The Best Spooky Halloween Events: Oct. 25-31

Our top picks for spooky Twin Cities happenings this weekend through Halloween

Halloween falls on a Wednesday, so it’s tough to know when to celebrate. Count on these events.

Twin Cities Horror Festival
The Southern Theater, 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis

This fest launched in 2012 to court horror fans and supporters of local theater. Eleven live shows explore the macabre at the Southern Theater, featuring  macabre—from serial killers and witchcraft to sibling matricide and dark family secrets, plus a fake embalming and an “eerie, audio-driven, interactive adventure for a solo audience.” TCHF producers have been asked, “With so many horrible things happening in the real world, why show pain and suffering onstage?” To which they’ve answered, “We will all die someday…We think coming to grips with your own mortality and understanding yourself will make you stronger.” Learn more.

Haunted Basement
2010 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

Read about it here.

BareBones Halloween Extravaganza
10/26, 27, 28, 31
Hidden Falls Regional Park, 1305 S. Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul

It’s year 25 for The Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza—not just a gathering of huge, frightening puppets, plus fire dancers, live music, and dance. (It’s definitely that, though.) It’s also pageantry dedicated to death. It includes a portion where anyone can honor friends or family who have passed on through a public naming ceremony. Artistic installations also allow individuals to commemorate the departed privately. Afterward, Sisters’ Camelot, the organic food collective, serves food and drink. This is a community-curated event, with more than 250 puppeteers, musicians, and other artists putting on the performances. Learn more.

Freaky Tiki Halloween Dance Party
Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, 1900 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis

Fortunately for Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, its tiki theme is pretty spooky, meaning the northeast Minneapolis bar doubles as a low-key hangout come Halloween. At midnight, judges announce the winner of a costume contest, who goes home with a “severed human-octopus hand.” (Bonus points for anyone dressed as a “Tiki God.” Think: Scooby-Doo plus H.P. Lovecraft plus Spongebob Squarepants.) There’s also more than $600 in prizes, and DJ Mochi Baybee will bring “tropical tunes fused with Top 40.” Learn more.

Dark Arts Festival
Creator’s Space, 218 E. Seventh St., St. Paul

Some of our local artists work in darkness, and this inaugural fest is for them. Genres include gothic, witchcraft, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, surreal, steampunk, macabre, and even just Halloween. It’s inspired by Europe’s dark markets, where the morbidly inclined bond over art and music that cavorts with death. Here, it’s in Creator’s Space in St. Paul, with psychics and tarot card readers among 40-some vendors. When 9 p.m. hits, a DJ will start playing in the boiler room. Learn more.

Lake Monster Bash: Halloween Music Fest
Lake Monster Brewing Company, 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul

St. Paul’s Lake Monster Brewing Company hosts a one-day outdoor Halloween music festival that goes beyond “Monster Mash.” Local music acts Dead Horses, Field Report, The Pints, Solid Gold, and Al Church bring the sound, and Lake Monster offers up spooky specialty brews. Enjoy food trucks, partake in costume contests, and explore the brewery. Learn more.

First Avenue Halloween Party and Costume Contest
701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis

You could argue this is Minneapolis’ definitive Halloween party. The costumes are nuts. People have gone as functioning toilets, Walkers from Star Wars, Jack Skellingtons, Sweet Martha’s Cookies, deadmau5es, Kool-Aid Mans (Men?), and so many other full-time-commitment things. This year’s musical acts include DJ Espada, DJ Keezy, Mike 2600, and Sophia Eris. Learn more.

Through 10/27
1 Valley Fair Dr., Shakopee

Read about it here

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular
Through 10/31
13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley

Read about it here.