The Spookiest Halloween Parties and Events in Boston This Year

Scary movie screenings, candlelit tours of Boston’s spookiest spots, and more.

It’s that time of year again: when the air becomes crisp and the nights feel extra spooky. All in all, Boston is the place to be during the changing seasons, and one of the best cities for bone-chilling celebrations. With Salem only a commuter rail ride away, and fall festivities happening across a number of neighborhoods—from puppy parades to late-night movie marathons—Boston is your top destination to ring in Halloween 2021. So for ideas on how to enjoy the upcoming holiday, check out some local events and activities that are sure to make a memorable October.

Thursday, October 28
South End
The Beehive is no stranger to festive activities, typically transforming into “The Boohive” for the occasion. This year, instead of its usual boo-zy brunch or dinner, the restaurant is stepping it up a notch by hosting a Halloween burlesque show that is sure to “scare your pants off” on Thursday, October 28. The show runs from 8 to 11 pm featuring live music and performances by dancers Kimmy Moore, Jynx Merlot, and Dahlia Strack. To secure your spot, make sure to book a reservation online ahead of time.

Downtown Boston
Downtown Boston

Saturday, October 30
Downtown Crossing
If you’re all for dressing up and checking out the cutest costumes, there’s no better plan than checking out Downtown Crossing for its annual Doggone Halloween Parade. Presented by Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, the parade is also a costume contest, awarding prizes to the top pups and their companions—although they’re all winners in our eyes. To register, visit the Eventbrite page to claim your spot. Let the outfit brainstorming begin.

Ongoing
Salem
It’s the plan of all plans. Massachusetts—if not the country’s—very own Halloweentown. Salem has exactly what you’re looking for if you’re a fall fanatic and worthwhile activities to add to your itinerary including haunted trolley rides, Bewitched and candlelit walking tours, a visit to the Salem Witch Museum, psychic readings at Witch City Mall, and much, much more. For additional inspiration on Salem happenings, check out our roundup of the best things to do around the town.

Harpoon Brewery
Harpoon Brewery

Monday, October 25
Seaport
For some nostalgia, Harpoon Brewery will host a free showing of the cult classic Hocus Pocus on Monday, October 25. The movie gets started at 6 pm at the Beer Hall, which will be open until 9 pm. During the flick, grab a glass of Harpoon’s Flannel Friday hoppy ale or crisp Dogtoberfest, and don’t forget the snacks—the brewery will be offering its full menu until close.

Thursday, October 28
Brighton
At a courtyard that regularly hosts events from yoga to movie nights to food trucks, The Speedway on Western Avenue in Brighton is gearing up for its Halloween edition of the Brighton Bazaar Night Market on Thursday, October 28 from 5 to 6 pm. With more than 35 local vendors, grab a brew from Notch and browse around the different candy, artwork, thrift, and design shops all while listening to Monster Mash-inspired playlists by DJs Fuzz & Jazzy Jas. Also, costumes are certainly encouraged.

Ghosts & Gravestones Boston
Ghosts & Gravestones Boston

Ongoing
Downtown
Maybe you haven’t witnessed them as often as the infamous duck boats, but you’ve definitely had this trolley tour pass you in the streets. Boston Ghost Tours chauffeurs guests around the city’s most historic and haunted spots, taking you “from Beantown to Screamtown.” Guided by ghoulish characters, you’ll learn about the paranormal side of Omni Parker House, visit King's Chapel Cemetery, and more. Tickets can be purchased online at $42 per adult.

Grab your hot apple cider and head to Beacon Hill

Ongoing
Beacon Hill
There are no reservations required for these plans. All you have to do is prepare your beverage of choice and head to Beacon Hill for the city’s most frightful (but friendly) sights, featuring stoops lined with gourds and ghouls, decorations peeping from windows of brownstones, and streets lit up for a haunting ambiance. However, if you are inclined to planned activities, join Boston By Foot for its annual Boo! tour on Sunday, October 31, highlighting the Hill's dark legacy (just refrain from traumatizing the trick-or-treaters).

Witch's Woods
Witch's Woods

Ongoing
Westford
Nashoba Valley Ski Area’s most haunted and unsettling hayride, Witch’s Woods promises to fulfill all your ghoulish dreams. With six attractions open for the 2021 season, pick from 3D Keeper’s Crypt, Castle Morbid, Jack-o-lantern Jamboree, Horrorwood Chamber of Chills, Vampire Passage, and The Haunted Hayride. Tickets for each attraction can be purchased online at $42 per adult. Also, while you’re in the area, stop by the nearby Nashoba Valley Winery for some liquid courage.

Saturday, October 30
Coolidge Corner
Your favorite theatre is bringing back its Halloween Horror Marathon on Saturday, October 30, showing 12 hours (you heard us right) of spooky sequels like the very first horror follow-up film The Bride of Frankenstein. Before the late-night movie marathon begins, the composer known for his work on the Halloween series, Alan Howarth, will kick-off the night with a performance of his legendary scores at 11 pm. Purchase your ticket online or call 617-734-2500 for more info.

Friday, October 29
Seaport
Looking for a family-friendly outing before hitting the town on the 31st? Boston Children’s Museum is hosting its after-hours Halloween Spooktacular on Friday, October 29 from 6 to 9 pm with trick-or-treating throughout the museum, access to the Boo-tanical Garden haunted experience, music, and dancing for the little ones. Tickets are available for purchase online at $30 per person.

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Jillian Hammell is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.