In New Orleans, Halloween is more of a state of mind than a one-day holiday. As soon as September rolls around (ok, more like August) pumpkins and ghosts start popping up in stores around town. As the grueling summer finally starts winding down, residents shift to a spookier spirit. After all, New Orleans is a city known for ghosts, vampires, and throwing kickass parties, so when it comes to Halloween, we do it right. It’s time to open up the costume closet because whether you’ve lived in the Big Easy all your life, or are the new kid on the block, #FrayLife is here with the ultimate guide to getting your ghoul on this October. Mwa ha ha ha ha (insert menacing laugh here)…
Everyday in the French Quarter, Various Companies
It seems like there are just as many Ghost Tour companies in New Orleans as there are bars, and with 300 years of dark and sordid history, it’s no wonder the city is repeatedly named one of the world’s most haunted. Fever epidemics, great fires, wars, serial killers: there’s no shortage of ghost-producing events in the Crescent City’s past. On a Ghost Tour your guide will take you to some of the most infamous spots in the quarter (most definitely including the LaLaurie Mansion, thought to be one of the world’s most haunted houses, and formerly owned by Nicolas Cage!) and tell you the gruesome tales that led to all this paranormal activity. You may not believe in ghosts, but a Ghost Tour is sure to put you in the Halloween spirit! (See what we did there?)
Fridays- Sundays October 5- November 3, 7:00 pm- 11:00 pm, 4800 Canal St.
Appropriately located in a mansion right across the street from St. Patrick Cemetery No. 1, The Mortuary has been rated New Orleans’ best Haunted House. The self-guided tour features a Hollywood style experience including professionally built animatronics, theatrical sets, and special effects. Built in 1872, the mansion was used as an actual mortuary for 80 years, and bills itself as “a Haunted House in a REAL Haunted House,” so the scariest part might actually be figuring out what’s a special effect… and what isn’t!
#FrayLife Tip: Buy a ticket to The Mortuary and get free admission to Scout Island Scream Park!
Only on Weekends from October 5-November 3, (Fridays 6:00 pm-11:00 pm, Saturday 4:00 pm-Midnight, Sundays 4:00 pm-10:00 pm), City Park (Marconi Dr. & Harrison Ave.)
From the minds behind The Mortuary Haunted House, Scout Island Scream Park debuts this year in City Park, and is described as a Halloween Festival for the whole family. The festival features three haunted attractions: The Devil’s Swamp Terror Tour, Zombie Outbreak Battlefield, and The Scream Factory Haunted Fun House. There are three fright zones: Cirque du Fear, Blood Bayou, and The Horseman’s Fright. Not to mention carnival rides, a maze, kids’ activities, music, and food. With so much going on, whether you’re a seasoned thrill seeker, or a self-proclaimed scaredy-cat, Scout Island Scream Park has something for you.
Saturday, October 20, French Quarter
9:00 am Zombie Run
6:30 pm Parade
8:00 pm Monster Mash Ball
Started by the Mardi Gras float-making Kern family in 2007, New Orleans’ Official Halloween Parade, Krewe of Boo, parades annually through the Quarter. The parade features handmade fiberglass and papier-mâché horror props and sculptures, as well as locally sourced throws. If you’re feeling adventurous, Krewe of Boo also hosts the New Orleans Zombie Run on parade morning. Dress as a zombie and race two miles through the Warehouse District with the zombie-hunting Big Easy Roller Girls hot on your trail. After the excitement of the race and parade, let loose and cut a rug at the Monster Mash ball in Generations Hall downtown.
Friday, October 26- Sunday, October 28, Various Locations
Started 34 years ago as a dinner party to honor friends who died from AIDS, HNO has transformed into a not-to-be-missed three-day event hosted by Together We NOLA, New Orleans’ LGBT community. Friday night is the black tie optional Lazarus Ball at the Hyatt Regency hotel, which features dinner, dancing, and a silent auction. Saturday night’s event is a dance party at the Contemporary Arts Center, where guests are encouraged to pull out all the stops when it comes to costumes (very much required)! The weekend wraps up on Sunday with a brunch and tea dance along the Mississippi, followed by a Second Line parade through the Quarter.
#FrayLife Tip: On a budget, but still want to celebrate? You can still enjoy HNO by dressing up and walking down Bourbon or Frenchman Street and checking out all the amazing costumes!
View More Articles By Katie Baer