Thursday, October 29: From 1916 to 1960, one Tennessee electric chair executed 125 men unfortunate enough to find themselves strapped to its cold wooden frame. Now that chair—and the ghosts who haunt it—has made its way to the National Museum of Crime & Punishment. Experience a one-of-a-kind haunted house where tortured souls shadow your steps through the museum’s dark corridors. The event runs through October 31. Tickets are $20. Find out about more haunted houses and ghost tours here.
Some people enjoy dressing up their pets just as much as dressing up themselves—and now they can be rewarded for it. Pooches and their masters are invited to the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria to sport their best Halloween costumes. Prizes will be awarded to the best owner/dog couple, most political pup, glamorous canine, and the overall top dog. Get to the hotel between 4:30 and 5:30.
Head to the hot new spot on DC’s H Street, Northeast, Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar (1104 H St., NE), to kick off Halloween a couple days early with a Funky Space Halloween party. Adrian Loving and DJ Stylus will spin tunes, and we’re guessing that if you have a costume that’s involves bell bottoms and alien antennae, it’ll be welcome. Free; 9 PM.
Pre-game for Saturday by heading to Policy (1904 14th St., NW) on Thursday for the free Just the Tip Halloween Throw Down. Five DJs will spin, beers are $3, and shooters cost $4. The party starts at 9:30. Come dressed to frighten.
Friday, October 30: Start Halloween and your weekend shopping early at Eastern Market’s (Seventh St. between C and D sts., SE) free Hilloween at Halloween. Starting at 5:30, you can listen to live music, take a hayride on a horse-drawn wagon, and shop for produce and meat at DC’s oldest fresh-food emporium. The market closes at 7; festivities continue outside until 7:30.
We take it for granted that you’ll be dressing up this weekend—mostly for fun. But if you’re in it for a material reward, you’ll want to head to the Elliot in the Morning Halloween Bash at the Clarendon Ballroom tonight. There’s a serious costume contest, where the best one will take home a whopping $3,000. Plus you can enjoy live music, DJs, and drink specials. $10 before 10, $15 after.
Get ready for Halloween by seeing the vampire movie that rules all vampire movies (and we’re not talking about Twilight). Head to AFI Silver Theatrefor a special one-night screening of Nosferatu. The ensemble Silent Orchestra will play the original score to accompany the silent film. 7 and 9:30; $20 for general admission, $15 for AFI members. Get your tickets here.
There’s an exhibit right now at Flashpoint Gallery called “House on Haunted Hill.” Artist Andrew Wodzianski’s paintings took inspiration from the 1959 horror movie of the same name, and tonight you can check out the creepy exhibit and attend a costume party in celebration of the culmination of a scavenger hunt. DJs and drink specials will abound. $20 in advance (here) or $25 at the door. 9 PM.
Look up Tim Homayoon’s resumé on his Web site and take a glance at his list of skills, which include juggling and being a computer whiz and a nursing-home stripper. Now he can add “headliner at the Comedy Zone.” The comedian will perform tonight and Saturday at 7. Homayoon’s been doing improv since he was 18 and has appeared on MTV and Comedy Central and has written for Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information, click here. Saturday, October 31: One word: Halloween. One link: Our list of Halloween parties (and our full guide with other fun stuff, such as costume ideas, restaurant Halloween menus, pumpkin-carving photos, and more). Get out there and have some fun!
Amid this week’s Halloween hoopla, the Torpedo Factory Art Centeris dedicating a day to Mexico’s Día de los Muertos with its Ofrenda Art for the Dead event. At 3, the celebration starts with an art reception featuring work done in the Día de los Muertos tradition. At 7, the party moves to Market Square (301 King St., Alexandria) for a parade, and guests are encouraged to participate with costumes and noisemakers. The parade circles back to the art center at 7:45 for a masked ball—guests can bring ofrendas, personal items to offer those who have passed away.
Don your most menacing mask and head to Poste for its Ghost Roast. Join chef Rob Weland in the restaurant’s courtyard (warmed by outdoor heaters) as he spit-roasts a baby goat and pairs it with mulled cider, roasted pumpkin, and other autumn-inspired creations. Diners will leave with red-wine/caramel apples and house-made petits fours, and a five-course chef’s tasting for two will be awarded to the guest with the best costume. The dinner, $45 per person, runs from 6:30 to 9:30. To reserve, call 202-449-7062.
This isn’t nightlife-related, but we can’t forget to tell you to change your clocks (at 2 AM Saturday night/Sunday morning). Move ’em on back an hour. Sunday, November 1: Couldn’t quite finish the Marine Corps Marathon last weekend? Grab the family and get back on the horse with the US National Arboretum’s5K race on Sunday . The 5K costs $25, but the race’s Family Fun Run, where families enjoy a crisp fall morning with a one-mile walk around the Capitol Columns, costs $10. All participants get free T-shirts and can partake in free cooking demonstrations (with samples), crafts, and yoga following the race. Registration begins at 8, the Family Fun Run at 9:15.
We love the National Museum of the Women in the Arts, but it’s hard to go as frequently as we’d like because of the $10 entrance fee. But today—like the first day of every month—admission from noon to 5 is free. Go!
Today’s the second (and last) day of Craft2Wear at the National Building Museum. It’s basically a giant trunk show put on by the Smithsonian, and you’ll find tons of unique jewelry, clothing, and more. Plus, entry is only $5. 10 to 5; check out the site here for more info.