Halloween takes over the month of October, providing plenty of places to party and play in costume. There's a lot to do and see around the city during this spooky season; here we've compiled a list of the top twenty haunted throwdowns catering to the mature crowd. (Don't worry, we've got kid-friendly and Dia de los Muertos events lists coming your way, too.)
Those looking for something a little scarier and sexier can check into a paranormal investigation of a Capitol Hill haunt or hit several parties with big cash prizes for the most innovative costumes. You can find more possibilities in the online Westword calendar -- but this list should fill your trick-or-treat bag with a spooky good time.
Mansion of Macabre: A Bellydance Variety Show Mercury Cafe Saturday, October 18 $8 Enjoy a night of spooky belly dancing as a cadre of belly-dancing experts gracefully move throughout the Mercury Cafe's haunting space. Audience members are encouraged to come in costume. The Merc has entertainment and specialty programming almost every night of the week; check the multi-room venue's schedule for a complete schedule. L.U.C.i.i.D DADA Art Bar Monday, October 20 Free Join the DADA Art Bar for an evening of freaky fun and art, of course. Painter James Andre will be in the house; DJ Glassy with keep the party going as fire dancers and hula hoopers entertain. You're encouraged to come in costume.
BOOs and Booze Various locations around Ogden Street and East 14th Avenue Friday, October 24 $10 Get to know a slice of Capitol Hill at this outdoor adult Halloween gathering. Featuring three stages of live music from Champion, Man Mantis and OptycNerd and more, the block party/market will also feature art and one-of-a-kind treasures from local merchants like Denver Fashion Truck, KatMandu Designs and others.
Catrina Ball Firehouse Art Center, Longmont Friday, October 24 $20 A Halloween party and fundraiser for a great cause in one, the Catrina Ball encourages guests to dress up like "Catrinas" -- in fancy clothes with faces painted like skulls. There will be live music, themed drinks, food and plenty of art to oogle and bid on, as this shindig is an annual benefit for the Longmont art scene.
Paranormal Investigation of the Grant-Humphreys Mansion Grant Humphreys Mansion Friday, October 24 $30 per person, $50 for couples Reservations: 303-894-2505 Capitol Hill is full of haunted landmarks, but does the historic Grant-Humphreys Mansion make that list? Explore the grand abode under the guidance of The OtherSide Investigations, a team made up of paranormal professionals. Promising unbiased, otherworldly experience combined with a rich Colorado story, the night will shed new light on this beautiful landmark. Exotica Erotica Ball Shine Friday, October 24 $20 Hedonists, unite! Tonight is your party. Costumes are definitely encouraged and virtually anything goes at this adults-only shindig featuring Boulder Burlesque, Boulder Spirals, the Dungeon of Desire, multiple DJs, pole dancers and a costume contest promising big prizes. The Denver edition of the ball goes down October 25 at the Mercury Cafe.
Boo and Brew Along Colfax, near the Bluebird Theater Saturday, October 25 Free More than two dozen businesses will come together to create one epic Halloween block party along this spooky section of Colfax. Participating vendors will have their doors open all night with live music, drink specials, a costume contest and even Halloween-themed trivia happening on this vibrant city strip.
Denver Witches Ball Highlands Masonic Center Saturday, October 25 Starting at $25 Witches, warlocks and all other mystics, this is your party. Now in its 23rd year, the Denver Witches Ball is going strong with plenty of magic and fun for everyone, including live music, a fantastic feast and lots of spirits. Dress to impress your fellow witches at this pagan masquerade gathering -- and be sure to make it there by midnight, for the Samhain Ritual.
The Night Dial, a live radio play Bug Theatre Tuesday, October 28 and Wednesday, October 29 $5 Imaginations run wild and spooky tales abound as listeners "tune in" to old-fashioned radio storytelling. Recommended for mature audiences only, this night of live transistor drama features two different plays, "Mine" and "Them Walkin' Shoes," performed to the live score and sound effects of Paul Buscarello.
Beetlejuice '80s Prom Hi-Dive Thursday, October 30 $5 A quintessential quirky Halloween movie, Beetlejuice provides the perfect theme for this wacky Halloween party. Some '80s goth-inspired costumes will go right along with a mix of new wave, goth and post-punk tunes spun by DJs Boyhollow and Underwearwolf. Revolver: A Salon will be doing free goth makeovers until 10:30 p.m. and Mammoth American Tattoo will be doing '80s flash tattoos. Halloween Boo-Lesque Show Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31 $25 Join the Clocktower Clockettes as they pay a sexy and spooky tribute to all the Halloween greats -- zombies, witches, vampires and more. The dancers will be joined by aerialists, jugglers, magicians, all under the direction of host and comedian extraordinaire Naughty Pierre. Lannie's is offering Halloween-themed entertainment all month long; check the website for additional spooky shows and dates throughout October.
Cabal Halloween Hoedown Cabal Enterprises Friday, October 31 Free/Donations encouraged This Halloween throwdown takes it to the wild West; revelers are encouraged to dress as their favorite country/Western film or music star. Recently taking over the Concoctory Space on South Broadway, Cabal is all about capturing the true DIY spirit of music, art and community connection -- with a punk twinge. Music from The New Ben Franklins and spoken word from local poet Charly Fasano are guaranteed entertainment at this Halloween party with a twist, but expect many more surprises.
Denver Halloween Ball Sherman Street Event Complex Friday, October 31 $65 Set in the stunning Sherman Street Event Complex, the Denver Halloween Ball promises a spooky, sexy Halloween world. Live DJs will spin haunting jams all night and your ticket in the door also comes with free drinks. Dress up in your finest scary and sultry costume for a chance to win $1,000 in the "Best of the Ball" costume contest. Buy your tickets now -- this event is already close to sold-out.Bowlloween Costume Bash Lucky Strike Lanes Denver Friday, October 31 $15 to $150
Lucky Strike opens up its lanes to ghouls and goblins of all varieties for this bowling-themed spooky extravaganza. The lights will get low and the music will turn up as guests enjoy a dance party and Halloween drink specials and a chance to take home a $500 cash prize for best costume.
Nightmare on LoDo Street Halloween Pub Crawl Check in: Tilted Kilt Friday, October 31 $25 Throw on your best costume and some good walking shoes, because this party goes mobile. Starting at the Tilted Kilt and making its way around LoDo, the Halloween extravaganza will include drink tickets and drink specials and a chance to win $1,000 for the best, craziest costume. Lipgloss Sci-Fi Costume Party/Cold Cave DJ Set Beauty Bar Friday, October 31 $10 to $15
As the longest-running weekly club night in Denver, Lipgloss is sure to make Halloween extra special. A guest DJ set by renowned Los Angeles musicians Cold Cave will set the dark mood;resident DJs Boyhollow and Tower will be on the decks. The party's annual sci-fi costume contest will give folks a chance to win some great prize packs and one lucky winner will walk away with a PBR snowboard. PBR cans are just $1 until they run out and advance ticket purchase is highly recommended, as this intimate venue is bound to sell out.
ColoWeen City Hall Friday, October 31 $29 to $79 Quickly becoming a Colorado Halloween tradition, ColoWeen takes over City Hall this year for what promises to be a fun, scary and sexy adults-only bash. With four themed rooms featuring live DJs, serious light and sound set-ups and a costume contest worth a cool $1,000 cash prize, this rager will be off the hook. Coloween has sold out six years running, so getting tickets in advance is a must for ColoWeeners.
Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show Crossroads Theater at Five Points Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1 $20 What's the Halloween holiday without a little Rocky Horror? This send-up is a live theatrical production with a twist, incorporating B-movie and science fiction elements to make a truly unique show. Costumes are encouraged for audience members, too.
Colorado Ballet Presents: Dracula Ellie Caulkins Opera House Friday, October 31, Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2 $25 to $155 The Colorado Ballet transforms the Ellie Caulkins into a spooky platform for a beautiful and haunting work based on Bram Stoker's Gothic horror classic. A combination of expert costume and set design and the spine-tingling dance pieces will bring the seductive vampires, mental patients and the count himself to life -- if only for the night.
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DevotchKa Halloween Celebration Boulder Theater Saturday, November 1 $32.50 Colorado musical hero DevotchKa present its annual Halloween show, which is sure to be a blast The band gets dressed up and dresses up the stage, too; the audience is encouraged to don ghoulish duds. And high above it all, DevotchKa will be joined by the Slavic Sisters aerial act.