Halloween events in and around WNC

FEAR FACTOR: Accolades for The Haunted Farm include Best Haunted House in North Carolina. The Hendersonville-based destination opens its new DEATHYARD experience, billed as “55 minutes of fear and scares,” this year. Photo courtesy of The Haunted Farm

With Halloween proper falling midweek, the opportunities to celebrate span several days leading up to and following the quintessential autumnal observance. Costume contests, masquerade parties, ghost tours and otherworldly locales all serve as settings for alter egos to strut their stuff. For more eerie events and spooky spectacles, visit Calendar, Clubland and mountainx.com. Events take place in Asheville unless otherwise noted.

• Billed as “Asheville’s best family-friendly haunt,” The Haunted Trail at Pisgah Brewing Co. returns for its seventh year. Expect a “a heart-pumping walk … with live actors, spooky sounds and spectacular props,” as the brewery’s website reveals, followed by Halloween crafts, local food trucks and more. 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain. Wednesday, Oct. 23, to Sunday, Oct. 27, 6:30-9 p.m. $9 in advance for ages 4-9/$11 day of event; $11 in advance for ages 10 and older/$13 day of event; free for children 3 and younger. pisgahbrewing.com

• It’s hard to argue the chilling effect of young Danny Torrance chanting, “Redrum. Redrum,” in The Shining. The Magnetic Theatre ushers in yet more disturbing moments with its production of The Horror Show: Tales from the Red Room, “a theatrical homage to cinematic horror anthologies,” according to a press release. Local playwrights David Brendan Hopes, Jamieson Ridenhour and Rodney Smith (who also directs) present spooky one-act plays. 375 Depot St. Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 24-26, 7:30 p.m. $23 general/$10 students. themagnetictheatre.org

• While “longest running haunt in the area” might be a dubious distinction much of the year, come late October, it’s a good accolade to have. The honor goes to Pinhead’s Graveyard, a guided trail walk featuring horror-movie favorites such as Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, Otis and Jeepers Creepers. A less scary option is available for families with young children. 2099 Asheville Highway, Canton. Thursday, Oct. 24, to Saturday, Nov. 2. Times listed on website. $25. pinheadsgraveyard.com

PART OF THE SHOW: The Mountainside Theatre in Cherokee hosts ‘The Sleepy Hollow Experience,’ where the audience becomes part of the action. Photo courtesy of the theater company

• Just the name, Haunts and Hollers, is eerie. During the North Asheville Public Library program, appropriate for ages 10 and older, “ballad-singer Saro Lynch-Thomason shares Appalachian songs and folklore of ghosts, death, magic and mystery,” the event preview reveals. “Appalachians have long enjoyed tales and songs about the return of the dead, enchanted animals and magic-wielding women.” 1030 Merrimon Ave. Thursday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Free. avl.mx/56k

• Costumed guides from the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center lead the annual Historic Haunted House Tour in downtown Black Mountain. “Participants will wind through what, at one time, was a morgue operated by James W. McKoy,” explains a description of the adventure. Another of the many stops is “the juke joint that provided entertainment for African American residents and visitors during segregation.” 223 W. State St., Black Mountain. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26, 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m. $25 members/$35 nonmembers. swannanoavalleymuseum.org

• The Orange Peel and Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. co-host a Halloween Kid-Hop Hooray party with an open dance area, DJ Oso spinning tunes appropriate for all ages, a costume contest, crafts, a bounce house and snacks. 75 Coxe Ave. Saturday, Oct. 26, drop in 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $3-$5. theorangepeel.net

• More family fun happens at Urban Orchard Cider Co.’s West Asheville location. Among the festivities are a costume parade, doughnut on a string, cookies from OWL Bakery and ciders for the whole family. 210 Haywood Road. Saturday, Oct. 26, 2 p.m. urbanorchardcider.com

HAUNT-HOP: The Secret Agency brings a 23 Ring Circus to The Orange Peel. Along with b-boys, balloon animals, jugglers and hula-hoopers, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will debut the new track “Ain’t No Party Like Halloween.” Photo courtesy of The Secret Agency

• Later the same day, Urban Orchard’s South Slope location is home to Into the Abyss, celebrating both Halloween and the cider company’s sixth anniversary. Cousin TL, DJ Malinalli and The Free Range DJ all perform, and fire cider flights will be available. 24 Buxton Ave. Noon-1 a.m. with shuttles from the West Asheville taproom 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Free. urbanorchardcider.com

• Musical acts Bleedseason, Eye of the Destroyer, A World of Lies, Fractured Frames and I, The Supplier all take the stage for The Odditorium’s fourth annual Halloween Metal Festival. The all-ages evening also promises a glow party, costume contest, tarot card readings, a food truck and a Mortal Kombat 11 tournament. 1045 Haywood Road. Saturday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m. $10. ashevilleodditorium.com

• The Carolina Lowdown Band, featuring Jesse Barry, provides the soundtrack at Pack’s 10th annual Halloween Bash. Music begins at 9:30 p.m., and the party kicks off at 8 p.m. at Pack’s Tavern. Cash prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. 20 S. Spruce St. Saturday, Oct. 26. packstavern.com

• “Join the fairy godmothers as they frolic among the good folks,” says a Facebook invite for the Festival of Heroes and Goblin Market at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater. The lineup includes a marquee steel sword tournament by the Warriors of Ash, a medieval battle and dancing by SCA Barony of Hawkwood, Balkan folk band Black Sea Beat Society, Finnish folk band Slack Bird, arts, crafts, food and more. 92 Gay St. Saturday, Oct. 26, noon-10 p.m. Free. avl.mx/6l4

• “Hope you gals and guys and best pals can ride a wave to Ole Shakey’s Getaway for cocktails and corpses,” says the invite for the The Haunted Beach Party. Attendees to the LGBTQAI+ celebration are encouraged to interpret the theme in costume anyway that suits, from vintage surf vibes to Halloween chic. “Tropical drink specials and beach food will be available for purchase,” the invite continues, and “DJ Drrrrty Dishes’ thrilling, chilling music will fill the night air.” 790 Riverside Drive. Saturday, Oct. 26, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Proceeds benefit Stonewall Sports Asheville and the Blue Ridge Pride Community Partner Fund. oleshakeys.com

• The Haunted Grove House Inferno returns for a 12th consecutive year. Three floors of dancing boast themed areas (Enchanted Forest, Disembodied Heretics and Spider Chasm among them) as well as four DJs and a costume contest with cash prizes. One ticket allows access to all Grove House venues. 11 Grove St. Saturday, Oct. 26, 9 p.m. $20 advance/$25 at the door. avl.mx/6mo

SHORT AND SHOCKING: The Magnetic Theatre stages ‘The Horror Show,’ one-act plays from local writers. The cast, pictured clockwise from top left, is Sonia D’Andrea, Darren Marshall, Daniel Moore, Tippin, Miles Rice, Brooks Wallace and Blair Dotson-Smith. Photo by Rodney Smith/Tempus Fugit Design

• As part of its free movies series, The Orange Peel screens Hocus Pocus, a 1993 film about a trio of witches, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. 101 Biltmore Ave. Monday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m. Free. theorangepeel.net

• Dance community Swing Asheville makes this suggestion: “Grab your finest disguise and head to The BLOCK off Biltmore for our annual Halloween Dance featuring The Low-Down Sires.” The six-piece traditional jazz outfit has performed all over the East Coast but calls Asheville home. 39 S. Market St. Tuesday, Oct. 29. Intermediate class at 7 p.m., beginner class at 8 p.m., $10/$8 Swing Asheville members; dance at 9 p.m., $5; late-night blues dance at 11 p.m., $2 suggested donation. swingasheville.com

• Mystery Men Productions presents a Halloween Masquerade Mystery at Catawba Brewing. Masquerade attire is encouraged, and showgoers will be assigned a character. Team up with others (also in character) to solve a murder. Reservations are required for the 21-and-older experience. 32 Banks Ave. Tuesday, Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m. $35. mysterymenproductions.com

• “Witness the spectacle of beloved friends and community members turning into damn rock stars before your very eyes,” says the Facebook invite for the annual Halloween Cover Band Show, which benefits Asheville Prison Books and Tranzmission Prison Project. While the tribute acts were yet to be named at press time, wild sets are promised for the all-ages show at The Mothlight, 701 Haywood Road. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m. $5-$25 sliding scale. themothlight.com

• Downtown Hendersonville readies for Treat Street Carnival with a costume contest (including a pet category), Sid the Surf’s DJ party and inflatables, plus, adds a press release, “a Halloween themed outdoor movie and performances in the spirit of Día de Los Muertos.” The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with trick-or-treating along Main Street. Thursday, Oct. 31. downtownHendersonville.org

• Not for the easily intimidated, The Haunted Farm’s DEATHYARD promises “55 minutes of fear and scares.” A press release for the Hendersonville-located, self-guided experience asks, “Ever wondered what happened to all those missing folks in Henderson County?” The answer will be revealed at “the treacherous and demented world” — including The Slaughterhouse, The Haunted Hayride, The Haunted Trail and The Meathouse — now in its ninth season. 624 Townsend Road, Hendersonville. Open through Thursday, Oct. 31, 6:30-10:30 p.m. $25 general/$40 “fast pass.” nchauntedfarm.com

SPECTER SPECTACULAR: Encounter the ghosts of Halloweens past on the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center’s annual Historic Haunted House Tour. Photo by Bonnie McIntosh

• Can you go for Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That”? Then a Yacht Rock Halloween at Isis Music Hall might be your jam. It might also be your nightmare: equally appropriate for All Hallows Eve. Local Steely Dan tribute band/supergroup Dirty Logic leads the shipshape party. The 11-piece collective includes members from Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Empire Strikes Brass, Jesse Barry and the Jam, The Juan Benevides Group and more. 743 Haywood Road. Thursday, Oct. 31, 9 p.m., $20. isisasheville.com

• “I danced myself into the tomb,” sang T. Rex, and that might be the idea for the Spooktacular Soiree at Haiku I Do. The costume dance party includes sets from DJs Bowie, Brett Rock and Cotton Candy as well as Captain Hyperdrive, and Trillium Dance Company serves as vibe ambassadors to “enhance the night with a special performance.” 26 Sweeten Creek Road. Thursday, Oct. 31. Families and trick-or-treaters get in free 6-8 p.m. The 21-and-over party begins at 9 p.m.; those who arrive in costume get a discount at the door. $10. avl.mx/6jp

• While the program has not been announced for the Land of the Sky Symphonic Band’s Halloween Spooktacular at White Horse Black Mountain, the 43-piece community-based collective of amateur and professional musicians is known for its seasonal concerts. “Ticket holders are encouraged to wear creative costumes to the show in the spirit of Halloween,” says a press release, with prizes awarded for the most original get-up. 105 Montreat Road, Black Mountain. Thursday, Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. $15 advance/$18 day of show. whitehorseblackmountain.com

• Asheville Music Hall gears up for a Halloween Hometown Throwdown with local acts Travers Brothership and April B. & The Cool. Twin brothers Eric and Kyle Travers and their namesake rock, funk and soul outfit will perform two sets, one the debut of a new Primus/Frank Zappa tribute. 31 Patton Ave. Thursday, Oct. 31, 9 p.m. $12 advance/$15 day of show. ashevillemusichall.com

• Halloween has its queens: Elvira, Morticia Addams and Lily Munster among them. If there were a king (besides the obvious Nosferatu), Unknown Hinson would make a fine candidate. The psychobilly vampire is the brainchild of singer-songwriter, comedian and actor Stuart Daniel Baker. But Hinson has taken on a life of his own, including circus sideshow work, prison time, 19 paternity suits, grave robbing and songs with a cult following. He returns to The Grey Eagle for a Halloween Extravaganza with country/blues duo Barnyard Stompers. 185 Clingman Ave. Thursday, Oct. 31, 9 p.m. $20. thegreyeagle.net

• The Asheville Ballroom & Dance Centre celebrates Dia de los Muertos with a weekend’s worth of dancing. The Halloween Dance Festival includes rhythm, smooth, Latin, standard, showcase and theatrical dances along with a Halloween Dance Spooktacular and Mayhem at the Ballroom. 291 Sweeten Creek Road. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 and 2. ashevilleballroom.net

• Prolong the celebration: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Firecracker Jazz Band bring a 23 Ring Circus to The Orange Peel. The show entails a b-boy dancing crew along with “jugglers from The Runaway Circus, MelMac the hula-hoop alien queen, Juan Holladay and crew twisting balloons [and] The Hop scooping ice cream,” the kid-hop artist says. A Halloween costume contest is on the bill, and Skidoo and company will debut a new song, “which mixes together Edvard Greig’s ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ and Tchaikovsky’s ‘March of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ into a NOLA-style swinging Halloween anthem” as well as The Secret Agency — a new phase in the Skidoo experience. 101 Biltmore Ave. Saturday, Nov. 2, noon. $10. theorangepeel.net

• The Mountainside Theatre, known for its productions of Unto These Hills, offers something different for Halloween. Producer Brian Clowdus’ The Sleepy Hollow Experience is “an immersive theatrical nightmare,” according to a press release. “Enter into the world of the classic Washington Irving tale with a fresh and horrifying new spin as the audience becomes part of the action.” 688 Drama Road, Cherokee. Through Sunday, Nov. 3, Thursday-Sunday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. $35 adults/$25 children ages 12 and younger. cherokeehistorical.org


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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