that’s what’s on hand this month at Haunted ATX, which will drive you around to some of the city’s most haunted spots including the Tavern, Clay Pit, Littlefield House at UT, and more. For those who prefer to save the hearse for the trip to the graveyard, they also have public van tours. And, to boot, the whole experience is BYOB—spirits of all kinds are encouraged.
Cost: Ticket prices vary

South Congress Candy & Cocktail Crawl Austin
Photo courtesy of South Congress Candy & Cocktail Crawl

Sunday, October 31
Various locations
Swapping cocktails for candy, this trek around South Congress is sure to have you buzzing. Stop by Hotel San José for a Spooky Shandy and then hit Perla’s for the appropriately named Nightmare on South Congress Street before making additional stops at Joann’s Fine Foods, Neighborhood Sushi, and June’s. For those with kids, or just those who love candy (i.e. everyone), there will also be traditional Halloween goodies at every location. Don’t forget to hit Jo’s at the end of the evening for the unveiling of the winner of their 4th Annual Ugly Dog Contest—we hear the completion is pretty “ruff.”
Cost: No cover; additional prices vary

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Molly Moltzen is a contributor to Thrillist.