San Francisco Halloween events
This year the San Francisco Mint is getting a twisted Halloween makeover. Two interactive events, the Dead Zone and the Terror Vault, offer two very different ghoulish experiences. In the Dead Zone, visitors ages 10 and up must work to survive and cure the zombie apocalypse in a complex high tech adventure ($19.95/person). At the Terror Vault, the Mint’s Halloween team has created a horrifying, adults-only immersive haunted house full of escape rooms, fear-inducing mazes and heart-palpitating performances ($60/person). Buy tickets in advance to guarantee your spot to the city’s scariest event.
There will be screams at San Leandro’s Fear Overload. A lot of them. Because this isn’t your average haunted house: Fear Overload has two separate spaces to get your heart pumping. Tiptoe your way through the first, the Amnesia Ward, a mental hospital with a zombie problem, to keep the crazies from making you their next meal. In the Washroom, angry spirits are out to teach the living the meaning of the word “misery” with a horrifying look into their hellish eternal lives. Tickets start at $25 for admission to both haunted houses. Guests under 13 not recommended.
The family friendly haunting of Stern Grove returns this year, with an alien invasion of extraterrestrial proportions. The event, which includes a costume contest and parade, haunted houses, hay rides, carnival rides, giant inflatables and live entertainment is an out of this world option for kids of all ages. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance via phone or at the McLaren Lodge Annex (501 Stanyan St).
Each Halloween the chic W Hotel gets ghostly with its raucous dance parties. On Friday night, the W hosts the Halloween International Ball, a distinctly global dance party featuring Euro hits, Persian and Middle Eastern dance music, and 80s and 90s hip hop. On Saturday, the massive Haunted Hotel costume party spreads out over three floors, each with a different vibe: a first floor “living room” spinning Top 40 hits, a second floor EDM-blasting “industry room” and a third floor VIP area featuring Vegas mashups, club hits and throwbacks. Tickets start at $40 on Friday and $45 on Saturday and costumes are required for entry.
Set sail for a masquerade ball on the San Francisco Bay this Halloween. The Fume Blanc Commodore plays host to a soiree of titanic proportions—literally “Titanic” proportions—with the ship decked out as the ill-fated vessel. Two dance floors, unlimited drinks and shining views of the city skyline make this one of San Francisco’s most stunning Halloween parties. Tickets start at $99 and semi-formal attire with masks are required for entry.
The Castro glitters a little brighter each year during its no-holds-barred Halloween block party. This October, Noe Street will light up with art by the Electric Spectrum LED Circus and neon face and body painting. Drag performances and booty-shaking beats will play all afternoon long, topped off by a glow extravaganza led by the GayGlo Guerilla Theater. Free with a $10 donation requested.
There are no fewer than five separate haunted attractions at the Pirates of Emerson haunted theme park. Now over 20 years old, the Pirates of Emerson are sure to terrify this October’s crop of fright-seekers with the intriguingly named spaces Prison Panic, Psychopath and The Haunted, not to mention their namesake ghostly pirate ship. Outside of the haunted houses, the park keeps the adrenaline pumping with mazes, a frightmares sideshow, a misfortune teller and live music. Tickets start at $35 at the door, $30 online. Kids under 10 not recommended.
The Saturday before Halloween, Balboa Street comes alive with a spooky block party. Join Sunset neighbors for trick-or-treat scavenger hunt down Balboa’s business district. When the candy sack is full, take the kids to St. Thomas The Apostle Elementary School for Halloween games, a bouncy house, petting zoo and a freaky costume contest. Free and fun for kids of all ages.
Think of San Francisco’s largest Halloween pub crawl as trick-or-treating for adults. Last year, 6,000 costumed revelers took over Polk Street for $3 drinks, music and dancing, and costume contests. This year, whether you show up on foot or via the San Francisco Party Bus, you’re sure to be in spooktacular company at 23 haunted watering holes including Mayes, Playland, Rouge, Jackalope, the Wreck Room and Brickyard. It’s free to join the festivities. Check in at Mayes, Playland or Rouge to get a route map and wristband.
This October the Gregangelo Museum, San Francisco’s whimsical house of oddities, hosts a magical immersive experience accented with a Malaysian tasting menu and tea elixirs. Explore the historical home and its enchanted installations and interactive games then delve into the supernatural and open your mind to voices from other realms during the ancient tea ceremony hosted by Fabula Tea. Costumes are encouraged and tickets, starting at $80/person, are limited.