Halloween, the cool aunt of the holiday season, returns to Cleveland officially Wednesday. Fortunately for the festive, the city has plenty of eerie events to tide horror lovers over until the fated holiday arrives. Haunted aquariums, creepy carnivals, and unearthly escape rooms begin this weekend with even more hair-raising surprises than before. Light-hearted fun also decorates the city, with charity balls, buffets, and costume parties popping up beginning Friday. So kick off the holiday with these 15 chilling and creative Halloween hot spots in Cleveland.
15th Annual Halloween Charity Ball
532 W. Market St., Akron
Now in its 15th year, the Halloween Charity Ball that takes place from 8 p.m. to midnight tonight at the Tangier in Akron promises to be a "ridiculously fun Halloween party," as it's put in a press release. The event includes a $500 costume contest grand prize, a DJ dance party, an open bar and food throughout the night. All proceeds benefit two local charities: Not Just October, an organization dedicated to expanding the knowledge and resources available to breast cancer patients, survivors, and their supporters; and the Ohio Shakespeare Festival, a public professional theater company dedicated to the Bard and his fellow playwrights in a way that "satisfies the collective imagination of their audience." Consult the website
for ticket prices.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
2163 Lee Rd.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
, the 1975 film that still draws an exuberant, costumed crowd that likes to throw rice and dry toast and sing along to the songs in the movie, still draws big crowds to local showings. Expect a throng to show up for tonight's special Halloween screenings that take place at 9:30 p.m. and midnight at the Cedar Lee Theatre. The screening will also feature a live floor show performance by Simply His Servants. Tickets are $9.75.
Cleveland Paranormal Festival
Public Square, downtown Cleveland
Deciding what to do on Halloween weekend is never easy, but the Cleveland Area Paranormal Society (CAPS) is offering a completely new experience tonight, unlike anything the Land has ever known. For one night only, Public Square gets taken over by spooky vendors, beer gardens, tarot readers, professional mediums, a "Vamps and Ghouls" variety show presented by Noella DeVille and Midwest Nerdlesque, DJs spinning terrifying tunes, and a guided tour with paranormal specialist Sara Cope, to explore haunted locations downtown. The fest
begins at 5 p.m., and attendees are encouraged to come dressed in Halloween finery for the 9 p.m. costume contest. The first 150 entrants will receive a CAPS tote bag to "trick-or-treat" the vendors for free swag. Tickets are $45.
CLEAVE-LAND Halloween Party
House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave.
Halloween is still a couple of days away, but many bars and clubs will celebrate tonight with special events. House of Blues, for one, hosts a CLEAVE-LAND Halloween Party tonight at 9. Flake Flash and DJ Red-I will man the wheels of steel and there will be a costume party. Tickets are $22 in advance, or $25 at the door, and VIP packages are available.
Unmask Hope Halloween Party
Hilton Downtown Cleveland, 100 Lakeside Ave E.
A Cleveland-based startup that battles chronic diseases and aims to reduce patients' out-of-pocket costs, Salusity helps patients address the non-medical issues that arise from being sick, including how to best use sick time, and which restaurants are best able to address their particular medical needs. Tonight at 7 at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland, the startup holds the inaugural Unmask Hope Halloween Party to help Larry Nance Jr.'s charity, Athletes vs. Crohns. DJ Dabura will provide the tunes. Tickets are $60.
It's Alive! Halloween Party
Fri., 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
1261 W.76th St., 216-999-7074
Battery Park Pub with DJ D-ROCK & KING DOM present the IT'S ALIVE! Halloween Party on Friday, October 26th. Two floors of electrifying deejays from 9pm to close! Come dressed, come early to this free event and enjoy delicious drinks and tasty treats at affordable prices. IT'S ALIVE! DJ D-ROCK will be spinning the upstairs, playing a spooky mix of new wave, synthpop, goth, electro & more that will make even the dead dance! Learn more here.
Through Oct. 27, 6-9 p.m.
2000 Sycamore S., 216-862-8803
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium swaps the scares for sharks, seadragons, and stingrays for their annual pirate-themed Halloween celebration. The event includes full Aquarium admission as well as a boatload of activities the whole family will enjoy: A safe trick-or-treat trail stocked with pirate booty, a walkable gangplank, animal encounters, a 5-minute science experiment and a DJ dance party. Face painters, balloon twisters, a magician, “land shark” mascot Finn and Captain NEO also join the fun throughout the evening. Seafarers young and old are encouraged to arrive in their own family-friendly Halloween attire. For more information, visit greaterclevelandaquarium.com.
Carnival of Horrors
Runs now until Oct. 28, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
1145 West Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-576-6501
Ever since 2003, Blossom Music Center has transformed into a haunted Halloween experience. There are four different haunted houses that attendees can visit, including an old, abandoned Fun House, the Wicked Woods, the Insane Asylum and the Freakshow in 3-D Terrorvision. Learn more on the website.
Bloodview Haunted House
Photo via joegaal /Instagram
1010 Towpath Trail, Broadview Heights, 440-526-9148
For over 30 years, Bloodview has been a familiar name among haunted attractions in Northeast Ohio. Created by the Legion of Terror, the world's oldest improvisational horror production company, Bloodview offers three attractions for one price, including the Gorehouse, billed as Bloodview's goriest attraction ever. Bloodview's actors also stage spontaneous performances in the outdoor lot, with a new theme every weekend. Find more information here.
Escape From Blood Prison
Every Thursday through Sunday until Nov. 4. Begins at 6 p.m.
100 Reformatory Road, Mansfield, 419-522-2644
A former prison is a scary place on its own merits. The psychotic inmates and clowns that are let loose at the Ohio State Reformatory will make this prison even scarier than usual. For more information, click here.
7 Floors of Hell
Photo via 7 Floors Of Hell/Facebook
Every weekend through Nov. 3
19191 Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights, 440-243-FEAR
Named one of the scariest haunted attractions in the country, 7 Floors of Hell is back for another horrifying year. Spread among seven different houses, it's never the same two years in a row. Visit the website to find out more.
Fortress of Fear Screampark
Uploaded by Fortress of Fear
Fridays and Saturdays through October, with special dates on Oct. 28 and 31
10268 Hewins Rd, Garrettsville, 330-322-7853
The Fortress of Fear is a 17th century-themed castle full of surprises. At the Screampark, you can also visit Fearanoia, a pandemic-infested factory and Feargotten, an escape room. Check out the website for more information.
Factory of Terror
Every Friday through Sunday until Nov. 3, and also the last two Thursdays of October.
4125 Mahoning Rd. NE., Canton, 330-455-3327
What makes the Factory of Terror in Canton so notable? It's set in an actual abandoned factory, for starters, and offers numerous attractions, including a mirror maze and a 3D-experience. Get your thrill on with The Scare Chair, which will take you on a bumpy, scary ride. This haunted house has been named largest indoor haunted house in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Learn more here.
For a whole more slew of events head here.