Holiday Horror: Krampus, Haunted Houses, Films, Craft Shows

Holiday Horror: Krampus, Haunted Houses, Films, Craft Shows
KNIVES AND SKIN opens Dec. 13th at the Music Box Theatre (cast & crew in attendance). Q&A with director Jennifer Reeder on Tuesday, Dec. 17th. Image source:

Things are picking up again in the land of spooky Chicago. Take a break from holiday prepping with one of the many entertainment options listed below (Christmas-themed haunted houses!). Be sure to check out the new section dedicated to all the holiday craft markets happening this weekend! Let's get to it.

“Don't walk to the theater–RUN!”


KNIVES AND SKIN - (Dec. 13th-15th; 17th-19th) Cast & crew will be in attendance tonight! Director Jennifer Reeder (Chicago) will be doing a Q&A on Tuesday the 17th! The story follows the mysterious disappearance of a Midwest teen, Carolyn Harper, which has a strange effect on other teenage girls. Using an experimental style of filmmaking, this horror film doubles as a haunting teen noir fever dream. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

PARASITE - (through Dec. 19th) Director Bong Joon Ho (The Host, Memories of Murder, Snowpiercer) is a master at his craft and it's worth seeking out his entire body of work. The moods, tension, and horror within his films work exquisitely together. Times vary. Also, the fantastic whodunit, KNIVES OUT, continues through Dec. 19th. Landmark Century Cinema, 2828 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60657.

GREMLINS - (Dec. 13th-16th at 11pm) Great way to celebrate the holidays! Also, PARASITE continues through Dec. 18th. Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647.

BLACK CHRISTMAS - (Dec. 13th-18th) This 2019 remake follows a sorority being stalked by a murderer. The script freshly reflects contemporary society regarding the issue of toxic masculinity. Hollywood Palms, Naperville, IL. (Also check listings for an AMC near you.)

THE LIGHTHOUSE - (Dec. 13th-19th) Intense black-and-white psychological drama from director Robert Eggers (The Witch). Times vary. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., Chicago 60601.

DOWNTOWN 81  [35mm] - (Dec. 13th & 14th; 16th & 18th) This one's for the punk crowd! New 35mm print. Jean-Michel Basquiat (as a fictionalized version of himself), Debbie Harry, John Lurie. The film was shot in 1981 and finished 20 years later. Times vary. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., Chicago 60601.

THE LIGHTHOUSE - (through Dec. 19th) Director Robert Eggers (The Witch) returns with another period piece; a tense black-and-white film about two lighthouse keepers fighting for their sanity in the 1890s. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613.

jpg-beat-kitchen-dr-j_origDR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE - (Dec. 16th at 7pm) The 1920 version starring John Barrymore will be screened along with Thomas Edison's FRANKENSTEIN (1910) with live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren. 21+. Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL.

ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW - (Saturday, Dec. 14th & Jan. 18th at 11:55pm) Full cast performance each Saturday at midnight. Hollywood Boulevard Cinema, 1001 W. 75th St., Woodridge, IL 60517.

LOGAN'S RUN - (Dec. 17th at 4pm) FREE! This screening is part of the 2019-2020 One Book, One Chicago season, which is an exploration of the theme “A Season for Change” through a highly acclaimed novel, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Chicago Public Library, Back of the Yards, 2111 W. 47th, Chicago, IL 60609.

Movie Trivia Night - (Tuesdays at 8pm) Every Tuesday in their swanky lounge! Team limit 5 people. Winning team members receive a Logan Theatre gift card! Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647.

I WOKE UP EARLY THE DAY I DIED - (Dec. 18th at 8pm) Starring Billy Zane, Tippi Hedren, and Ron Perlman. Curated/hosted by Paul Freitag-Fey. Programmed by Raul Benitez and Nando Espinosa Herrera. Last screening of 2019! Comfort Film Logan Square, 2579 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647.

CLEAN SHEETS Flour Hour - (Dec. 18th at 7pm) Sinema Obscura presents a screening of “nerd noir” CLEAN SHEETS followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers at 6740Micro, 6740 N. Sheridan, Chicago, IL.

CHAINED FOR LIFE [35mm] - (Dec. 20th-23rd; 26th) Starring Jess Weixler (Teeth) and Adam Pearson (Under the Skin). An exploration of how people with physical differences are portrayed in film, from beauty to the exploitation of one's deformities. Weixler plays a movie star acting in an art horror film opposite a man (Pearson) with neurofibromatosis. They develop a relationship both onscreen and off. On December 22nd, Aaron Schimberg (writer/director) and Vanessa McDonnell (producer) will discuss the film with an appearance via Skype. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., Chicago, 60601.

HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD / CONTAMINATION - (Dec. 20th at 7pm) Windy City Horrorama presents a horror double feature. Patrick Rea's short, “It's Hell Getting Old,” will screen between the films. BYOB. $5 sugg. donation. Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618.


A VERY SCARY AXE-MAS - (Dec. 13th & 14th) Basement of the Dead presents a holiday horror haunt. Get a free picture with Axe-Mas Santa, makeup artist Kyle Vest (Skin Wars), and the elves. 42 W. New York St., Aurora, IL 60506. Also open on Dec. 21st!

KRAMPUS: A Haunted Christmas - (Dec. 13th & 14th) Photo ops, Krampus, holiday light show. 13th Floor Chicago Haunted House, 1940 George St., Melrose Park, IL 60160.

FRIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS - (Dec. 13th & 14th) 7pm-midnight! Get a $3 discount at the door by bringing a new toy (unwrapped) for Toys for Tots. Factory of Fear Haunted House, 5027 4th Ave., Moline, IL 61265.

CHRISTMAS FEAR - (Dec. 13th-15th) Experience Santa's Workshop of Fear, Silent Night Maze, Interactive Snowball Fight! New layout, props, and characters. Midnight Terror Haunted House, 5520 W. 111th, Oak Lawn, IL 60453.

CHRISTMAS NIGHTMARE - (Dec. 13th & 14th; 20th & 21st) Almost 30,000 sq. ft. Not recommended for ages 13 and under. Massacre Haunted House, 299 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery, IL 60538.

HELL'S ELVES - (Dec. 13th & 14th) Get $3 off with promo code XMAS. Disturbia Chicago, 1213 Butterfield Rd., Suite D, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

THE HAUNTING: A Twisted Christmas Experience - (Through Jan. 4th, 2020) Krampus photo ops, Over 30 Instagram-worthy spooky scenes to photograph. The Gallery, 480 Ring Dr., Vernon Hills, IL 60061.

For a full list, please visit Haunted House Chicago!


Krampus Pop-Up Events at DMen Tap - (Dec. 5th-23rd) Scratch that Krampus itch with a generous slew of events hosted by DMen Tap this month! Includes an X-Mas Krampus party with Scary Lady Sarah (Sat. 9pm-3am, 21+), a kids Krampus art day, a Krampus film fest, Krampus karaoke (Dec. 19th), parties, and more. 2849 W. Belmont.

Krampus Meet 'n Greet - (Dec. 14th at 8pm) Get a photo with Krampus! Later, head to the after party at DMen Tap. Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618.

Another Dimension Sci-Fi Book Club #48 BEHOLD THE MAN - (Dec. 16th from 9pm-11pm) They'll be discussing the novel by Michael Moorcock. BYOB. Bucket O' Blood Books & Records, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618.

Puppets in Progress - (Dec. 17th from 7pm-9pm) Bring your puppet-related work in progress to this informal gathering for helpful feedback. Comfort Film Logan Square, 2579 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647.

Metal Bingo - (Mondays through Dec. 30th) Play metal bingo at Brauer House! FREE event. All metal DJ. Bingo prizes, appetizers half-off, $6 Long Islands/Zombies, $2 PBR pints, $3.00 call shots. Roll call begins at 8pm; games start at 9pm. Brauer House Lombard, 1000 N. Rohlwing Rd., Lombard, IL 60148.

Troll Hunt! - (through June 2020) Search across 1700 acres of The Morton Arboretum for troll sculptures ranging from 15ft. to 30ft. tall! Tips: Check the site for info, maps, and locations so you do not get lost and please do not go without wearing some form of strong bug spray. Extra tips HERE. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL 60532. Troll Cheat Sheet!

Space Golf - (Daily) Alien-themed outer space fun with blacklight mini golf, 3D golfing, holograms, a Sci-Fi Cafe, and more. 15611 S. 94th Ave., Orland Park, IL 60462.

Bad Axe Throwing - (Days/times vary) Group rates apply or do a walk-in for $20 for one hour. Bad Axe Chicago, 2828 N. Clark (Atrium Level), Chicago, IL. (888) 435-0001.


Christkindlmarket - (Nov. 22nd-Dec. 31st) This annual European holiday market offers a plethora of unique handmade goods, foods, stuffed pretzels, spiced wine, beer, candied & spiced nuts, meat, toys, ornaments, blown glass, and more. Located at Daley Plaza through Dec. 24th. Also in Wrigleyville through Dec. 31st.

Handmade Market Chicago - (Dec. 14th, noon-4pm) 30+ artist vendors. Free entry. 21+. Hosted by Handmade Market Chicago and The Empty Bottle. 1035 N. Western, Chicago, IL.

Holiday Market Sip and Shop - (Dec. 14th, 11am-5pm) Free entry. Handmade items, drinks. The Kedzie Inn, 4100 N. Kedzie, Chicago, IL 60618.

Cheap Thrills Holiday Market - (Dec. 14th; 11am-4pm) 24 vendors! Free. (21+) Emporium Logan Square, 2363 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL.

Randolph Street Holiday Market - (Dec. 14th & 15th; 10am-5pm) Kids 12 and under get in free (they can do crafts at the Elves Workshop area). Free parking. 1341 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL.

Hopewell Holiday Bazaar - (Dec. 14th; noon-5pm) Free. (21+). 2760 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL.

Witchmas WitchCraft Expo - (Dec. 15th from 2pm-8pm) Free. Unique vendors. Accepting donations of clean winter clothing and accessories in good condition for local homeless shelters. Comfort Suites Schiller Park, Chicago O'Hare Airport, 4200 N. River Rd., Schiller Park, IL 60176.

An Occult X-Mas Pop-Up Market - (Dec. 15th; 5pm-11pm) 40+ vendors! Tarot, cocktails, curiosities, giveaways, games. The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL.

Revolution Holiday Craft Show - (Dec. 15th; noon-6pm) Free. 40+ local artists! Revolution Brewing Tap Room, 3340 N. Kedzie, Chicago, IL 60618.

Oh Craft! Indie Holiday Market - (Dec. 15th; noon-6pm) $5 sugg. donation. Twisted Hippo Taproom & Eatery, 2925 W. Montrose, Chicago, IL 60618.

Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen Holiday Market - (Dec. 15th; 11am-4pm) Local plant-based chefs, cruelty-free Vegan goods, beauty and wellness. Emporium Logan Square, 2363 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL.

A Very Wildlife Flea Market - (Dec. 15th; noon-6pm) Variety of vendors. Off Color Brewing - Mousetrap, 1460 N. Kingsbury, Chicago, IL 60642.

Crampus Holiday Market - (Dec. 17th; 6pm-11pm) Free with donation of pads, tampons, underwear, or related supplies. Benefits the Chicago Period Project. (21+). Emporium Logan Square, 2363 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL.

Plant Shop Pop-Up - (Dec. 22nd; 8pm-11pm) Chicago artist Bird Milk will be painting custom clay plant pots. The Heavy Feather, 2357 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL.


DEVIL'S DAUGHTER Improv - (Fridays at 10pm) IO Chicago improv. 1501 N. Kingsbury, Chicago. Facebook.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - (Dec. 18th-Jan. 5th, 2020) Based on the classic tale by Gaston Leroux. Experience the lure of Paris, love, loss, jealousy, betrayal, and madness inside the beautiful Cadillac Place Theatre! 151 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL.

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CHRISTMAS GOOSE - (Dec. 6th-15th) Holiday mystery suitable for families of all ages. James Downing Theatre, 6740 N. Oliphant, Chicago, IL 60631.

THE WHITE PLAGUE - (Dec. 5th-Jan. 11th) A mysterious plague begins killing everyone over the age of 45 during a time when a war is looming. A young doctor figures out a cure, but must weigh the ethics of whether the cost is worth it, as the affected may not agree to what they must do. Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, Chicago, IL 60622.

THE WINTER WOLF - (Dec. 7th-29th) Otherworld Theatre presents the story of one Christmas night when a girl listens to her grandfather telling the legend of the Winter Wolf, a creature who stalks those in the winter of their lives. It comes for her grandfather that very night, but she manages to trap Time's hunter. 3914 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60613.


Fox in a Box Escape Room - Visit their newest room, Zodiac, which is themed on the successor to the Zodiac Killer. The room was scenically designed by a designer from the Field Museum. 47 W. Polk, Suite L5, Chicago, IL 60605. (Recently ranked #1 escape room in the USA and #2 in the world for the month of March 2019.)

Chicago Rage Room - Got rage? Get rid of it pronto with the sweetest release (without hurting anyone!). Pay for items to break or bring your own! Room prices begin at $15. (Reservations required.) 153 W. Ohio, Chicago, IL 60654.

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.

Mind Trap Escape Rooms - Solve the clues to get out within 60 minutes! 299 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery, IL 60538. (630) 216-9609.

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


TROMA Double Feature: THE TOXIC AVENGER / CITIZEN TOXIE - (Dec. 29th) From 6pm-10:30pm, enjoy two classic Troma flicks! Class of Nuke 'Em High 1 & 2. Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60618.

Please check websites for updates, cancellations, and ticket pricing information before attending.

Please join The Chicago Creepout for current updates on Facebook HERE!

toys for tots

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    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.

  • Recent posts

  • Tags

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: