Halloween Creeps in with September Horror Festivals

Halloween Creeps in with September Horror Festivals

As the wind begins to cool just a bit more each evening, it's clear the spooky season is near. Night skies will soon become hazy, the moon's glow will send a chill up the back of your neck as if lycanthropes lurk nearby, and a crisp in the air will creep in, feeling like every day is Halloween. Chicago will be ready. You see, we start early. Sure, spooky events have been abundant all year long, but come September, it's Halloween season all the way, baby.

This weekend is chock-full of spooky excitement. There's bound to be something fun for everyone interested in the dark side this weekend, I'm happy to report. Enjoy the massive post! There's always a ton of great things going on in the Chicago horror community. Would I ever steer you wrong?

TERROR IN THE AISLES 12 - Friday, September 14th

Many Chicago horror fans are looking forward to the ultimate triple feature at the Portage Theater! Old school, cult-tastic fun, celebrities, vendors, and even a new flick premiering! Doors open at 7pm.

7:30pm - Trailer Trash (Short films, vintage trailers)

8:00pm - IRON SKY (First screening in the Midwest!)

10:00pm - THE STUFF (Meet director Larry Cohen, who's also signed and brought the last remaining 100 “The Stuff” prop cups from the film, available for $30 each.)

Midnight - FRANKENHOOKER (Meet star Patty Mullen! She'll be auctioning her famous purple bra from the film. “The bra pops at midnight!” She'll have photos available for autographs if you don't have your own item, as well as buttons, figures and shirts! There will also be a professional photographer on hand.)

As always with events run by Movieside Films, autographs and photos are FREE! Plenty of trailers and short films will be screened throughout the night. Live charity auction for Vital Bridges. Tickets $12 HERE.


PORTAGE THEATER WEEKEND OF HORRORS - Saturday, Sept. 15th & Sunday, Sept. 16th

Fans of classic monster movies will be happy to get their spook on at the Portage Theater. A two-day festival, each day costs only $10 to get in ($5 for kids) for the whole day!

Saturday Schedule (Doors open 11:30am)

  • Noon - Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
  • 2:00pm - Godzilla 1985: The Legend is Reborn
  • 4:00pm - Planet of the Apes
  • 6:00pm - House of Wax
  • 7:30pm - Things to Come

Sunday Schedule (Doors open 11:30am)

  • Noon - The Three Stooges vs. Hercules
  • 1:50pm - RoboCop
  • 3:50pm - Jaws 3
  • 5:50pm - I Was a Teenage Werewolf
  • 7:30pm - Reefer Madness

Kids coloring contest both days. Show info: timetoys@rcn.com


MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH GALA BENEFIT “A Clockwork Nightmare” - Sat., Sept. 15th

WildClaw Theatre promises a night of live music, games, performances, and delicious culinary delights. Celebrate the dark minds of Poe, Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, Lovecraft, Gaiman, and Barker. Featuring a performance based on Neil Gaiman's “A Study in Emerald” directed by Jeff Christian, as well as readings, musicians, horror art and entertainers, a silent auction and raffle. A “Fear Box” aka “The Incubator” will be stationed for confessions of one's darkest nightmares. Enjoy drinks from Dry Hop Brewery, food from Gibson's, and sweets from Kyle's Cupcakery. Dark, steampunk attire is encouraged, but not required.

Advance Tickets are $40 ($50 at door) and VIP Advance Tickets cost $80 ($90 at door). The VIP pass will also include a ticket to Clive Barker's THE LIFE OF DEATH opening October 3rd, and a ticket to DEATHSCRIBE, WildClaw's 5th Annual Festival of Horror Radio on December 3rd. Wow!

Doors open at 7pm. Entertainment begins at 8pm, and don't forget the dance party at midnight! Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway.



Meet author Donald F. Glut, author of award-winning Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia as he signs his new book, Shock Theatre: Chicago Style from 2pm-5pm at Horrorbles in Berwyn. The book focuses on the history of WBKB-TV's late-night horror film series, Shock Theatre, and the hilarious horror hosts entertaining kids for years, “Marvin” (Show creator Terry Bennett) and “Dear” (Terry's wife, Joy).



Bachelors Grove Cemetery is a place I've always wanted to visit. Anytime you research America's most haunted cemeteries, this location pops up each and every time. I've read that it's quite dangerous to visit at night, is not open to the public, most of the tombstones have been stolen, and idiots have vandalized it with unspeakable viciousness.

It needs your help. During the day. Come by around noon and help remove invasive brush and pick up litter around the area. For three hours, you can safely tread one of the most talked-about cemeteries in America, and do a good deed in return.

Volunteers may park in the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve lot around noon, or use the path across the lot on the south side of 143rd Street if on foot. Tools will be provided there. Sign up on the site if you'd like access to the free refreshments, or bring your own.



The STFF is held by the Rogue Lumen film company as a fundraiser for their feature, Dorothy Marie and the Unanswered Questions of the Zombie Apocalypse. The festival celebrates independent short films and filmmakers, and Rogue Lumen's short film noir, Two Parts Bourbon, One Part Murder! will debut. Trailer HERE. Doors open at 6:30pm. Films at 7:15pm. Tickets only $5. Des Plaines Theater, 1476 Miner St., Des Plaines, IL 60016.


SUPER MONSTER MOVIE FEST - Friday, Sept. 14th & Saturday, Sept. 15th

There's a pretty sweet lineup at a classic horror and sci-fi film festival in Shelbyville, Indiana at the Skyline Drive-In. If you're up for some obscure films out under the stars, this may be the event for you. Tickets are only $7 each, plus a $5 double feature matinee on Saturday at the Strand Theatre.

Movies at the Drive-In include: Chamber of Horrors, Vault of Horror, Castle of Blood, Scream Bloody Murder, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Ghost, Face of the Screaming Werewolf, Kiss of the Tarantula

Saturday Matinee: Destination Moon and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers


DIAL “M” FOR MURDER - Starts Friday, Sept. 14th through Sept. 29th

Experience this classic tale of tangled webs of deceit, red herrings, blackmail, and betrayal on the stage. It's sure to thrill fans of Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation of the story. Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, Cicero, IL. Tickets $17.


Have a great weekend, and I hope you all have fun playing with monsters all weekend. I know I will!

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    Kristin Wicks

    Horror movie fanatic. Sculptor of oddities. Owner of Chicago Creepster Yahoo!, festival volunteer, writer, artist, social media freelance. Officially a biomechanical Frankenlady. Doing what I can to support our spooky community.

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