With Halloween ushering in the weekend this year and no school nights to worry about, the D.C. area has more parties, costume contests, ghost tours and more than any one person could possibly get to. Our fun guide will help give your holiday a macabre gay twist.
5 great ghost tours
1. The Crime Museum (575 7th St., N.W.) has its sixth annual Fright at the Museum — Dead Men Walking event which continues through Saturday for those brave enough to be led through a dim-lit maze of empty jail cells, electric chairs, dark alleys and gruesome crime scenes. Tickets are $30. Details at crimemuseum.org.
2. Markoff’s Haunted Forest in Dickerson, Md., also continues through Saturday with horrifying scenes of limbo, absolution, greed, gluttony and other circles of hell. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a remaining slot.
3. Space is filling up fast but a few slots remain for the 90-minute Capitol Hill Ghost Tour, which continues through Nov. 8. For $25, you can meet up at the Starbucks at 237 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E. and be regaled with tales of hauntings in the Capitol building, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and more. Details at scarydc.com.
4. For hundreds of years, the homes of Lafayette Square are said to be among the most haunted of all in Washington. Ghost Story Tours meet at 16th and H streets, N.W. for private ghost tours through Saturday, though they can also be booked year around as well. Contact Natalie at email@example.com or call 301-346-5303. More information is at historicstrolls.com.
5. Sometimes it’s creepier out in the country. Actors, elaborate sets and original scary stories abound at Darkwood Manor (104 N. Hawksbill St., in Luray, Va.) where tours continue through Saturday night. Tickets are $12. Visit darkwoodmanor.net for details.
5 great neighborhoods for trick or treating
Where’s the best place to go trick or treating in the District? Depends whom you ask. CBS D.C.’s Jamie Hardin, who prides herself on finding D.C.’s “off-the-beaten-path treasures” recommends Capitol Hill, Embassy Row, Georgetown, the Smithsonian National Zoo and Old Town Alexandria as the best spots. Curbed (dc.curbed.com) recommends Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase, American University Park and Tacoma as the best spots. The only shared neighborhood on the lists is Georgetown, which Curbed ranked as the best spot for its easy walkability and affluence.
If you want to “gay it up” a bit, Ellen Kahn of Rainbow Families says her neighborhood in East Silver Spring that borders Takoma Park is rife with a cluster of nearly 20 same-sex, mostly lesbian couples with kids in the area of Richmond Avenue, Gist Avenue, Takoma Avenue, and Chicago Avenue.
“It’s always a pretty active Halloween scene there,” she says. “Capitol Hill is also a good place to find some diversity, maybe more dads too.”
On Sunday, take your gay family out to Centreville, Va., for the group’s “Fall Day at Cox Farms,” where Rainbow Families D.C. will meet up for kid-friendly slides, animals, mazes, hayrides, live music, great food and a pumpkin smashing event. The fun starts at 10 a.m. Visit rainbowfamiliesdc.org for details.
5 big-screen thrills
Viewers at Today (today.com/popculture) just voted 1973’s (No. 1) “The Exorcist” their favorite scary movie. Sixteen horror classics were whittled down to two where the final showdown was held between “The Exorcist” and (No. 2) “The Shining,” the classic 1980 Stanley Kubrick creeper.
Celebrate the film’s win — if you dare — with a visit to the famous steps in Georgetown where the movie’s climactic scene was filmed.
If you’re up for a communal experience, the AFI Silver in Silver Spring (8633 Colesville Rd.) has an eclectic lineup today with “Sleepy Hollow” at 3 p.m., “Frankenweenie” at 5:10, “Shaun of the Dead” at 9 and for a genuinely creepy experience, check out the 11 p.m. screening of (No. 3) “Rosemary’s Baby” at 11 p.m. The fun continues Saturday with a string of classic early creepers with live accompaniment including (No. 4) “Dracula” (1931), “Nosferatu” and “The Lodger,” the classic Hitchcock tale of Jack the Ripper, the Master’s third film. Details at afi.com/silver.
And if you want to gay it up, check out newnownext.com’s list of “The 13 most homoerotic horror movies of all time” which includes slasher flick (No. 5) “Hostel,” “American Psycho” and (of course!) “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
5 great costumes
Gene’s Costumes (10636 Connecticut Ave., Kensington, Md.) has Halloween costumes for every fantasy a person wants to live out for the night. Here are some of their trendiest get-ups this season if you need some last-minute inspiration!
1. The Joker — one of the most famous villains in pop culture so it’s no surprise it’s one of the most popular costumes. It’s a quick costume to throw together because the main component is all about re-creating the tell-tale Joker makeup.
2. Pirate — Pirates can be sexy or scary depending on how you put together the costume. “Robin Hood’s” Captain Hook, another famous villain, has shown his popularity selling many at Gene’s Costumes. “Pirates of the Caribbean’s” character Jack Sparrow, made a pop culture icon by Johnny Depp, has also been a huge pirate favorite.
3. “Frozen” — The kids will love to dress up as characters from the top-grossing animated film of all time, “Frozen.” The most popular costume for girls has been Elsa and her sister Anna. While boys have been eager to dress up as iceman Kristoff and Prince Hans.
4. Flapper — One of the women’s favorite costumes has been a 1920s flapper. This costume is easy to pull together at the last minute. A loose fitting dress, cigarette holder and bob haircut wig create a look that’s both sexy and glamorous.
5. Military General — Another sexy choice is a military general. A popular men’s choice at Gene’s Costumes, this look is distinguished but fun. The authoritative costume will have people turning heads for a man in uniform.
Halloween gay party roundup
All parties are Halloween night (Oct. 31) except where noted.
D.C. Bear Crue hosts a Monster Bear Party at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) tonight from 6-11 p.m. There will be a Halloween costume contest with several prizes. For more details, visit dcbearcrue.com.
Mixtape holds its third annual Halloween bash at the Howard Theatre (620 T St., N.W.) from midnight-4 a.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit thehowardtheatre.com.
Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts “Not Another Drag Show: the 10th Edition” at 10 p.m. Performances will be by Sofonda Coxxx, Gladys Kravitz, Surley Bossy and many more. There will be a live auction, Halloween costume contest and drink specials. There is a suggested $5 donation at the door to benefit the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s GenOUT youth outreach program. For details, visit greenlanterndc.com.
Phase 1 (525 8th St., S.E.) hosts a Halloween party “Thrillher” at 7:30 p.m. There will be a costume contest at midnight with a $300 cash prize. DJ Lez Rage will play tracks and there will be drink specials. For more details, visit phase1dc.com.
Girl Code hosts “#GirlCodeFridaze Halloween Edition,” a costume party, at Vita Lounge (1318 9th St., N.W.) from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Admission is $10 before midnight and $15 after. Come in costume and admission is $10 all night. For more information, visit girlcodefridaze.eventbee.com.
“Treats or Freaks,” an LGBT ladies Halloween party, is at Mad Momos (3605 14th St., N.W.) from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Jai Syncere, Dj India and DJ DeeDub will provide music. Come in costume and tickets are $10 before 11:30 and $15 after, without a costume tickets are $20 all night. There will be four costume contests with cash prizes. For more information, visit dcpridebarhop.com.
Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts “Madscience Presents: Freak Show” at 10 p.m. DJ Madscience will host the party. Sasha Adams will host the costume contest with a grand prize of $1,000. Belevedere drinks are $6 all night and there will also be an open vodka bar from 11 p.m.-midnight. For more information, visit cobaltdc.com.
Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) boasts “D.C.’s largest Halloween party and costume contest” with a $1,000 prize tonight. Details at towndc.com. A “Night of the Living Dead” party is scheduled for Saturday night.
Destiny B. Childs hosts a $500 costume contest at Ziegfeld’s/Secrets (1824 Half St., S.W.) tonight. Details at secretsdc.com.
JR.’s (1519 17th St., N.W.) has a $250 prize for its costume contest starting at 11 p.m. Details at jrsbar-dc.com.
Number Nine (1435 P St., N.W.) holds a Halloween party at 10 p.m. hosted by Peaches. There will be a costume contest starting at 11 p.m. with a prize of $250 in cash and a $250 Number Nine gift card. For more details, visit numberninedc.com.
The Mansion on O Street (2020 O St., N.W.) hosts a Halloween costume party from 8 p.m.-midnight There will be a DJ, prizes, a chocolate fountain, pumpkin decorating contest and a treasure hunt. During the party guests will have the opportunity to explore the 100 rooms in the mansion. There is also a cash bar. Costume contest categories include best couples costume, most creative, scariest costume and more. Tickets are $50. For more information, visit omansion.com.
United Solders and Sailors of America host Trick or Treat, a Halloween costume fundraiser, at the Ugly Mug (728 8th St., S.E.) tonight from 8 p.m.-midnight. There will be raffle items and a costume contest. Wristbands are $10 for food and drink specials. Proceeds from the event will go toward care and comfort items for Walter Reed Military Medical Hospital. For more details, visit facebook.com/usaoa.
Onyx presents The Blackout Ball at MOVA Lounge (2204 14th St., N.W.) Saturday from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Guests should bring a mask. There will be strippers, raffle prizes and a cash bar. Cover is $10. For details, visit facebook.com/onyx.midatlantic.
The Yards Park (355 Water Street) hosts “Graveyards at the Yards Park,”a Day of the Dead festival, Saturday from 6-10 p.m. The park will be transformed into a graveyard with magicians, escape artists, contortionists, fire artists and much more. There will also be a mariachi band and performance by rock-folk band Kingsley Flood. Admission is free. For more information, visit theyardsdc.com.