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Halloween Events and Spook-tacular Spots

Estimated Read Time:
4 minutes

Halloween is right around the corner, and Durham does the holiday as only the Boo City can. Here's your guide to Halloween events and all things spooky season.

Posted By Discover Durham Staff


Boo-yah. It's time to wear a costume, watch throwback horror films, and shop for Halloween-worthy novelties while eating a terrifying amount of candy! Celebrate all things spooky with these Durham Halloween activities and autumn events, as well as the lesser-known corners of the city that are sure to make your hair stand on end.

Halloween Events

Trick or treat your family to some sweet and spooky Halloween fun. Pumpkins, candy (lots of candy corn) and yummy fall treats await at these kid-friendly Durham Halloween events.

Pumpkin Patch Express at the Museum of Life and Science

Dates: Every Saturday & Sunday in October
$15 per person; kids under 2 are free (plus general admission to the museum)

Jump aboard the Ellerbe Creek Railway at the Museum of Life + Science for a pumpkin picking expedition. Enjoy arts and crafts, then return home with your perfect Jack O’ Lantern.

DPR Fright Night

Date: Friday, October 13
5-8 p.m.
Edison Johnson Recreation Center, 500 W. Murray Ave.

A Friday the 13th that falls in October is a can't-miss opportunity for spooks and scares, and Durham Parks and Recreation's Fright Night is sure to send shivers down your spine. Head out to Rock Quarry Park for carnival games, costume parades, haunted trails and activities for all ages.

Bull City Boos Fest

Dates: Friday, October 21
4-10 p.m.
Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St.
$15+; kids 13 and under are free

It wouldn't be a Durham Halloween without an event for beer lovers! Wear your costume to join The MAKRS Society for a beer and Halloween fest at Durham Central Park with sips from local vendors, plus face painting, food trucks, DJs, decorations and more.

BooFest at the Museum of Life and Science

Dates: Oct. 28-31
Included with general admission to the museum

Gather your gremlins and head to the Museum of Life and Science for BooFest. Don your costumes and celebrate the season with activities in the lab, a pumpkin party station, spooky encounters around the museum and more Halloween-themed fun.


Date: Saturday, October 28
3:30-6:30 p.m.
Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St.

Join Durham Parks and Rec for an afternoon of doggone good times at Durham Central Park. Local celebrity judges will determine the winner of the pup costume contests, and you can enjoy treats from local food trucks and brewers while watching canine attendees show off their wooftastic tricks.


Date: Tuesday, October 31
5:30-8:30 p.m.
West Point on the Eno, 5101 N Roxboro St.

Campfire stories, hayrides, crafts, face painting and treats all add up to one amazing, family-friendly Halloween celebration in Durham! Bring the kids (12 and under) out for this free event at West Point on the Eno. No guarantees you won’t return home without a sugar high!

Duke Homestead’s Halloween Phantasmagoria

Date: Friday, October 27
6:30-9:30 p.m.
Duke Homestead, 2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
$10 advance/$15 at the door. Kids 3 and under are free.

People of all ages are invited to wander the property to discover what wonders await. No experiences are designed to scare, but some may not be appropriate for young children. The educational event takes place at the 19th-century homestead of the Duke family. BYO flashlight!

Durham's Spookiest Spots

Perhaps the must-see spooky spots of Durham are right under your nose. For those who might be more intrigued by a little mystery and hauntingly historic places, check out these eerie spots.

Arcana Bar & Lounge | It's said that the ground Arcana Bar & Lounge is on is filled with paranormal experiences waiting to be discovered. Erin Karcher, the creative force behind Durham's Arcana Bar and Lounge says, "According to at least one customer, Arcana has a ghost cockatiel that flies around above the sofas." They host spooky and fun events like Goth Prom, a night of sipping craft cocktails, clearing cobwebs, finding clarity in the tarot cards and engaging in dusty rituals of courtship and despair.

MagikCraft - Bull City Magic | This Ninth Street shop specializes in metaphysical products, including incense, candles, tarot decks and alternative healing supplies. Stop in for tarot or palm readings and medium work.

Corpse Reviver Bar & Lounge | We know you are just dying to enjoy a cocktail at Corpse Reviver Bar & Lounge, a cocktail bar serving drinks in, well, an old coffin shop. With a menu showcasing abundant gin cocktails and more, co-founders Melissa and Lee Katrincic are on a mission to "serve drinks strong enough to revive your spirits." Take in the vibes at the bar and enjoy their spin on the classic Corpse Reviver No. 2 cocktail.

Dunnagan Trail/Eno River State Park | If you're into seeing the supernatural in its natural environment, take a stroll by the sinking grave and gravestone of Catharine Dunnagan while hiking the Dunnagan Trail in Eno River State Park. The adventure will be replete with the sounds of the season – try not to be spooked by the crunchy leaves, cobwebs, canopies and fallen timber.

Maplewood Cemetery | The rich history of the Maplewood Cemetery is alive and well with the pasts of many Durham luminaries.

Spooktacular Halloween Built Story Tours
The team from Built Story, the world's first marketplace for self-guided tours based out of Durham, is at it again with a list of self-guided Durham Halloween tours. Download the free app in the Apple Store or GooglePlay store and search for Halloween Homes in South Durham or Durham's Most Terrifying and Mysterious Ghosts, Murders and Legends Tour.

Embrace the Camp

Head to the theater and get into the spirit of the Time Warp with an interactive viewing of the season's most iconic film.

Rocky Horror Picture Show: Halloween Ball

Dates: October 26-27
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15
The Carolina Theatre

Now in its sixth year, the Carolina Theatre and Retro Film Series present a "fully interactive, theatrical FX-driven, light show-blazing, fog-blowing, call-backing, costume-wearing, motion picture extravaganza" you won't want to miss. Head there for door prizes, grab bags, and concessions specials.

Halloween Events at Durham Bars and Breweries

Halloween is a holiday for night owls and late-night aficionados. True to form, Durham's bars and breweries celebrate the season with parties and themed events all month long. Here are a few:

Looking for more autumn activities?

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Discover Durham Staff