Tales of ghosts, interactive spectacles and month-long film screenings abound to celebrate the spooky holiday. Here are five spine-chilling ways to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.
1. Graceland Cemetery
Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes
On the corner of Clark Street and Irving Park Road sits Graceland Cemetery, the final resting place of many Chicago notables, from retailer Marshall Field to baseball legend Ernie Banks. It’s also where 6-year-old Inez Clarke’s grave site is located with a life-sized sculpture of her likeness encased in a glass box.
Many stories about how she died surround her but the most chilling is that she was struck by lightning at a summer picnic. Allegedly night watchmen have reported the statue missing whenever there’s a summer thunderstorm. Legend has it that either little Inez comes out to play when it rains or she runs off to hide when storms approach.
It’s also where the Eternal Silence (or “Statue of Death”) monument eerily stands. It’s been said that if you look into the eyes of the statue of the hooded figure, you’ll see a vision of your own death. Guests can pick up a road map at the main office near the cemetery’s historic entrance and take a free, self-guided tour of the grounds.
2. Illumination 2018
Photo courtesy of Illumination 2018
Those who remember Redmoon Theater’s annual Halloween event, Boneshaker, will be delighted to see creative mastermind Frank Maugeri putting his stamp on his next project: Illumination 2018.
More than 1,000 guests are expected to enjoy an evening of spectacle and wonder with 41 performances, which include 11 light art installations, two aerialists, puppetry and more in the West Loop.
3. Horror films
Theaters around Chicago host screenings of famous horror flicks, from Dracula to Rosemary’s Baby, throughout October. Check out The Logan Theatre in Logan Square or the Music Box Theatre in Lakeview to see their October line-ups.
Presented by the Chicago Film Society at Northeastern Illinois University, the 1957 classic Night of the Demon runs on Halloween night.
For those with younger children, Tim Burton’s beloved film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, plays on Halloween night at the architecturally-stunning 129-year-old Auditorium Theatre. The Chicago Philharmonic will bring the film to life as it performs Danny Elfman’s timeless score.
4. Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade
Photo courtesy of Northalsted Halloween
Some of the best and most creative costumes in the city come to compete for $4,000 in cash and prizes at the popular Boystown parade. Drag queens, families, pets – everyone – shows up to the parade of the season to watch the annual procession featuring stunning costumes, synchronized dancing and more.
5. Haunted tours
The Chicago Hauntings Tour, now in its 15th year, takes guests to sites of tragedies like the S.S. Eastland disaster, where 848 passengers and crew were killed from the shipwreck on the Great Lakes, the Hancock Building, the inspiration behind the film “Ghostbusters” and the Jane Addams Hull-House, which served as inspiration for Rosemary’s Baby. The fully-narrated bus tour lasts two and a half hours and makes stops to some of the most haunted outdoor sites in the city.