This post was written by Hatchet reporters Regina Park and Lauren Gomez.
Halloween is a three-day affair, so after you’ve gotten your fill of free candy from the embassies, take your costume, grab your $3 “boorito” from Chipotle and head to one of these spooky events.
7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
2400 East Capitol St.
Want a real haunted house experience without the bunny ears and fake cobwebs? Try Scream City by Steelhead Productions, an experience so intense that it won television network A&E’s “Haunted House Design and Build Competition” in 2014.
The “Nationally Recognized Haunt” experience has returned for its 15th year with two new attractions. The “Slaughter Factory” offers you the chance to meet the crazed owner of a slaughter house while the “Exorcism Estate” lets you wander around an abandoned Victorian mansion where a wealthy District family disappeared on Halloween night. A 40-minute walk through these back-to-back haunted houses is sure to give even the toughest horror fans a scare.
Scream City will be open every Friday and Saturday night from Oct. 2 to Nov. 1. Tickets range from $30 to $40, depending on the date and time.
Night of the Living Zoo
Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW
See the spooky side of the National Zoo on the night before Halloween at the Night of the Living Zoo. Attendees of the adult-only Smithsonian National Zoo event will experience some of the Zoo’s 1,800 animals after-hours, along with live music, performance artists and food and beverages supplied by some of DC’s best local food trucks and breweries.
If you find yourself wandering the Zoo during the event, expect to run into live music from Black Masala and DJ Squirrel, and performances by fire twirlers, stilt walkers, and illusionists from the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow. Farther into the zoo, participate in a “Spooky Halloween Display” competition or costume contests to win prizes.
The event is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.
Nightmare on M Street
Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.
After you’ve gone door-to-door to collect candy, it’s time to go door-to-door at your favorite bars like Sign of the Whale or The Exchange.
The 17th annual Nightmare on M Street is back with 26 participating venues spanning three District neighborhoods – Dupont Circle, the U Street corridor and Gallery Place – so carousers are bound to hit old favorites and discover new ones in the process.
Some bars have also added costume competitions and drink specials, including $3 Coors Lights and $5 Kraken Rum or Three Olives Vodka.
U Hell Halloween Party
Oct. 31 at 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.
1115 U St NW
Free for 21+ before 11pm, $15 for 18-20 through advanced tickets only
An all-night dance party is sure to bring out the best Halloween costumes, so hit up U Street Music Hall’s annual U Hell event from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Spinning beats will be the discjockey duo Gents & Jawns, two club music mavens who have performed with Diplo, Dillon Francis, Nadastrom and Caspa. If you’re a regular at the concert hall, make sure to put extra effort into your Halloween get-up – costume contest winners will earn free admission to the venue for a year.
The event is free for anyone 21 and older if you arrive before 11 p.m. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 20 can buy $15 at least an hour in advance to attend.