How to Have a Frighteningly Fun Halloween in New Orleans

With haunted houses, epic parades, and eerie pop-up bars, Halloween in New Orleans is a scary good time.

The scariest time of year has arrived, and New Orleans is the place to be. While the city is steeped in supernatural lore any time of year, New Orleans really puts on a show for Halloween. You’ll find haunted houses, creepy performances, over-the-top decorations, and a parade that wouldn’t be out of place during Mardi Gras (if it wasn’t so frightening). Take a ghost tour, visit a cemetery, catch a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, or seek out the most haunted places in New Orleans to get filled with the spirit of the season. For more action, join a zombie hunt, get your roll on at a Halloween skate night, or simply kick back with a creepy cocktail. From costume contests to vampire balls, here are the best ways to celebrate Halloween in New Orleans.

Haunted Houses in New Orleans

New Orleans Nightmare
Now through October 31
Jefferson; $19.99-$29.99
It’s a virus-plagued, post-apocalyptic world at this haunted house in Jefferson. You’ll be terrorized by creatures from beyond the grave as you witness blood rituals and other gruesome scenes. There will be eerie escape rooms and ominous challenges throughout, plus plenty of scares and screams.

Skeleton House
Now through October 31
Uptown; Free
This Uptown mansion on the corner of State Street and St. Charles Avenue draws crowds every year to witness the creative collection of skeletons sprawled across the lawn and beyond. The skeletons are decked in costumes and affixed with punny placards indicating the local and national celebs they represent. From “Dead Sheeran” and “Bony Bennett” to “Derma Thomas” and “Jennifer Ghoulish,” the skeletons incite more laughs than scares, but it’s an annual tradition beloved by all.

The Mortuary
Now through November 4
Mid-City; $25-$150
What could be scarier than a haunted house in a former mortuary? This classic creepfest is an annual favorite on Canal Street. This year’s theme, Blood Wedding, is a horrific betrothal of ghastly supernatural creatures—and you’re invited. The final “blackout” weekend is even more terrifying, as you go through the Mortuary with the lights off. VIP tickets get you in faster, and a season pass lets you get your scream on again and again.

Krewe of Boo parade New Orleans
Krewe of Boo | Photo by Paul Broussard

Halloween Parades in New Orleans

Krewe of Boo Parade
Saturday, October 21
CBD/French Quarter/Marigny; Free
The Krewe of Boo rolls through downtown and the French Quarter as the city’s official Halloween parade. Floats and fiberglass creations will scare and delight parade-goers with a spooktacular procession that melds Mardi Gras and the macabre. Aside from the parade, the Krewe of Boo hosts a pre-parade Masquerade Ball, Zombie Run, post-parade costume party, and more themed events.

Halloween Parties in New Orleans

Halloween Weekends at Camp Margaritaville
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22 and Friday, October 27 – Sunday, October 29
Breaux Bridge; Free with reservation
Thinking about a Halloween getaway? For something a little different, head out to Breaux Bridge’s Camp Margaritaville. The beach-style campground is celebrating the spooky season with themed weekend events. There will be kid-friendly activities, but the adult costume contest, pet costume contest, and golf cart decorating competition are sure to be fun for the grown-ups.

Howl o Weenie: The Dog Costume Contest
Saturday, October 28
Uptown; Donation
If your pooch is ready for the runway, Dat Dog’s annual contest is the place to be. The all-day fiesta culminates with a costume contest—judged by an illustrious panel of costume aficionados—featuring prizes for best couple, best family, best group, best solo pup, and best in show. Register by donating pet products or money to Zeus’s Rescues.

Endless Night Vampire Ball
Saturday, October 28
French Quarter; $150-$350
All your vampiric fantasies will come true at this lush masquerade ball produced by Father Sebastiaan and hosted at House of Blues. There will be live music, DJs, a burlesque performance, haunted storytelling, and an offering to the Vampire Spirit Queen of New Orleans. Wear your finest, as there will be a best-dressed competition. The ball is part of a weekend of events that include a bazaar, a salon noir, High Tea and Tarot, a Convivium Banquet, and a Babylon VIV Salon.

Vivacious Burlesque Experience: Devils Night
Sunday, October 29
Downtown; $25-43
Spend a devilishly delightful evening at the Joy Theater with Vivacious Miss Audacious and her crew of all-star burlesque performers including Jeez Loueez, Aria Delanoche, Mz. Juno, Sailem from Hell, Eddie Lockwood, The Great Dane, Nikki Knockout, Eddie Divas, and Victoria Vinyl. The show will feature burlesque, circus feats, and variety acts, all with a Halloween theme.

Black Lagoon
Photo courtesy of Black Lagoon

Halloween Pop-Up Bars and Restaurants in New Orleans

Black Lagoon Pop-up
Now through October 31
Marigny; Prices vary
Every night is a Halloween party at the Black Lagoon pop-up bar. For the month of October, top bars in cities across North America and Europe will be transformed into spooky, immersive Halloween experiences with creepy, yet masterfully crafted, themed cocktails and plenty of scares. Catch all the ghoulish fun this month at Anna’s. This award-winning concept was conceived following a pop-up event for Tales of the Cocktail at The Dungeon here in New Orleans, so you know it’s going to be a hauntingly good time.

Top Taco
Thursday, October 26
Metairie; $60-$135
The annual Day of the Dead-themed taco tasting event at Lafreniere Park is your chance to try some of the best tacos from around the city. Sip special tequila cocktails, listen to live music, watch colorful Lucha Libre, participate in a costume contest, and, of course, try all the tacos. It’s a contest, so you’ll want to taste them all and cast your vote.

Brews and Boos
Friday, October 27 – Saturday, October 28
Mid-City; $35-$60
Spend a night at the amusement park at this adults-only Halloween party at Carousel Gardens Amusement Park in City Park. The fundraiser for City Park features beer, treats and lots of rides, all under the beautiful oaks.

Other Ways to Celebrate Halloween in New Orleans

Horror films at the Prytania
Now through October 31
Uptown; $13
The Prytania Uptown will be showing classic horror films throughout the month of October to get your scream sensors tingling. Enjoy classics like Psycho, The Exorcist, The Shining, Friday the 13th (shown on Friday the 13th of course), Halloween, Dracula, Theatre of Blood, and more.

Zombie Paintball
Now through October 31
Avondale; $27-$50
Board a school bus to fight off marauding zombies and hit key targets with a window-mounted paintball gun in an apocalyptic world at NOLA Motorsports. If that’s not thrilling enough, you can also enjoy go-karting, ax-throwing, live music, food trucks, and beer specials on select nights.

Halloween Skate Night
Friday, October 27
Gentilly; Free
Faubourg Brewing is hosting a special Halloween-themed Skate Night for a spooky celebration on wheels. Bring your own skates and dress up in your most monstrous costume for an epic costume contest—just make sure you can skate in it. Pets are welcome too. Skate around with members of the Big Easy Roller Derby and enjoy cold Faubourg beer and bites by Parish Third and NOLA Cookie Co. for purchase.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Gerrish Lopez is a Thrillist contributor.