Halloween Fun, New Orleans-style
Six picks for October
When a city has over 300 years of history, it earns a patina of spookiness even in the brightest sunlight. As I finished that sentence and paused to consider the next, a dish in my sink just shifted against a glass for no reason. New Orleans is haunted y’all.
October is the perfect time to explore the macabre. In New Orleans, with our Catholic-influenced culture, we celebrate Halloween as well as the days following that remind us we all pass away, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Before the Grim Reaper actually comes for us, we may as well seek him out in a costume so we can walk away laughing.
Elysian Fields Ave. in the Marigny, along Decatur St. in the French Quarter, ending at Tchoupitoulas St. and Andrew Higgins Drive
The official Halloween parade of New Orleans, Krewe of Boo rolls through the French Quarter each year with themed floats and lots of throws. Between the floats are bands and dancing groups in Halloween-inspired costumes. Tourists and locals alike line the parade route and often wear costumes themselves. The parade will roll from Elysian Fields on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
319 Butterworth St., Jefferson, LA 70121
One of the newest haunted houses in New Orleans, Nightmare is located at the former House of Shock. It offers three separate attractions, “Rise of the Dead,” “Darkest Dreams” and most frightening, “Clown,” as well as a sensory maze, 5-minute mini escape games and a bar. Tickets start at $27, and fast passes and skip the line options can be added for additional fees.
4800 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70119
It doesn’t get more meta than going to a haunted house in a haunted house. The Mortuary is located in a mansion built in 1872 that was operated as a real mortuary for 80 years and is said to be actually haunted. The theme of The Mortuary this year is “The Cult of 13.” General admission tickets are $30, and express admission and VIP fast passes can be purchased for additional amounts. The Mortuary also partners with The Blood Center, which is on site each night the haunted house is open. If you donate blood there, you will receive a free express admission ticket, and possibly save three lives.
4800 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70119
Located in the same mansion as The Mortuary, the Mystere Mansion Escape Rooms are a year-round attraction at the venue. The rooms are designed to be solved by teams of up to 12 people within the 60-minute time limit. The themes of the rooms are “The Game Room,” “The Serial Killer’s Lair,” “Embalming Room Zombie Escape,” “Treasure Hunt” and “The Ghost Lab.” Rooms must be reserved in advance online. Admission is $40 for a general reservation and discounted to $30 for Louisiana residents.
1034 Harrison Ave., New Orleans, LA 70122
This seasonal outdoor fright festival is located in City Park and offers haunted house attractions in addition to carnival rides and a Kid Zone, touted as a scare-free play area for children. Seven fright zones and four haunted attractions include themes of zombies, pharaohs, witches and a 1957-high school homecoming vampire situation, which I am very excited about. General admission tickets are $20 and include access to the fright zones, carnival rides, kid zone and hayride. The festival plus haunted attraction tickets are $49, and express tickets and individual attraction tickets are also available.
Boo at the Zoo
Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70118
Kids like to be spooky too. Dress up the family in your favorite costumes and head to Audubon Zoo the evenings of Oct. 25-27 for Boo at the Zoo. Trick or Treating, Mummy Manor, a Ghost Train and other activities are a safe way to celebrate Halloween. Tickets are $20 per person for all ages 2 and older. They can be purchased in advance online.