11 Must-See Halloween Parties in Metro Phoenix

Unless you happen to be a killjoy - or maybe a conservative Christian - next weekend will offer plenty of chances to don a costume, down a couple of drinks, and engage in some Halloween fun. Even though the actual observance of All Hallows Eve on October 31 falls on a Wednesday this year, many of the freaky and fun festivities will take place a few days before.

If you need assistance in picking the pimpest place to be, Jackalope Ranch has put together a rundown of some of the hippest and more interesting affairs taking place on Friday, October 26, through Halloween night.

See also: New Times Halloween Guide 2012
See also: The Sexiest (and Most Ridiculous) Halloween Costumes of 2012
See also: Nine Hottest Halloween Costume Trends of 2012

11. Giligin's It's guaranteed that revelers throughout Scottsdale will wear any number of outrageous costumes during the weekend proceeding All Hallows Eve. But none of 'em will be as eye-catching as the unique outfit that will be sported by Chuey the Rock 'n' Roll Midget during Giligin's annual Halloween Block Party. (For instance, as the above photo depicts, he once dressed as the clown version of John Wayne Gacy.) It's one of the many highlights of the tiki bar's two-night celebration, which kicks off on Friday, October 26, and will also include music, games, and a costume contest with a Jägermeister as the grand prize. Gates open at 11 a.m. Admission is free.

10. Stone Rose Lounge Speaking of interesting-looking costumes, the attendees of this North Scottsdale lounge's annual "Nightmare on Princess Drive" party always seem to pull out the stops with their Halloween get-ups each and every Halloween. We've witnessed some rather intricate and stunning costumes at the event (which takes place within the confines the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess) including a towering version of Optimus Prime, life-sized Barbie dolls in authentic packaging, and an entire entourage of gorgeous geisha girls. This year's party has a "Bride of Frankenstein" theme and will feature such delicious-sounding themed cocktails as the "Candy Corn Martini" and the "Jack-O-Lantern." The party kicks off at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

9. Brick Partymeister lothario Jared Alan is gearing up for a memorable All Hallows Eve weekend as his FauxShow crew will put on the Glamorama Halloween at Brick on Friday, October 26. Besides all manner of dancing, drunken debauchery, and (of course) drama, the party will feature spin sessions by Alan and a variety of special guest DJs, as well as a performance by DFA Records artist The Juan Maclean. Costumes are encouraged. The party starts at 10 p.m. The cover charge has yet to be determined, so check the event's Facebook page for more details.

8. The Clarendon Ben Bethel, the outspoken owner of this chic CenPho Hotel, will be holding his annual swanked up Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 27, at the Clarendon. In addition to plenty of spectacularly dressed costumed attendees, the party will feature a gig by Zero Zero (the synth-pop side project from a few members of the Love Me Nots). The band will also be shooting their latest video at the event, so be sure to both dress to impress and avoid getting too hammered. Local electronica act Vials of Sound will also perform. The night starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

7. Monsterland Things will really be going bump in the night on Saturday, October 27, both inside and outside of this Mesa attraction. While ghouls and goblins will offering scares aplenty inside the haunted house all evening, the "Nightmare on Main Street" block party will take place outside. The 16-and-over event will include a beer festival, zombies and freaks aplenty, fire dancers, a big-time costume contest, and a huge lineup of live bands, including Combichrist, Komor Kommando, and The Strand. Gates open at 6 p.m. Admission is $15.

6. Bikini Lounge Like with any event at this venerated Grand Avenue dive bar, there won't be any cover charge for the "Fright Fiesta!" taking place on Wednesday, October 31, which is ample reason to attend this Halloween shindig. Here's a few more: Local indie band North Dakota will perform, as will DJ Borismo (host of the Bikini's weekly So Tough! So Cute! dance night) and DJ Kate Scratch Fever. A costume contest and a few drink specials are also promised. The party starts at 9 p.m.

5. The Venue Scottsdale The hip-hop fanatics at local radio station 101.5 Jamz are throwing an off-the-hook hootenanny entitled the "Halloween Hook Up" on Saturday, October 27. Super Snake, Lady La, Jackie Morales and other personalities will step away from their microphones for an evening to host the party, which boasts a costume competition with $10,000 in cash and prizes (no joke). The soundtrack for the soiree will be provided by recording artists Far East Movement, as well as local DJs Matta Fact, Decipha, and Mikee Mike. Doors open at 9 p.m. General admission is $20, VIP access is $50.

4. Hotel Valley Ho Haunted Hotel Balls, widely considered some of the pimpest Halloween parties in the U.S., are scheduled to go down in cities across the nation, including Chicago, NYC, and Las Vegas. And thanks to the folks at Valley Ho, Scottsdale will be getting is own version of the swanky shindig. The duo of Turner and Heit will headline a lineup of local DJ talents, who will serve up "dark and dirty music" in two separate ballrooms. Meanwhile, theatrical performers will astound with their antics and a costume contest will provide more than $5,000 in cash and prizes. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 for general admission, $500 for the VIP treatment.

3. 911 Halloween Massive The location of this all-night dance party and rave on Saturday, October 27, hasn't been announced as of this writing, but you can be certain that whatever venue hosts this annual DJ-laden Halloween hootenanny will be filled to the brim with colorful clubbers and plenty of action. Three different stages will be populated by more than two dozen mixmasters, including such talents as Dank, Sazon Booya, Bizerk, and Jayfresh. Costumes are encouraged, but items such as laser pointers, weapons, pacifiers, and even stuffed animals are verboten. Sorry, rave kids. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $20. Check the event's website on the night of the event for more info.

2. Crescent Ballroom DJ Sean Watson is planning on spending his Halloween in much the same fashion as last year. More specifically, he'll be hosting his namesake costume ball at the Crescent, which is certain to attract a packed house. In other words, get their early if you'd like to stake out a good spot on the patio. Oh, and don't forget to wear a costume, since Watson is requiring one in order to get free entry. Otherwise, you'll have to pay 10 bucks and endure some taunts for being a spoilsport. Live entertainment will include performances by Night Jewel, Rick Carter, and Pastries With Teeth. The party starts at 9 p.m.

1. Axis-Radius Exactly $10,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs at the annual Ghostball block party during its costume contest, so make sure you've come up with something killer. If you just want to hang with your friends (and thousands of other party animals, as its one of the biggest Halloween ragers in the Valley) there will be multiple bars serving libations, dancing action taking place inside both Axis and Radius, and plenty of the usual after-dark antics. This year's headliners are DJ Morgan Page and the Stratford Brothers. Gates open at 8 p.m. Admission is $30.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.