Celebrate Halloween in Boston with These Spooky and Fun Activities

Boston, celebrations, Halloween

Halloween in Boston 2023: How to celebrate

The spooky season has arrived. Here’s how to get your thrills and chills in Boston this October.

Celebrating Halloween in Boston is a no-brainer. As one of the oldest cities in the country, this town is rife with any kind of spook imaginable—whether it’s one of our creepy old graveyards, a verifiably haunted hotel or sites of bloody massacres that would put your favorite true-crime podcast to shame. And if all that’s not enough, we’re only a quick broom ride from Salem, which boasts a whole other kind of frightening history—and real-life witches everywhere you turn! But Halloween in Boston doesn’t have to be all that spine-tingling. Keep reading for various fun ideas, including Barbie-themed dance parties in former (probably haunted) prisons, floating costume soirees and suggestions on where to get your costumes and pumpkins for the season.

1. Haunted Happenings in Salem

  • Salem is at its busiest during the month of October, when history and horror buffs head to the site of the Witch Trials.
  • Check the city’s Haunted Happenings website for the full schedule.
  • You can tour the Witch House or take a Ghost Tour any time of year, but there’s something extra spooky about being there in October.

2. Come on, Barbie, let’s go party at Liberty Hotel

  • The (probably haunted) Liberty Hotel is hosting a Barbie Extravaganza Halloween Party on Saturday, October 28, from 9pm through 1:30am.
  • The party will transform the multi-level former prison into a Barbie Dreamhouse, with specialty-themed cocktails and music from two DJs.

3. Find your jack-o-lantern at an area farm

  • Halloween’s first order of business is to find yourself the perfect pumpkin to carve up and place on your stoop.
  • Skip the puny grocery store gourds and opt for one from an awesome family-run farm near the city where you can pick your own from a patch.
  • Your options are plentiful—from the dreamy Lookout Farm in South Natick to the Boston Hill Farm in North Andover.

4. Find the perfect costume at The Garment District

  • We’ve always been a fan of the Garment District during Halloween, which has everything you can think of for the perfect season’s getup—witches, ghouls, monsters, all the “sexy versions” of things and masks out the wazoo.
  • Head to the thrift section for some awesome retro finds, or simply Google other thrift stores near you.

5. Get the spooks on a Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour

  • Explore the spookiest haunts in Boston on this 90-minute tour that focuses on tales of the Boston Strangler, the murders and executions on the Boston Common, and paranormal activity at the Omni Parker House.
  • The tour is available year-round, but Halloween is the best time to go (book tickets early), especially when you and your fellow guests get into the spirit in costume.

6. Binge scary flicks at Coolidge Corner Theater

  • Brookline’s wonderful Coolidge Corner Theater presents its 22nd annual Halloween Horror Marathon over Halloween weekend, where you can binge 12 total hours of classic horror flicks.
  • Suppose a marathon is too much of a commitment. In that case, you can stop by Coolidge throughout October for any number of flicks fit for the spooky season.

7. Scare yourself silly at Barrett’s Haunted Mansion

  • Abingdon’s terrifying haunted attraction returns with an all-new set of creepy rooms packed with rabid clowns, crazed nurses and chainsaw-wielding ghouls.
  • You can make it a date with the venue’s “Bite and Fright” special, which includes dinner at the Abington Ale House.

8. Creep through the crypt at Old North Church

  • At the historic Old North Church, visitors can explore the main floor and bell chamber, but there’s something far creepier underfoot.
  • The crypt below the historic church—recently reopened after a nine-month restoration project—offers frightening fun with vaults containing an estimated 1,100 bodies entombed between 1732 and 1860.

9. Feel the spirits at the Omni Parker House

  • One of Boston’s oldest and most historic hotels, the Omni Parker House, is believed to be haunted.
  • There have been reported sightings of a bearded gentleman dressed in colonial garb on the 9th and 10th floors, the elevators have been known to operate independently, and hotel staff have responded to complaints of eerie noises coming from otherwise unoccupied rooms.

10. Dare to venture into the Witch’s Woods

  • Enter the creepy forest in Westford and get ready to scream bloody hell.
  • The Witch’s Woods Haunted Hayride and Halloween Screampark offer six different haunted experiences—all designed to scare you shitless.

11. Pull the covers over your head at Lizzie Borden’s house

  • You can spend the night in the Fall River sight of the famous unsolved Borden murders, which daughter Lizzie was acquitted of committing.
  • If that’s too scary for you, you can also tour the house in the safety of daylight.

12. Explore more haunted hotspots with Boston Ghosts

  • Explore the very best of haunted Beantown with this local tour group dedicated to revealing why this city is spooky as hell.
  • Boston Ghosts’ Boos and Booze pub crawls include stops at local haunted watering holes.

13. Enjoy the sounds of the season

  • The Beacon Street Quartet will be at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline on October 25 and 26 to perform an hour’s worth of beloved Halloween season ditties for the masses.
  • To make this even more hauntingly beautiful, the sanctuary will be lit with the glow of thousands of candles.

14. Turn up during Halloween at Big Night Live

  • Big Night Live invites guests to spend Halloween weekend enjoying performances from top artists like Nora En Pure, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike.
  • Big Night Live offers luxury pod seating, multiple bars, LED walls and a state-of-the-art supersonic Funktion One sound system, giving guests the best access to the best artists.

15. Raise your pinkie at the Dia de los Muertos Tea

  • The ultra-charming Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington taps into its ghostly side with its annual high tea with a Dia de los Muertos twist.
  • The afternoon affair includes themed tea towers overflowing with delicious sweet and savory bites and planned activities such as costume contests and cookie-decorating workshops.

16. Cruise the Boston Harbor with witches and zombies

  • Sail into the harbor over Halloween weekend with 500-plus fellow ghouls during the Witches & Zombie Halloween Party Cruise.
  • Guests can peruse multiple party decks while enjoying food and drink, and dancing to thumping DJ sets.

17. Go trick-or-treating on historic Beacon Hill

  • Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, the most Boston of all Boston things to do on Halloween is to go trick-or-treating on Beacon Hill.
  • The elaborate decor from Boston’s toniest residents really make strolling their historic streets a treat for everyone.

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