It's no treat to get spooked by Halloween at the last minute. Let this list of chilling and thrilling events motivate you to get your costume together ahead of time.
- Parade of Lost Souls Festival, Oct. 17 to 27
Public Dreams is offering workshops on Michael Jackson "Thriller" video choreography, performance and character creation, giant puppet making and vocal improvisation by donation in the lead up to the Secret Souls Walk, Oct. 27. All workshops are by donation. The walk runs from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and the East Side location will be announced on Public Dreams' website, Facebook page and on Twitter, Oct. 27 at 12:01 a.m. Suggested donation for the walk is $5. publicdreams.org.
- Fright Nights, Oct. 17 to 31
Six fright houses are sure to set visitors screaming at the Playland at the PNE. A new 2,500-square-foot house called FEAR that's devoted to the world's top-listed paranoias joins houses Car-n-Evil, Hollywood Horrors, Asylum, Darkness and Haunted Mansion. Entrance includes unlimited access to the houses and 13 rides, The Monsters of Schlock and their horrifying comedy act and other shows and attractions. The adult-themed event starts at 6 p.m., $28 to $36, pne.ca.
- Judge Dee and the Chinese Garden Murders, Oct. 24 to 31
Seven Tyrants Theatre presents this intimate haunted house that features 30 actors, dancers and musicians and is inspired by Robert van Gulik's Judge Dee murder mysteries at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden. Brave the garden's haunted pathways, uncover clues and warm your bones at the old teahouse as you piece together a crime. The adult-themed event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. with entry for 10 visitors every 10 minutes. Adults $12; students $6, seventyrants.com, ticketstonight.ca.
- Dia de los Muertos, Oct. 25 and 26
Spark up your Halloween spirit early with a Day of the Dead spectacular featuring Mexican cabaret diva Astrid Hadad and her band Los Tarzanes in Dia de los Muertos. Hadad, who sold out the Chan Centre in 2005, returns with her surreal costumes that serve as portable sets and comic performances that combine music and theatre and subvert Mexican political and cultural history with a feminist attitude. There'll be surprise guests and prizes for the best Day of the Dead costumes. The Vogue Theatre, 8 p.m., $41 and $50, voguetheatre.com.
- A Tomb With a View, Oct. 25 to Nov. 3
Upintheair Theatre and Genus Theatre bring playwright Norman Robbins' comedic-thriller to Vancouver. A Tomb with a View is set in a sinister library presided over by a portrait of a grim-faced, mad-eyed old man. There, a dusty lawyer reads a will to an equally sinister family. One member has werewolf tendencies, another wanders around in a toga and a third is a gentle old lady with a penchant for poison and a dislike of visitors. According to a press release, The Addams Family meets Agatha Christie in this classic 1978 murder mystery. Studio 1398, 1398 Cartwright St., Granville Island, 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 28. Tickets $18; $14 for students; half price with a full costume Oct. 31 and pay what you can Oct. 30. Brownpapertickets.ca.
- Michael Jackson's Haunted Pumpkin Patch, Friday, Oct. 26
The first five Michael Jacksons get in free to this party that includes the Thriller Dancers, Kytami, Michael Fraser, Spooklesque and a naughty pumpkin playroom. The first werewolf gets a free rabies shot and the first five brain-hungry zombies pay $2. Everyone else pays $10 in advance, $15 at the door for this event that runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at 2115 Commercial Dr., revelrysociety.org/party/mj/party.htm.
- Halloween Land, Oct. 26 and 27
A hellish stroll through Halloweenland, a sideshow revue, erotic thrills, DJs and cash prizes for best costumes round out the weekend at the Waldorf Hotel. 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Advance tickets $20/25/35, Waldorfhotel.com.
- Parade of Lose Souls Dance Party, Oct. 27
Create, walk and then get down at the Parade of Lost Souls Dance Party featuring DJ Oker and DJ Tango. The Rickshaw Theatre, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., $25; $30 after Oct. 21.
- The House of Forsaken Gods, Oct. 27 to 31
Visitors to In the House Festival's haunted house Oct. 27, 9 p.m. will journey through the worlds of gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, monsters and demons from Greek mythology and see an hour-long performance that includes aerial circus, theatre, puppetry, physical comedy and music. Tickets $35 adults; $30 students. Inthehousefestival.com.