By: Ezra Wheeler
From family-friendly fun to more adult-oriented activities, this October has something for everyone looking to partake in some spooky season shenanigans. In fact, there are so many great options in the Bluff City over the next few weeks that we had to whittle our list down to just 10 of the most essential events. So put your costume together (You went with Squid Game? How original!) and start circling dates on your calendar now, because Halloween is officially back baby!
The Mid-South Maze at the Agricenter
Ongoing until Oct. 31
Few annual events are as beloved as the Mid South Maze, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The 10-acre corn maze, which features a Memphis skyline design, is wholesome family fun for the most part, but during Friday and Saturday’s after 7PM things get a bit creepier with their popular haunted maze nights.
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Zoo Boo
Oct. 15-17, 22-24, 28-31
Every year around this time, the Memphis Zoo transforms into an impressive homage to everything Halloween, with an abundance of special programming appropriate for kids of all ages. From various trick-or-treat stations to the jack-o-lantern jamboree to free rides for kids, this is truly one of the city’s premier holiday events, especially for families with children.
Creepville Market at the Lamplighter Lounge
While this year’s Monster Market will be held completely online this year, folks who prefer to shop for their spooky wares in person should check out the Creepville Market between 1-6PM at the Lamplighter Lounge. The market will include a wide selection of goods from local makers, including art, clothing, and more. You can check out a complete list of vendors on their Instagram at @creepvillemarket
Day of the Dead at Crosstown Concourse
As you probably know, Día de Muertos is a Mexican holiday held on November 1st and 2nd when families gather to honor the memory of deceased loved ones. Crosstown Concourse, in partnership with Cazateatro, will be celebrating the holiday a couple of weeks early in the central atrium with a free event featuring music, folklore, dancers, altars, and crafts. In addition, a free screening of the Pixar film “Coco” will be showing in the Crosstown Theater at 2PM.
Shoktoberfest at Black Lodge
If one Memphis institution truly understands the unique allure of Halloween, the it would have to be Black Lodge, the unique Crosstown business that combines an old school video rental store with a live venue space. Black Lodge will be hosting events throughout the month, but we’re especially excited about Shoktoberfest, their “queer music and variety show” that is being put together in conjunction with Barbie Wyre. The event will feature a costume contest, live music, drag performances, film screenings, and much more.
Fright Night at the Brewery at Memphis Made
Boos meet brews at this year’s Fright Night at Memphis Made Brewing Co., a Halloween-themed fundraiser for United Housing Inc. In addition to helping a good cause, you’ll also be able to participate in a costume contest while drinking some of the finest beer in the 901. Tickets begin at $25 and include one drink, (beer or wine) and one meal from the food truck.
Blast Habit Halloween at Bar DKDC
On the Friday before Halloween, Blast Habit Records will be taking over Bar DKDC for an evening of scary good music and burlesque. The power trio So Gung Ho will be performing alongside Alicja Trout and dancer Velvetina Taylor for a rocking night that promises to roll deep into the dark night. Costumes are, of course, highly encouraged.
Heady Halloween at 831 S. Cooper
We’ve already discussed Black Lodge’s many events this month, but something is also brewing at their newly renovated former home on Cooper St. Heady Halloween promises to be one of the grooviest events in town on Halloween weekend with a costume contest and late night jams from Shorty & the Grooves & Grape.
Time Warp Drive-In
Time Warp, the monthly curated series of classic, strange, and cult films at the Summer Ave. Drive In, is back this month with “American Nightmares: The Teen Horror Cinema of Wes Craven.” The Halloween-themed movie marathon will include screenings of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Scream,” “The People Under the Stairs,” and “The Hills Have Eyes.”
After Hours Tour at Elmwood Cemetery
Elmwood is one of the state’s most storied and historically significant cemeteries, providing the final resting place for “mayors, governors, madams, blues singers, suffragists, martyrs, generals, civil rights leaders, holy men and women, outlaws and millionaires.” On Halloween night, they will be opening their gates to the public for an after hours tour that will walk you through the history of the grounds and highlight some of the most notable figures buried there. Scares AND a little history lesson? Sounds like a win-win to us.