Lists

The 30 Best Halloween Parties in Phoenix in 2017

Celebrating Halloween at Maya in Scottsdale.
Celebrating Halloween at Maya in Scottsdale. Benjamin Leatherman

If you're feeling a bit frightened these days, can't say we blame you. It’s been a nonstop onslaught of nightmarish scenarios, devious plot twists, perilous stakes, and frightening characters.

Oh, yeah, it’s also the Halloween season right now, too, which packs its own particular set of thrills and chills.

If you’d like to take a break from reality, if only for a few hours, and celebrate anything and everything scary (that doesn't have anything to do with sociopolitical issues or soul-crushing existential dread), there will be plenty of opportunities to do so over Halloween weekend.

As is the case every year, countless costume parties and nightlife events happening throughout the Valley during the days leading up to All Hallows Eve and on the holiday itself.


Here’s our annual rundown of the best events happening from Friday, October 27, to Tuesday, October 31, where you can don a costume, down some drinks, and (most importantly) have some fun.

click to enlarge Hanging out at last year's Haunted Hotel Ball at The Saguaro in Scottsdale. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Hanging out at last year's Haunted Hotel Ball at The Saguaro in Scottsdale.
Benjamin Leatherman
Haunted Hotel Ball 2017
Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28
The Saguaro in Scottsdale


The annual Haunted Hotel Ball will offer two straight evenings filled with nightlife thrills, a ritzy vibe, spooky characters, and one of the Valley’s biggest costume contests. This year’s version will feature multiple themed areas throughout The Saguaro. The “Great Hall” will be located in the entrance and lobby and will be populated by a retinue of “dead sexy French maids” and an ill-tempered bellman who’s on the diminutive side.

Meanwhile, the hotel’s Agave Complex will become a “VIP Boiler Room” will serve as the domain of Jonas the Two-Headed Janitor and feature DJ performances in front of a massive LED wall. And the Saguaro Restaurant will host the posh and Day of the Dead-themed Espolòn Lounge Experience, which also boasts a secret room.


The festivities get going with an opening-night party on Friday, October 27, with the first part of the two-night $2,500 costume contest and EDM superstar Dirty South dance music. The event starts at 9 p.m. Single VIP tickets are $55 with access to both the party and the Espolòn Lounge Experience available for $85.

The Detox Pool Party takes place from noon until 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 28. Activities include drinks from Huss Brewing and Guinness, a poolside yoga session at 4:30 p.m., and music from local DJs like Soloman. Tickets are $25.

The main Haunted Hotel Ball kicks off a few hours later at 9 p.m. and will feature local DJs in the mix, the second night of the costume contest, and more. Single VIP tickets are $55 or $95 with access to Espolòn Lounge Experience included. Special packages covering all three events are $109-$159.

Throne of Kegs Party
Thursday, October 26
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Scottsdale


Prepare yourself. This Game of Thrones-inspired party is coming and will include $3 Bud Lights, $5 Fireball shots, and live music from country artist Laura Walsh. Plus, an actual throne made from beer kegs will be setup for photos or shenanigans. Doors open at 4 p.m. Call 480-945-4200 for cover info.

SpOOkeasy
Friday, October 27
DeSoto Central Market


The monthly "Speakeasy" party at DeSoto will adopt a spooky theme in honor of All Hallows Eve. It will still feature the same mix of swing dancing, big-band music, and DJs, albeit with a Halloween twist. Corrinne and MacGyver Mann (a.k.a. The Dapper Manns) will host, and a costume contest for prizes will take place. Things get swinging at 7 p.m., and it's a free event.

House of VooDoo
Friday, October 27, to Tuesday, October 31
Dakota in Scottsdale


The Dakota will become the “House of VooDoo” over several nights during Halloween weekend and will feature fortune tellers, costumed characters, DJs, and more. Hours are from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night. Call 480-361-1030 for cover info.

Giligin’s Halloween Block Party
Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28
Giligin’s in Scottsdale

A few things are guaranteed at every Halloween block party at this popular Scottsdale dive. There’s gonna be a mix of music and madness. Outdoor games like giant Jenga and giant Connect Four will be available for play. The costume contest will have big prizes. And you’ll probably encounter a midget or two serving drinks. Expect all of this to transpire at this year’s event, which will take over a good chunk of Winfield Scott Plaza for two straight days and nights. Gates open at 11 a.m. Admission is free.

Punk Rock Halloween Bash
Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe


One of the biggest appeals of Halloween, regardless of your particular age, is the chance to be someone else. It’s something that the organizers and participants of the annual Punk Rock Halloween Bash have embraced with gusto over the last five years, as it features local and touring punk bands performing cover or tribute sets to iconic acts from the genre.

To wit: This year’s bash, which spans two nights, will feature Pinkville 666 as The Distillers, Soulcellout as Dr. Know, Dinky Risk as Minor Threat, and various locals paying tribute to Devo. The next night, different cadres of musicians will portray such legendary bands as Screeching Weasel, The Cramps, and Rudimentary Peni, while P.V. Casualties perform their tribute to Misfits. The funny freaks of BroLoaf will headline the evening.

Costume contests, games, prizes, and drink specials will be on tap both nights. The sets start at 9 p.m. and admission’s free.

Underworld
Saturday, October 28
Rawhide Event Center in Chandler


Dark dance thrills and booming bass sounds will be offered at this Halloween weekend dance music festival put on by local EDM promoter Hades Entertainment. Headliners include Delta Heavy, Liquid Soul, Sikdope, Audiofreq, Black Gummy, Crisis Era, Mahalo, PhaseOne, R3LL, Riot, Sinden, and Triceradrops. Local DJs like Axion, Chris Tiano, Matt Dunn, Danny Right, Disco Stu, Sam Groove, and Sens1 will also perform. 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Admission is $40 to $100.

CarnEVIL
Saturday, October 28
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Come one, come all to this twisted carnival affair at the resort’s Plaza Bar, which will feature a bizarre vibe and sinister thrills aplenty. Stilt walkers, fire-breathing freaks, and other carnival-style acts will populate the place while DJs spin dance music, specialty cocktails are served, and a costume contest for prizes takes place. The party starts at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Nightmare on Sixth Street Block Party
Saturday, October 28
El Hefe & Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Tempe


Neighboring Tempe drinkeries El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row will host an indoor/outdoor party that will encompass both spots. Four local DJs (Cutswell, Soloman, Ekoh, and AJ Slim) will perform, while multiple bars serve drinks and costumed revelers will be everywhere. Gates open at 8 p.m. Call 480-257-2797 for more information and cover.

The Mummy Party
Saturday, October 28
W Scottsdale Hotel

The W's second floor outdoor patio will become a mysterious "tomb of terror" during a Halloween party inspired by The Mummy. Astounding sights and feats will be served up by a variety of fire dancers, acrobatic performance artist, and snake charmers, as well as the costumed staff and patrons. Stumble in starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $40.

click to enlarge Costumed revelers at last year's Wicked Ball in Scottsdale. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Costumed revelers at last year's Wicked Ball in Scottsdale.
Benjamin Leatherman
Wicked Ball 2017
Saturday, October 28
Talking Stick Resort


Some of biggest, best, and most badass costumes in the Valley each Halloween can be found at Talking Stick’s annual Wicked Ball. It’s to be expected, since the event offers a hefty payday of $10,000 in cash prizes that are awarded to those attendees sporting the most outstanding and elaborate-looking outfits.

Besides the nonstop parade of fantastic costumes, the party will also include three different theme rooms, each with its own theme and DJ selection. EDM duo Adventure Club will headline the ball, which starts at 9 p.m. The folks from Live 101.5’s Morning Mess show will host. Advance tickets are $50 for general admission, $90 for a VIP package that includes six drinks. (Day-of prices are $10 more.)

Monsters Ball 2017
Saturday, October 28
Alwun House


Thrills and chills await at Alwun House's annual Halloween affair, which will be occupied by creepy creatures and nightcrawlers aplenty. Performers at his year's event include the Pain Proof Punks, The Dry Surfinis, Opendance, and Ignite Collaborative.

Hors d'oeuvres, dancing, and other freaky fun is also planned. The event is 21-and-over only and kicks off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. The yearly "Monster's Menagerie" group art show will also be on display in the Alwun House gallery until October 28.

Fat Tuesday’s Halloween Party
Saturday, October 28
Fat Tuesday in Tempe


Frozen cocktails, freaky costumes, and frenetic dance floor fun will be a part of Fat Tuesday’s Halloween festivities. Its crew of DJs will work the decks all evening and a costume contest happens at midnight. The place opens at 11 a.m. but the party gets going after 7 p.m. There’s a $5 cover.

Nightmare on 16th Street Horror Ball
Saturday, October 28
Rips Ales & Cocktails


DJ Manchester of Shadowplay will join forces with DJs Halo & AKA of Addiction for this dance-friendly affair. All three will spin a variety of New Wave, goth, industrial, and dark wave throughout the evening and keep the dance floor busy.

Costumes are encouraged (but aren’t required) and there’s a contest for prizes at midnight. The nightmare begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $7.

Maya Motel
Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28
Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale

The Halloween celebration at this Scottsdale nightspot will take place on both Friday and Saturday and boast a creepy “Maya Motel” theme, as well as DJs, dancing, and libations. The event riffs on spooky hotels and motels, like Psycho and The Shining. Check in starting at 10 p.m. each night. Admission is $10. Call 480-625-0528 for more info.

Dancing Through the Decades Block Party
Saturday, October 28
BS West In Scottsdale


The patrons and staff of BS West will be celebrating more than just Halloween at this supersized event, which will extend outside into Craftsman Court. They’ll also be feteing all the performances that have take place at the legendary LGBT bar over the past 25 years. The revue starts at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, DJ Jonny Noir will spin high-energy dance music inside. Costumes are encouraged and $5 drinks will be available at the downstairs bar from 7 to 9 p.m. Gates open at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance, $20 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.