Halloween is just a week off. This year’s entertainment options will make that get together at your friend’s house seem downright quaint (though bobbing for apples is always fun).
While several of the area’s haunted attractions have come and gone in recent years (downtown’s Haunted Fresno is absent this year and Clovis’ Wolf Manor is set for demolition), there are plenty of events and attractions to keep you entertained this season.
• If you are looking to get the wits scared out of you, Madera’s
Never miss a local story.
is worth checking out.
It features its own set of haunts, including The Black-out Maze, a terrifying walk through two miles of corn fields. This is hard-core haunting — think of a demonic scarecrow and blood-sucking chupacabra.
It is not recommended for children under 12 and parental discretion is advised. Raisin Hell Ranch is open 7 p.m. nightly though Oct. 31. Details: raisinhellranch.com
• Hobb’s Grove in Sanger has been creeping people out since 1999, with three haunted attractions spread out on 26-acres of rural land. The drive alone is spooky.
Guests can stroll through a haunted house or forest, or go for a scary hayride. The grove is open 6 p.m. through Nov. 1, with special nightly events including performances by the Fresno Dance Collective Oct. 26 and 30. Details: hobbsgrove.com
Of course, not every fright attraction is so otherworldly.
• “The 99,” which runs 7-11 p.m. nightly through Nov. 2 in the east parking lot at the Save Mart Center, is billed as the “ultimate near-death experience.”
It’s a reality-based “haunted” house, where guests get a 45-minute guided tour through 13 vignettes, based on the 99 young people who die (on average) in the United States each day — from auto-related accidents, domestic violence, homicide, suicide and “poor choices, diseases and natural causes.” Tickets are $5 and available at the door only. Details: www.whatisthe99.com
• Halloween comes early, with anall-ages covers-only show
, 7 p.m. Saturday at C.A.F.E. Infoshop, 935 F. St. in Chinatown.
The line-up includes Tabor O Negative (covering Type of Negative), Crybaby Quitters (doing ’90s emo folk), Kabukui Boys (covering the Descendents), Discord Punishment (playing DC hardcore), Suck My Left One (doing riot grrl rock), and Mori-Sshee (a Morrissey tribute, obviously). There is a $3 donation to benefit Fresno Sunday Food not Bombs.
• Fresno First Congregational Church will be all screams this weekend: Pipe screams. Scott Horton performs some sinister, spooky and just plain silly music on the church’s Casavant pipe organ, 3 p.m. Sunday at the“Pipe Screams Halloween Organ Concert.”
Horton will play compositions including Leon Boelmann’s “Suite Gothique,” “Ballad of Sweeney Todd,” “Funeral March of a Marionette” and the famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The concert is free, but donations are accepted and will benefit Casavant Pipe Organ Fund.
• You can catch local cover bandRockville
9 p.m. Oct. 31 at Sequoia Brewing Company in the Tower District. The no-cover show is the band’s final bash before shutting down for the winter to enjoy the holidays (and work on some original material).
• Also in the Tower District, Strummer’s nightclub will host its ownHalloween Spooktacular
with San Diego’s Cure cover band The Cured, plus more devilish DJs, a costume contest and games. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.
• Fresno Zombie Society hosts itsZombie Crawl
, 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Tower District. More than a dozen local bars, restaurants and nightclubs will be offering entertainment and drink specials for the “walking dead,” along with a costume contest and scavenger hunt.
• Fans of the wildly-dark director Tim Burton will enjoy the “The Burtonesque Ball,”
8 p.m. Oct. 31 at Fulton 55. The event pays homage to the director, a seasonal favorite with films like “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “Ed Wood.” Guests can take part in a fashion show (featuring the Naughty Angels) and costume contest, jump in the photo booth, get some body painting done, dance to music from Sidney Sin and Black Shaft and enjoy other side-show shenanigans from Circus Et Cetera. Details:fulton55.com
• On the north side of town, The Standard presents itsHaunted Mansion Halloween Party
. The parking-lot bash starts 8 p.m. Oct. 31 and features two DJs and three bars, plus costume contests and more. If past years are an indication, this party will be packed. Those who don’t want to wait in line, should get tickets now. Online and pre-sale tickets are $12 to $25 and going fast. Details:standardfresno.com
• For those in need of a good pumpkin to carve,Simonian Farm’s Pumpkin Patch
is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily though Halloween. The farm-store also offers weekend hayrides for $2, plus 50 cent carnival games, gold mining and a haunted corn maze. Details:simonianfarms.com
ZooBoo, which runs 5-8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at Fresno Chaffee Zoo, offers of trick-or-treating, carnival games, a hay maze and live entertainment at Dracula’s Disco. Not to mention, all the animals. Children are encouraged to dress in costume (the non-scary variety, please). Tickets are $10-$14. Details: fresnochaffeezoo.org
And the rest
• For those who want some athleticism in their Halloween fun, there is theZombie Survival Crawl
at Woodward Park. The event starts 10 a.m. today and features a zombie-filled obstacle course and zombie laser tag (for those brave enough to face the horde), plus a festival fun zone (for those who survive). The festival features a haunted-horror exhibit, costumed karaoke, foam dart-gun monster hunt and more. Tickets are $5-$40. Details:zombiesurvivalcrawl.com
If it’s food you’re looking for, Peeve’s Public House is offering something offal Halloween night (pun intended).
The menu — cow’s feet soup (with tripe), gizzards, livers and tongue — is served small-plate style and sounds like an evening at Hannibal Lecter’s house. Other entertainment for the night includes classic silent horror films projected on the wall, plus a free post-dinner concert with The Sleepover Disaster, Crisis Arm, Airs, Midwest Moms and DJ Heretic. Details: peevespub.com