The District gets ghoulish for the rest of October with an eclectic array of Halloween events to attend around the city.
Whether you’re eager to party in costume or want to relax with a festive movie, there’s a place for every Halloween lover to enjoy the eeriness of October.
Revel in nostalgia at a free screening of the 1993 film “Hocus Pocus” in Crispus Attucks Park, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 26. Bring along your own blanket, chair and hot drinks to keep you warm and head to 23 U St. NW for a cozy night with three witches.
For spookier cinematic experience, check out Hitchcocktober, a monthlong series of Alfred Hitchcock film screenings. The series kicks off with “Strangers on a Train” Thursday at 7 p.m. and wraps up with the iconic “Psycho” at 7:30 p.m. on Halloween. These frightful films are screened at the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market on 550 Penn St. NE, and tickets cost $10.50.
For a free, literary alternative, put on your finest gothic costume and listen to a reading of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” To celebrate the novel’s 200th anniversary this year, a Halloween retelling of the classic story will be held on the steps of the Library of Congress at 101 Independence Ave. SE at 10 a.m.
Check out Ghost Tour: Escape the Museum at the National Building Museum on 401 F St. NW for an eerie exploration of this haunted venue. For $25, you can participate in an escape room for up to 45 minutes, and then hear stories about the building’s haunted past from its time as the Pension Building during the Civil War. The event will be held on Oct. 21, 24 and 31 at 7 and 8:30 p.m.
You can also find your way through the Mansion on O Street during their Halloween Hunt, which costs $35 and runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 24. Search for treasures at the estate at 2020 O St. NW, while discovering the mystery within the mansion’s more than 100 rooms and 70 secret doors.
To add nature to your haunts, the Historic Congressional Cemetery on 1801 E St. SE is offering a Soul Strolls guided tour Friday and Saturday for the next two weeks. Tour guides in costume will walk you through the cemetery to discuss some of its buried inhabitants. Tickets begin at $25, and a cash bar with beer, wine and cider is available in the cemetery’s chapel. Tour start times range from 6 to 10 p.m. each night.
For a night of electric performances, dance over to Gay Bash D.C.’s Halloween Bash at Trade Saturday. The 21+ show at 1410 14th St. NW charges no cover and begins at 11:30 p.m. with can’t-miss drag performances from Jaxknife Complex, Donna Slash and Ana Latour, along with music from The Barber Streisand.
Next week, scare away the ghosts with your dance skills at The Black Cat’s annual ’80s Halloween Dance Party on Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. General admission to the venue, located at 1811 14th St. NW, is $15 and includes access to the club-wide dance party, which features DJs Steve EP, MissGuided and Killa K.
For natural-born witches, Wizard Fest: Halloween Party will be a spellbinding way to spend Halloween night, starting 8 p.m. at Union Stage. General admission is $25, but more expensive packages are available, including a $35 ticket that includes a wand in one of the Hogwarts house colors. This event at 740 Water St. SW is totally immersive and features a “Harry Potter” costume contest, quidditch pong and refreshments such as butterbeer and firewhiskey.
Beers and fears
Nothing says spooky like reliving classic murder tales and relishing in craft cocktails. From now until Nov. 4, the Death Becomes Us Pub, the resident bar at 1839 7th St. NW, will feature sinister decor and murder-themed beverages ranging from $12 to $14. Eerie decorative stocks harken back to the Salem Witch Trials, while the “Covered in Honey” cocktail references Lady Bathory’s murderous exploits of the 1500s.
If you’re in the mood to bar hop the day away, head over to The Halloween Hip Hop Bar Crawl on Oct. 27, which costs $10 and runs from 3 to 11 p.m. Bar stops are centralized on U Street and include Cloak and Dagger, The Prospect and Amsterdam after kicking off at Vivid Lounge on 1334 U St. NW. Each bar has a separate theme and will feature the likes of DJs Nobe, Casper and Scientific.
Those looking for a more low-key Halloween night can head to the Bar Rouge Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest at 1315 16th St. NW. The free carving fun begins at 6 p.m. in the Kimpton Rouge Hotel’s Bar Rouge and ends at 7:30 p.m. when a winner is crowned and awarded a $50 certificate to the bar. Themed drinks will be served during the contest, including the Count Chocula cocktail for $6 and Devil’s Backbone O’Fest Oktoberfest Lager for $5.