Where to be scared, scared and more

Indianapolis dresses well in October. Accompanying our magnificent foliage is a kind of macabre pleasure.

We have Halloween concerts that pile on spooky soundtracks; films that will make you clench your fists in terror or laugh, depending on your temperament; contests to show off the nifty costumes you sweat over for hours; stories with characters that will haunt your dreams; and stage productions that will explode with color and creative props.

Here are some of the Indy area’s best Halloween celebrations, ranging from a little spooky to downright terrifying. Just choose what you can handle.

Horror films

  • “Kan-Kan says boo.” Terrifying classics and thrillers like ‘House’, ‘Candyman’ and ‘Scream 2’ are hitting cinema screens. Until October. Kan-Kan Cinema and Brewery, 1258 Windsor Street. $11 to $15. kankanindy.com
  • “Halloween is over” and “People under the stairs”. The Skyline Drive-In has long loved creepy movies and they take Halloween seriously. October 14-15. 3986 E. Michigan Road in Shelbyville. $8 adults, $4 3-11 years old, free 2 years old and under. theskylinedrivein.com
  • “Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein.” You’ll find yourself in the whirlwind of a brain switch, the antics of Dracula and Frankenstein, a wolfman and more – all in the style of a 1948 horror comedy. October 22. Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Drive. $5 at the door. bit.ly/3CHo9VO

Irvington Historic Halloween Festival

Tickets and details: irvingtonhalloween.com

Irvington — so named for the author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” — is practically synonymous with Halloween around Indianapolis, and it celebrates accordingly. Here are some highlights:

  • October 22: The Halloween Ball returns with an 80s costume and theme contest
  • October 23: Spooky Organ Concert, Our Lady of Lourdes, 5333 E. Washington St.
  • October 25-28: Tours of Irvington’s Spookiest Homes
  • October 29: Vampire Run 5k Run/walk, Halloween Street Fair, Battle of the Bands, costume contest, parade and after-party
Mirian Buchanan, 3, rides in a stool dressed as velociraptors with her younger brother during the historic Halloween festival Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 in Irvinginton, Indianapolis.

Spooky concerts

  • Mac Sabbath. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a metal band specializing in Black Sabbath covers while dressed as ghoulish versions of McDonalds mascots. October 18 at Hi-Fi, 1043 Virginia Ave. #4. $20 to $25. hifiindy.com
  • “A dark night… A rock symphony of the macabre.” Diabolical masterpieces by Mozart, Beethoven and other greats brought together in one with guitarist Neil Zaza, singers, actors and horror movie clips on screen. October 22. Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, 1 Carter Green in Carmel. Starting at $25. thecenterpresents.org
  • Dear Mum. Here Come the Mummies, a nine-piece funk band of (allegedly) 5,000-year-old Egyptian mummies, comes to The Vogue. 9 p.m. Oct. 27 at 6259 N. College Ave. $29.50 advance, $34.50 at the door. thevogue.com
  • Classic Halloween. Your imagination can run wild with dread over performances of “Night on Bald Mountain” and “The Noonday Witch” from the Indianapolis Symphony. October 28-29. Hilbert Circle Theater, 45 Monument Circle. $10 to $96. indianapolissymphony.org
  • local tribute shows. The Melody Inn will host two nights of eclectic shows in tribute to Halloween. The first includes local releases from Foo Fighters, Heart, INXS, and Chicago. The following night, Melody hosts punk tributes to The Pretenders, System of a Down and Riverdales. 8 p.m. Oct. 29-30 3826 N. Illinois St. $10. melodyindy.com

Ghost stories and tours

  • Ghost Stories at Washington Park East Cemetery.” The city staple of Storytelling Arts of Indiana is back with seven Hoosiers telling spooky tales. Oct. 15 10612 E. Washington St. Adults $20, 6-17 $10, 5 and under free. $50 carload of family living under one roof. storytellingarts.org
  • “Twilight Tales.” A flashlight tour of spooky artifacts related to Indiana folklore and the supernatural. 19, 21, 26 and 28 Oct.. Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St. $20. indianamuseum.org
  • “The Haunted States of America.” Spirits also use Indiana as a crossroads, and many have traveled from New Orleans, Boston, and other cities to haunt Benjamin Harrison’s home in these performances. Oct. 14-15, 22-23, and 28-29. Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, 1230 N. Delaware St. $14.95 students and members. $17.95 adults. 10 years and over. bhpsite.org
  • Amy Bruny. Amy Bruni, paranormal investigator, author and host of the Discovery+ series “Kindred Spirits,” will share stories from a life of ghostly communions. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University, 610 W. 46th St. Starting at $35 plus shipping. butlerartscenter.org.

Scares on stage

  • “The Addams Family”. The classic musical follows the horror of Gomez Addams as Wednesday dates a “normal” boy. Until November 20. Beef & Boards Dinner Theater, 9301 Michigan Road. $51-$76, including the buffet. beefandboards.com
  • “Land of Shadow”. Explore Indianapolis mysteries and unexplained events. October 22, 27, 29 and 31. District Theater, 627 Massachusetts Ave. $25. 18 and over. indydistricttheatre.org
  • Bou-la-la: An Indianapolis Spooktacular.“A multicultural celebration of ghost stories, thrillers and history written by Indy playwrights. October 14-30. Fonseca Theater Co. 2508 W. Michigan St. $25. $20 students. $15 for Near West residents. fonsecatheatre.org
  • “Indiana Night Live! Fall-o-ween.” A Saturday Night Live type sketch comedy produced by Betty Rage Productions. October 14-15. Theater at the Fort, 8950 Otis Ave. $20. $15 seniors, military and students. 17 and over. artsforlawrence.org/tickets
  • The Rocky Horror Show — Live. The acclaimed production of Zach & Zack chronicles Brad and Janet’s unexpected evening that takes place on a dark and stormy night. October 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29. The Athenaeum, 401 E. Michigan St. $30. rockyhorrorindy.com
Choose your spooky level at the Children's Museum Guild Haunted House.

More spooky fun

  • The Haunted House of the Children’s Museum Guild: Night Fright game. With “Corrupt Confections”, a maze and giant rooms called “Delusional Dominoes” and “Wretched Rooks”, you’ll want to tread carefully through the game-influenced Monster-opolis. Daytime lighting hours make the experience less frightening, while the night hours increase the terror. October 12-30. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 N. Meridian St. $9.childrensmuseum.org/haunted-house or 317-334-4000
  • Zooboo. Costumes, dance parties, the Mirror Maze, a reverse carousel, candy stations and more. From Wednesday to Sunday until October 31. Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W. Washington St. Included with regular admission and free for members. indianapoliszoo.com/events/zooboo
  • Rowdie’s pumpkin patch. Victory Field’s outfield will turn into a pumpkin patch, with wagon rides and sleight of hand also available. 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on October 23. $5. milb.com/indianapolis/community/rowdie/fall

Looking for things to do? Our newsletter features the best concerts, artwork, shows and more – and the stories behind them

Contact IndyStar reporter Domenica Bongiovanni at 317-444-7339 or [email protected] Follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @domenicareports.

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