Halloween is over. Boo! And not "boo" like a ghost says, but "booo" like when your team gets buried by an avalanche of scoring from the other team (goddamn Patriots...). Still, just because the calendar says the spooky time of year is over is no reason you have to listen. Not when you have crazy people like Bloodshed Deathbath turning 3 Kings Tavern into a haunted house and then running a pinball tournament in said haunted house.
Bloodshed Deathbath's Ryan Policky (who also is part of horror-themed band Genessier and numerous other non-horror-themed things) clearly understands that while the calendar may say it's time to start planning Thanksgiving, we don't have to stop celebrating Halloween. And not surprisingly, Policky's HorrorHouse Pinball Tournament of Death is a great place to start on those post-Halloween terror celebrations. Once it's over, though, then what?
Well, that all depends on what you love about Halloween. Here, broken down by Halloween activity, are some helpful pointers to staying spooky in Denver all year long. Pick your favorite, and enjoy the year-round magic of scaring and being scary.
Decorating the house It sure is fun to live in a haunted house for one month a year, so what's stopping you from doing it all year-round? Not the law, that's for sure, or the cops would have long since come for the guy in my neighborhood who hasn't taken down his Christmas decorations in the four years I've lived here. If that guy can do it with the world's saddest inflatable Santa -- it's never been inflated in that same four-year span of time -- you can do it with your lifelike spiders and severed head porch decoration. It even serves a purpose, since a dwelling that always looks like a haunted house might scare away would-be troublemakers, saving you the trouble of yelling at those kids to stay off your lawn.
Dressing up People joke about starting to plan next year's Halloween costume as soon as Halloween is over, but you know who isn't joking? Cosplayers. These costume-loving souls spend all year working on their costumes, recreating favorite figures from pop culture or even creating original characters in well-established milieus like Steampunk or space opera. If you live for those glorious few days a year when no one looks askance at you for wearing your Wonder Woman underoos in public, then it's high time you delved into Colorado's cosplay community, where no one will ever question your choice to do that exact thing, even if they do offer some constructive criticisms on how to make the get-up more authentic to the comics who spawned it.
Nearly every month here in Colorado we have a geek convention, from big ones like Denver Comic Con to smaller, more intimate or niche cons like the just-finished Running of the Leaves Con. Nearly all of them have official, sanctioned cosplay activities -- and even at the ones that don't, chances are you'll find a handful of folks in elaborate, handcrafted costumes. So grab your costume, head over and talk to the first costumed friend you run into: You'll be well on your way to a lifetime obsession that will cost you thousands of dollars and cause total strangers to judge you mercilessly.
Handing out free candy Look, giving away free candy to neighborhood kids any time other than Halloween is a bad, bad idea, unless you want to freak out parents, meet select members of the Denver Police Department and maybe register yourself with the state so people know to avoid your house. You can probably get away with putting a candy bowl on your desk at work, though. Just don't expect people to say "trick or treat" when they come to swipe a piece. They won't do it, and God knows I've tried to make them.Scaring yourself stupid
Like horror movies? Of course you do. And there's no reason to wait for Halloween to indulge in them, either. Not with so many great horror-centric movie series around town year-round. Theresa Mercado'sCruel Season series
plays a themed horror film on the first Tuesday of each month atCrash 45
. They're always free, they come with handmade souvenirs and Mercado's taste in the macabre is exquisite. She also helps programChannel Z
at theAlamo Drafthouse
, which runs both horror favorites and obscure gems the fourth Wednesday of each month.
You can also opt for Josh Hartwell's Bloody Sunday, the last Sunday of each month at Buntport Theatre, for your free scary movie needs. If you want something a little sillier (but still horrific!), there's the Werewolf Radar Picture Show, which recreates the joys of yesterday's UHF and basic cable horror hosts with shitty B-movies and a couple of comedians in the host roles.
Partying hard, bro If the raging Halloween parties are what get you excited about the season, well, you're probably not so much excited about Halloween as you are about booze and/or drugs. Maybe try LoDo or SoBo or BroVille or pretty much any bar, any time. Then there are the parking lots of jam-band shows, which are full of costumed freaks completely out of their heads, and maybe the rave scene, if raves are still a thing that happen any more. Finally, don't forget the Denver Cruisers if you just don't feel like it's a party unless you're wearing something stupid and pissing people off.
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Find me on Twitter, where I tweet about geeky stuff and waste an inordinate amount of time: @casciato.