With Halloween options as diverse as the District itself, D.C. offers nighttime ghost walks, spooky haunted houses and even a zombie bar crawl for those prefering drinks over sweets.
Fright at the Museum: Dead Men Walking
575 7th St. NW
The National Museum of Crime & Punishment is the historical hold for exhibits filled with creepy jail cells, bloodstained artifacts and disturbing crime scenes. The ominous aura makes it an appealing backdrop for anyone looking to experience the gore and guts of Halloween, said Rachel Penman, manager of events and operations at the museum. “Fright at the Museum: Dead Men Walking,” a chilling haunted house now in its third year, is a fun nighttime Halloween activity for those looking to break a sweat. Set in low lighting with fog and other special effects, this 17+ event features student volunteers making uncanny noises and sneaking up behind guests to scare them. This 30-minute walk might give you nightmares, not just the typical museum takeaway.
Advanced ticket purchase is strongly recommended.
Dates: Oct. 27, 28, 29, 31
8024 Max Blobs Park Road, Jessup, Md.
Bennett’s Curse, an 11-year-old attraction, voted one of America’s best haunted houses, features three themed haunted houses, each attempting to be more frightening than the next. Jill Bennett, one of the attraction’s founding members, dares guests to enter the House of the Vampires, a long standing battleground among humans, demons and vampires. Guests are advised to prepare for lots of morbid sights and sinister sounds.
Those who manage to survive the adventure can venture on to the Zombie Kingdom 3D, a brand new 3D haunted house opening this year. Here, startling skeletons and crazed zombies take over guests’ senses as they navigate through vast hallways, cross bridges and spin through tunnels, eventually ending up in the final haunted house.
To get to the Sanctuary of Insanity, guests must first pass the Dominion of Darkness, a pitch-black maze filled with tortured characters and spine-crawling illusions. Once in the sanctuary, the attraction promises guests that rampant psychopaths will coerce them into losing their minds, reminding the slightly skiddish guests that those faint of heart have been warned.
Dates: Oct. 27, 7 to 10 p.m., Oct. 28 to 31 7 to 11 p.m.
Tickets: $25 Oct. 27, $35 Oct. 28 through 31
Zombie Silent Disco Bar Crawl
The Silent Disco Bar Crawl aims to bring out the dancing ghost in everyone. Attendees, dressed in their best zombie garb, receive wireless two-way headphones that will broadcast music from nearby DJs. Since fellow, unarmed pedestrians can’t hear the music, the dancing crew gives the effect of silent zombies strolling through the streets. The bar crawl includes four adjacent U Street venues – Bohemian Caverns, Marvin, Maza 14 and Blackbyrd.
Date: Oct. 30, 5 to 11 p.m.
Spooky! Underground Halloween Party
33 Patterson St., NE
Fur Nightclub is calling all devils, angels and superheroes. For those who like to go all out for Halloween, this Halloween-night party features a wide range of DJ’s including 2501, Dirty B and Loss of Signal. When guests are ready to take a break from dancing, the club offers an on-stage strut to show off the most creative costumes. The crowd will pick favorites based on originality, humor and scariness, execution and the ability to carry the costume. The winner will walk away with a cash prize of at least $300.
Date: Oct. 31, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tickets: $10 presale, $13 at the door
15604 Sugarland Road, Poolesville, Md.
You can get a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks, or you can try a homemade caramel-apple pie at Homestead Farm. Experience a New England-style fall, filled with apple and pumpkin picking, not too far from D.C. Grab a bucket and a map as you navigate through the orchards to find the most appealing fruit. Apples are $1.49 per pound and pumpkins are $0.59 per pound. During October weekends, you can immerse yourself in the fall spirit by taking a hayride out to their pumpkin patch.
Hours: Open seven days a week.
Pick-your-own hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Washington Walks: The Most Haunted Houses
“The Octagon” sign located on the corner of New York Avenue and 18th Street, NW
“If you haven’t been on a Washington Walk, you haven’t been to Washington,” boasts the tagline for Washington Walks, a guided two-hour walk through some of D.C.’s most famous and less familiar sights alike. In keeping with the Halloween spirit, Washington Walks offers the Most Haunted Houses tour covering spooky sights throughout the area. Walkers will stop by the Octagon House, the self-proclaimed most-haunted house in D.C., and hear mysterious stories about the Tayloe family, slaves and even First Lady Dolly Madison, explained Carolyn Crouch, founder of Washington Walks. Crouch added that as many as 100 participants show up for Halloween walks. The tour stops and discusses eerie tales at the White House, Decatur House, Hay-Adams Hotel and other sites surrounding Lafayette Park.
Dates: Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. through Monday, Oct. 31
Tickets: $15 (Additional $5 discount to GW students who present IDs)