If you're the sort who wishes that Halloween would stick around for as long as possible, that wish is about to come true. Thanks to the quirkiness of the calendar, the holiday happens to fall on a Thursday this year, which means there will be scores of spooky and swanky celebrations happening both before and after All Hallow's Eve.
And, as always, we've got a rundown of some of the more interesting and must-attend Halloween-related shindigs taking place at the bars, clubs, and other nightlife establishments around metro Phoenix, including many events, parties, and freaky fiestas happening from Saturday, October 19, until the big day itself.
Monarch Theatre Masked mixmaster and all-around party instigator DJ Bl3nd will be the headliner of The Freak Show Costume Ball on Saturday, October 19, at the downtown Phoenix venue. The 18-and-over rager will also feature gigs by such locals as Kuntrol, Mando Rockz, Zolnger, Fawk Unek, and Morgan Laine. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Joe's Grotto Dressing as The Joker from The Dark Knight or Heisenberg from Breaking Bad this year? You'd fit in well with the other rogues, scoundrels, and bad guys that will be in attendance at The Villain's Ball Costume Party on Saturday, October 19. Local hard rock bands Bellicose, Virulent, Vivicide, Kin of The Zen, and Storm of Perception are scheduled to perform. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $5 in advance and $10 at the door.
Hotel Valley Ho This vintage Scottsdale hotel will hold its annual Haunted Hotel Ball on Saturday, October 26. The bash encompass two different ballrooms and feature club scene veterans DJ Tranzit and DJ Decipha laying down hot sounds all night. One of the biggest costume contests in the Valley will also transpire during the party, offering $1,000 in cash and prizes to the winners. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $40.
W Scottsdale Hotel Swanky-yet-sinister fun will be afoot at the W during its Resident Evil soiree on Saturday, October 26. In addition to featuring some of the sexier and more spectacular-looking Halloween outfits in Scottsdale, the party will also offer specialty cocktails, a variety of guest DJs, and a costume contest for prizes. The event starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.
Fat Tuesday The entirety of this Mill Avenue hangout, as well as a good chunk of the Centerpoint courtyard, will be encompassed by the massive Monster Masquerade affair on Saturday, October 26. Self-described as a "Halloween party to end all parties," it will include four different DJs, two dance floors, multiple bars, and a gigantic costume contest for prizes. Gates open at 7 p.m. General admission is $5 in advance, and VIP access is $15 to $25.
The Clarendon Hotel Clarendon Hotel owner Ben Bethel will welcome stylish costumed revelers into his posh establishment on Saturday, October 26, for its annual Halloween Bash, which will include a live gig by Zero Zero, house music from DJ Michael Hooker, and a costume contest for prizes. The always-entertaining members of the Grand Canyon chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will judge said competition and also stage a luminaria ceremony. Starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $20 in advance and $30 at the door.
Maya Day & Nightclub Twin sisters Olivia and Miriam Nervo, who comprise the Australian DJ duo Nervo, will travel from the land down under to spend their Halloween headlining a big party at Maya dropping electro-house tracks and other EDM offerings. Fittingly enough, organizers of the event -- which goes down on Thursday, October 31 -- are encouraging patrons to dress as their favorite twins or duo and will award $2,500 in cash and prizes to the best costumes of the night. Gates open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25.
Neon Halloween Block Party at C.A.S.A The proprietors of this two-part drinking den will fence off their corner of Sixth Street in Tempe for the Neon Halloween Block Party on Thursday, October 31, and plan on filling that space with costumed revelers, drink stations, and a "haunted garden." DJs like Luminox will perform at both joints, as well as inside the enormous art car known as Kalliope (last seen rolling around the playa at Burning Man) that will be parked outside. The party is 18-and-over and kicks off at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20-$22.
Cheetahs Zombie strippers will invade this CenPho gentlemen's club on Halloween night as its crew of exotic dancers will be dressed as the undead before baring it all onstage. Bottles of XVII Karat champagne and $300 in cash and prizes will also be awarded to patrons with the best zombie costumes. Well drinks and drafts will be $3 from until 11 p.m. Call 602-277-8487 for cover.
Crescent Ballroom Sean Watson is bringing back his namesake Halloween Costume Ball in the Crescent Ballroom's lounge for another round and it's likely to once again be a haven for the hip crowd. Fellow DJs Kris the Fist and Jared Alan will also perform during the party -- which takes place on Thursday, October 31 -- and artist Matt Castleberry will stage a visual takeover. Concert tickets will be given away to those with the best getups. The event begins at 10 p.m., and admission is free.
El Hefe The proprietors of El Hefe are planning to devote an entire weekend to Halloween shenanigans with four straight nights of parties. The appropriately named "Halloweekend" rumbles to life on Thursday, October 31, with a spin session by DJ Fashen, "cham-pain facials," and other 21-and-over fun. The Dias De Los Hefe affair featuring DJ Diverse will take place on Friday, November 1; and the Circus Freak Show with Deejay Diesel in the mix is scheduled to happen on Saturday, November 2. The weekend wraps on Sunday, November 3, with a performance by the DJ duo Sick Individuals. Admission to each event is free.
Fear Farm While this West Valley haunted attraction will end its season on Halloween night, there still will be creatures of the night prowling around the place after it stops serving up scares. The Arizona Zombie Prom is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 1, and will boast music from six different rockabilly and psychobilly bands (including the aptly named acts The Embalmers and Koffin Kats), as well as freak show performance artists, fire-eaters, and other themed entertainment. Zombie and Day of the Dead costumes are encouraged and face-painting will be available. Gates open at 6 p.m.
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Bloodfest As its name portends, this annual dance party, which is promoted by the insidious Dr. MD, is focused on one thing: blood and lots of it. Each year, bucket after bucket of the crimson-colored liquid rains down on participants, literally drenching them from head-to-toe in red (don't worry, it's fake blood). It makes for one of the more uniquely freakish Halloween season events and the 2013 edition is scheduled for Saturday, November 2, at a currently undisclosed location. Call 480-294-7523 on the day of the event for location and ticket info.
Editor's note: This post has been modified from its original version to reflect that Hotel Valley Ho's Halloween party takes place on October 26, not October 31.