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Shore Leave halloween boston
Photograph: Courtesy Shore Leave

15 ways to celebrate Halloween in Boston

It’s scary season, here’s where to get your thrills and chills this Halloween season in Boston.

JQ Louise
Tanya Edwards
Edited by
JQ Louise
Written by
Tanya Edwards
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As we settle into a perfect autumn chill, cocoa in hand, Halloween comes knocking with all of its chills and thrills. This year get into the spooky spirit with haunted tours, the haunted happenings in Salem or dance the night away at a Stranger Things party. Get ready for the scary season with our guide to making the most out of Halloween in and around Boston! For other fun Halloween activities, check out our list of the best Halloween parties in Boston and the spookiest things to do in Salem in October.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Halloween in Boston

Salem is at its busiest during the month of October, when history and horror buffs head to the site of the Witch Trials. Check the city’s Haunted Happenings website for the full schedule. You can tour the Witch House or take a Ghost Tour any time of year, but there’s something extra spooky about being there in October. You won’t want to miss the Haunted Happenings Market the first, third, fourth and fifth weekends in October.

  • Things to do

First order of Halloween business is to find the perfect pumpkin to demonstrate your carving skills. Skip the grocery store pumpkins and head to one of these farms near Boston where you can pick your own from a patch surrounded by idyllic farmland and maybe catch a hayride.

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The (probably haunted) Liberty hotel will be hosting a Stranger Things Halloween party on Saturday, October 29, from 9 pm through 1:30 am. Always an epic annual bash, the party will feature elaborate Halloween decor, specialty-themed cocktails and music from two DJs (pretty sure “Running Up That Hill” will be on repeat). Demogorgons and 80s kids can buy tickets after Labor Day.

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Trick-or-treating on Beacon Hill
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Trick-or-treating on Beacon Hill

Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, the most Boston of all Boston things to do on Halloween is to go trick-or-treating on Beacon Hill. The elaborate decor from Bostons toniest residents really make strolling their historic streets a treat for everyone. Enjoy the mayhem and the closed streets to enjoy plenty of elaborately decorated brownstones and maybe pick up some candy! 

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Waterfront
  • price 2 of 4

Explore the spooky side of Boston on the Trolley of Terror. On this 90-minute tour, you’ll hear tales of the Boston Strangler, the murders and executions that took place on the Boston Common and paranormal activity at the Omni Parker House. Most of the tour is aboard the trolley, but you’ll also walk through two of the oldest burial grounds in the city and visit the site of a notorious grave-robbing scandal. The tour is available year-round, but Halloween is the best time to go (book tickets early), especially in costume.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • South End
  • price 2 of 4

Your favorite subterranean tiki bar is kicking up the fun for the month of Halloween by hosting a “Scare Leave” pop-up, serving seriously seasonal cocktails. Inspired by the scary movies we love, get your costume on and try the blood red Carrietta, made with berry infused tequila, or Trick or Treat shots. The treats are a rotating selection inspired by the bartender's favorite candies. The trick shot? You’ll have to let us know!

  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
  • North End
  • price 1 of 4

At the historic Old North Church visitors can explore the main floor and bell chamber, but there’s something far creepier beneath. The crypt below the Old North Church offers frightening fun with 37 vaults containing an estimated 1,100 bodies entombed between 1732 and 1860. On this dark and claustrophobic tour, you’ll learn how and why crypts were constructed in colonial Boston.

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  • Hotels
  • Downtown
  • price 3 of 4

One of the oldest and most historic hotels in Boston, the Omni Parker House is believed to be haunted. Originally built in 1855 and then rebuilt in 1927, the hotel is a stop on many ghost tours. There have been reported sightings on the 9th and 10th floors of a bearded gentleman dressed from the Colonial era, and the 3rd floor has been said to have its share of paranormal activity as well. 

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Abingdon's spookiest spot is open for in-person scares this season with all new sets sure to terrify! You can make it a date with the venue’s “Bite and Fright” special, which includes dinner at the Abington Ale House—you can even upgrade and have scary characters visit you and take photos while you’re eating dinner.

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Boston Ghosts offers a chilling look into a more supernatural side of Boston. There are endless ghost stories to tell, from religious quarrels to fiery locals. You'll take a tour through downtown Boston’s most haunted hotspots and explore both the paranormal and historical worlds.

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  • Shopping
  • Thrift stores
  • Kendall Sq
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At the top of your October shopping list, of course, is to get yourself a costume. The Garment District has everything you can think of for the perfect Halloween costume—witches, ghouls, monsters, plus any number of “sexy” outfits and all kinds of masks. Wallet-watchers scared off by brand new costumes can peruse the thrift section for retro finds.

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