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13 Spooky Activities To Spice Up Your Halloween In San Francisco

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

13 Spooky Activities To Spice Up Your Halloween In San Francisco

There’s no shortage of tricks and treats happening around the Bay this year!

Happy Halloween, San Francisco! How are everyone’s Squid Game costumes coming along?

Many of last year’s Halloween festivities were put on hold, so we’re thrilled to bring you an epic round of activities to make up for lost time. There’s something for everyone here, whether you’re looking for a party, a haunted house, kids’ activities, or a chill night in.

If you want to be scared:

Here are some extra spine-chilling events going on through Halloween weekend. Be sure to see our full list of Bay Area haunted houses, because this is just the beginning!

1. Halloween Haunt at Great America

As if roller coasters weren’t scary enough, the entire park at Great America has been taken over by monsters, zombies, killer clowns, and more! Walk through terrifying scare mazes, themed zones, and spooky shows and performances. They will also host a voodoo dance party at Orleans Place, complete with awesome live music and activities.

2. All Hallow’s Eve at the Winchester Mystery House

Courtesy of Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is putting on an epic Halloween event through October. All Hallows’ Eve features the Lost in the House tour, a theatrical experience where you can investigate the house’s paranormal activity. There’s also a Jack O’ Lantern trail adorning the house’s gardens as a family-friendly outdoor option!

3. Fear Overload Scream Park

Find two excellent award-winning haunted houses at this San Leandro location. “Descend the Basement” tells the story of an old man who kept all of his children in the basement of his home, barely feeding them. He wandered downstairs one night and never came out, and now the children are said to haunt the entire home!

The other experience is “Demon,” in which a demon called Jungler haunts the building in the form of a young child with long dark hair covering her face. The more fear you show, and the more you scream, the more powerful she becomes!

4. Immortal Reckoning at the SF Mint

The San Francisco Mint is one of the city’s oldest buildings, and it has been transformed into the ultimate haunted experience. They claim to “lift the veil between the mortal and immortal worlds” and offer different levels of interactive experience. Other attractions include the Fang Bang Vampire Bar, offering Halloween-themed cocktails and snacks, and the Terror Ball on October 30, a private Halloween soiree!

If you want an adventure:

5. Crawloween Pub Crawl

CrawlSF’s highly-anticipated Crawloween is here, and it’s sure to be an absolutely unforgettable spooky time. Put together your best costume and get the party started because three different pub crawls will take you to over 25 participating bars during the weekend of October 29-31. Over 6,000 people are expected to turn out and there will be hop-on, hop-off party buses running through the entire route. Don’t forget the giant costume contest via Instagram with prizes for individual and group costumes! Makes sure to grab tickets ASAP.

6. Search for ghosts at these haunted places around SF

Neptune Society Columbarium. Photo by Wikiphotographer on Flickr

San Francisco is home to quite a few characters here in the realm of the living, but are you prepared to delve into the spiritual world? Whether or not you believe in ghosts, these haunted places around the city are undeniably creepy. Over the years, many have reported reported cold chills, voices, shadowy figures, and unexplained noises…  are you brave enough to see for yourself? See pics and learn more in our original list of haunted places around San Francisco.

  • Cell 14D at Alcatraz
  • The White Lady of Stow Lake
  • The ghost of Mary Lake at the Queen Anne Hotel
  • The ghost of Hewlett Tarr at the Curran Theatre
SF Ghost Hunt Walking Tour

If you prefer a guided experience, SF Ghost Hunt is an essential ghost tour in San Francisco! Learn about the haunted Victorian homes of Pacific Heights and the neighborhood spirits. You’ll see the haunted trees of abolitionist Mary Ellen Pleasant, learn about the Chambers Mansion poltergeists, and more. This special Halloween version led by Christian Cagigal will take you looking for ghosts yourself! Tickets are $30 per person but you can get $5 off with promo code OCT2021.

If you want to be entertained:

7. Horror movies at Oakland’s New Parkway Theater

Oakland’s iconic New Parkway Theater might fly under the radar for most San Franciscans, but it makes quite the statement! Their 2 large screening rooms are filled with big squashy couches, bean bags, and vintage chairs. Their café serves local beers and wines and house-made comfort food on a rotating menu. And this October, they have a great lineup of horror and Halloween-themed movies to enjoy in a one-of-a-kind, intimate theater environment!

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The current schedule for Halloween on October 31 has 4 excellent horror movies lined up, with additional screenings that day TBD. At the moment we can expect A Nightmare on Elm Street at 6:30pm, Scream at 7:30pm, The Exorcist at 8:45pm, and Teeth at 9:30pm.

8. Outdoor Halloween concerts by Candlelight

Candlelight, the wildly popular musical series, is back in San Francisco this October, just in time for spooky season. This time, they’ve got a special event planned, with Candlelight: A Haunted Evening of Classical Composers, an atmospheric evening filled with classic renditions of some of your favorite haunting melodies. Think songs like Danny Elfman’s classic, “This is Halloween”, John Carpenter’s “Halloween Theme”, Bernard Herrman’s “Psycho Theme” and even the sinister classic by Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” from Fantasia. Be sure to grab tickets ASAP!

If you want something kid-friendly:

9. Explore a Bay Area pumpkin patch

We’re lucky to live right near Half Moon Bay, the pumpkin capital of the world!  Whether you’re looking for family activities with kids or getting ahead of your Halloween decorating, these excellent Bay Area farms and pumpkin patches have got you covered. Here are a couple that have particularly caught our eye, but be sure to see our full list of Bay Area pumpkin patches.

  • Lemos Farm (Half Moon Bay) – pony rides, train rides, petting zoo, and a haunted house
  • Arata’s Pumpkin Farm (Half Moon Bay) – hay maze, a haunted barn, hay rides, a petting zoo, and pony rides
  • Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch (San Francisco) – pumpkin fort, hay rides, and spooky decor
  • Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch (Alameda) – 4-story ship slide, bouncy houses, a petting zoo, human hamster balls, space balls and an “adult chill area.”

10. Halloween Hoopla at Yerba Buena Gardens

This exciting is designed for kids under 10 and is promising to be absolutely spooktacular! Watch fun performances by the Unique Derique, Caterpillar Puppets, and the Alphabet Rockers; or enjoy arts and crafts courtesy of the Mexican Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, and the Children’s Creativity Museum. There will also be a costume contest, an opportunity to vote for your favorite pumpkin at the Yerba Buena Pumpkin Patch, and free entry to ice skating and bowling!

11. Chow down on these sweet and spooky treats around the city

The fall season brings some of the best flavors on the calendar. We’re talking pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and every scent that you want wafting through your kitchen. Well, that fact is certainly not lost on San Francisco’s bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops, because they are busy churning out an epic lineup of delicious treats! Here are a few that have particularly caught our eye, but make sure to see our full list of Halloween treats in SF.

  • Salt and Straw‘s Ice SCREAM Menu
  • Noe Valley Bakery‘s pumpkin goodies
  • Miette Patisserie‘s gourmet Halloween Candy

If you want to stay home: 

12. Test your bravery with these terrifying movies and series on Netflix

Netflix has countless terrifying movies and shows available for your ultimate night in, but we’ve rounded up some of the best. Here are a few that you can’t miss, but see our full list of terrifying things to watch on Netflix for more ideas.

  • The Haunting of Bly Manor
  • Bird Box
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • The Platform
  • The Babadook

13. Binge these nostalgic spooky movies on Disney+

As we count towards the days leading up to Halloween, what better way to celebrate than binging some of the most iconic movies to get you in the spirits? Here are some of our favorites, but be sure to see our full list of spooky Disney+ movies for more ideas.

  • Hocus Pocus
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Halloweentown
  • Twitches
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • Escape to Witch Mountain

 

Featured image: Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash  

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