We’re more than Salem, people. Yes, our North Shore neighbors crush Halloween, but it’s pretty much a contractual obligation when your nickname is “Witch City.” For those without the ways or means to trek upwards, there are loads of other in-town celebrations that prove we can kill it on All Souls Day. From a live performance of Rocky Horror to an overnight scary movie marathon to an in-zoo boo-fest, Boston and its environs are committed to spooktacular distractions. And that’s on top of the all-in holiday decor in neighborhoods like Beacon Hill and the South End (we’re still spooked by the Putin/Trump/Kim Jong-un display we spotted last year). Here are some of the must-do parties and events from now through Day of the Dead, and even a bit beyond.
Spending Halloween outside of town? Check out our guides to the best Halloween parties and events in NYC, LA, Chicago, Las Vegas, Houston, Nashville, San Francisco, New Orleans, Miami, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, & DC.
Through November 3
Okay, ignore our sniping -- Salem during the Halloween season really is that amazing. The Salem Horror Fest screens gory classics for the first half of the month. Plus, there are trolley ghost tours, psychic fairs, and live mind readers. And on the day itself, prepare for massive crowds, on-street revelry, and end-of-night fireworks. If you can’t get enough of the city that birthed the Salem Witch Trials, check out the creepy-sexy production of The Crucible, happening through October 20 at Central Square Theater.
October 17 - November 2
Back in the day, midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show were de rigeuer at the Harvard Square Theater. The venue may be shuttered, but the tradition returns during a limited-edition, live performance of the revered cult classic. And if you’re wanting to partake but fear being made the butt of the joke during the famously interactive show, you can always purchase a ticket in the “actor-free” zone.
It’s Cirque du Soleil, only far spookier and more interactive. Think evil spirits and possessed acrobats twisting and flipping right above your head as you dance and drink with your fellow freaks. You can even become a part of the act by entering the Instagram costume contest. Just beware of the undead wallflowers lurking on the dance floor’s edge.