As October comes to a close and Halloween looms on the horizon, there’s no denying the spooky spirit in the (slightly cooler) air. Whether you want to visit a haunted house, attend a costumed concert or celebrate the Day of the Dead, this week is packed with events around New Orleans that will give you an excuse to dress up.


TUE., OCT. 29-SAT., NOV. 2

New Orleans Nightmare

The haunted house has three main attractions centering around clowns, nightmares and zombies. There also are five-minute escape rooms and a pitch-black maze. Drinks are available at Bar 13. Admission and hours vary. 319 Butterworth St., Jefferson;

TUE., OCT. 29-SAT., NOV. 2

The Mortuary

The haunted house occupies a white columned Victorian mansion on Canal Street, built in 1872, which once was a funeral home. General admission is $30, $25 the final weekend, with VIP and “fast passes” available. Donate blood to The Blood Center, which will be on site at the venue, and receive a free express admission ticket. Hours vary. 4800 Canal St.;

WED., OCT. 30

Opening of Day of the Dead in Mexico

The Mexican Cultural Institute and the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans host the opening reception for a photo exhibition that explores the Day of the Dead and Mexicans’ beliefs about death. The exhibit includes photos of markets, altars, offerings, music and dance related to the holiday. It will be on display until Dec. 3. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Mexican Cultural Institute, 901 Convention Center Blvd., Suite 118;

WED., OCT. 30

Witchin’ Ball in the Twilight Room

The spooky ball at the AllWays Lounge & Theatre features a performance by Kate Fagan & The Haunting in addition to a DJ and a costume contest. $20. 8 p.m. 2240 St. Claude Ave., (504) 321-5606;

WED., OCT. 30

Haunted Restaurants of New Orleans

Culinarian, historian and radio host Poppy Tooker will discuss ghost stories that are intertwined with several New Orleans restaurants including Tujaque's, Antoine's, Arnaud's and Vessel. At the East Bank Regional Library. Free admission. 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, (504) 889-8143;

THU., OCT 31

Thriller Flash Mob at City Hall

As part of an eight-year tradition, a costumed public flash mob will dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at New Orleans City Hall, with participants from schools and dance studios around the city. Free classes to learn the dance routine will take place Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Dancing Grounds and Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. at the Schramel Conservatory Of Dance. Noon. 1300 Perdido St.;

THU., OCT. 31


Not to be confused with Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, VOODOOFEST is a free event that celebrates the impact the religion has had on New Orleans’ traditions and culture. There will be talks by both Haitian and New Orleans Voodoo priests, historians and authors, and there’s a performance by Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes. 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Voodoo Authentica of New Orleans Cultural Center & Collection, 612 Dumaine St., (504) 522-2111;

THU., OCT. 31

Halloween Haunt

Psychic medium Lucky Belcamino will lead three hours of ghost hunting in the Haunted Hotel courtyard, and guests will hear stories of the Axeman of New Orleans, a serial killer active in the early 1900s who was never caught. $20. 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. The Haunted Hotel, 623 Ursulines Ave., (504) 373-9319;

THU., OCT. 31

Parlor Poltergeist

The Halloween concert at the Pontchartrain Hotel will have performances by J & The Causeways, Roadside Glorious and Juno Dunes and a costume contest, with the winner receiving a $100 gift certificate to Jack Rose restaurant or Hot Tin bar. $20. 9 p.m. to midnight. 2031 St. Charles Ave., (504) 323-1408;

THU., OCT. 31

Ghostbusters at Bourbon Orleans Hotel

Who you gonna call? The Ghostbusters’ Ectomobile will be parked outside the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter, providing photo ops for guests. Guests who find a ghost on the premises and post a photo to social media will receive a free Slimer Cocktail, a spooky take on an apple martini, from the Bourbon O Jazz Bar. 717 Orleans St., (504) 523-2222;

THU., OCT. 31

Three Keys Halloween Party

The free Halloween party at the Ace Hotel’s Three Keys venue features Brooklyn-based Papi Juice, an art collective celebrating queer and trans people of color.⁠ Costumes are encouraged, and musical guests include Oscar Nn, Denisia, HaSizzle and Dreamer. RSVP online. 10 p.m. 600 Carondelet St. (504) 900-1180;

THU., OCT. 31

Halloween at the O!

Louisiana residents get into the Ogden Museum of Southern Art free on Halloween from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but if you don a costume, you’ll also get a free pass to return to the museum at another time. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. 925 Camp St., (504) 539-9650;

THU., OCT. 31-FRI., NOV. 1

Cabaret Macabre

Meredith Owens, Elyse McDaniel, Matt Reed and Kevin Murphy will perform spooky songs from shows like “Murder Ballad,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at Southern Rep Theater. There will be an audience costume contest, and everyone who comes to the show in costume receives a treat. 10 p.m. each night. $20 general admission, $15 for students. 2541 Bayou Road, (504) 522-6545;

FRI., NOV. 1

Day of the Dead Celebration/Fet Gede Celebration

Voodoo, Mexico’s Day of the Dead and Haiti’s Fet Gede honor the spirits of dead ancestors. They’re the focus of a daylong celebration featuring altars for the dead created by artists of diverse faiths, and there is a Voodoo ceremony at 7 p.m. There also is a potluck supper and parade procession. Free admission. 5:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave., (504) 940-1130;

SAT., NOV. 2

Batucada Day of the Dead Celebration

Casa Borrega hosts its seventh Batucada Day of the Dead, with a special menu featuring two cocktails, smoky mezcal diablos and vampiros (tequila, grapefruit soda and sangria). Hugo Montero created an altar full of lights, candles and skeletons dedicated to Sandia Pliego, a longtime friend of the restaurant who died recently. New Orleans-based Brazilian band Amigos do Samba performs. 7 p.m.-11 p.m. 1719 Oretha C. Haley Blvd., (504) 427-0654;

SAT., NOV. 2

Pumpkin Smash

Looking for something to do with your leftover pumpkins from Halloween? Compost NOW recommends smashing them instead of trashing them. The event at Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center will include composting pumpkins, collecting seeds for roasting and making soup out of pumpkins that are still edible to donate to people who are hungry. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 4300 S. Broad Ave., (504) 596-2660.

SUN., NOV. 3

Dia de los Muertos Festival

The festival put on by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana at the New Orleans Baby Cakes Stadium will include an altar, live music from fiddler Amanda Shaw & The Cute Guys, food, kids’ activities, local vendors and a costume contest. Noon-6 p.m. 6000 Airline Drive, Metairie, (504) 885-4262;


TUE., OCT. 29-THU., OCT. 31


The event at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium features information about creepy crawlers, the pumpkins that double as their habitats and bug-themed trick-or-treating. People in costume receive discounted admission rates of $3 off for adults and $2 off for children under 12. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 423 Canal St., (504) 524-2847;

THU., OCT. 31

Scare Fair

The free family-friendly Halloween party at the Music Box Village has trick-or-treating, themed games, activities, food and drink specials. Attendees are free to explore the lit courtyard full of musical art installations. Costumes are encouraged, and donations are welcome. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. 4557 N. Rampart St.;

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