Experience a spooky Halloweekend in Durham with these haunted happenings, from frightening to family-friendly events
Compiled by Brooke Spach
CLICK! Photography Festival Keynote Lecture – Thursday, 3-4pm – New York-based artist and political activist Renee Cox delivers the annual Rothschild Lecture via Zoom. Her photograph, “The Housewife Missy at Home,” is currently on display at Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University as part of its exhibit, “In Relation to Power: Politically Engaged Works from the Collection.”
Durham Night Market – Thursday, 5-9pm – The monthly market at American Tobacco Campus features 50-plus local vendors and live music from local artists plus food trucks and brews to enjoy under the stars.
AfterHours Up Close: Science of Fear (SOLD OUT) – Thursday, 6-9pm – Kick off Halloweekend with a spooky adults-only event at the Museum of Life and Science. Learn about the brain’s response to fear from UNC neuroanatomy experts, attend a paranormal presentation and conquer your fear of spiders or cockroaches. There will be a food truck on site, and tickets include a complimentary beverage from sponsor Tito’s Vodka and a ride on the Ellerbe Creek Railway.
Halloween Bingo – Thursday, 6-9:30pm – Show your support for the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties with a few festive games at Hill House. Bring your own chair or picnic blanket and enjoy a costume contest and food trucks. Bingo starts at 7pm.
William Paul Thomas Gallery Talk – Thursday, 6pm – The Durham-based artist leads an informal gallery talk at Craven Allen Gallery as part of his exhibit, “Public Displays of Affection,” which closes Friday. The talk follows a reception at 5:30pm.
Boo McCabe’s Halloween Hoedown – Thursday, 8pm – The House of Coxx Scream Queens present a tantalizing 21 and older drag show at Bull McCabes. Advance tickets are available via Venmo at @bullbabesdragbrunch.
‘Re-Animator,’ ‘The Thing’ and ‘Jennifer’s Body’ – Thursday-Saturday, 7pm – The Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University offers free public screenings of these three classic horror films this Halloween weekend.
‘Inheritance’ – Friday, 10am-6pm – Three generations of Durham artists – Carlyn Wright-Eakes, Bonnie Wright and Suzanne “Maman” Wright – present a collection of paintings, sculptures and baskets that encapsulate their familial pride. Catch the final day of this exhibit at Golden Belt Campus.
Pop-Up Birds of Prey Tour – Friday, 10-10:45am and noon-12:45pm – Head to Leigh Farm Park as Piedmont Wildlife Center shares lessons about its native birds of prey on this half-mile walking tour. Masks are required, and each time slot is limited to 12 people.
Our Community Stories: Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing – Friday, noon – Learn about Durham’s African American hospital that was renowned in the 1900s as well as the impact of its nursing program during this virtual event hosted by the Community Engagement division of the City of Durham‘s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department.
Trunk or Treat – Friday, 5:30-7:30pm – Bring the family for some trick-or-treating from the open trunks of decorated cars at the Holton Career and Resource Center during this Halloween event hosted by Durham Parks & Recreation. Costumes are encouraged!
Halloween Phantasmagoria – Friday, 6:30-9:30pm – Spiritualism and scavenger hunts collide during this 19th century-inspired event at Duke Homestead State Historic Site. Expect new experiences from years’ past, and be sure to bring a flashlight to search the grounds for historical (and possibly spooky) surprises.
‘The Howling’: 4K Restoration – Friday, 7pm – Catch this ’80s werewolf flick in high definition at The Carolina Theatre.
The Fourth Annual ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Halloween Ball – Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm – And also come out to see this classic Halloween film as part of The Carolina Theatre’s Retro Film Series, complete with door prizes, special effects and audience participation.
Pumpkin Patch Express – Saturday-Sunday – Make the most of fall with a trip to the Museum of Life and Science’s pumpkin patch by way of the Dinosaur Trail. Activities include a hay maze, nature-themed bingo, take-home activities and a return train ride on the Ellerbe Creek Railway. Each ticket holder receives a pumpkin, too.
BooFest – Saturday 10am-4pm – Don your costumes and head to the Museum of Life and Science for this kid-friendly Halloween festival. Activities include concocting BooBubbles in The Lab, Not-So-Scary storytime and special concerts by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle’s Verona Quartet at 11am and 1pm.
Trick or Treat at Mystic! – Saturday, noon-4pm – Dress to impress for a costume contest, trick-or-treating and specialty cocktails during this family-friendly Halloween celebration at Mystic Farm and Distillery.
Rainbow Halloween Festival – Saturday, 1-4pm – House of Coxx presents an inclusive, festive bash intended for LGBTQIA+ and ally families at West Point on the Eno. The afternoon includes live performances, an obstacle course, costume parade and pumpkin painting.
Drink Durham Festival – Saturday, 2-11pm – The day-long event at Durham Bulls Athletic Park features 50 breweries, 16 live musical acts – headlined by G Yamazawa – food trucks and local vendors. All proceeds benefit The CNOTE Foundation to provide scholarships to historically black colleges and universities.
Howl-O-Ween Fest – Saturday, 2:30-4:30pm – Bring your costumed pup to Boxyard RTP for a dog costume contest benefiting Pawfect Match Rescue in Holly Springs, or stop by the photo booth for a chance to be featured on Boxyard’s Facebook page.
Caroline Stinson and Ieva Jokubaviciute – Saturday, 8-9:30pm – Duke‘s Department of Music hosts the cellist and pianist for a free concert at Baldwin Auditorium.
HALLORAVE – Saturday, 8pm-2am – Dance till you drop at The Fruit with live performances and music from eight different DJs throughout the night. Two party rooms feature different genres, drag shows and dancers. Attendees must be 21 and older.
Halloween Silent Disco – Saturday, 8-11:30pm – Bust a move with ghosts and ghouls at Hi-Wire Brewing during this dance party featuring three DJs.
Boos & Booze Halloween Party – Saturday, 6-9pm – The Glass Jug Beer Lab will have DJs, food trucks, spiced hot apple cider and a costume party at both of its locations this Halloween. The RTP location will serve specialty pumpkin beers all day, and the downtown storefront will offer a new debut holiday spiced ale called Chemistree.
‘We’re Locals’ – Saturday, 8pm – Philadelphia-based comedians Dan Vertrano and Aaron Nevins travel to a new city each week and try to blend in with the locals. Their visit culminates in a unique, one-night-only show at Shadowbox Studio.
RDC Marathon – Saturday-Sunday – Lace up your sneakers for a 5K or 10K on Saturday and a half-marathon or marathon on Sunday. The course was designed to feature highlights of Durham, including the American Tobacco Trail, and will start and end at The Streets at Southpoint.
Homecoming Worship Service – Sunday, 1pm – North Carolina Central University’s week-long homecoming celebration commences with a worship service at McDougald-McLendon Arena.
An Afternoon of Boo-tiful Music – Sunday, 2-3:15pm – Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the Durham Community Concert Band’s free fall concert at Durham Central Park.
Hallow-Eno – Sunday, 6-9pm – Durham Parks & Recreation celebrates its 32nd annual event for children ages 12 and younger at West Point on the Eno. The evening features campfire stories and songs, hayrides, treats, crafts, games and face painting. No registration necessary.
Boogie Ball – Sunday, 7pm – The House of Coxx queens present their final Halloweekend drag show at Durham Central Park hosted by Vivica C. Coxx herself. The free show will also feature games with prizes and local food trucks.
Raund Haus of Horrors – Sunday, 8pm – Durham-based record label Raund Haus hosts a showcase of spooky sounds by regional DJs and creatives at Motorco Music Hall.