This Halloween, Americans are expected to spend a whopping $6.9 billion on costumes, decorations, and candy to celebrate the holiday. The National Retail Federation predicts we should see lots of adults dressed as witches, Star Wars characters (the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, comes out in December), and zombies.
The University wants students to be able to celebrate, have fun, and most important, stay safe. So regardless of the festivities you’re planning, remember to use caution and common sense. In an email to all undergrads yesterday, Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore and BU Police Chief Thomas Robbins asked students to refrain from drinking too much, to plan ahead how to get home safely, to “stay away from people acting in a way that may harm you, and be alert for scammers, thieves, and people who may try to victimize you.”
Whether you’re donning a costume or not, we’ve compiled some frightfully fun events to make sure you have a great Halloweekend—from a devilish vaudevillian variety act to international trick-or-treating to a Halloween movie marathon so long it might just turn you into a zombie. So, have fun.
Friday, October 30
11th Annual Pumpkin Drop
Watch gravity wreak horror and destruction on innocent, unsuspecting pumpkins at the BU physics department’s annual pumpkin drop at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Metcalf Science Center. Each year a crowd gathers to see students catapult paint- and pudding-filled pumpkins from the building’s roof. Come early to guess the weight of the largest pumpkin, enjoy Halloween treats, and enter a costume contest for the chance to win some sweet prizes.
The Annual Pumpkin Drop begins at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Metcalf Science Center, 590 Commonwealth Ave. Enter the costume contest before 12:15 p.m. Free and open to all BU students.
Trick or Treat around the World
If you thought your trick-or-treating days were over, you may want to think again. The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground is offering candy from all over the world. Each guest gets a bag to stock up on treats from England, Japan, Brazil, and more. But plan to get there early—these sweets get scooped up quickly.
Trick or Treat around the World is at the Howard Thurman Center, George Sherman Union lower level, 775 Commonwealth Ave., from 1 to 3 p.m., while supplies last. Free and open to all BU students.
Spooky Lights Halloween Festival on South Campus
The South Campus courtyard will have a spectral glow thanks to the South Campus Residence Hall Association. After taking in the eerie scene, head over to the 520 Park Drive basement lounge for pumpkin carving and painting, games, and fall-themed refreshments. Why spend $5 on a pumpkin spice latté at Starbucks when you can get an autumnal food fix and carve your own jack-o’-lantern for free?
The Spooky Lights Halloween Festival is from 4 to 7:30 p.m. in the 520 Park Drive basement lounge. Free and open to all BU students.
FitRec’s Spooktacular Halloween Party
Worried about the calories all that Halloween candy adds to your waistline? Head over to FitRec for rock climbing, swimming, and crafts; open to students, faculty, staff, and their families. And don’t forget your costume.
The FitRec Spooktacular Halloween Party runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at FitRec, 915 Commonwealth Ave. Climbing events, 4:30 to 7 p.m., crafts, 5 to 7:30 p.m., and swimming, 6 to 8 p.m. Open to all BU students, faculty, staff, and their families and is free for FitRec members and $15 per family for nonmembers. Attendees must sign in at the FitRec lobby.
20 Penny Circus
If you’re looking for some eye-popping thrills this Hallow’s Eve, check out the Florida-based 20 Penny Circus at the GSU’s Metcalf Ballroom. The twisted adult variety act of Clown impresarios Tyler Sutter and Carl Skenes combines fiendish humor and heart-stopping feats for an unforgettable retro entertainment experience. Prepare to be amazed by the duo’s sword swallowing, instantaneous teleportation, ritualistic mutilation, and more.
The 20 Penny Circus performance is at the George Sherman Union Metcalf Ballroom, 775 Commonwealth Ave., from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Free and open to all BU students.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Shakespeare’s tragedy is associated with bad luck—actors frequently refuse to utter the title, referring to it as “the Scottish play.” Legend has it that the play is cursed because Shakespeare used actual witches’ spells in the three witches’ dialogue. Join theater company Chameleon’s Dish for a chilling production of The Tragedy of Macbeth at the community space sprout & co. in Somerville’s Davis Square. Full of ghosts, murder, witches, madness, gruesome hallucinations, and chilling manipulation, it’s the play to watch on Halloween weekend.
The Tragedy of Macbeth will be performed at sprout & co., 339R Summer St., Somerville, from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, October 30, and from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 31. Purchase tickets, on a $5 to $10 sliding scale, at the door. Take a Red Line train to Davis Square.
Edgar Allan Poe Party and Look-alike Contest
Edgar Allan Poe, author of such grisly classics as “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” represents all that is eerie and spine-tingling about Halloween. Celebrate the holiday and the master of the macabre with a reading and book signing by William Giraldi, fiction editor of BU’s literary journal Agni, who wrote the foreword to The Annotated Poe. Sponsored by Harvard Book Store at LilyPad in Cambridge’s Inman Square, it includes a party and a look-alike contest, and a cash bar. Those entering the contest should be ready to perform a few favorite Poe passages (two to three minutes). Poe-ish prizes will be awarded.
The Edgar Allan Poe Party and Look-alike Contest is from 8 to 11 p.m. at LilyPad, 1353 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online or at the door, if still available. Door opens at 7:30 p.m.; limited and general admission seating. Take a Red Line train to Central Square and walk 15 minutes.
Halloween Hoedown Weekend at Loretta’s Last Call
Put a little honky-tonk in your Halloween by stopping by Loretta’s Last Call’s second annual Halloween Hoedown Weekend. Get your cowboy boots moving to the tunes of the Darren Bessette Band on Friday and the Country Mile Band on Saturday. Be sure to don a costume: Loretta’s is handing out cash prizes both nights, and while costumes don’t have to be country-themed, the judges might be swayed by a well-executed Blake Shelton, Patsy Cline, or Dolly Parton. This 21+ hoedown is bound to be a horribly good ole time.
The Halloween Hoedown Weekend is Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31, at Loretta’s Last Call, One Lansdowne St., Boston. The Darren Bessette Band plays at 10 p.m. Friday, the Country Mile Band at 10 p.m. Saturday, and both end at 1 a.m. There is no cover charge. Take an Green Line trolley to Kenmore.
Saturday, October 31
Halloween at Fenway Park
This trick-or-treat event is open to kids and adults alike. Fenway staff, dressed in their Halloween finest, will be handing out candy donated by Hi-Chew along the warning track, and the outfield will be filled with Halloween decorations. Costumes are encouraged. BoSox mascot Wally the Green Monster will be on hand along with three of the team’s World Series trophies. The family-friendly afternoon features balloon artists, face painters, caricaturists, and stilt walker “Big League Brian”—all designed to ensure the festivities are a home run.
Halloween at Fenway Park is from 1 to 5 p.m. at Fenway Park, Gate C, 4 Yawkey Way. Costumes are encouraged. The event is free and open to the public. Take a Green Line trolley to either Fenway or Kenmore.
Salem Haunted Happenings
Just north of Boston is the city of Salem, best known for the 17th-century witch trials held there. So it’s no surprise that Halloween is celebrated throughout the month of October. Each year, an estimated 250,000 visitors descend on the city for its annual holiday celebration, Salem Haunted Happenings. On Halloween, visitors can glimpse their future at the Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo, join sea chantey–singing pirates for Tricks, Treats and Treasures, commune with spirits at a séance, and much more. The celebration winds up with a half-hour fireworks finale starting at 10 p.m.
The free Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo is at 176 Essex St. from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Lady Irene’s Séance is at 102 Wharf St. at 4:30 p.m. Tricks, Treats and Treasures is at Phillips House, 34 Chestnut St., and is free. The Halloween Fireworks Finale is from 10 to 10:30 p.m., best viewed from Washington Street at Bridge Street. Find a map of Salem and a complete guide here.
Dia de los Muertos Celebration at Taza Chocolate
Local chocolate company Taza Chocolate wants to make sure you get your fill of treats this Halloween. Join the company’s free 5th Annual Dia de los Muertos celebration and get ready for a day of stone-ground chocolate and caramel samples, pan de muertos, face painting, and Mexican food trucks. Musical entertainment from Mariachi Veritas de Harvard and DJs Dudley and Fuzzy Fotch will keep the energy high at this tasty celebration.
Taza Chocolate’s Dia de los Muertos celebration is from 1 to 5 p.m. at Taza Chocolate Factory, 561 Windsor St., Somerville. Take a Red Line train outbound to Central and walk 20 minutes.
The Spooky Jam!
Witness some epic 1v1 dance-offs sponsored by BU’s street dance group Bulletproof Funk. See frightfully good moves from some of the best poppers, lockers, breakers, and more that the University has to offer. This is a mock jam, so the competition is friendly, the atmosphere lighthearted, and dancers of all levels are encouraged to enter. Don’t be afraid to go and get your monster mash on.
The Spooky Jam! is at the SAO Quad A, One University Rd., from 3:30 to 10:30 p.m.; free, but donations welcome.
RadioBDC Halloween Ball at the Hall
Dance away your Halloween night at Boston alternative rock station RadioBDC’s annual Halloween bash, this year being held at District Hall in the Seaport District. With DJs spinning the best retro jams, live music from New England band Never in Vegas, and a $500 prize waiting for the best costume, this party is sure to be a graveyard smash.
The RadioBDC Ball is at District Hall, 75 Northern Ave., Boston, and is 21+. Doors open at 7 p.m. Drinks will be provided by sponsors Coors Light and Tito’s Vodka. Costumes are strongly encouraged. Those who register here should arrive before 9 p.m. for free entry, which is first-come, first-served, so free entry is not guaranteed. You can purchase a $10 ticket here for guaranteed entry. Take a Red Line train inbound to South Station and walk 13 minutes.
Halloween Movie Night at BU Central
Add a little levity to your Halloween with a free screening of the 1993 Hollywood cult classic Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a trio of sisters who just happen to be Salem witches and are accidentally resurrected by a group of teenagers on All Hallows’ Eve. Bring your friends and some sweet treats for a free screening of the film at BU Central.
The Halloween Movie Night screening of Hocus Pocus begins at 8 p.m. in BU Central, George Sherman Union lower level, 775 Commonwealth Ave.; free and open to all BU students.
15th Annual Halloween Horror Marathon at Coolidge Corner Theatre
Want to add some real creepiness to your Halloween? Starting at midnight, Coolidge Corner Theatre will showcase six scary film classics in a 12-hour movie marathon, starting with a double feature of the 2007 cult favorite Trick ’r Treat and a yet-to-be-revealed movie. Additional films will be the 1981 slasher film Halloween II and three other still-under-wraps but spine-tingling movies. There will also be spooky tunes courtesy of prog-rock band Dust Witch to open the show, a costume contest, and a séance “at the witching hour.” The 12-hour extravaganza ends at noon on Sunday, November 1—the Day of the Dead. After sitting through this night-long marathon, you may feel like counting yourself among them.
The 15th Annual Halloween Horror Marathon begins at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, and ends at noon on Sunday, November 1, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office, $20 for the double feature and $25 for the entire marathon. Take a Green Line C trolley outbound to Coolidge Corner.
Sunday, November 1
Day of the Dead Family Event and Fiesta at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
Halloween may be over, but November 1 commemorates Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Make your way over to Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology for an afternoon of Mexican folk dance, live mariachi music, and arts and crafts. Decorate a sugar skull, traditionally given to children as a treat or placed on loved ones’ altars as an offering, or make papel picado, brightly colored tissue paper banners cut into intricate designs. There will also be a Dia de los Muertos altar where visitors can leave messages for deceased loved ones, folk art by Oaxacan woodcarvers Ventura and Norberto Fabian, and traditional snacks.
The Day of the Dead Family Event and Fiesta is from noon to 4 p.m. at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge. No advance tickets are required. Event admission includes snacks and activities and is free with museum admission: $10 with a non-Harvard college ID and $8 for 18 and under. There is a $5 fee to decorate skulls. Take a Red Line train to Harvard Square.
Service and Dia de los Muertos Celebration at Marsh Chapel
Join Marsh Chapel’s Global Ministries and the BU Mexican Students Association for an All Souls vespers service at Marsh Chapel. Then get festive and make Dia de los Muertos crafts, bob for apples, and play traditional games. There will also be authentic food and an altar honoring those who have passed away in the last year. Guests are encouraged to bring a picture of their departed loved ones to place on the altar.
The All Souls service is in the Marsh Chapel lower level Robinson Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Ave., at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Dia de los Muertos celebration in the Marsh Room from 7 to 8 p.m. Both are free and open to the BU community.
Know of more Halloween events happening this weekend? Tell us in the Comment section below.
Kylie Obermeier can be reached at email@example.com.