Halloween in Boston

Halloween in Boston 2020 - Ghosts, Graveyards, Gore!

Best Halloween Events, Tours, Parties, Cruises

Halloween in Boston celebrations start at least a month before the actual event on October 31st, and are a huge event here.

After all, Boston has some of the country's oldest graveyards, haunted tales, and scary events, plus great places to shop for Halloween costumes. 

If you visit Boston during October, don't miss these Halloween events!

Here are some of the best places to celebrate Boston Halloween . . . starting with graveyard tours and ghost stories.

Need more suggestions about what to do in Boston in October?  Check the October Events Calendar.

Ghosts and Gravestones Tour

Not just for Halloween, Boston's nightly Ghosts and Gravestones Tour combines a trolley ride with walking to visit the city's scariest sites. 

Costumed "gravedigger" guides show you the darker side of Boston.  They'll entertain you with haunted tales about the city's earliest days and strange discoveries - the mysterious North End tunnels, the unexplained Day of Darkness back in 1780, and the haunting ghost of Boston Harbor, the Lady in Black.  And then there's the scariest part of the tour . . . a chilling visit to 2 of Boston's oldest graveyards, accompanied by tales of the macabre.

Ghosts and Gravestones tours fill up fast around Halloween in Boston - so make your reservation now!

Discount Halloween Events, Shows, Cruises, & Pub Crawls

Half-price and discount Halloween events, shows, cruises, and parties in Boston

Check Groupon discount tickets to Halloween events, parties, and shows. 

Beyond Boston . . . Halloween in Salem

Witch in Salem MA
Witch in Salem

Immerse yourself in witch culture by heading north of Boston to Salem, Massachusetts, also known as the "Witch Capital" after the infamous witch trials of 1692 led to the execution of 20 people and 2 dogs.  Numerous historic and entertaining witch museums, historic sites, and appealing restaurants provide more than enough to see and do during your visit.

Two easy ways to get to Salem from Boston include a guided day trip (with plenty of time for exploring on your own), or a high-speed ferry from Boston if you prefer to see Salem on your own.  

Check out Halloween in Salem for more about the witch museums, and save money when you get a combo ticket for the Wax Museum and Witch Village.

To find this year's date for Salem's Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, usually held in early October, check the Boston Events for October.

Halloween Costume Events and Parties - 2020

Boston pubs and hotels get into the Halloween spirit with prizes for best costumes, live music and/or DJs, and shows.  Tickets usually required (call in advance to check); most are 21+. 

Halloween parties and events to check out: 

Walking Dead Costume Crawl - Oct 31 8pm-Nov 1 2am - Join over 3,000 crawlers and get access to over 10 West End bars (Beerworks, Bodega Canal, Finn McCools, The Point, Causeway, Greatest Bar, & more).  Spooky decor, costume contest, drink specials, swag.  Tickets are $3-$10 - book here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tower-of-terror-the-greatest-bar-tickets-74856404521

Lansdowne Pub (9 Lansdowne St, Fenway) - Free Spooky Legs & Eggs Drag Brunch Show on October 19 - doors open 11am, show at 1pm;  Halloween Ball with Live Band Karaoke with the Jukebox Heroes on Thursday, Oct 31, band plays at 10pm - costume contest - 21+, no cover.  More info: http://www.lansdownepubboston.com

Liberty Hotel (215 Charles Street) - Liberty's special "Day of the Dead" Halloween Costume Party Package (includes 2 tickets for the Day of the Dead Halloween party on 10/26, and 2 Bloody Mary vouchers for Sunday morning, plus luxury accommodations).  Check regular rates.  Book online with Promo code HO9 or call 1-800-228-9290 and ask for promo code HO9).  Package rates start at $599.

The Greatest Bar (262 Friend Street, West End near TD Garden, 617-335-5582) hosts their 12th annual Haunted Mansion Halloween fundraiser - Enjoy great music and wear your scariest costume - Saturday, October 27, doors open at 6pm, $15.  $500 cash prize for best costume.  DJs; party is on all 4 floors.  Tickets required - get them here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/12th-annual-haunted-mansion-the-greatest-bar-tickets-50405704820.  And don't miss Tower of Terror on October 25 - 4 floors of terror and mayhem.  Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tower-of-terror-the-greatest-bar-tickets-74856404521  

Loretta's Last Call (1 Lansdowne St, Fenway, 617-421-9595) - Pumpkin Carvin' Party - October 28. 6-8pm - $17 includes pumpkin, carving kit, and 1 pumpkin beer with prizes, giveaways, and live music starting at 7pm.  21+.  Tickets:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pumpkin-carvin-party-tickets-38092796580.  Puppy Patio Party: Halloween Edition - Oct 26, 12 noon - 2pm -  bring a furry friend in an Halloween costume (and come in one yourself); treats, giveaways, brunch specials.  Halloween Hoedown - Oct 31, 10pm - Live music, costume contest, specialty cocktails, 21+, no cover.  More info:  https://lorettaslastcall.com/calendar/

Trick or Drink: Boston Halloween Bar Crawl - Oct 26, 4pm-2am and Oct 31, 6pm-2am, starts at King's Bowl Back Bay (50 Dalton St) - Participating bars include Bill's Bar, Loretta's Last Call, Bleacher Bar, Dillon's Boston, Lansdowne Pub, McGreevys, Kings, House of Blues Boston- DJ, Costume Contest, more.  21+, $15-$45.  More info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trick-or-drink-boston-halloween-bar-crawl-2-days-tickets-61822507785

Planning to Party?  Spend the Night in Boston

There's no need for a designated driver after a Halloween bar crawl when you stay over in a Boston hotel - just make sure you choose a hotel within close walking distance from your last stop.  Enter your dates to find best rates:


More about how to save on Boston hotels

Ghosts, Halloween Decorations, & More -  Themed Walking Tours

Halloween decorations in Boston's Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill's historic homes display some of the most colorful and lavish Halloween door and window decorations in the city.  You can easily stroll through the neighborhood on your own - Chestnut and Mt Vernon Streets are great starting points. 

Even better - join a Evening Ghost Tour of Boston  More information

- Beacon Hill Photography Walking Tour - Your guide will make sure you see the neighborhood's famous cobblestone lanes and other photo-worthy attractions, entertain you with stories about the famous residents who live here, and photograph you at various points along the way.  For the full Halloween experience, come in costume!  More about the Beacon Hill photography tour

Of course, you can take these tours throughout the year, but seeing the colorful and creative Halloween decorations adds to the fun! 

Halloween Celebration on Castle Island

Fort Independence on Castle Island in Boston MA

Children of all ages will love the Magical Halloween Castle and Celebration at Fort Independence on Castle Island on October 26 and 27, 12 noon-4pm. 

Look for storytelling, magicians, a Magical Castle (that may be "haunted"), refreshments, and more at the star-shaped fort ... supposedly the inspiration for "The Cask of Amontillado," Edgar Allan Poe's famous chill-filled short story.

The Castle Island events take place between 12 noon and 4pm on both days, weather permitting.  Children MUST be accompanied by an adult.  Free admission.

More about Castle Island and how to get there 

Boston's (Haunted?) Burying Grounds

Halloween - Boston graveyard
Granary Burying Ground

Are Boston's Puritan-era burying grounds dating back to the 1600s actually haunted?   Stroll through a couple of these Freedom Trail sites, and decide for yourself.

Granary Burying Ground contains the remains of some of the greatest Revolutionary War heroes including Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and the 5 Boston Massacre victims.

A block away is King's Chapel Burying Ground, Boston's oldest cemetery.  Many of the first generation of English Puritans who settled in Boston are buried here.  Be sure to check out the intricately carved seventeenth century headstones embellished with skulls and crossbones, and depicting Time wrestling with Death.

And, if you enjoy scary ghost stories, King's Chapel Burying Ground is supposedly haunted by Captain Kidd, hanged for piracy in 1701. 

Of course, like many other Boston Halloween tales, that story may not actually be true.

Detailed signs at both graveyards will help you discover where all the bodies are buried.

Cost:  Free
-  Granary Burying Ground is next toPark Street Church, at the Park Street/Tremont Street intersection
-  King's Chapel Burying Ground is next to King's Chapel, corner of Tremont and School Streets

More Top Tours for October

ImprovBoston's GoreFest - "XVIII: Maul of America" - 2020

Each year, ImprovBoston creates a new over-the-top musical comedy full of squirting blood (aka red corn syrup), juvenile humor, tasteless dialog, and catchy tunes to entertain and gross out Halloween fans.  You may possibly even detect satire and mockery.

Gorefest 28 involves ... lots of gore.  That's why it's Boston's longest-running bloodbath.  Get ready for lots of laughs in this immersive, hilarious, and horrifying Halloween show.

Expect plenty of flowing blood and possibly flying guts, not all of which lands on the actors.  Don't wear your good clothes.  In fact, bring a poncho if you have concerns about what might land on you because something probably will.  Or you can pay a few dollars extra and get one with your ticket.

ImprovBoston's Halloween romp aspires to be inappropriate for people of all ages, and therefore is not for children, the squeamish, the easily offended, or anyone who insists on good taste or decency. 

But if you love this kind of comedy, not just for Halloween, get your tickets now.  And you may also want to check out other best Boston comedy clubs.


When:  October 17 - 31, various times
Tickets and more information: https://improvboston.com/gorefest-2020
Address: ImprovBoston Theater, 40 Prospect Street, Cambridge (Central Square)
Nearest T station: Red Line/Central Square

Don Your Ghoulish Best for Pru Boo

Pru Boo - Boston Halloween event at Prudential Center

If you're looking for a family-friendly Halloween event in Boston, Pru Boo is the biggest Halloween party in the city for toddlers to 12 year olds.

The Shops at Prudential Center host this beloved annual event, with over 50 participating stores and restaurants.  All proceeds go to a non-profit partner to benefit children. 

Let your children don their scariest costumes and bring them to this safe and fun event featuring costumed characters, concert, pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treating, face painting, magic shows, and much more.   New this year will be non-food trick-or-treat items for those looking for an alternative to candy or who might have food allergies.

For a small donation, your child gets a trick-or-treat bag to fill with candy from participating stores around the mall.  They'll have tons of fun, you can browse for great shopping deals, and Boston's children who need help the most will benefit. 

Details and directions

Date:  Usually the Sunday before Halloween - check the Boston Event Calendar for updated details, including cost (which is donated to charity)
Location:  Shops at Prudential Center, Boston's Back Bay neighborhood
Nearest T Station:  Green Line/Pru Center

Get Creative at 75 Chestnut's Pumpkin Fest!

Pumpkin Fest in Boston MA

Pumpkin carvers of all ages are invited to exercise their skills on Saturday, October 19 from 12noon - 3pm at 75 Chestnut, one of Beacon Hill's most charming neighborhood restaurants. 

Carve, paint, and decorate your pumpkin, and then take it home with you.  Reservations required - 617-227-2175.  Reserve early, as this event always sells out.

The pumpkins are complimentary - but plan to indulge yourself with some of 75 Chestnut's special fall fare - pumpkin bisque, cranberry apple crumble, and for the grown-ups, the special appleand pumpkin martinis made from locally-grown produce.

On October 31st starting at 5pm, 75 Chestnut and 75 on Liberty Wharf invite visitors to stop by in costume and enjoy various Halloween specials and wicked witches brews at their Haunted Happenings event.

75 Chestnut is owned by Thomas Kershaw, who also owns the "real" Cheers (also known as the Bull and Finch) on Beacon Street and has done much through the years to benefit and improve Frog Pond across from Beacon Hill on Boston Common.

Where to Buy Halloween Costumes in Boston

The Garment District

During the weeks before Halloween, Boston party-goers and power shoppers head across the river to the Garment District (200 Broadway at Portland Street intersection; Central Square T station) in Cambridge for budget costume choices. 

Vast array of recycled costumes, retro fashions, and vintage gems, plus you'll also find a great assortment of wigs, swords, masks, body paint, and other Halloween gear in the month or so before Boston's favorite holiday.  Cheap prices - so you'll still have plenty of $$s left for buying candy.

Insider tip:  Go early to beat the crowds and get the best selection.  Open daily; call 617-867-5230 for hours.

Dorothy's Boutique - Famous Boston Costume Shop

Dorothy's (190 Massachusetts Ave, near Huntington Ave) packs in a huge quantity of costumes and accessories on every aisle, floor to ceiling. 

Fort Independence on Castle Island in Boston MA

Dorothy's (190 Massachusetts Ave, near Huntington Ave) packs in a huge quantity of costumes and accessories on every aisle, floor to ceiling. 

Dorothy's almost bursts with every costume and accessory imaginable - hats, fake mustaches, wigs, costumes, cheap cowboy boots, outrageously fake jewels, and stilettos - almost all with reasonable prices.

Most costumes are for adults.  You'll want to hit the gym before strutting around in many of them.  Don't bring your children unless you want to explain x-rated details.

This family-owned shop has been here since 1947, and Boston is a more interesting place to party because of it.  Open daily; call 617-262-9255 for hours.

Halloween Pet Parade - Faneuil Marketplace

Halloween Pet Parade

Do you and your pet love to dress up and strut around?

If so, bring out your favorite Halloween costumes for both of you, and head over to Faneuil Hall Marketplace on October 26 from 12 noon to 2pm to show off your holiday spirit.  

You and your pet could win one of 6 top prizes!  Categories include Best Owner and Pet Combo, Best Local Boston Representation, Most Creative, and Top 3 Best of Show.

Check Boston October Calendar for date and time details

More to Do in Boston in October

Events and things to do in Boston in October

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