The spooky season is officially here, Seattle. It seems like every venue, from the city’s public parks to its movie theaters, is pulling out the cobwebs and inviting you to scream. So go pick your pumpkins, dress up your dogs, and prepare for Halloween time. This weekend is just the beginning.
Seattle Oddities & Curiosities Expo 2023 @ Seattle Convention Center
📸: Seattle Oddities & Curiosities Expo
📆 Saturday, October 14th – Sunday, October 15th
⏰ Doors open at 10 am on Saturday
📍 Seattle Convention Center: 705 Pike St, Seattle
🎟 $10 advance | $15 days-of
Wanna see something freaky? No, this isn’t me inviting you on a terrifying adventure into a dark forest from whence you may never return. Instead, it’s downtown at the Seattle Convention Center, where strange people from all walks of life come into Hall 4AB to hawk their bizarre wares. Behold the Seattle Oddities & Curiosities Expo.
The expo is the brainchild of Boulevard Trash, a Tulsa punk store that has admirably expanded its reach with this nationally touring convention meant for everybody who’s always felt a little… different. Naturally, I’ve been before. Though we didn’t end up buying anything gross in a jar (…we were tempted…), we still came home with:
· Paintings of Boris Karloff and the Creature from the Black Lagoon
· A colorful glass skull that my cats Vincent Price and Béla Lugosi love to lord over
· A T-shirt from Atlanta-based oddities store Rainy Day Revival
· A VHS copy of Chained for Life, the 1952 exploitation movie starring conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton
· A fake plant made of eyeballs
The biggest attraction is the oh-so-casually titled The Cryptic Collection of a Mad Clown. Enter the separately ticketed event and behold taxidermied specimens, mutated beings, and histories of horror. It’s the world’s largest freakshow, and completely worth it for the low price of admission. It’s not for the squeamish, though I’d say it’s still okay for braver (and weirder) kids. For people looking to get a little more hands-on, the most in-demand ticket is a taxidermy class if you want that kind of knowledge in your noggin. MARCUS GORMAN
Día de los Muertos Concert @ Benaroya Hall
Come early for crafts ✂️
📸: Benaroya Hall
📅 Saturday, October 14th
⏰ 11 am
📍 Benaroya Hall: 200 University St, Seattle
📞 (206) 215-4800
🎟 $20 – $25
Día de los Muertos, meaning “day of the dead” in English, is a holiday commemorating the dead widely celebrated in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage from November 1st to November 2nd. Though it primarily deals with death, the holiday is often a joyful celebration to honor and remember the dead. Families clean and tidy the graves of the deceased, eat pan de muerto, organize altars called ofrendas with pictures and the favorite foods of loved ones long passed, and decorate their houses with skulls (calaveras), marigolds (cempasúchil), and paper cutouts (papel picado).
In Seattle, the MEXAM NW Festival has organized a giant Día de los Muertos musical celebration at Benaroya Hall. On Saturday, October 14th, the fest invites visitors to enjoy compositions and music by Mexican composers, like Arturo Márquez’s “Danzón No. 2,” Gabriela Ortiz’s “Kauyumari,” and José Hernández’s world premiere of “Jarabe Sinfónico No.1.” Doors will open one hour early so families can participate in pre-concert craft activities, instrument exploration, and admire decorated ofrendas. JAS KEIMIG
An Addams Family Pug-O-Ween @ Evergreen State Fairgrounds
Non-pugs also welcome 🐶
📸: Church of Pug
📆 Saturday, October 14th
⏰ 12 – 2:30 pm
📍 Evergreen State Fairgrounds: 14405 179th Ave SE, Monroe
🎟 $10 suggested donation per person
They’re creepy, and they’re kooky. They’re also big ol’ cuties.
For what will probably be the most adorable event of the season, point your car toward Monroe, park at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, and prepare to make weird baby sounds as you experience An Addams Family Pug-O-Ween. Put on by the Church of Pug, a nonprofit animal shelter that specializes in pug rescue, it’s an opportunity not just to see a dog parade, check out the vendors, etc., but also to raise money for the organization and learn more about adoption and volunteering.
Though pugs are the reason for the event’s namesake, the organizers welcome all friendly dogs and their responsible owners to participate in the many festivities. And, of course, they strongly encourage Halloween costumes, Addams Family or otherwise. I know you have the goofiest thing in your closet for exactly this kind of event, and that your dog loves wearing it, and that you all show me pictures of them in said costumes when we run into each other at shows and bars.
Me, I have a cantankerous, half-blind corgi-chihuahua who tolerates costumes but doesn’t tolerate most strangers, so I will be a responsible owner and not bring her. But you can always ask me for pictures. Here’s my spooky little girl eating a carrot while dressed as a pumpkin and set to “Monster Mash.” MARCUS GORMAN
The People’s Joker @ Broadway Performance Hall
Don’t tell DC 🃏
📅 Saturday, October 14th
⏰ 9 – 11 pm
📍 Broadway Performance Hall: 1625 Broadway, Seattle
🎟️ $13 – $30
The Seattle Queer Film Festival (SQFF) has been going on for almost three decades, and this year it’s packed with around 50 screenings of queer cinema from all over the world from October 12th to 22nd. It’s hard to summarize everything beyond “a wide variety of gay things across time and space,” but I chose six of the films as standouts. One of them is The People’s Joker, a trans parody of Batman featuring some heavy hitters in weirdo comedy. The Upright Citizen’s Brigade exists within this particular Batman canon; if that appeals to you, this is a good choice.
Several SQFF films will be available to stream the week after the festival ends (not this one); those that aren’t are marked on the program. Find the full lineup on Seattle Queer Film Festival’s site. SARAH ANNE LLOYD
Jello Underground’s Annual Halloween Show 2023 @ El Corazon
A big gooey game 🤼♀️
📅 Saturday, October 14th
⏰ Doors 8 pm | Show 9 pm
📍 El Corazón: 109 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle
📞 (206) 262-0482
🎟 $15 advance | $20 doors
Never has jello been so scary—or tough. That’s thanks to Jello Underground, a feminist-run jello wrestling event organizers say is the largest women-produced event of its kind on the face of the planet.
Beginning in 2009 as a burlesque troupe, the group grew into a jello wrestling frenzy. For the past decade-plus, Jello Underground has made a name for itself in Seattle (and beyond) as an inclusive, queer-friendly, body-positive space where everyone can delight in the gelatinous thrills of jello wrestling. Participants are encouraged to take on wrestling names, get decked out in vibrant clothing, and throw every ounce of themselves into the gooey games.
Jello Underground cooks up something special for Halloween, with a two-hour contest featuring wrestlers in full Halloween costumes and makeup, elbowing and flipping each other in a jello-filled kiddie pool. This year’s event promises a new staging arrangement with “optimal viewing from every angle.” They also vow “spooky surprises” and “special guests” that will make the evening live up to its “fright night” name. If that’s not enough jello for you, there’s a free after party for wrestlers and attendees. Go meet your Jell-heroes! JAS KEIMIG
Fall Festival @ Stocker Farms
Take your people to a pumpkin patch 🎃
@theticketsea 🎃 WHICH PUMPKIN DO WE PICK 🎃 📍 Stocker Farms: 8705 Marsh Rd, Snohomish 📅 Thru October 31st It’s October, which means Snohomish has turned into pumpkin central. At Stocker Farms, you can pick up a variety of specialty pumpkins — just toss your pumpkins in one of their wheelbarrows, give them a wash in the farm’s pumpkin bath, pay based on weight, and take your new friends home. This generations-old family farm is also a full-on agritourism experience. Next to the farm’s U-Pick Pumpkin Patch, its Fall Festival offers a sunflower field, corn maze, and an abundance of active, low-tech playware like zip lines and jumping pillows. And on Sunday nights in October starting on the 8th, stick around for a fireworks extravaganza at 7:30 pm. (Feeling spooky? Stocker Farms turns into Stalker Farms once nightfall hits.) Advance online midweek tickets to Stocker Farms’ Fall Festival are $15.95, and weekend tickets are $21.95. A season pass goes for $49.95. Pumpkin cannons and hayrides are available on Saturdays and Sundays. #pumpkinpatch #seattlefall #fallthingstodo ♬ original sound – TheTicketSeattle
📅 Daily thru October 31st
📍 Stocker Farms: 8705 Marsh Rd, Snohomish
🎟️ Tickets here
This generations-old family farm is a full-on agritourism experience. The Cascade Mountains set behind aesthetic touches—they have a postcard-worthy pumpkin barn—makes this an ideal place for holiday photos. An abundance of active, low-tech playware like zip lines and jumping pillows are grounds for a tablet-free day. The 2023 corn maze will include donations to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska. On Sunday nights in October starting on the 8th, stick around for the fireworks extravaganza at 7:30 pm.
Last time we checked, advance midweek tickets to their Fall Festival are $15.95, and weekend tickets are $21.95. Pumpkin cannons and hayrides are available on Saturdays and Sundays. Skip admission if you want to head straight to the patch. You pay for the pumpkins you pick to take home. In the evenings, visit haunted corn trails, “Stalker” Farms. MEGHNA JARADI
Haunted House @ Georgetown Morgue
Try the dark maze 🧛
📆 Thursday, October 12th – Sunday, October 15th (and more dates throughout the month)
📍 Georgetown Morgue: 5000 E Marginal Way S, Seattle
🎟 Starts @ $35
Want a haunted house in a location with an allegedly creepy history? Put Georgetown Morgue on your list.
Billed as one of the “most intriguing historic urban morgues,” the Georgetown Morgue claims to have a gruesome history. In addition to serving as a morgue and crematorium, the morgue’s owners suggest the site has been the home of a missing body—later found dismembered—and other deaths. That includes the alleged “Seattle crematorium massacre,” where the morgue’s haunted house operators say that in October 1968, armed assailants forced all nine of the morgue’s staff members into a crematorium chamber. Leaving everyone as ash. (Evidence supporting this story is scant.)
The rumored morgue history serves as the backdrop to a terrifying Halloween experience. Your ticket gets you into a walkthrough attraction in the style of a catacomb, where creatures (actors) roam. For those who want to experience more fear, add a new dark maze experience for an extra $8 a ticket. You and your group will try to flee a pitch-black maze. Good luck. (Leave young ones at home, as kids under 12 are prohibited.)
Free parking is available, with public transportation nearby. The experience is wheelchair accessible. No drinking is allowed, but there are plenty of spots nearby. Remember there’s a “no touch” policy (you don’t touch them; they don’t touch you). Because of their reputation as one of the best scares, the lines are often long—but there’s a VIP line for an additional charge. PATHERESA WELLS
Halloween Ghost Tours @ Pioneer Square
Learn some haunted history 📜
📅 Thursday, October 12th – Saturday, October 14th (and more dates throughout the month)
⏰ 7 pm
📍 Meet at Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill and Irish Pub, located at the base of the historic Smith Tower: 506 2nd Ave, Seattle
If you’ve ever wanted to be a ghostbuster, it’s time to stroll through Seattle’s haunted history. Self-proclaimed as “Seattle’s best ghost tour,” the local ghost tour group Haunted History Seattle explores supernatural sites in Pioneer Square, the oldest neighborhood in town.
Tour guides here tout that they are all paranormal investigators or psychics—not actors. While the tour covers some disturbing stories from the past, it’s not meant to provide cheap scares. Instead, the focus is on local history that’s often been overlooked. Reviews rave about the passionate, otherworldly insight shared during the two-hour trek. There’s even a YouTube channel where guide Aten discusses ghost hunting, true crime, and spectrophilia, aka ghost sex. (Yes, this is a thing. Buzzfeed once wrote about two girls who tried to seduce a disembodied spirit.)
This tour starts at Shawn O’Donnell’s Irish Pub and is ideal for groups or a date night. Plan to arrive early to grab a bite before. Guests must be 16+ and accompanied by an adult. Also, this is held outdoors, so dress for the weather and wear comfy shoes. FYI: The legal disclaimer you sign holds the company harmless in the case of ghostly possession. So, you can’t sue if you need an exorcist after. PATHERESA WELLS