Two costume parties, a bloodsucking festival and an artist-brewed haunted exhibition prove that Halloween was made for creative types.
Little Berlin: Haunted House
The creak of a rusty gate, the hollow crunch of gravel in a vacant courtyard, a nervous glance over your shoulder—this is what it’s like to visit Little Berlin on a normal day. Tucked away behind a fence fit for an insane asylum on the ground floor of the old Viking Mill factory, the gallery’s location is bred for Halloween antics. This year, an artist-designed haunted house will prove that your fears are well-founded. In addition to pedaling itself as the cheapest thrill in town (admission is only $1), Little Berlin’s haunted house is also the only one in Philadelphia that draws on dark artistic genius to concoct a haunted exhibition in an art gallery. Assaulting the senses with sound, installation and performance work, visitors will grope their way through the gallery in total darkness. With artists dropping off and installing their work the day-of, this haunted house is sure to be quick, dirty and creatively twisted.
Sun., Oct. 30, 8pm-midnight. $1. Little Berlin, 2430 Coral St. littleberlin.org
Rosenbach Museum & Library: Dracula Festival
As the caretaker of Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula, the Rosenbach has a particularly demonic ward within the walls of its 1865 rowhouse, and a great excuse for a multi-day festival celebrating literature’s most notorious vampire. Featuring hands-on tours of the exhibition, Dracula and Friends, literary buffs will have the rare opportunity to thumb the pages of Stoker’s notes and peruse a selection from the Rosenbach’s trove of supernatural literature. On Oct. 27, actor Josh Hitchens channels 14 characters from the novel during his 75-minute performance of Stoker’s Dracula. On Oct. 29, create your own gothic vibe with Dracula D.I.Y., a steam-punk crafting event where you can make your own Victorian-inspired cameo broach, create a custom Dracula print and finally learn how to tie a cravat in honor of Dracula’s feckless hero, Jonathan Harker. Garlic necklaces and silver accessories highly recommended.
Oct. 26-30. Free with museum admission. Rosenbach Museum & Library, 2008-2010 Delancey Place. rosenbach.org
Vox Populi: Halloween Bash
According to the event poster, there a lot of unknowns in Vox Populi’s Halloween Bash: We don’t know who the DJs are but we do know they’ll be “killer”; we don’t know what the costume prizes will be but we do know they’ll likely be awesome; we don’t know exactly when the party ends but we do know that it will go “late!” But when it comes to Halloween, mystery has always been part of the appeal. So if you’re 21 and older and a fan of dancing while you drink (unlimited beer!), then slap on a costume, embrace the unknown and join Vox for its first Halloween Bash.
Sat., Oct. 29, 9pm. $10. Vox Populi Gallery, 319 N. 11th St. voxpopuligallery.org
Philadelphia Museum of Art: Halloween Dance Party
If you fancy yourself in an 11th-hour style masquerade ball surrounded by neo-classical architecture, then the Halloween Dance Party at the PMA requests the honor of your company. The theme this year is vintage animation (hello, costume ideas!), and a large-scale projection of cartoons from the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s sets the tone. Take your dancing cue from slinky cabaret-tap dancer Gin Minsky or lindy-hop your way into the groove of the original hipsters, led by a fleet of professional swing dancers. Catch your breath with a tour of the PMA’s hauntingly beautiful art or seek your fortune in a tarot-card reading, all to the tune of Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra.
Fri., Oct. 28, 5pm. Free with museum admission. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St. and Ben Franklin Pkwy. 215.763.8100. philamuseum.org