20 Denver-area Halloween things to do for spooky season

From a masquerade ball where the guests are historical killers, to a musical adaptation of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.

A Denverite reader sent us this image of a Denver skyline pumpkin they carved with one of Kevin J. Beaty's stencils.

A Denverite reader sent us this image of a Denver skyline pumpkin they carved with one of Kevin J. Beaty's stencils.

200707-MAGGIE-DONAHUE-STAFF-PHOTO-KEVINJBEATY-01-sq

The days are getting shorter, the shadows are getting longer and there’s a chill in the air in Denver as we inch closer and closer to Halloween.

To help you celebrate the spookiest time of year, we’ve put together a list of Halloween events and activities in Denver, including scary movie screenings, haunted houses, ghost tours of Cheesman Park, “Boolesque” shows, and much, much more. And because we know being chased by bloody, chainsaw-wielding goons is not everyone’s cup of tea, we’ve come up with a little system to help you determine each event’s “Scare Factor.” One 👻 is the least scary, Four 👻’s the most.

Happy Halloween, Denver!

Note: The list is already actually more than 20 things, and we’ll update this list a few times — let us know about great events in the area! 

 

PERFORMANCE

 

Victorian Horrors 2021

What: Move from room to room of the Molly Brown House to hear readings from the works of the “gothic greats” like Mary Shelley, as performed by visitors from beyond the grave. While the show requires you to climb stairs, there will be accessible performances on 10/21 and 10/22.

Where: Molly Brown House, 1340 Pennsylvania St. You can also buy a video version if you prefer to stay home.

When: You will have to book entry times between 6-9 p.m.

COVID: Masks required, plus proof of either vaccination or a negative COVID test

Tickets: $20/person, or $20 for the video version

Scare Factor:👻👻 Recommended for ages 12+, but up to parental discretion.

A new paint job on the home's trim. Three years of renovations on the Molly Brown House are finally complete, Aug. 21, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A new paint job on the home's trim. Three years of renovations on the Molly Brown House are finally complete, Aug. 21, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein: The Musical

What: “If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go….” why not head to Vintage Theatre? Written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, this musical comedy based on the classic film about Frankenstein’s grandson and the monster of his own creation will have you Puttin’ on the Ritz.

Where: Vintage Theatre Productions, 1468 Dayton Street, Aurora

When: Weekends, September 17 – October 31, 2021

COVID: Patrons over the age of 12 must provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test. Those unable to be vaccinated must wear a face covering

Tickets: Range in price from $20 for children to $38 for adults

Scare Factor: 👻👻: Suggested parental guidance rating is PG-13

 

Clocktower Cabaret Halloween programming

What: The haunted basement underneath the historic D&F Tower is hosting several Halloween shows, including an aerial and burlesque tribute to Tim Burton films; a burlesque tribute to some of the freakish characters from Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story; Night of the Dancing Dead, a costume party with performances by samba dances, belly dancers and “Boo-lywood” performers; Gore and Lore, a burlesque take on folk stories like Jack the Ripper and  Black Eyed Children; and Clocktower’s annual BOOlesque 2021 performance.

Where: The Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street

When: Various dates throughout October

Tickets: Tickets are $40 for the first two shows and $35 for the final show.

Scare Factor: 👻👻  Some of these shows have adult themes.

Steve Zac awaits guests before the Clocktower Cabaret throws a pandemic-appropriate show. July 17, 2020.

Steve Zac awaits guests before the Clocktower Cabaret throws a pandemic-appropriate show. July 17, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Lady Killers: Masquerade of Murder

What: A killer party. This immersive horror experience invites guests to mask up, dance, enjoy refreshments in “Hell,” where they’ll converse with six historical female killers and learn their stories. Guests can move about, interact with the women and  interrogate them throughout the night. The party will end with the audience deciding the women’s fates, as well as awards for Best Dressed and Best Masked.

Where: Basement of Highlands Lutheran Church, 3995 Irving St.

When: Fridays and Saturdays October 8th – 30th, plus a special Halloween performance on October 31. Doors open at 7, show starts at 7:30.

COVID: Guests must provide proof of either vaccination or a negative COVID-19.

Tickets: Tickets start at $35. VIP tickets, which include a mask, an exclusive post-show, extra sway over what happens to the killers, and autographed Lady Killer Trading Cards, are $45. VIP Supreme tickets — which get you early entry, exclusive conversations with actors and a bloody masquerade mask painted on your face by one of the actors — are $75.

Scare Factor: 👻👻👻 This is a dark comedy with dark subject matter. The organizers recommend it for ages 13 and up.

 

Murder at the Brown Palace

What: There’s been a murder! Put on your detective hat and head to the historic Brown Palace, which has partnered with Adams Mystery Playhouse to serve up an interactive murder mystery dinner experience. You’ll step back in time to the 1920s, interact with the actors, look for clues and solve the case. A three course meal is included in the price of admission, and 1920s attire is encouraged.

Where: The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, 321 17th St.

When: October 8, 15, 22, 29 & 30 at 6:30-8:30 pm.

Tickets: Tickets start at $125 per person for dinner and parking. Full tables of 8 are $875. And if you want a spooky staycation, you can get the Murder Mystery Dinner Room Package for $500, which includes the dinner for two, overnight parking and an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s Signature King Rooms.

Scare Factor:  👻👻

A vacant piano in the Brown Palace's empty tea lounge, March 19, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A vacant piano in the Brown Palace's empty tea lounge, March 19, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Halloween Spooktacular!

What: Bring the whole family to experience music from your favorite Halloween movies and shows, as performed by the Colorado Symphony. Musicians and audience members alike are encouraged to wear costumes.

Where: Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St.

When: Saturday, October 30 at 2:30 p.m.

COVID: Masks are required, and all patrons 12+ must show proof of full vaccination. Children under the age of 12 must provide proof of a recent negative COVID test.

Tickets: Tickets are $10 for kids and $27 for adults. .

Scare Factor: 👻

 

MOVIES

 

October Fright Nights

What: Harkins Theatres are now screening a series of horror classics on weekends for only $5 a person! Horror fans can revisit films like The Shining, The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street and other seasonal favorites.

Where: Harkins Theatre, 5550 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada

When: Every Friday and Saturday in October

Tickets: Only $5 per ticket!

Scare Factor: 👻👻👻

 

Movie Nights at Marjorie Park

What: Grab your blanket and some chairs and head to Marjorie Park for carnival fare and outdoor movies, including Death Becomes Her, Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus and The Addams Family.

Where: 6335 S. Fiddlers Green Cir., Greenwood Village

When: 6:00 pm on October 15, 16, 28 and 29.

Tickets: General Admission tickets go for $10. You can also pay $50 for a 4-top table, or $90 for a fireside table. Kids under 3 can attend for free.

Scare Factor: 👻👻

 

Scream Screen

What: Every year, the Sie Center hosts a horror film series, where cinephiles can enjoy live music, guest speakers, cosplay and a selection of classic or under screened horror films. This year’s theme is “There’s Something About Larry: A Tribute to the B-Movies of Larry Cohen.” Over the course of five nights, Denver Film will screen eight of Cohen’s films

Where: The Sie Center, 2510 East Colfax Ave.

When: November 19 to December 17, at 9:30 pm on select nights.

COVID: Masks required unless eating or drinking.

Tickets: Start at $15.

Scare Factor: 👻👻👻

 

2021 Mile High Horror Film Festival

What: If you prefer to enjoy your spooky content from the comfort of your own home, look no further than the annual Mile High Horror Film Festival, which this year will take place virtually. The lineup features short and feature length genre films from all over the world, plus Q&As with special guests like Jack Black, Dylan Minnette and Tobin Bell.

Where: Virtual. You can screen the films in your own time at home!

When: October 7-13th.

Tickets: Slasher Passes, which get you access to 5 film screenings, start at $49. You can access 10 screenings with an $85 Scream Pass.

Scare Factor: 👻👻👻

 

GHOST TOURS

 

Ghosts of Capitol Hill

What: A two-hour guided stroll through the darker side of Cap Hill’s history.

Where: 1288 N. Gilpin St

When: Friday and Saturday nights through November 13, 8-10 pm.

Tickets: $28 per person.

Scare Factor: 👻👻: Recommended for ages 12+

Historic globe lights in Cheesman Park, June 27, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Historic globe lights in Cheesman Park, June 27, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Cheesman Park Ghost Tour

What: A 1.5 hour walking ghost tour of Denver’s “first cemetery.”

Where: The tour meets at Cheesman Park Pavilion.

When: 7 pm every day in October.

Tickets: $25 per person.

Scare Factor: 👻👻: Recommended for ages 11+

 

Dark Side of Denver Ghost Tours

What: Tour the haunted history of Cap Hill with Phil Goodstein, who’s been leading tours since the 1980s and who has written extensively about the subject.

Where: Meets at the Capitol.

When: Select evenings in October

Tickets: $20 per person.

Scare Factor: 👻👻: Rated PG-13.

 

HAUNTED HOUSES AND EXPERIENCES

 

13th Floor Haunted House 

What: A multi-attraction fright experience built around the mystery of what happens on the “13th floor” so often left out of elevator dials. 

Where: 3400 E. 52nd Ave.

When: Evenings through November 13.

COVID: Face coverings required, and expect to have your temperature checked.

Tickets: General admission tickets start at $20 and vary depending on date. You can pay extra for fast passes, to skip the line or for a Platinum VIP experience.

Scare Factor: 👻👻👻👻: Due to the house’s graphic nature, it’s suggested for age 12+.

 

Haunted Field of Screams

What: This 40-acre corn field claims to be Colorado’s largest haunted attraction. You’ll wander through a corn maze, explore multiple haunted houses and run for your life from evil scarecrows bent on making you their next victim.

Where: 10451 McKay Road, Thornton

When: Evenings on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October.

Tickets: $29.99-$39.99 depending on the date.

Scare Factor:  👻👻👻👻 (Not for children)

 

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens

What: Head to Elitch Gardens around this some of year and you’ll be met with screams of both joy and terror. By day, the park offers family-friendly Halloween activities like a Trick or Treat Trail and a screaming contest. By night, Elitch’s transforms into a haunted theme park where ghosts, ghouls, zombies and clowns lurk in every corner. Guests can participate in three immersive haunted attractions, where they’ll navigate nightmarish landscapes like a carnival graveyard and a spooky inn.

Where: Elitch Gardens, 2000 Elitch Cir.

When: Weekends, October 2-31. Family by Day activities are Satrudays and Sundays, 12-5 pm. Fright by Night begins weekend nights at 6 pm.

Tickets:  General admission into the park is $45. Admission to haunted houses is extra.

Scare Factor: 👻 by day, 👻👻👻👻 by night.

 

The Frightmare Compound

What: This scare ground has been giving Denverites nightmares for almost four decades now. Legend has it that its founder, Brad Holder, was buried there, and still wanders the grounds from time to time.

Where: 10798 Yukon St, Westminster

When: Most nights through October 31, starting at 7 pm. If you’re brave enough, you can also attend an extra spooky Lights Out Event on November 5 and 6.

Tickets: $29.99-$32.99, depending on the date. You can also purchase VIP or Immediate Access passes for an additional fee,

Scare Factor: 👻👻👻👻

Elitch Gardens at sunset. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  elitch gardens; sunset; amusement park; fun; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty

Elitch Gardens at sunset. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

ART AND IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES

 

Spookadelia 4: The Curse of Novo Ita

What: Every year, Spectra Art Space puts on Spookadelia,  a psychedelic, immersive, interactive theatrical art experience. The fourth installment takes visitors to the magical botanical land of Novo Ita, which has been cursed by the Spectra Spectre. Visitors will wander through mystical realms,  interact with the art and solve mysteries to lift the curse and save the city.

Where: Spectra Art Space,  1836 S Broadway.

When: Wednesday-Sunday, October 9-November 28.

Tickets:  Timed entry tickets are $20 for Adults, $12 for Children. You can pay $30 for a priority ticket that grants you admission at any time on the day you purchase, plus an art swag bag.

Scare Factor: 👻👻 It’s spooky, but meant to be family friendly and open to all ages.

Brian Runge, in the mask, is one of the artists behind Spookadelia 4: The Curse Of Novo Ita at Spectra Art Space in Denver.

Brian Runge, in the mask, is one of the artists behind Spookadelia 4: The Curse Of Novo Ita at Spectra Art Space in Denver.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Distortions Monster World: Monster to Midnight

What: An immerse monster-themed art exhibition with interactive characters, including some pop culture favorites . Now through October 31, Monster to Midnight allows guests to enjoy the experience after hours for a special Halloween event.

Where: 500 16th Street Mall.

When: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in October, plus Sunday the 24th and 31st, from 6 p.m. – midnight

COVID:  According to CDC and City of Denver guidelines.

Tickets:  Free (children 5 and younger),  $27  (children ages 6-11), $35 (adults).You can also buy a family four-pack for $99.

Scare Factor:👻👻👻 All ages. Guests who don’t want to be scared can wear a free “Monster Repellent” sticker.

 

Glow at the Gardens

What: A spooky, curated display of artistic sculptures and jack-o-lanterns crafted from locally grown pumpkins.

Where: Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street.

When: Evenings Oct. 19-24.

Tickets: $17-21 for Members, $19-23 for Non-members and free for kids 2 and under.

Scare Factor: 👻

Black birds fly over uptown. Sept. 1, 2021.

Black birds fly over uptown. Sept. 1, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Ofrendas 2021: The Collective Healing Power of Art

What: A celebration of  Día de los Muertos presented by the Latino Cultural Arts Center, featuring an Ofrendas Mercado, workshops on how to make things like nichos and paper lanterns, and workshops devoted to mental health and healing.

Where: Multiple locations, including Raices Brewery, Mexican Cultural Center and the LCAC.

When: Multiple dates through October 24.

Tickets: Free. You can register online. 

Scare Factor: 👻

 

The Magic of the Jack O’Lanterns 

What: A spooky display of 5,000 elaborately carved pumpkins and spectacular light displays.

Where: Hudson Gardens

When: Evenings, Oct 1-Oct 31

COVID: Face coverings recommended when unable to maintain six-foot distance.

Tickets: Range from $11 kids tickets to $30 flex tickets which can be used at any designated. event time. You can reserve an entry time now.

Scare Factor: 👻

 

PARTIES

 

Zombie Prom

What: Don your fake blood and dancing shoes and head to Union Station for Zombie Prom, an undead 80’s dance party serving spooky drinks and snacks. Best dressed will be crowned Prom King and Queen.

Where: Denver Union Station

When: Oct. 30, 08:00 pm to 12:00 am.

COVID: Guests must either provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19. If unvaccinated, guests must wear face coverings throughout their visit.

Tickets: Start at $35 and include a welcome cocktail.

Scare Factor: 👻 21+

 

Denver Ghost Tour Pub Crawl

What: Spirits with a side of spirits! Tour haunted bars, creepy tunnels and historic Denver buildings, and try different beverages along the way.

Where: Tour meets at Celtic on Market, 1400 Market St

When: Most evenings. See calendar for availability. If this one is available, check out Nightly Spirits’ other ghost tours.

Tickets: $25 per person

Scare Factor: 👻👻 21+ only.

Jairo Heredia (left), Max Depriest and Toni Gloria representing the City of the Dead. Denver Zombie Crawl. Oct. 22, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Jairo Heredia (left), Max Depriest and Toni Gloria representing the City of the Dead. Denver Zombie Crawl. Oct. 22, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Zombie Crawl

What: Stumble through the LoDo bars with your other undead friends in this spooky-themed pub crawl, where you’ll sample discount drinks and free welcome shots before hitting official Zombie Crawl after parties.

Where: Starts at Gin Mill, 2041 Larimer St.

When: October 30, from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am.

Tickets: Start at $25 per person.

Scare Factor: 👻 21+

 

Wild Fall

What: This daytime, family friendly Halloween spectacular replaces Denver Zoo’s annual Boo at the Zoo, and will focus more on education about the natural and supernatural world. There’ll be professional pumpkin carvings of cryptids like Bigfoot, Mothman and Nessie, supernatural-themed animal demos, spooky food and cocktails and visits from some of your favorite mythical creatures.

Where: Denver Zoo

When: Every day in October.

COVID: Capacity is limited, and guests are required to make timed entry reservations online..

Tickets: Included with the cost of General Admission. $20 for adults, $17 for seniors, $14 for kids 3-11, free or kids under 3.

Scare Factor:👻

 

Broadway Halloween Parade

What: After a brief hiatus last year due to COVID, Broadway’s annual Halloween parade is back. Stop by to check out some spooky floats and bands, and stay after for a post-parade Halloween bash.

Where: The parade will travel down Broadway between 5th Ave. and Alameda Ave.

When: Saturday, October 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tickets: This event is free to attend.

Scare Factor: 👻

Weird times

Denverite is powered by you. In these weird times, the local vigilance, the local context, the local flavor — it’s powered through your donations. If you’d miss Denverite if it disappeared tomorrow, donate today.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.