Events

The 11 Best Halloween Events in Phoenix in 2017

Expect to encounter zombies, ghouls, and ghosts around the Valley during Halloween weekend.
Expect to encounter zombies, ghouls, and ghosts around the Valley during Halloween weekend. Benjamin Leatherman
The Halloween season has no shortage of fun. For some, it’s all about costumes and candy. Others are more into the party scene — or the scary movies, crafty pursuits, ghost stories, and haunted houses.

In other words, there's a lot to see and do this time of year, and most of it centers around All Hallows Eve.

The next couple of weeks will be the busiest, as everyone gears up for the holiday. As such, Halloween-oriented events will take place throughout the Valley.

We’ve assembled a list of some of the best, including happenings where you can don a costume, score some candy, hear scary stories and spooky tales, act like a zombie, or just celebrate the season.

click to enlarge The late Edgar Allan Poe. - EDWIN H. MANCHESTER/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
The late Edgar Allan Poe.
Edwin H. Manchester/via Wikimedia Commons

PoeFest
Friday, October 20, through Tuesday, October 31
Hotel San Carlos and The Rosson House


The wicked words of the legendary Edgar Allan Poe will be celebrated in theatrically macabre fashion happening across two nights at spooky locales in downtown Phoenix. Classically trained performers will portray inmates of a Victorian-era insane asylum while acting out scenes from such infamous Poe tales as The Cask of Amontillado, The Premature Burial, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Masque of the Red Death.

Performances of the aforementioned stories will take place on Fridays and Saturdays from now until October 30 inside the Ghost Lounge at the Hotel San Carlos. Times and ticket prices vary. Seances will be conducted on October 21 and October 28. As is the norm for each PoeFest, The Raven will be recited every 20 minutes from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Halloween night at the Rosson House. Admission is $10. Passes covering every performance are also available for $49.95 to $79.95.

F.A.B.R.I.C. Halloween Masquerade Ball
Saturday, October 21
F.A.B.R.I.C. in Tempe


The Arizona Apparel Foundation and local fashion-oriented incubator and co-op spot F.A.B.R.I.C. are putting on this high-style affair, which will feature a Halloween fashion show from sexy costume company Yandy. There will also be roaming costumed performers, live music, multiple bars, and fashion vendors. Those who spring for the VIP admission can also partake in hors d'oeuvres and a costume contest for prizes. The masquerade begins at 7 p.m. General admission is $20, VIP access is $100.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Saturday, October 21
Alamo Drafthouse in Chandler


Of course there's a showing of the infamous 1975 cult film starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon, complete with all the trappings (including costumes, crazy fun, and transsexual Transylvanians). Expect all the usual zany activities of a Rocky Horror screening on Saturday, October 21, when local shadowcast troupe Frankie's Fishnets hosts a special screening at the Chandler location of Alamo Drafthouse. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 and include swag.

Kabarett: Bizarre Noir
Thursday, October 26
Valley Bar


Collaborative music and arts ensemble Kabarett, which is overseen by local musician Christopher Norby, will present this spooky and moody show. Described as a “weird show for the witching season,” it will include a variety of Halloween-themed songs, scary tales, covers of film scores, and other sounds, all of which will be performed by a cadre of local performers and synchronized with scenes from classic movies.

Kabarett’s lineup includes such local artist and musicians as Kristilyn Woods, Monique Reina, Rocco Belsito, Phoenix New Times contributor Henri Benard, Corey Gomez, and Megyn Neff. A costume contest and performances by comedian Anwar Newton and DJ Ill Chapo will also take place. The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

click to enlarge ROSE TORRES
Rose Torres
A Vampire Tale
Thursday, October 26, through Saturday, November 4
Phoenix Theatre


Scorpius Dance Theatre will once again stage this evocative and provocative work, which was penned and produced by Lisa Starry. This sensual yet scary show involves an innocent ingenue who's led astray into the seductive underworld of vampires. A graceful array of talented performers executing modern dance moves and arresting aerial maneuvers are a part of the production, which has been taking place annually for almost a decade.

The production will take place inside Phoenix Theatre’s Hardes Theatre. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. from October 26 to 28 and November 2 to 4. Matinees will be offered on at 2 p.m. on October 28 and November 4. Tickets are $25.

Storyline Slam: "Haunted"
Friday, October 27
Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix


Local storytellers will serve up true tales of a twisted and terrifying nature during this slam-style event organized by The Storyline Collective. Yarns will last six minutes, with the audience awarding points for each. At the end, a cash prize will be awarded to the best teller. The stories start at 7 p.m. Admission is $6 in advance, $8 at the door.

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