If you're looking for a good ghost story, not only does Austin have some ghoulish ones to tell, the city is also full of festive ways to celebrate Halloween. From seasonal movie series, haunted houses and parties at your favorite local bars to kid-friendly events like corn mazes and Boo at the Zoo, here are some favorite festive events, activities, and things to do in Austin this October:

two women in costume at the Crank N Stein competition at Crux Climbing Center in austin texas
Crank'N'Stein. Courtesy of Crux Climbing Center.

Halloween Parties and Events

Film fans won't want to miss the special Halloween screenings at AFS Cinema. The theater is featuring a selection of classic horror films in both the Evergreens and Lates series, including "The Black Cat," starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, and the 1982 Halloween classic, "Halloween III: Season of the Witch."

Join The Belmont on October 26, for the second annual Costumes and Cocktails Halloween party. Featuring live music from Tyler McCollum and Riverside Voodoo, then a dance party and costume contest with sets from Austin DJ ZIXXIZ and HERZO.

Don't Miss Crux Climbing Center's annual Halloween-themed climbing competition, Crank'N'Stein, on October 19. Witness world-class climbers, climbing spooky, neon-lit walls in costume. Plus, opt for a free tattoo (seriously) or, just get your face painted if you're not ready to commit.

Are you bone to be wild and ready to rock? Join Geraldine’s on October 31 at their Rock Never Dies event featuring music from Donovan Keith from 9:30–11 p.m. Treat yourself to a boo-tiful cocktail like the Children of the Candy Corn or a Purple Potion.

Dress your ghoulish best for the Halloween Dance Party & Costume Contest at Elysium Nightclub on October 31, featuring the best goth, industrial and synthpop music all night long.

One night of Halloween just isn’t enough and Gibson Street Bar is making sure you get your fix all month long at Nightmare on Gibson St. Every Friday and Saturday in October, come get in the spooky spirit with a DJ and get BOOzed up with dry ice cocktails and Jell-O shots.

Austin-based event booking and independent zine-makers Sister Fisters are celebrating a year of events with a One Year Anniversary Halloween Party at Swan Dive on October 31. Don't miss the costume contest, DJ sets, live performances from queer musicians and a drag variety show.

Boys and ghouls, bring out your spookiest costume for Hotel ZaZa Austin’s first annual Halloween Bash on October 31 10 p.m.-2 a.m. The evening will feature a live DJ, savory bites and special surprises for a hair-raising night at the hotel’s sky lounge bar & restaurant Group Therapy, Pool Deck and Cabana Bar.

Come flaunt your creepiest Hollywood attire at the Haunted Hollywood: Bloody Red Carpet Affair at The Venue ATX on Halloween night. There will be disturbingly delicious drink specials, ghoulishly delectable food, haunting beats from guest DJs and frightening creatures lurking around every corner.

Haunted Austin

Tour the city in style and take a ride in the Haunted ATX Hearse Limousine to check out the landmarks in Austin that have officially been deemed haunted; such as the Clay Pit and the Littlefield House at the University of Texas. You might have an eerie encounter on Sixth Street at Buffalo Billiards. The pool hall's purported ghost, nicknamed Fred, has been blamed for many weird incidents over the years.

Visit the Historic Oakwood Cemetery on October 26 for the free Murder, Mayhem & Misadventure Walking Tour. Families and history buffs will love learning the unfortunate stories behind some of the cemetery's most infamous residents.

For a supernatural experience year-round, Austin Ghost Tours offers guided, on-foot tours to some of the city's most haunted places, turning an evening stroll into a walking ghost story. Join the investigation to discover who is lingering among the streets and alleyways of historic, downtown Austin.

Upgrade your Halloween with brunch at the historic Hotel Ella's Haunted Mansion on October 27. Stick around after brunch to hear the ghastly tales of what goes bump in the night during spooky mansion tours, win treats by playing our outdoor games and activities and do the monster mash to live tunes. Ghouls and goblins of all ages are welcome to enjoy games and activities, and costumes are encouraged!

Hipster zombies, b-boy werewolves, drag queen witches and ballerina ghosts are just a few of the spooky characters you'll find at Ventana Ballet's immersive "Undead," a re-imagining of the classic ballet "Dracula." Make your way to Austin’s iconic Spider House Ballroom-turned-haunted house October 25 and 26 to experience a night of classic Halloween creatures, suspense, comedy and, of course, ballet. 

Fall Family Fun

October brings a variety of Halloween-themed events to Austin. Creepy scarecrows, ghost stories and all things scary will be featured at Pioneer Farms' annual Haunted Halloween Trails. The family-friendly spook-tober extravaganza will be open for six nights in 2019, where visitors can choose from three separate, spooky trails (fright ratings G, PG & PG-13), enjoy live music and dancing in the historic dance hall, fortune telling, pumpkin carving and more.

Bring the kids in full costume to Boo at the Zoo (Friday and Saturday nights in October), where they can experience the Austin Zoo in a whole new way: in the dark. Train rides, musical entertainment, and unlimited Haunted House visits are also included in the fun.

Back by popular demand, The Austin Symphony will be performing their annual Halloween Children's Concert at the Long Center's Dell Hall on October 27.

If you're looking for a low-key autumn experience, head to Sweet Berry Farm between September 21 and November 10 for the annual pumpkin patch. Kids and adults alike will love the hayrides, Texas Hayfield Maze, pumpkin painting, scarecrow stuffing, face painting, crafts and more!

Head to Austin's children's museum, the Thinkery, on October 26 for a Halloween Hootenanny. Dress in your Halloween best; hands-on STEAM activities for kids and adults make this fall celebration spell-bindingly fun for all.

scary characters at House of Torment haunted house in austin texas
Courtesy of House of Torment.

Get Your Screams

Like a trip through a modern horror movie, terror is felt throughout the season at House of Torment. The horror destination features a year-round Escape Room and ghoulish new attractions. Prepare to scream as you journey through elaborate sets and come face-to-face with monsters, zombies and ghoulish characters.

Scare enthusiasts looking for real fright should visit Scream Hollow just south of Bastrop. Beginning Fridays and Saturdays mid-September, experience 20 acres of terror and stroll through the Mansion of Terror Phantoms, take on the zombies in Lost Pines Zombie City or Vicious T. Mangles and the Slaughter Circus. No matter the route, be prepared to be genuinely scared.

man and woman with dia de los muertos face paint and traditional clothing at Viva la Vida street parade in austin texas
Viva la Vida. Credit Chris Caselli.

Día de los Muertos

From October 31-November 2, 2019, celebrate Dias de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday that remembers loved ones who have passed. Several different cultural events throughout the month will feature a lineup of music performances, art exhibits and more.

Hosted by the Mexic-Arte Museum, Viva La Vida Festival & Parade is Austin’s largest and longest-running Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival, and one of the few in the country with a parade. The festival features a Grand Procession, hands-on art activities, and artist demos, and a celebration with traditional foods, local artist and retail booths, a low-rider exhibition, live music and performances throughout the day on October 26.

LEVITATION Festival and Do512 are teaming up for a legendary Dia de los Muertos event at the iconic Scholz Garten. The event features a special Dia de Los Muertos altar exhibit and live performances from local favorites such as: Alex Maas of The Black Angels, Bidi Bidi Banda, Peligrosa and more.

Light up your Halloween night with pyrotechnics at Kreig Softball Fields at the annual Texas Fireworks Día de los Muertos celebration, presented by Planet K. Enjoy face painting, live art exhibits, vendors, kids activities, a vintage car parade and food trucks before the big show at 9:30 p.m. on October 31.

Honor the tradition of Dia de los Muertos at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on November 2. This celebration features local musicians, dancers and artists, an altar exhibition, children's activities and crafts, face painting, food trucks and pan de muerto.

For even more October happenings, check out our events calendar and check out our Ultimate Austin Fall Bucket List.