As the joke goes, San Franciscans have have never heard about an event and thought, “I don’t have a costume for that.” We’re a vibrant group, so it’s only natural that we take our Halloweens to the next level, too. We would never regulate this sacred holiday to just one day, which is why this awesome city of ours has no shortage of spooky fun lined up. Whether you’re looking for family fun or a sexy night of scares, we’ve narrowed it down to a few of our top picks to get you in the spirit of the season.
For a nostalgic night out:
Is it even Halloween if you haven’t spent some time staring into Tim Curry’s glittering eyes? The Rocky Horror Picture Show is not only the holiest of films for misfit teens everywhere, but a true costume classic. Get inspired with a midnight showing, complete with a live cast and audience participation — tighty whities and bustiers encouraged.
For the whole family:
Honor the Meso-American tradition of Dia de los Muertos right with The Marigold Project’s Annual Festival of Altars. The celebration observes ancestral roots and the circle of life, while paying tribute to loved ones gone too soon with elaborate altars and art installations in Garfield Park. Before heading into the altars, catch a procession loaded with music, dance, and more kicking off at 22nd and Bryant.
For a dance party that won’t stop ‘til you get enough:
We didn’t call him the king for nothing! Michael Jackson knew how to get bodies moving on the dance floor – a fact that premier MJ tribute band Foreverland pays electrifying homage to with their seriously fun performances. The band, which touts fourteen members, celebrates creepy classic “Thriller”, as well as Jackson’s countless other jams with an energetic Halloween dance party at Bimbo’s 365 Club on October 27. Just make sure your costume has plenty of stretch for bustin’ out the moves.
For an old school scare:
Want to give yourself a good scare in retro fashion? Historic movie palace The Castro Theatre has you covered with double and triple features of some seriously spooky classic films. Enjoy three or more hours of chowing down on popcorn with your heart racing to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, House of Horrors, and plenty of creeptacular vintage B films. The house organist will be on hand to set the mood with cinematic favorites from bygone eras.
For a spooky date night:
One of the city’s most beloved interactive theater experiences transforms itself into a delightfully frightening night of fortune telling, seances, and more when The Speakeasy opens their doors for a very special All Hallow’s Eve edition of the hit show. Ticketholders are encouraged to dress to the nines as they step back in time to 1923 for a night of cell phone free prohibition-era entertainment — complete with cocktails, naturally. Secrets lurk around every corner in this choose-your-own-adventure style show.
For the unattached:
Haunted Hotel at W San Francisco on 10/28
The Haunted Hotel at the W San Francisco is sort of like The Shining with bottle service and much, much better company. For one night only, the swanky downtown hotel will unleash it’s ghoulish side as a multi-level haunted hotel. Done with the scary stuff? Hit one of several dance floors featuring noted DJs and a variety of genres.