Halloween Fest, 1938 Radio Theatre, Day of the Dead, Iron Pour, Contra Dance & the new Rocky Horror

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The Week in Weird
Day of the Dead Festival @ Forest Hills Cemetery 11/2 Boston Metro
The Day of the Dead festival is one of my favorite events of the year. Forget candy skeletons. This is a serious and touching remembrance of the dead lead by a Mexican group that touches ancient traditions. And you can join in the singing, dancing, and interacting with the spirit world. Believe me when I say this: YOU MUST GO.
95 Forest Hills Avenue, Jamaica Plain, MA.617-524-0128. more
El Dia de Los Muertos 11/1 Boston Metro
This alternative Day of the Dead festival has the candy skulls. 2-5pm.
Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA.800-511-9725. more
Day of the Dead @ Peabody Museum 11/1 – 11/2 Boston Metro
Don’t get too excited about this event at Harvard’s Peabody museum. The main fiesta is sold out, although you can still drop by the family event, which I would guess is not just-for-kids.
Peabody Museum, Cambridge, MA.617-496-1027. more
A Night at the Wenham 10/30 North Shore
Here’s another museum event. Characters from the Museum’s collections come to life in a magical evening of mystery and surprise. Take a moon-lit tour of the Claflin-Richard’s House, and enjoy a treasure hunt and spooky treats. Pre-registration required.
Rt 1A, Wenham, MA.978-468-2377. more
Ghosts on the Banke 10/30 – 10/31 New Hampshire
The best educational place to be though is undoubtedly Strawbery Banke, one of four re-enactment museums with live actors in New England. They’ll have an outdoor movie, horse-drawn wagon rides, a bonfire, and lots of actors both piratical and ghostatical. A quick drive up from Boston.
Marcy Street, Portsmouth, NH.603-422-7514. more
Tomes of Terror – Halloween Live Audio Trilogy 10/29 – 10/31 Boston Metro
Also a favorite, this is a spooky theatre event where they act out an old radio broadcast. I’ve been twice and it’s really unique and worth seeing!
Unity Church of God, 6 Williams Street, Somerville, MA.617-669-4391. more
The Big Broadcast of 1938: The War of the Worlds 10/29 – 10/31 Boston Metro
But I think they might be one-upped this year by Orson Welles’ infamous “War of the Worlds” radio play, adapted to follow events in Boston during the “Martian invasion”. It was a hoax portrayed on the radio in 1938 that got out of hand as many who were listening started to believe it!
Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA. more
Iron Pour – Molten Metal Showers, Fire-spinning 10/30 Boston Metro
I have been researching this event for years!! They’ve never returned by phone call, but I finally pinned it down! Mass College of Art has an “Iron Pour” twice a year, where the metals department melts down old radiators and shows how to pour into molds, generating huge showers of sparks. They’ll have live music, fire-spinners, dancing, and a “VJ”, a visual disc jockey, I suppose that must mean lasers. 7-11pm.
Mass College of Art, Boston, MA.617 879 7020. more
Iron Pour @ Providence, RI 10/30 Rhode Island
This one looks smaller, but closer for those of you in Rhode Island. Rain date: next day.
27 Sims Ave, Providence, RI. more
Wiccan Samhain Magick Circle Ceremony 10/31 North Shore
I went to this last year. It’s a genuine pagan ceremony that you can join in. I am forced to say it was not as magical as I thought. It was hard to hear the priest (no microphone), and then you walk in a circle for 45 minutes. I suppose it beats Catholic mass for entertainment, and nobody passed a plate! Procession starts at 4:30pm at 88 Wharf Street, Nu Aeon. Then two hour ceremony at Gallows Hill Park, Bridge St & Boston St, at 5:30pm. Then candlelight walk at 7:30pm into Salem Downtown. Pronounced “sah-wen”. Open to the public. They suggest you bring a lantern or candle in glass.
Starts at 88 Wharf Street, Salem, MA.978-745-8668. more
Closing night celebration & Halloween Fireworks 10/31 North Shore
It’s really worth the visit to Salem if you can make it, for the crowds, costumes, and B-level Halloween fun. (Really, all the best Halloween attractions are outside Salem, or they’re A-level but year-round things.) To encourage revelers to return home, they will end the night with a musical fireworks finale around 10:30pm, and then extra commuter rail trains home.
Near Salem Depot, Salem, MA. more
The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe & Graveside Walk 10/31 – 11/1 Rhode Island
Have you heard of HP Lovecraft? He was the famous horror author who came after Edgar Allan Poe, but before the author of Pyscho and Stephen King. Friday 12-1pm there will be a reading of gothic poetry, ending with Poe’s The Raven, at the Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street, Providence RI. 401-421-6970. Then Sunday, the local H. P. Lovecraft fan group, the Cthulhu Prayer Society, meets at 1 pm for a graveyard walk in Providence’s historic North Burial Ground. Wear a Halloween costume or graveside attire. Meet at the main (south) gates at North Main Street at 1pm, weather permitting. Contact Brett Rutherford, brett@poetspress.org. If it rains, meet for lunch instead at Union Station Brewery, Exchange Terrace on Kennedy Plaza.
Various, Providence, RI.
Tales of the Night @ Drumlin Farm 10/29 – 10/30 Metro West
Spooky tales will also be at this state park west of Waltham, with a hayride, haunted house, and walks in the forest. Bring a flashlight.
208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA.781-259-2200. more
Halloween at the Somerville Armory 10/29 Boston Metro
I don’t really understand this event, but it seems somewhat kids oriented: musical theatrics with a nod to old-time cult horror films.
Somerville Armory, Somerville, MA. more
Haunted Higgins 10/31 Worcester
Unlike the Somerville Armory, the Higgins Armory has armor in it, and it’s worth visiting anytime. But this Saturday, come in costume and go trick or treating (adults or kids), participate in a costume contest and hear spooky storytelling. OoooO!
100 Barber Ave, Worcester, MA. more
Mischief at the Old Manse & Haunted Attic Tour 10/29 Metro West
Previously untold and true stories of the Old Manse on this special Halloween guided tour. Call for details because the website is vague.
Old Manse, 269 Monument Street, Concord, MA.978-369-3909. more
Nosferatu with Devil Music Ensemble 10/31 Boston Metro
If you missed it last week in Salem, Somerville is hosting live music to go along with the silent film Nosferatu! 6:30-9:30pm.
Somerville Armory, Somerville, MA. more
MIT Pumpkin Drop 10/31 Boston Metro
I have no information on the MIT Pumpkin Drop, but last year it was the Saturday before Halloween. This year it is probably “on” Halloween. If so, it will be on the “Dot”, a small circle of grass south of building 54. 11:59pm.
MIT, Cambridge, MA.617-253-2871. more
Spooky Skate @ MIT 10/31 Boston Metro
Also at MIT, they’ll set up a skating rink and a lot of people will come in costume. Last year they had arts & crafts and lots of free food. It doesn’t appear to be MIT community only. 8pm-12:30am.
MIT, Cambridge, MA. more
Harvard Scare! 10/30 Boston Metro
The larger festival is in Harvard Square, however. They’ll have a block party outside the Au Bon Pain, and the usual street performers will entice you to come spend money in local stores.
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. more
Rocky Horror Halloween Special – Boston 10/31 Boston Metro
The place to be in Harvard Square, though is really the theatre on Church Street, for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s a bad old movie that fans like to dress up and mock and re-enact live on stage while the film plays. This Halloween, the local groups will also do a special pre-show. I went once! Times are not given but I assume the show is at midnight as usual.
Loews Theatre, 11 Church St, Cambridge, MA. more
Rocky Horror Halloween Special – RI 10/28 – 10/31 Southern Mass
And another group is doing it at the Zeiterion Theater, New Bedford MA, and in Providence.
New Bedford, MA. more
Repo the Genetic Opera (the new Rocky Horror?) 10/31 Boston Metro
Tired of Rocky Horror? This film may be the next big hit: “Repo the Genetic Opera”. A theatrical cast reenacts the film as it plays on the big screen. They’ll also have a great theatrical preshow. 8pm.
Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA. more
AntiMorris at Sunset 10/31 Boston Metro
Just as strange, but more family-friendly, join up for “Pumpkin Carols” and see morris folk dancing in Somerville.
Somerville Community Growing Center, on Vinal Ave, Somerville, MA.617-718-9623. more
Halloween Contra Dance & Costume Party 10/31 Metro West
This one involves folk dancing that you can join in on! It’s really not as hard as you think, because the rules are lax and the people are friendly!
Scout House, 74 Walden Street, Concord, MA. more
Silent Rave 10/31 Boston Metro
Or dance hip hop or any style you want to your own mp3 player in this “silent” dance party. 8-11pm.
The Boston Public Gardens, by the Swan Boats doc, Boston, MA. more
Plenty of Bars Have Banal Halloween Events 10/24 – 10/31 Boston Metro
So you want to go to a costume ball? Avoid the bars! Look, any bar can put up a $200 costume contest and the idea is basically, come, drink, our patrons provide the decorations. You can get so much more creative. If you really need to go to a bar, see The Boston Phoenix or the Weekly Dig. Cambridge has a free “SAFEride” program if you get drunk, 617-876-5000 between 7pm Oct 31 and 3am Nov 1.
Boston, MA.
Annual Mayness & Madness Halloween Bash 10/31 Boston Metro
This one’s a typical “bar” event, run by a young professionals (i.e. singles) group.
McGann’s, 197 Portland St, Boston, MA. more
Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball 10/30 Boston Metro
But here are some much more creative options! Obviously, Salem is the place to go to see the best costume. Here’s a costume ball.
Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA. more
Haunted Monster Masquerade Bash 10/31 Northern Mass
Here’s another arty costume ball.
347 Kenoza Ave, Haverhill, MA. more
Halloween Parade & Contest @ Nantucket Island 10/31 Southern Mass
And here’s one on Nantucket Island.
Nantucket Island, MA. more
USS Constitution Halloween Haunt 10/31 Boston Metro
This daytime haunt and “Follow the Captain Costume Parade” is mainly for kids.
USS Constitution Museum, Boston, MA.617-426-1812. more
Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular 10/30 Rhode Island
Every night, thousands of pumpkins will light up Rhode Island’s favorite zoo. 6-11pm.
Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI.401-785-3510. more
Halloween Night Hike 10/29 Southern Mass
This park event is a nighttime walk to learn about forest creatures, and it’s followed by a campfire! 5:30-7pm.
194 Cranberry Road, South Carver, MA. more
Halloween Bike Ride 10/31 Boston Metro
Come bicycle a 14-mile route in costume in JP. Rain date: next day.
Meet at Green Street T Station, Jamaica Plain, MA. more
Beacon Hill With a BOO! 10/31 Boston Metro
My money would be on this event, though, with ghost stories and a spooky walking tour of Boston. No reservations required. This one’s not just for kids.
State House, front steps, Boston, MA. more
Society for Creative Anachronism Crown Tournament 10/31 Worcester
The SCA recreates a medieval theme at its events, with a lot of genuine history, but a lot of just fun as well. They’ll have a tournament of knightly battles and a feast.
Spencer, MA. more
Revealing the Truth – how many Stasi Secrets does Germany need to know? 10/28 Boston Metro
The German Institute, bucking Halloween week, is holding a serious evening of talks about East Germany’s repressive Stasi police. Now that’s scary.
170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA. more
NESBA Marching Band Competition 11/1 South Shore
This actually looks pretty interesting! Marching bands, especially the good ones, have so much talent.
415 Center St, Bridgewater MA. more
International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition 10/31 – 11/2 Boston Metro
As if building robots weren’t enough, MIT now leads an international contest to build biological systems. (Are they going to fight to the death in a public arena?).
MIT, Cambridge, MA. more

Also Fun
Cross Quarter Day 11/1 New Hampshire
I’ve been to this place and if there’s one thing the experts agree on, if it’s not a hoax exactly, it can’t be as interesting as the New Age Mysticism implies. Still, it’s a fun activity if you’re in the area, and it certainly is weird. They have an alpaca farm, and it’s open year-round, too. A bunch of insane paranormal types will pull the gullible along. Might be a fun show.
105 Haverhill Road, Salem, NH.603-893-8300. more
Howl-o-ween Pet Parade / Mike-FM Howl-oween 10/31 Boston Metro
I think I’d rather see the costumed creatures at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. 12-4pm.
Fanueil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA.617-523-1300 x7021. more
Live Animal Haunted House at Animal Adventures 10/30 – 10/31 Metro West
Animals are also the center of Dr. Scary’s slimy, scaly Halloween experience. Although it’s mainly for kids, for adults they include a giant snake and alligator feeding on Friday.
336 Sugar Road, Bolton, MA. more
Davis Farmland Costume Weekend and Parade 10/31 – 11/1 Worcester
Costume weekend & parade at everyone’s favorite corn maze.
145 Redstone Hill, Sterling, MA.978-422-8888. more
Brattle Trick or Treat 10/31 Boston Metro
Mainly for kids, there’s a free showing of Charlie Brown’s “Great Pumpkin”, followed by genuine horror films for adults in the evening.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA. more
Central Scare in Lynn 10/29 North Shore
Also for kids, they’ll have a haunted house and costume contest, ghost stories and mask-making. This one seems to be theater-based and not a raw commercial event.
Lynn, MA. more
Pumpkin Carving 10/29 Boston Metro
Register in advance to get a pumpkin and come carve it.
Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA. more
Halloween event 11/1 Western Mass
A not-so-scary festival follows Halloween in Lenox. 3-5pm.
Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA. more
Haunted Forest @ Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary 10/30 Cape Cod
Also not so scary (for kids 6-12), is the haunted forest at this Cape Cod park. 5:45pm-8:15pm.
291 State Highway, Route 6, South Wellfleet, MA. more
Falmouth Halloween Parade 10/31 Cape Cod
This business event encourages people to “stroll” through the merchant district and go trick-or-treating. And buy stuff.
Main Street, Falmouth, MA.508-548-9888. more
Full Moon Tour @ Gore Place 11/2 Metro West
Gore Place will show you what a night of candlelight used to look like, in their old-timey house. 7pm.
52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA.781-894-2798. more
Boston Vegetarian Festival 10/31 – 11/1 Boston Metro
Although this is a commercial event, with lots of vendors, there will also be lectures and a lot of education if you’re curious (or already into) the vegetarian lifestyle.
Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St, Boston, MA.617-424-8846. more
Boston Palestine Film Festival 10/16 – 11/1 Boston Metro
This film festival seems to truly be a festival, not just a series of screenings. They’ll have an opening reception and a few filmmakers appearing to present some of the showings.
Various, Boston, MA. more
Williamstown Film Festival 10/23 – 11/1 Western Mass
This one’s far more ‘real’, although way out in Western Massachusetts. As well as the films there will be several artist discussions and socials.
Various Places, Williamstown, MA.413-458-9900. more
Halloween Parade – Charlestown Mothers Association 10/31 Boston Metro
This Halloween parade is another that smells like “for kids”. 5pm.
Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown, MA. more
Superhero 5K Road Race 11/1 Boston Metro
Yet another charity walk. Um, run.
Central Square, Cambridge, MA. more
Daylight Savings Time Ends 11/1 Everywhere
Don’t forget to set your clocks forward an hour this weekend.
Everywhere, Everywhere.

The Donkey Show 8/21 – 1/2 Boston Metro
The Donkey Show is actually not ending! Performances will continue through January (but I’ll stop listing it weekly). It’s a 1970s disco dance party that you can join in, with a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. By itself, that would be worth seeing. But then they take it one level higher with special effects, and then one level higher than THAT with a twist ending. I’ve seen a lot of weird events in my time. This one is a must-see!
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA. more
Fall Foliage Hiking Around New England 10/10 – 11/10 Worcester
Fall foliage is going strong in the Berkshires. Where’s a good place to go to see Fall Foliage closer to Boston? The closest is the Blue Hills in Canton, MA, Wachusett Mountain Reservation (which is the same mountain but a separate entrance from Mt. Wachusett Ski Resort), and the Berkshires. Or go north to Mount Monadnock in southern NH. Don’t have a car? Try the Middlesex Fells which you can get to on the subway. Or see this website for other parks.
Various, Various. more

Recurring Events
Canstruction 10/19 – 11/6 Boston Metro
What does Food Bank, the charity, have a lot of? Canned food! What can you do with cans? Build lots of towers! Engineers & architects compete to build buildings and sculptures.
The Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Boston, MA. more
Out on the Edge Festival 10/25 – 11/15 Boston Metro
This ‘festival’ is mainly a series of performances, but they’ll have several post-show audience discussions and events to socialize at. Theatre, a satire of TV news, a comedy about beauty pageants, a costume contest, and lots of gay frivolity, wink wink.
Various Places, Boston, MA. more
National Novel Writing Month 11/1 – 11/30 Boston Metro
Do you want to write a book? Join other procrastinators and break through by doing it all in just one month. (Don’t worry, you can revise it later.) They’ll have several local events for writers to meet each other, be inspired, and even work side-by-side in a “you can do it” environment.
Check Their Slow Website, Everywhere. more
Concord Festival of Authors 10/21 – 11/8 Metro West
This “festival” is really a series of author events and book readings, but many of them look quite interesting, especially dry southern humorist Roy Blount, Jr. on Oct 15 (the kind of guy who likes the cartoon Marmaduke), and a spooky night of thrillers and Dracula Oct 31.
Various Places, Concord, MA. more
Salem Halloween Happenings 10/1 – 10/31 North Shore
Salem is on the commuter rail and there’s no excuse to miss it this time of year. JUST GO. All the attractions are located near the visitors’ center. Avoid anything that looks touristy. I recommend: the Pirate Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, The Peabody Essex Museum, and catch the theatre shows at the House of Seven Gables. Rt 128N to exit 25A, Rt 114E, follow signs to visitor’s center.
Park at Visitors Center and walk around, Salem, MA.978-740-1650. more
Salem Pumpkin Festival on the Commons 10/17 – 10/31 North Shore
Beyond just “lots of pumpkins”, they’ll have a 1,000 lb monster pumpkin and a hay bale maze! I just saw it! And they have a moonbounces, too. 10am-5pm, Nov 1-2. JUST GO TO SALEM, ok?
Salem Common, Salem, MA. more
Gorefest at Improv Boston 10/22 – 10/31 Boston Metro
My favorite improv comedy club is doing a spoof on slasher films that have a lot of blood. It sounds pretty gross, but it might be funny if you’re totally inured to horror flicks. 8pm but some days also 10pm.
Improv Boston, 40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA.617-576-1253. more


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