Ah, Halloween! As the evenings cool off and the crisp winds pick up, gently swaying the limbs of trees and the rocking the creaky, antiquated houses of Asheville, don’t you just want to curl up in your house with a cup of tea and a good book and await those happy trick-or-treaters? Or do you get totally creeped out and want to get out amongst the people as quickly as possible?
If you prefer the latter, you’re in luck, because there’s plenty going on on All Hallow’s Eve (and a few eves leading up to it, too) for you to get yourself into. So why not grab yourself some coat-hangers and toilet-paper tubes, whip up a costume and get out there?
• Haunted Inn Haunted House and Halloween Dance: Looking for a laid-back, family friendly Halloween experience? You might want to check out the the goings-on at the Mountain Breeze Resort (656 North Fork Road.) in Barnardsville. With spectular decorations, a dance on Halloween night and plenty of activities to occupy your little screamers, this might just be the event you are looking for. Open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27, and Halloween night. $8 Haunted Inn only, $4 Halloween Dance only, $10 for both. www.mountainbreezeresort.com or 626-4049.
• Pinhead’s Graveyard: Want to be scared out of your gourd? Check out Pinhead’s Graveyard, Asheville’s outdoor haunted-house experience. All your favorite slashers will be on hand for this killer event (now in it’s 11th year), which runs nighly through Saturday, Nov. 3. Located on Smokey Park Highway. $10 admission. www.pinheadsgraveyard.com or 670-8228.
• “Shock in the Corn” Haunted Corn Maze: Featuring six acres of “corn-fusion,” the Blue Ridge Corn Maze becomes a frightingly fun affair as you try to find your way out of this most terrifying of agricultural events. Open Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27, $8 per person. www.blueridgecornmaze.com or 884-4415.
• Rocky Horror Picture Show: It’s not particularly scary, but this gender-bending flick is more fun than all the flying toilet paper in the world. The Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company holds three screenings of the film from Monday to Wednesday, Oct. 29 to 31, at 10 p.m. $2. www.ashevillepizza.com or 254-1281.
• Asheville Parks & Rec Halloween Events: With far more going on than we have room to print here, check out our complete calendar listings for these events under “Festivals and Gatherings,” or visit them online at www.ashevillenc.gov or call 259-5800.
Friday, Oct. 26
• Dance Macabre II: This pre-Halloween costume party takes place at The Garage on Biltmore, and feautres a huge showcase of local talent, including Menage, GFE, Avec La Force, Jenny Greer, Gavin McGowan, Unifire and DJ Bowie. Better yet, it’s all you can drink! $20. Located at 101 Fairview Road. #C, starts at 9 p.m. 676-9431.
Saturday, Oct. 27
• Halloween Dog Festival: Who says your furry friend can’t trick-or-treat with the best of them? Thanks to Blaze-N-Skyy Pet Boutique & Wellness Center and the Animal Compassion Network, your pooch-turned-vampire (or pirate) can beg for treats in a whole new way. Located at the corner of Battery Park and Otis streets in downtown Asheville, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free to attend, $10 per entry for a variety of contest categories. 253-2850.
• Healthy Trick or Treat: Candy is great and all, but maybe it’s time to start looking into healthier alternatives to candy corn. Come dressed in costume with your goodie bags open to receive free healthy trick-or-treat items. Pumpkin painting, trickster scavenger hunts and costume contests are also included in this free event. Located at Earth Fare. www.earthfare.com or 210-0100.
• Halloween Scary Drag Show: Who knows more about dressing up and having a good time than a bunch of drag queens? And with talented performers like Sirreal, Jada Michaels, Blaize and Simone on stage, you can expect a highly entertaining night of slightly scary good times. DJ Ryan takes requests after the show. Located at Club Hairspray. www.clubhairspray.com or 258-2027.
• 5th Circle Halloween Party: When it comes to Halloween, you’ve got to give mad props to the gothic/industrial set, as they know how to do it right. With $150 in prizes up for grabs, expect a night of excellent dance music and wild costumes at the Joli Rouge. Starts at 10 p.m., $5 cover, 21-and-older. Located at 130 College St. 350-1660.
• Day of the Dead/White Dog Costume Ball and Celebration: Celebrate Dia de Los Muertes with the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre and White Dog Dance ProjectX. Cash bar, and cash prizes for best costume. And best of all, it’s free. Located at Shelley Pareda Camp’s Studio, Studio 140D on Roberts Street in the River Arts District. 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. 254-2621.
Wednesday, Oct. 31: Halloween night
• 12 Annual Public Samhain Ritual: This yearly gathering of Pagans, witches and other like-minded folks has become something of a Earth-based religion micro-festival, featuring not only the Samhain (that’s Halloween to the rest of us) ritual but also a variety of family-friendly events. A corn maze, diviniation, costume contest, fire dancing and oodles of kids games (such as “bat bowling”) are scheduled. Located at the Unity Center in Fletcher (2041 Old Fanning Bridge Road.). 251-0343.
• Widespread Panic: It’s the night’s big event. Get complete details in Smart Bets, and be on the look out for our complete coverage in the Oct. 31 Xpress.
• Official Widespread Panic Afterparty: It seems like everyone wants to keep the party going after the Widespread Panic Halloween Show. The Orange Peel presents their official after party event with RAQ and DJ Logic. The party starts at 10 p.m., and will set you back a mere $10. www.theorangepeel.net or 225-5851.
• Halloween at Stella Blue: Kicking off the evening is a performance by rockers The Campaign 1984 and Black Hook. Later in the evening, groove out to the sounds of Outformation’s Sam Holt as he hosts their Widespread Panic after party. 236-2424.
• Halloween at Hairspray: Featuring music by DJ Victory, tarot readings, costume contests, a drag show, musical performances by Snake Oil Medicine Show and “haunted” bus rides with LaZoom Tours. Located at Club Hairspray. 8 p.m. until the wee hours. Tickets $15, reservations strongly recommended. Learn more at www.lazoomtours.com, www.clubhairspray.com or 258-2027.
• Pumpkin Peddlar: Why walk around in costume when you could pedal? This costumed bike ride starts at Pritchard Park and rolls over the ghoulish grounds of Asheville before burying itself at the Wedge Gallery’s Halloween Bash. The ride starts at 6 p.m. Free.
• Wedge Gallery Halloween Bash: It’s two parties for the price of one! The night starts off with a Family Friendly Halloween Carnival featuring the EMBE Marimba Band. There will be plenty of family-oriented events, including pumpkin carving and a costume parade—not to mention tons of games and prizes. The Carnival starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m., meaning your little monsters can still make their bedtime. But the fun doesn’t end there! The Wedge then presents something for the older kids in the crowd, the Adult Costume Party, featuring performances by the Stephanie Morgan Trio, Ruby Slippers, Unifire and the Firecracker Jazz Band. Located at 151 Roberts St. 712-0846
• Westville Pub Halloween Party and Costume Contest: Sure, there’s a lot happening downtown, but why bother leaving West Asheville when you’ve got an event like this? Live music provided. Located at 777 Haywood Road. 225-9782.
• Bad Taste Costume Dance Party: With prizes for “scantiest costume” and “costume based on the worst pun,” expect this to be a truly fun, undeniably politically incorrect event to remember. Music provided by DJ (Bad) Tastemaker. Held at the Joli Rouge, and starts at 10 p.m. Located at 130 College St. 350-1660.
[Ethan Clark is a freelance writer and cartoonist based in New Orleans.]