The length of this weekend's event listing should give you a good estimate of just how huge the Halloween scene has gotten in Chicago over the years. The next few weeks will be even bigger!
The selections are as diverse as the candy in your trick-or-treat bags. We've got the Music Box of Horrors 24-hour movie marathon, a Monster's Ball, Chicago Ghost Con, Splatter Theater, Deathscribe fun, the great Linnea Quigley presenting Night of the Demons, a Halloween double feature at the drive-in, Better Watch Out, Cold Moon, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Young Frankenstein, haunted house fun, a play exploring the ghost stories that lost the contest Mary Shelley won, and much more!
Films are listed in no particular order. Have a nice weekend!
“Don't walk to the theater–RUN!”
The Music Box of Horrors - (October 7th from noon to noon Sunday) 24 hours of horror movies (mostly 35mm & 16mm) with special guest, director Mariano Baino, who will introduce DARK WATERS (1993). Films include: FRIDAY THE 13th: Nintendo Fan Film (short film), THE MANITOU, THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF MR. VALDEMAR, LAND OF THE DEAD, THE CAT AND THE CANARY, DARK WATERS, THE FUNHOUSE, GREAT CHOICE (short film), IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, HELLRAISER, GINGER SNAPS, TALES FROM THE HOOD, FREDDY'S DEAD: The Final Nightmare, RARE EXPORTS: A Christmas Tale, and THE CRAFT. Vendors, food trucks, and more. Tickets are $30 GA/$25 MB members and $35/$30 at the door. The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS with Guest Linnea Quigley - (Oct. 6th) FREE event! Terror in the Aisles presents an evening with Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead). Vendors, Q&A, charity auction, and more. Midnight at the Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL 60625. Doors open at 11pm.
BETTER WATCH OUT - (Oct. 7th & 8th) Holiday horror comedy (aka Safe Neighborhood) about a home invasion gone awry. Stars Virginia Madsen (Candyman). Facets Cinémathèque, 1517 W. Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60614.
COLD MOON - (Oct. 6th-12th) Supernatural revenge thriller/mystery starring Christopher Lloyd, Kathryn Bellamy, Josh Stewart, and Tommy Wiseau. Facets Cinémathèque, 1517 W. Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60614.
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE - (Oct. 6th-9th at 11:40pm) The Logan tributes late director Tobe Hooper with a screening of his 1974 killer classic that still holds up to this day. The Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647.
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN - (Oct. 6th-9th at 11pm) Mel Brooks’ 1974 classic comedy in the form of a loving parody of classic horror screens at The Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647.
THE BIRDS - (Oct. 6th at 7pm) Campfire horrors at Northerly Island Park, 1521 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago, IL 60605.
FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL Vol. 8 - (Oct. 6th at 7pm & 9:30pm) Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (The Late Show with David Letterman) return with newly found VHS goodies from thrift stores across the country, which includes some Satanic Panic videos from the ’80s. The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.
LUCKY - (Oct. 6th-12th) Definitely not horror, but one would be remiss to omit this film starring the late, great Harry Dean Stanton, as the 90-yr-old walks about his small town, meets strange characters on his journey, and ponders life & death in general. Harry was a genre favorite especially known for his roles in ALIEN, REPO MAN, TWIN PEAKS: Fire Walk with Me, and THE GREEN MILE. Feature film debut by John Carroll Lynch (AHS: Freaks as “Twisty the Clown,” Channel Zero: No End House, ZODIAC)! The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.
CHICAGO ROT - (Oct. 7th at 10:30pm) This one's for my Wisconsin readers. Q&A with director Dorian Weinzimmer and assistant director Roberto Navia. If you live in Chicago, this wild Chicago-made movie is worth the drive! The Marquee Theater, 1308 W. Dayton St., Madison, Wisconsin 53715.
SHORTCUT 100 FILM FESTIVAL - (Oct. 8th at 2pm) Watch 14 independent short films from around the world. Red carpet reception, after party, and more. The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.
ALICE - (Oct. 8th at 5:30pm & Oct. 10th at 6pm) Jan Švankmajer's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic tale results in a surreal, nightmarish fantasy of terror and vengeance. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601.
MAD MAX Triple Feature - (Oct. 6th at 7:30pm) Films, craft beer, raffles, and more. Doors open at 6pm. 6008 W. Patio Theater, Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60634.
HALLOWEEN / HALLOWEEN II - (Oct. 6th & 7th) Drive-in double feature of Michael Myers movies! Box Office opens at 6:30pm. 1510 N. Chapel Hill Rd., McHenry Outdoor Theater, McHenry, IL 60050.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW - As always, the Rocky Horror fun continues with a full cast performance each Saturday at Midnight at the Hollywood Blvd. Cinema, 1001 W. 75th St., Woodridge, IL 60517. (630) 427-1880. RHPS
Nobody Sleeps: A Monster's Ball - (Oct. 7th) For the Love of Chocolate Foundation presents a spooky-themed night of after dark fun for adults. Costume ball, theatrical performances, open bar, adult trick-or-treat, themed food, Voodoo Lounge, Insane Asylum, Hades and the 7 Deadly Sins, specialty cocktails, live DJs, dancing. Doors open at 8pm. TICKETS. The Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe, Chicago, IL 60603.
Chicago Ghost Con 9 - (Oct. 6th-8th) This will be the 10th anniversary of this paranormal convention with 20 speakers, many workshops, 50+ vendors, ghost tours, ghost hunting, the American Hauntings Costume Bash, and the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and Occult. Brauerhouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Rd. #13, Lombard, IL 60148.
Basement of the Dead Haunted House - (Sept. 29th-Nov. 4th) 42 W. New York St., Aurora, IL 60560.
House of Torment Haunted House Chicago - (Sept. 22nd-Nov. 4th) Two new attractions this year! See site for full schedule and pricing. Not recommended for pregnant women or children under 12. Located at 8240 Austin Ave., Morton Grove, IL 60053.
13th Floor Haunted House Chicago - (Sept. 22nd-Nov. 4th) Now open! 7pm-10pm. See site for full schedule and pricing. 1940 George Street, Melrose Park, IL 60160.
Realm of Terror Haunted House - (Oct. 6th-Nov. 4th) Intense and extreme haunted house in its 15th year of haunting. Enjoy some drinks at the Haunted Bar! Not recommended for minors under 16. 421 W. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Beach, IL 60073.
Statesville Haunted Prison & City of the Dead - (Sept. 29th-Oct. 31st) Navigate countless prison cells as undead convicts chase you! Beware the burial pit filled with prisoners in the City of the Dead. (Definitely wear comfortable shoes!) No one under age 10 allowed; Ages 11-15 must be with an adult. 17250 Weber Rd., Lockport, IL 60441.
The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival - (Oct. 6th-8th) Watch them attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most pumpkins carved and lit at once to raise money for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Downtown Highwood, IL.
Scarecrow Fest - (Oct. 6th-8th) Make your own scarecrow and vote for the best one out of many. 2 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL 60174.
Chicago Ghost Tours App - A free app for enjoying audio and photo tours of Chicago's Haunted Archer Avenue is available, courtesy of Edward Shanahan, a fellow ChicagoNOW blogger (check out his blog, Chicago Paranormal & Spiritual). He is also a psychic and paranormal host who has worked on making his app a great addition to fans of Haunted Archer. The app includes 16 locations and 6 cemeteries. Free download! Shanahan also has a free online magazine.
Trapped in a Room with a Zombie - Room Escape adventures where guests must figure out clues and puzzles to escape a room they share with a snarling, chained-up zombie. Ages 14+ or must have parent. Fine Arts Building, 408 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605.
Chicago Hauntings Bus Tours - One of the longest-running ghost tours in Chicago, each 2.5 hour tour is led by founder, paranormal investigator, and author Ursula Bielski and her partner, author David Cowan. Routine stops include locations of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Death Alley, gangland sites, murder sites, and more. Departs at the Congress Hotel. For schedules, all tours, and background information, please see ChicagoHauntings.com.
Dracula - (Oct. 7th-Nov. 5th) The Hypocrites present a modern retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula adapted and directed by Sean Graney. Wednesdays through Sundays. Mercury Theatre Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60613.
Deathscribe at the Chicago Podcast Festival - (Oct. 8th at 1pm) WildClaw Theatre presents a pair of Deathscribe shorts with live Foley and music by the Griffin Brothers in connection with the Chicago Podcast Festival. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL 60625.
Splatter Theater - (Oct. 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 31st) It's back! Watch the white walls become blood-spattered by the end of the night and enjoy this parody of Friday the 13th-type slashers. The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, 851 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL.
You're a Good Man, Mary Shelley - (Oct. 7th, 21st, 28th) Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley join up to rent a home in Switzerland. Stuck inside, they decide to have a competition to write the scariest ghost story. Mary's won, of course, but what about the other stories? The Annoyance explores the five ghost stories that lost to Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, 851 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL. (Mature content)
Speed of Light - (Oct. 6th) Midwest premiere! Otherworld Theatre Company presents a sci-fi adventure following a physicist on the planet Nerth who races against the clock to unlock the secret of light speed travel just as alien invaders are threatening to destroy life on the planet. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to create the machine. Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan, Chicago, IL 60660.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Live - (Oct. 6th at 10:30am) Free! Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main, St. Charles, IL 60174.
1984 - (Sept. 14th-Oct. 8th) AstonRep Theatre Company presents a stage adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel. The West Stage at The Raven Theatre Complex, 6157 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60660.
Alias Grace - (Sept. 1st-Oct. 15th) World premiere adaptation of Margaret Atwood's story about Grace Marks, a young lady in Canada, who was charged with murder in 1843. She was imprisoned for years, despite having no recollection of having committed these brutal crimes. Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660.
Ghosts & Zombies - (Sept. 29th-Oct. 29th) Akvavit Theatre presents a new twist on Henrik Ibsen's classic 1881 story, Ghosts. (Link directs to my previous post about this play). Strawdog Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice, Chicago, IL.
Night in Alachua County - (Sept. 5th-Oct. 7th) Two nights left! By Jennifer Rumberger. Directed by Christopher M. Walsh. WildClaw Theatre presents a new disturbing play that tosses in mother-daughter woes, an eyeless demon, and necromancy. Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622.
Improvised Twilight Zone - (Fridays at 8pm through 10/27) Improv comedy using audience suggestions to create three episodes. The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, 851 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL.
Something Wicked 5th Annual Art Exhibit - (Oct. 6th from 6pm-10pm) Dark art opening reception for First Fridays. Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Ct., Elgin, IL 60120.
Geo Alderson Exhibit Art Opening - (Oct. 6th from 7pm-11pm) 32 S. Stolp Avenue, Aurora, IL 60506.
Summer Exhibits at LUMA - The Loyola University Museum of Art offers three photography exhibitions this summer: Susan Aurinko: Searching for Jehanne – The Joan of Arc Project, Jeffrey Wolin: Pigeon Hill: Then and Now, and Michelle Murphy: Responsive Beauty. To celebrate, the museum offers free admission through November 11th! 820 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660.
Tickets are on sale for The Massacre! 24 hours of horror movies!
GOBLIN Live in Concert - (October 25th) Start planning Halloween early with tickets to another rare chance to see Goblin live! Their first stop in North America this year will be in Chicago.
John Carpenter: Anthology Tour - (November 9th) The Master of Horror returns to Chicago for more chilling music at the Aragon Ballroom. Tickets are now on sale! 17+.
Carrie 2: The Rage (An Unauthorized Musical Parody) - (Oct. 13th-Nov. 19th) Underscore Theatre Company presents a rockin' musical comedy following the story of the sequel to Carrie.
Zombie Prom and Hearse Gathering - (Oct. 13th) Brauerhouse Lombard.
Windy City Horrorama Film Festival - The fest will be in late April.
Times are subject to change.
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