Halloween week is finally upon us, and we've packed our weekly roundup of best things to do with all sorts of spooky, scary events to partake in, from Boo! Seattle to the SLAY Film Festival. And if the frightening holiday isn't quite your cup of tea, there are still plenty of options as per usual, from a talk with Patrisse Cullors and Ijeoma Oluo to Soccer Mommy to Who? Weekly LIVE! Read on for all the options, or check out our guide to this year's top Halloween events. Plus, don't forget that the new King County vaccine mandate goes into effect this week, so you'll need to have proof that you're vaxxed to attend many of these events.
Dead Can Dance
Given their name, it's fitting that Australian duo Dead Can Dance fall into the darkwave genre. The band has been around since the early '80s, surviving a couple of hiatuses, and is known to incorporate various elements into their sound, such as African polyrhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chants, Middle Eastern mantras, and art rock.
(Paramount Theatre, Downtown)
London-based rockers Wolf Alice effortlessly transition from a serene and subtle sound one moment to a raucous cacophony the next. Their three albums to date—My Love is Cool, Visions of a Life, and Blue Weekend—are all Mercury Prize nominees and have been critically lauded, and it's high time more folks in the U.S. cotton on to their "feral and sophisticated" (The Daily Telegraph) brilliance.
(The Showbox, Downtown)
Gimme Shelter Virtual Benefit Concert
Seattle-based Americana band Billy Joe & The Dusty 45s put together an "exhilarating mix of rock, brass, rockabilly, jazz, surf guitar, old country, rhythm and blues and honky tonk." They will play a virtual show, which was pre-recorded at the Tractor Tavern, for the 13th annual Gimme Shelter benefit. All funds will be going toward training opportunities for Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) staff as they serve houseless Seattleites along with those in permanent supportive housing.
READINGS & TALKS
Seattle Arts & Lectures presents: Patrisse Cullors in Conversation with Ijeoma Oluo
Activist Patrisse Cullors is the author of the New York Times-bestselling When They Call You A Terrorist and the upcoming An Abolitionists Handbook, and the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. She will be joined in conversation with Seattle-based writer and creator of the Our Existence Beyond Trauma Series Ijeoma Oluo for this virtual event, which is co-presented by Langston Seattle.
Baron Von Terror presents: Halloween III: Season of The Witch
Your host Baron Von Terror is back haunting Central Cinema once more, with the divisive horror threequel Halloween III. The "surprisingly horny" flick doesn't feature classic Halloween baddie Michael Myers, but instead delves into the supernatural and has a gang of murderous, mysterious men in suits.
(Central Cinema, Central District)
Who? Weekly LIVE!
Hosted by writers and longtime friends Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber, Who? Weekly hilariously "tells you everything you need to know about celebrities you don’t." Pick up an acute knowledge of C-list celebs via the duo's deep dives, listener call-ins, fun games, and additional expertise brought by special guests.
(Showbox Sodo, SoDo)
READINGS & TALKS
Home Cooking Virtual Event: A Celebration of Laurie Colwin with Ruth Reichl, Deb Perelman, and Stephanie Danler
In celebration of the re-release of two titles (Home Cooking and More Home Cooking) by the cherished food writer and passionate home cook Laurie Colwin, three of today's most popular voices in the food world—Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, Sweetbitter and Stray author Stephanie Danler, and food writer and restaurant critic Ruth Reichl—will discuss Colwin and her work in a conversation moderated by Kerry Diamond of the indie food mag Cherry Bombe.
(Book Larder, Fremont)
Brooklyn-based duo Sleigh Bells juxtaposes sweet vocals and pop hooks from singer Alexis Krauss with harsh guitar riffs and production by Derek E. Miller. The resulting sound is addictive noise pop that keeps you on your toes, especially at the band's energetic live shows. Their first album in five years, Texis, was released in September.
(The Showbox, Downtown)
Scary Good Seattle: Halloween with Gifted Gab!
Mulo Music Network and Mediums Collective have teamed up to produce this art and music showcase, which will include a costume contest, vendors, prizes, art displays, and more. You'll also hear some scary good performances from Gifted Gab (of Blimes and Gab), Jango, Holly Michelle, and Nestra, Bundy & Critical.
(Chop Suey, Capitol Hill)
Nightmare On Vera Street: A Cover Show Benefit For The University District Food Bank
Take your costume for a test run before the weekend at this cover show which will include plenty of throwback tracks from the likes of Green Day, Weezer, Blink-182, SOPHIE, Descendents, Fall Out Boy, and more. The show is benefitting the University District Food Bank, so roll up with some shelf-stable food or hygiene products if you're able to.
(Vera Project, Uptown)
SLAY Seattle: Halloween Edition
The recurring hip-hop party for LGBTQ+, people of color, and allies is throwing a Halloween-themed bash for their October edition. We expect plenty of tracks by the queen slayer herself, Beyoncé. Meanwhile, you can slay the competition with your pitch perfect costume during the event's costume contest, and take a photo for posterity in the free Halloween-themed "Booth of Bass" photo booth.
(The Crocodile, Belltown)
Greer: Happy People Tour
Orange County three-piece Greer has accomplished quite a bit in their three-year career. The band originally formed to play their high school homecoming dance, but landed a record deal soon after releasing their first single. Their youthful exuberance can be heard on their debut EP Lullaby for You, and the titular track of their tour, which will lead into a four-track EP in November. Greer will be joined by fellow California indie rockers Momma for their Seattle tour stop, for which they've issued the following warning: "Attend in costume or attend in shame!!"
(Chop Suey, Capitol Hill)
READINGS & TALKS
Anne Elizabeth Moore with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore — Gentrifier: A Memoir
Cultural critic, artist, and editor Anne Elizabeth Moore's new memoir, Gentrifier, "takes on the thorny ethics of owning and selling property as a white woman in a majority Black city and a majority Bangladeshi neighborhood with both intelligence and humor." Offering a new persepctive on Detroit, the work examines Virginia Woolf's age-old idea of a room of one's own after Moore is awarded a free house in the city's Banglatown neighborhood. The author will be joined in conversation by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (The Freezer Door).
Seattle Oddities & Curiosities Expo 2021
Find one-of-a-kind conversation-starting pieces for your home (read: tasteful Halloween decor!) at this expo which brings together vendors and dealers from all over the country. You'll discover oddities of all sorts here, including taxidermy and preserved specimens, original artwork, horror pieces, antiques, quack medical devices, clothing and jewelry, skulls and bones, funeral collectibles, and more.
(Washington State Convention & Trade Center, Downtown)
Thrill The World
The Friends of Normandy Park Foundation presents the annual Thrill the World event in partnership with the Seattle Thrillers dancers. The Thrillers will perform Michael Jackson's iconic "Thriller" choreography in tandem with numerous other groups worldwide. Along with the thrilling performance, the event will include a costume contest, a pumpkin giveaway, a socially distant kids' craft booth, live music by Vote for Pedro, a scavenger hunt, a beer garden, and more.
(Normandy Park Towne Center, Normandy Park)
FOOD & DRINK
Make like a zombie and shamble over to this undead-themed dinner at Hotel Sorrento, featuring a graveyard menu, cocktails, photo booth, tarot readers, ghost tours, and a costume contest with prizes like hotel stays and gift certificates.
(STELLA., Capitol Hill)
With no support act on his tour (aptly titled the Double Down Tour), 2016 CMA Album of the Year winner Eric Church (and the Eric Church Band) will play two full and unique sets, with an intermission in between if you need a break from all that country-rockin'.
(Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown)
EYELIDS, Victor Krummenacher's Flying Circus, The Yes Masters
Current and former members of indie rock royalty The Decemberists and Guided By Voices come together to make "lopsided rock." Catch them on their RE-Accidental Falls Tour with Seattle-based punk band the Yes Masters and Camper Van Beethoven co-founder Victor Krummenacher.
(Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack and Watering Hole, Industrial District)
Nancy Wilson of Heart with the Seattle Symphony
Iconic rock singer Nancy Wilson (of Heart) will pair her impressive pipes with the Seattle Symphony for a not-to-be-missed cross-genre collab. Backed by a full symphony, Wilson will belt hits like "Barracuda," "These Dreams," and "Crazy on You" as you've never heard them. She'll also be performing tracks from her first-ever solo album, You and Me, released earlier this year.
(Benaroya Hall, Downtown)
4th Annual Sámi Film Festival
The National Nordic Museum hosts the fourth annual Sámi Film Fest in partnership with Scandinavia House in New York and the Pacific Sámi Searvi in Seattle. This year's hybrid event will offer in-person and virtual programming, exploring Sámi values, visions, and stories through film. Along with a curated selection of contemporary Sámi documentaries and short films, the festival will include a virtual panel with some of the film's directors.
(National Nordic Museum, Ballard)
The Indian festival of lights meets Halloween at this luminous bash thrown by BollyGrooves. Anshul and Tamm will play Bollywood and haunted mashups while you get your fortune told, don free glow-in-the-dark accessories and enjoy free candy, have your lewk captured by professional photographers, and more.
(The Crocodile, Belltown)
Bollywood Horror Halloween Costume Dance Party with DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid
"Cower at the thundering dhols and shiver at the piercing wails of Bollywood divas" at the Seattle debut of the longest-running Bollywood Halloween party in the world (19 years and counting!) hosted by Portland-based duo DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid. They'll be joined by Seattle's own Adam McCollom on the dhol (an Indian double-headed drum) at this costume-mandatory dance night.
(LoFi, South Lake Union)
Come on In | Faye Driscoll
Last year, On the Boards rocked my little COVID bubble with their presentation of A Thousand Ways, 600 HIGHWAYMEN's intimate and interactive bit of autotheater. In a similar move, for the next couple of weeks, the theater will present an adaptation of New York-based choreographer Faye Driscoll's Come on In, an experiential exhibition that invites audience members to "reconceive the body and its limits." Originally presented and co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, this piece has been specifically adapted to OtB's Merrill Theater. Come on In is crafted around audio pieces called Guided Choreography for the Living and the Dead that visitors listen to via headset on raised beds inside the space. On OtB's website, Driscoll says that as the audience her voice "they are guided into a private dance and become a collection of slowly moving sculptures. They become my work." Margo Vansynghel over at Crosscut wrote that the performance space looks like "a spa from some uncanny valley." Doesn't that sound nice? JAS KEIMIG
(On the Boards, Uptown)
Halloween 2021 Day Party : SafeSpace Ent. presents "Boogie Town"
Come on down to Boogie Town where you'll be "transported back and forth in time from 'cuttin a rug' to the 'twerkalator.'" This daytime affair will highlight Black culture and community with a soul food menu by Lindo, '70s bops by DJ BOP, and fashion via a costume contest that will award a cash prize to "best dressed" and "best in character."
(The Station, Beacon Hill)
The Atomic Bombshells... PUT A SPELL ON YOU!
Seattle burlesque troupe the Atomic Bombshells are brewing some serious magic in their cauldrons for this one night only BOO-lesque spectacular. You'll be dazzled by award-winning show-ghouls and guys, special guest stars Sailem, Woody Shticks, and Markeith Wiley, and maybe even some surprise guests. Show up and show out for the audience costume contest, and you'll have a chance at winning some scary good prizes.
(Oddfellows West Hall, Capitol Hill)
The found footage extravaganza's annual Halloween celebration will include prize drawings, a costume contest, and a special live performance. Laugh, cry, scream, or cycle through all of the above as hosts Shane Wahlund and Michael Anderson take you through a "phantasmagoria of hilariously hair-raising film freakouts, outrageous oddball video, and bone-chilling music, all remixed and mashed-up into one eerily epic entertainment."
(SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill)
BeautyBoiz go BOO: Seven Deadly Sins
The BeautyBoiz collective was first conceived at a Halloween house party, so they always turn it out for their annual costume bash. This year, they're taking over Supernova with seven sinful performances (each member will embody one of the seven deadly sins), an epic dance floor with DJs Ricki Leigh, PAPI.WAV, and Alfonso Tan, an open runway complete with fashion photographers, gogo dancers, and appearances from local legends like Arson Nicki and CarLarans.
(Supernova Seattle, SoDo)
Spooky Kpop Night & Squid Game
Looking for somewhere to show off your "red light, green light" robot girl costume? Dance the night away to K-pop hits at this party and participate in a "mini Squid Game" (which hopefully won't include the body count or backstabbing depicted in the runaway Netflix sensation).
(Trinity Nightclub, Pioneer Square)
At only 24 years of age, indie rock darling Soccer Mommy is wise beyond her years. Lyrics confronting her ongoing mental health struggles and issues from her upbringing are set against creative sounds such as floppy disk samples, drum machines, and bubble sound effects in her critically acclaimed 2020 album color theory.
(Neptune Theatre, University District)
Doom Funk Halloween featuring General Mojos, The Cumbieros and Moose Almighty!
Nectar & Solid Sound present a local lineup of bands representing different genres, from the "shimmering psych-pop" of General Mojos to the "new cumbia" meets ska group The Cumbieros to the indie rock jam band Moose Almighty.
FOOD & DRINK
Round up your coven for a witchy tea service at the historic and possibly haunted Hotel Sorrento. Costumes are encouraged, and craft cocktails will be available in addition to the menu of teatime treats.
(Hotel Sorrento, First Hill)
Seattle Erotic Art Festival 2021
An expansive event brimming with sex positivity, the Seattle Erotic Art Festival curates top-notch erotic art from around the world to feast your eyes on. During regular festival hours, check out the art, festival store, and daily entertainment including poetry readings, pantomime, and acrobatic displays. After hours, there's a marked vibe change to sexy party times with more titillating performances, DJs, dancing, and a bar.
(Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, Uptown, Friday-Sunday)
SLAY Film Festival
From the folks who bring you the sexy film fest HUMP! and stoner showcase SPLIFF, comes the second annual SLAY Film Festival to scare your pants off. Expect everything from "classic ghost stories and slasher films, to dystopian cults and political nightmares." Special guest Old Witch will host in-person screenings over Hallo-weekend and is sure to have some tricks up her sleeve.
(SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill, Friday-Saturday)
FOOD & DRINK
Seattle Restaurant Week
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over Seattle Restaurant Week, which happens twice a year and lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. The proceedings have adapted a bit in the wake of COVID-19's devastating impact on the restaurant industry: This fall, over 200 restaurants across over 45 cities and neighborhoods in the Seattle area will offer special menus for $20 lunches, $35 and/or $50 dinners, with options for takeout, delivery, and/or dine-in. The lineup this year includes Cafe Munir, Nirmal's, Vendemmia, Rondo, Tamari Bar, Communion/That Brown Girl Cooks!, Sawyer, Revel, Paseo, and other notable favorites.
(Various locations, Monday-Sunday)
Thirteen Days of Tak-BOO!
Top Chef star Shota Nakajima's popular karaage fried chicken joint is getting in on the spooky season fun with this series of Halloween-themed events and specials, including blood-red yuzu curd donuts, viewings of Beetlejuice and The Lost Boys, bingo, a virtual cocktail demo, horror trivia, and a pop-up takeover from White Center's upcoming wrestling-themed Lariat Bar with a wrestling costume contest. The festivities culminate in a pre-Halloween monster bash kickoff party with food and drink specials and a costume contest judged by Shota himself, with a chance to win signed swag.
(Taku, Capitol Hill, Monday-Sunday)
A Nightmare on Wall Street
As a spooky-season tradition, Belltown’s award-winning tiki bar Navy Strength temporarily transforms into a “fully immersive haunting experience" each October, with libations inspired by classic and modern horror flicks. Staff will dress up in costumes, and there will be a different theme each weekend if you want to join in. Frightening horror-film soundtracks contribute to the spine-chilling milieu. This year's lineup includes cocktails inspired by Sleepaway Camp, It, Carrie, The Babadook, Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, and more, available for both takeout and dine-in.
(Navy Strength, Belltown, Monday-Sunday)
This annual haunted village of doom—which takes place in an actual former morgue—hosts scares all throughout autumn.
(Georgetown Morgue, Industrial District, Wednesday–Sunday)
See the likes of Blossom, Kaskade, Rusko, and more on three themed stages and scream your lungs out on ghoulishly fun rides at this spooktacular Hallo-weekend festival which will also feature larger-than-life art installations and roaming performers.
(WaMu Theater, SoDo, Friday–Saturday)
Earshot Jazz Festival 2021
This year's hybrid Earshot Jazz Festival will provide swingin' in-person and virtual experiences from a lengthy lineup including headlining Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, featured resident artist Marina Albero, Eugenie Jones, Kareem Kandi World Orchestra, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and many more.
(Various locations and virtual, Monday-Sunday)
Seattle Opera performs this classic four-act opera portraying young Parisians living the Bohemian lifestyle and following their love lives and creative pursuits. Get swept up by Puccini's moving score in this "timeless story of love and loss."
(McCaw Hall, Uptown, Wednesday & Saturday)
The cast of Valtesse Productions brings back their sexy and sinister revue for Halloween, "Dripping in erotic art, red and black velvet curtains, ornate rooms, secret corners, candles, and sensuality." Marvel at dance and burlesque performances in addition to contortion and aerial arts acts. Guests are encouraged to attend in costume, or red and black cocktail attire/fetish wear.
(Little Red Day Spa, Industrial District, Wednesday–Saturday)
What We Were
Pony World Theatre makes their live performance return with the West Coast premiere of Blake Hackler's award-winning What We Were. The play is set over a span of 20 years, looking at the lives of three sisters who have been impacted by their abusive childhood. When youngest sister Tessa resurfaces after her disappearance 17 years ago, the family is forced to deal with their troubled past head-on and find ways to heal.
(12th Avenue Arts, Capitol Hill, Thursday-Saturday)
HAUNTED HO[US]E: Our House is on Fire
This immersive theater art experience will frighten you the best way they know how: with the reality of climate change. Curated by Lux Gypsum and featuring collaborative visual and performance pieces, you'll "wander through a dark maze, haunted by the shadows of our time... from the deflective bargaining of 'Fossil Fool' business executives to the desperate pleas of the hungry ghosts of consumerism." Afterward, shake it off during live music performances and take comfort in the fact that a portion of the event funds will go towards frontline climate actions.
(Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Fremont, Friday-Saturday)
This Is Halloween
Inspired by the Tim Burton classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, this original musical adaptation features Can Can Productions' signature cabaret and burlesque production stylings, live orchestral music, haunting vocals, and video projections. This is pumpkin king Jack Skellington as you've never seen him.
(Triple Door, Downtown, Friday-Sunday)
Misfit Cabaret Presents Asylum Seattle
The San Francisco-based Darling Misfits and their fearless leader Kat Robichaud will unlock the secrets of Alcazar Asylum in a horrifically fun cabaret including acts by burlesque babe Mia Maravilla, drag darlings, "demon aerialist" Jenny Penny, and more. Settle in for an evening of cult classic horror tropes cut with contemporary music, movie references, musical medleys, and dry humor.
(Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub, Fremont, Friday-Saturday)
Paper Dialogues: The Dragon and Our Stories
This exhibit is the result of a cross-cultural artistic collaboration that began between Danish papercutting artist Bit Vejle and fine arts professor Xiaoguang Qiao during a strained period in the early to mid 2010s for Sino-Norwegian diplomatic relations. The pair explore their respective culture's approach to papercutting (which is thought to have originated in China over 1,500 years ago) and chose the dragon, a common motif in both Nordic and Chinese art, to compare and contrast techniques. Opening day (Thurs Oct 28) will include a virtual artist talk with Bit Vejle.
(National Nordic Museum, Ballard, Thursday-Sunday; opening)
Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection
View 19 works from the collection of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis, gifted by the Friday Foundation. Frisson spans a post-war period between 1945-1976, with paintings, drawings, and sculptures tracing the artistic development of influential American and European abstract expressionists such as Francis Bacon, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and others.
(Seattle Art Museum, Downtown, Wednesday-Sunday)