Halloween Fest, 1938 Radio Theatre, Day of the Dead, Iron Pour, Contra Dance & the new Rocky Horror
10/29/09 by Johnny Monsarrat
Here’s your week in weird. Enjoy it! Want this weekly? Subscribe to email, Facebook, or Twitter.
The Week in Weird
|Day of the Dead Festival @ Forest Hills Cemetery||11/2||Boston Metro|
|The Day of the Dead festival is one of my favorite events of the year. Forget candy skeletons. This is a serious and touching remembrance of the dead lead by a Mexican group that touches ancient traditions. And you can join in the singing, dancing, and interacting with the spirit world. Believe me when I say this: YOU MUST GO.
95 Forest Hills Avenue, Jamaica Plain, MA.617-524-0128. more
|El Dia de Los Muertos||11/1||Boston Metro|
|This alternative Day of the Dead festival has the candy skulls. 2-5pm.
Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA.800-511-9725. more
|Day of the Dead @ Peabody Museum||11/1 – 11/2||Boston Metro|
|Don’t get too excited about this event at Harvard’s Peabody museum. The main fiesta is sold out, although you can still drop by the family event, which I would guess is not just-for-kids.
Peabody Museum, Cambridge, MA.617-496-1027. more
|A Night at the Wenham||10/30||North Shore|
|Here’s another museum event. Characters from the Museum’s collections come to life in a magical evening of mystery and surprise. Take a moon-lit tour of the Claflin-Richard’s House, and enjoy a treasure hunt and spooky treats. Pre-registration required.
Rt 1A, Wenham, MA.978-468-2377. more
|Ghosts on the Banke||10/30 – 10/31||New Hampshire|
|The best educational place to be though is undoubtedly Strawbery Banke, one of four re-enactment museums with live actors in New England. They’ll have an outdoor movie, horse-drawn wagon rides, a bonfire, and lots of actors both piratical and ghostatical. A quick drive up from Boston.
Marcy Street, Portsmouth, NH.603-422-7514. more
|Tomes of Terror – Halloween Live Audio Trilogy||10/29 – 10/31||Boston Metro|
|Also a favorite, this is a spooky theatre event where they act out an old radio broadcast. I’ve been twice and it’s really unique and worth seeing!
Unity Church of God, 6 Williams Street, Somerville, MA.617-669-4391. more
|The Big Broadcast of 1938: The War of the Worlds||10/29 – 10/31||Boston Metro|
|But I think they might be one-upped this year by Orson Welles’ infamous “War of the Worlds” radio play, adapted to follow events in Boston during the “Martian invasion”. It was a hoax portrayed on the radio in 1938 that got out of hand as many who were listening started to believe it!
Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA. more
|Iron Pour – Molten Metal Showers, Fire-spinning||10/30||Boston Metro|
|I have been researching this event for years!! They’ve never returned by phone call, but I finally pinned it down! Mass College of Art has an “Iron Pour” twice a year, where the metals department melts down old radiators and shows how to pour into molds, generating huge showers of sparks. They’ll have live music, fire-spinners, dancing, and a “VJ”, a visual disc jockey, I suppose that must mean lasers. 7-11pm.
Mass College of Art, Boston, MA.617 879 7020. more
|Iron Pour @ Providence, RI||10/30||Rhode Island|
|This one looks smaller, but closer for those of you in Rhode Island. Rain date: next day.
27 Sims Ave, Providence, RI. more
|Wiccan Samhain Magick Circle Ceremony||10/31||North Shore|
|I went to this last year. It’s a genuine pagan ceremony that you can join in. I am forced to say it was not as magical as I thought. It was hard to hear the priest (no microphone), and then you walk in a circle for 45 minutes. I suppose it beats Catholic mass for entertainment, and nobody passed a plate! Procession starts at 4:30pm at 88 Wharf Street, Nu Aeon. Then two hour ceremony at Gallows Hill Park, Bridge St & Boston St, at 5:30pm. Then candlelight walk at 7:30pm into Salem Downtown. Pronounced “sah-wen”. Open to the public. They suggest you bring a lantern or candle in glass.
Starts at 88 Wharf Street, Salem, MA.978-745-8668. more
|Closing night celebration & Halloween Fireworks||10/31||North Shore|
|It’s really worth the visit to Salem if you can make it, for the crowds, costumes, and B-level Halloween fun. (Really, all the best Halloween attractions are outside Salem, or they’re A-level but year-round things.) To encourage revelers to return home, they will end the night with a musical fireworks finale around 10:30pm, and then extra commuter rail trains home.
Near Salem Depot, Salem, MA. more
|The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe & Graveside Walk||10/31 – 11/1||Rhode Island|
|Have you heard of HP Lovecraft? He was the famous horror author who came after Edgar Allan Poe, but before the author of Pyscho and Stephen King. Friday 12-1pm there will be a reading of gothic poetry, ending with Poe’s The Raven, at the Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street, Providence RI. 401-421-6970. Then Sunday, the local H. P. Lovecraft fan group, the Cthulhu Prayer Society, meets at 1 pm for a graveyard walk in Providence’s historic North Burial Ground. Wear a Halloween costume or graveside attire. Meet at the main (south) gates at North Main Street at 1pm, weather permitting. Contact Brett Rutherford, firstname.lastname@example.org. If it rains, meet for lunch instead at Union Station Brewery, Exchange Terrace on Kennedy Plaza.
Various, Providence, RI.
|Tales of the Night @ Drumlin Farm||10/29 – 10/30||Metro West|
|Spooky tales will also be at this state park west of Waltham, with a hayride, haunted house, and walks in the forest. Bring a flashlight.
208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA.781-259-2200. more
|Halloween at the Somerville Armory||10/29||Boston Metro|
|I don’t really understand this event, but it seems somewhat kids oriented: musical theatrics with a nod to old-time cult horror films.
Somerville Armory, Somerville, MA. more
|Unlike the Somerville Armory, the Higgins Armory has armor in it, and it’s worth visiting anytime. But this Saturday, come in costume and go trick or treating (adults or kids), participate in a costume contest and hear spooky storytelling. OoooO!
100 Barber Ave, Worcester, MA. more
|Mischief at the Old Manse & Haunted Attic Tour||10/29||Metro West|
|Previously untold and true stories of the Old Manse on this special Halloween guided tour. Call for details because the website is vague.
Old Manse, 269 Monument Street, Concord, MA.978-369-3909. more
|Nosferatu with Devil Music Ensemble||10/31||Boston Metro|
|If you missed it last week in Salem, Somerville is hosting live music to go along with the silent film Nosferatu! 6:30-9:30pm.
Somerville Armory, Somerville, MA. more
|MIT Pumpkin Drop||10/31||Boston Metro|
|I have no information on the MIT Pumpkin Drop, but last year it was the Saturday before Halloween. This year it is probably “on” Halloween. If so, it will be on the “Dot”, a small circle of grass south of building 54. 11:59pm.
MIT, Cambridge, MA.617-253-2871. more
|Spooky Skate @ MIT||10/31||Boston Metro|
|Also at MIT, they’ll set up a skating rink and a lot of people will come in costume. Last year they had arts & crafts and lots of free food. It doesn’t appear to be MIT community only. 8pm-12:30am.
MIT, Cambridge, MA. more
|Harvard Scare!||10/30||Boston Metro|
|The larger festival is in Harvard Square, however. They’ll have a block party outside the Au Bon Pain, and the usual street performers will entice you to come spend money in local stores.
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. more
|Rocky Horror Halloween Special – Boston||10/31||Boston Metro|
|The place to be in Harvard Square, though is really the theatre on Church Street, for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s a bad old movie that fans like to dress up and mock and re-enact live on stage while the film plays. This Halloween, the local groups will also do a special pre-show. I went once! Times are not given but I assume the show is at midnight as usual.
Loews Theatre, 11 Church St, Cambridge, MA. more
|Rocky Horror Halloween Special – RI||10/28 – 10/31||Southern Mass|
|And another group is doing it at the Zeiterion Theater, New Bedford MA, and in Providence.
New Bedford, MA. more
|Repo the Genetic Opera (the new Rocky Horror?)||10/31||Boston Metro|
|Tired of Rocky Horror? This film may be the next big hit: “Repo the Genetic Opera”. A theatrical cast reenacts the film as it plays on the big screen. They’ll also have a great theatrical preshow. 8pm.
Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA. more
|AntiMorris at Sunset||10/31||Boston Metro|
|Just as strange, but more family-friendly, join up for “Pumpkin Carols” and see morris folk dancing in Somerville.
Somerville Community Growing Center, on Vinal Ave, Somerville, MA.617-718-9623. more
|Halloween Contra Dance & Costume Party||10/31||Metro West|
|This one involves folk dancing that you can join in on! It’s really not as hard as you think, because the rules are lax and the people are friendly!
Scout House, 74 Walden Street, Concord, MA. more
|Silent Rave||10/31||Boston Metro|
|Or dance hip hop or any style you want to your own mp3 player in this “silent” dance party. 8-11pm.
The Boston Public Gardens, by the Swan Boats doc, Boston, MA. more
|Plenty of Bars Have Banal Halloween Events||10/24 – 10/31||Boston Metro|
|So you want to go to a costume ball? Avoid the bars! Look, any bar can put up a $200 costume contest and the idea is basically, come, drink, our patrons provide the decorations. You can get so much more creative. If you really need to go to a bar, see The Boston Phoenix or the Weekly Dig. Cambridge has a free “SAFEride” program if you get drunk, 617-876-5000 between 7pm Oct 31 and 3am Nov 1.
|Annual Mayness & Madness Halloween Bash||10/31||Boston Metro|
|This one’s a typical “bar” event, run by a young professionals (i.e. singles) group.
McGann’s, 197 Portland St, Boston, MA. more
|Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball||10/30||Boston Metro|
|But here are some much more creative options! Obviously, Salem is the place to go to see the best costume. Here’s a costume ball.
Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA. more
|Haunted Monster Masquerade Bash||10/31||Northern Mass|
|Here’s another arty costume ball.
347 Kenoza Ave, Haverhill, MA. more
|Halloween Parade & Contest @ Nantucket Island||10/31||Southern Mass|
|And here’s one on Nantucket Island.
Nantucket Island, MA. more
|USS Constitution Halloween Haunt||10/31||Boston Metro|
|This daytime haunt and “Follow the Captain Costume Parade” is mainly for kids.
USS Constitution Museum, Boston, MA.617-426-1812. more
|Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular||10/30||Rhode Island|
|Every night, thousands of pumpkins will light up Rhode Island’s favorite zoo. 6-11pm.
Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI.401-785-3510. more
|Halloween Night Hike||10/29||Southern Mass|
|This park event is a nighttime walk to learn about forest creatures, and it’s followed by a campfire! 5:30-7pm.
194 Cranberry Road, South Carver, MA. more
|Halloween Bike Ride||10/31||Boston Metro|
|Come bicycle a 14-mile route in costume in JP. Rain date: next day.
Meet at Green Street T Station, Jamaica Plain, MA. more
|Beacon Hill With a BOO!||10/31||Boston Metro|
|My money would be on this event, though, with ghost stories and a spooky walking tour of Boston. No reservations required. This one’s not just for kids.
State House, front steps, Boston, MA. more
|Society for Creative Anachronism Crown Tournament||10/31||Worcester|
|The SCA recreates a medieval theme at its events, with a lot of genuine history, but a lot of just fun as well. They’ll have a tournament of knightly battles and a feast.
Spencer, MA. more
|Revealing the Truth – how many Stasi Secrets does Germany need to know?||10/28||Boston Metro|
|The German Institute, bucking Halloween week, is holding a serious evening of talks about East Germany’s repressive Stasi police. Now that’s scary.
170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA. more
|NESBA Marching Band Competition||11/1||South Shore|
|This actually looks pretty interesting! Marching bands, especially the good ones, have so much talent.
415 Center St, Bridgewater MA. more
|International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition||10/31 – 11/2||Boston Metro|
|As if building robots weren’t enough, MIT now leads an international contest to build biological systems. (Are they going to fight to the death in a public arena?).
MIT, Cambridge, MA. more
|Cross Quarter Day||11/1||New Hampshire|
|I’ve been to this place and if there’s one thing the experts agree on, if it’s not a hoax exactly, it can’t be as interesting as the New Age Mysticism implies. Still, it’s a fun activity if you’re in the area, and it certainly is weird. They have an alpaca farm, and it’s open year-round, too. A bunch of insane paranormal types will pull the gullible along. Might be a fun show.
105 Haverhill Road, Salem, NH.603-893-8300. more
|Howl-o-ween Pet Parade / Mike-FM Howl-oween||10/31||Boston Metro|
|I think I’d rather see the costumed creatures at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. 12-4pm.
Fanueil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA.617-523-1300 x7021. more
|Live Animal Haunted House at Animal Adventures||10/30 – 10/31||Metro West|
|Animals are also the center of Dr. Scary’s slimy, scaly Halloween experience. Although it’s mainly for kids, for adults they include a giant snake and alligator feeding on Friday.
336 Sugar Road, Bolton, MA. more
|Davis Farmland Costume Weekend and Parade||10/31 – 11/1||Worcester|
|Costume weekend & parade at everyone’s favorite corn maze.
145 Redstone Hill, Sterling, MA.978-422-8888. more
|Brattle Trick or Treat||10/31||Boston Metro|
|Mainly for kids, there’s a free showing of Charlie Brown’s “Great Pumpkin”, followed by genuine horror films for adults in the evening.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA. more
|Central Scare in Lynn||10/29||North Shore|
|Also for kids, they’ll have a haunted house and costume contest, ghost stories and mask-making. This one seems to be theater-based and not a raw commercial event.
Lynn, MA. more
|Pumpkin Carving||10/29||Boston Metro|
|Register in advance to get a pumpkin and come carve it.
Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA. more
|Halloween event||11/1||Western Mass|
|A not-so-scary festival follows Halloween in Lenox. 3-5pm.
Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA. more
|Haunted Forest @ Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary||10/30||Cape Cod|
|Also not so scary (for kids 6-12), is the haunted forest at this Cape Cod park. 5:45pm-8:15pm.
291 State Highway, Route 6, South Wellfleet, MA. more
|Falmouth Halloween Parade||10/31||Cape Cod|
|This business event encourages people to “stroll” through the merchant district and go trick-or-treating. And buy stuff.
Main Street, Falmouth, MA.508-548-9888. more
|Full Moon Tour @ Gore Place||11/2||Metro West|
|Gore Place will show you what a night of candlelight used to look like, in their old-timey house. 7pm.
52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA.781-894-2798. more
|Boston Vegetarian Festival||10/31 – 11/1||Boston Metro|
|Although this is a commercial event, with lots of vendors, there will also be lectures and a lot of education if you’re curious (or already into) the vegetarian lifestyle.
Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St, Boston, MA.617-424-8846. more
|Boston Palestine Film Festival||10/16 – 11/1||Boston Metro|
|This film festival seems to truly be a festival, not just a series of screenings. They’ll have an opening reception and a few filmmakers appearing to present some of the showings.
Various, Boston, MA. more
|Williamstown Film Festival||10/23 – 11/1||Western Mass|
|This one’s far more ‘real’, although way out in Western Massachusetts. As well as the films there will be several artist discussions and socials.
Various Places, Williamstown, MA.413-458-9900. more
|Halloween Parade – Charlestown Mothers Association||10/31||Boston Metro|
|This Halloween parade is another that smells like “for kids”. 5pm.
Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown, MA. more
|Superhero 5K Road Race||11/1||Boston Metro|
|Yet another charity walk. Um, run.
Central Square, Cambridge, MA. more
|Daylight Savings Time Ends||11/1||Everywhere|
|Don’t forget to set your clocks forward an hour this weekend.
|The Donkey Show||8/21 – 1/2||Boston Metro|
|The Donkey Show is actually not ending! Performances will continue through January (but I’ll stop listing it weekly). It’s a 1970s disco dance party that you can join in, with a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. By itself, that would be worth seeing. But then they take it one level higher with special effects, and then one level higher than THAT with a twist ending. I’ve seen a lot of weird events in my time. This one is a must-see!
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA. more
|Fall Foliage Hiking Around New England||10/10 – 11/10||Worcester|
|Fall foliage is going strong in the Berkshires. Where’s a good place to go to see Fall Foliage closer to Boston? The closest is the Blue Hills in Canton, MA, Wachusett Mountain Reservation (which is the same mountain but a separate entrance from Mt. Wachusett Ski Resort), and the Berkshires. Or go north to Mount Monadnock in southern NH. Don’t have a car? Try the Middlesex Fells which you can get to on the subway. Or see this website for other parks.
Various, Various. more
|Canstruction||10/19 – 11/6||Boston Metro|
|What does Food Bank, the charity, have a lot of? Canned food! What can you do with cans? Build lots of towers! Engineers & architects compete to build buildings and sculptures.
The Boston Design Center, One Design Center Place, Boston, MA. more
|Out on the Edge Festival||10/25 – 11/15||Boston Metro|
|This ‘festival’ is mainly a series of performances, but they’ll have several post-show audience discussions and events to socialize at. Theatre, a satire of TV news, a comedy about beauty pageants, a costume contest, and lots of gay frivolity, wink wink.
Various Places, Boston, MA. more
|National Novel Writing Month||11/1 – 11/30||Boston Metro|
|Do you want to write a book? Join other procrastinators and break through by doing it all in just one month. (Don’t worry, you can revise it later.) They’ll have several local events for writers to meet each other, be inspired, and even work side-by-side in a “you can do it” environment.
Check Their Slow Website, Everywhere. more
|Concord Festival of Authors||10/21 – 11/8||Metro West|
|This “festival” is really a series of author events and book readings, but many of them look quite interesting, especially dry southern humorist Roy Blount, Jr. on Oct 15 (the kind of guy who likes the cartoon Marmaduke), and a spooky night of thrillers and Dracula Oct 31.
Various Places, Concord, MA. more
|Salem Halloween Happenings||10/1 – 10/31||North Shore|
|Salem is on the commuter rail and there’s no excuse to miss it this time of year. JUST GO. All the attractions are located near the visitors’ center. Avoid anything that looks touristy. I recommend: the Pirate Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, The Peabody Essex Museum, and catch the theatre shows at the House of Seven Gables. Rt 128N to exit 25A, Rt 114E, follow signs to visitor’s center.
Park at Visitors Center and walk around, Salem, MA.978-740-1650. more
|Salem Pumpkin Festival on the Commons||10/17 – 10/31||North Shore|
|Beyond just “lots of pumpkins”, they’ll have a 1,000 lb monster pumpkin and a hay bale maze! I just saw it! And they have a moonbounces, too. 10am-5pm, Nov 1-2. JUST GO TO SALEM, ok?
Salem Common, Salem, MA. more
|Gorefest at Improv Boston||10/22 – 10/31||Boston Metro|
|My favorite improv comedy club is doing a spoof on slasher films that have a lot of blood. It sounds pretty gross, but it might be funny if you’re totally inured to horror flicks. 8pm but some days also 10pm.
Improv Boston, 40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA.617-576-1253. more