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Bay Area Events Top Picks

Weekend guide for 10-31-2014 to 11-02-2014 by the Hauntmistress

It's Halloween! It's hard to narrow down all the fun and exciting things going on in the Bay Area, but we have attempted to do it for you.  Here are our Top Picks for things to do for Halloween weekend!

For four evil nights (Thur.-Sun.) the Spookeasy Halloween Extravaganza takes over the Great Star Theatre in San Francisco for a fun Halloween event featuring comedy, vaudeville, and a theater show. There will be themed decor, projections, large scale puppetry, gourmet concessions, custom crafted cocktails, and other surprises.

Back for its seventh year is Ghost Ship VII: Asylum at the gargantuan Pier 70 in San Francisco. Ghost Ship will again feature original installations by the leaders of the Bay Area's dynamic large-scale production art community. The soundscape of Ghost Ship will be electrified by multiple stages hosted by top DJ crews featuring more than 70 of the Bay Area's finest DJs. For the first time ever, the fun will run over two nights (Fri.-Sat.).

On Friday at the Mountain Winery Halloween Bash in Saratoga you'll find six themed event spaces where you can dance the night away on an indoor or outdoor dance floor, munch and imbibe in a VIP lounge, enjoy a creepy cocktail concocted by a Mad Scientist, take a break by the fire pit, or sip on sangria in the Haunted Forest Wine Bar. Or take a trip to the winery on Sunday for Day of the Dead, a special lunch event featuring a delicious Latin menu by Executive Chef David Sidoti. Soak in live music by a special three-piece, acoustic version of popular Latin band Santos Perdidos. Costumes and face paint are encouraged!

On Friday, spend a spine-tingling Halloween at Davies Symphony Hall (if you dare!), as the Ruffatti organ accompanies this restored version of the 1920 silent classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Starring legendary leading man John Barrymore in the notorious title roles, this eerie screen adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale is a perfectly ghoulish way to spend the spookiest night of the year (the San Francisco Symphony does not appear at this event).

In Berkeley on Friday at the Starry Plough it's the thirteenth annual Murder Ballads Bash hosted by Paul Pot and featuring an all-star cast singing songs of murder and mayhem! Meanwhile, over at Freight & Salvage celebrate Halloween with Wake the Dead, a Celtic all-star Grateful Dead jam band!

For the sixth year in a row, San Francisco's Regency Center will be taken over on Friday for A Nightmare On Van Ness. The fun includes two levels of non-stop entertainment, a live performance, décor, state of the art light and sound production, sexy go-go dancers, a costume contest, and more. Meanwhile, over at the JW Marriott Union Square Hotel there is a Masquerade Ball with nocturnal grooves provided by Bruce Parker and Pat Allen. Cocktail attire requested if not dressed in masquerade attire.

At Napa's Monsters Ball on Friday you'll hear live music from The Phenomenauts, The Pulsators, Funk Pickles, and Hair Club for Men! Plus witness live acts of sideshow daring from Molotov's Americana Mayhem, and treat your eyeballs to the tantalizing, scintillating, scandalous, Black Magic Burlesque. Show up in costume and you could win an awesome prize in the costume contest.

On Saturday, take a step back in time and learn about the last public execution in California at the Napa City Ghosts & Legends Walking Tour. They sold tickets, gave away souvenirs (pieces of the hanging rope cut with the murder weapon!), and even preserved the criminal's cigar butt. Perhaps you would care to have a cocktail at the site of the local undertaking rooms, where the local doctor bleached the bones of an executed criminal on the roof, and learn how the father of motion pictures shot his wife's lover and was justifiably acquitted.

On Sunday the New Parkway Theater in Oakland offers up a special showing of Nosferatu with live musical accompaniment by the 29th Street Swingtet. The New Parkway is a community centered cinema and pub in Oakland's Uptown district. Sit back and relax on cozy couches and enjoy yummy food and local beer and wine in the café or even delivered right to your theater seat.

There are many more activities happening around the extended Bay Area, including trick or treat events sponsored by cities and shopping malls! Check out our map of pumpkin patches and haunted houses or our Events Calendar.

 
   

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