Bay Area Halloween Event Guide

Bay Area Halloween Event Guide

Do you believe in ghosts? If so, there are a number of places across the Bay Area you may wish to steer clear of this Halloween season. Indeed, there’s a staggering surplus of spooky rabbit holes to jump down for those who dare to learn more about the Bay Area’s Halloween events!

These local tales of haunted abodes, lingering spirits, and other eerie happenings run the gamut from historic lore to modern-day frights.They include a haunted Toys “R” Us in Sunnyvale, a ghost that calls San Francisco’s smallest park home, and the legend of Captain Alfred Easkoot, the former owner of the appropriately-named Easkoot House on Stinson Beach.

As the story goes, if you stroll past the property around 2am, you may spot the ghost of Capt. Easkoot roaming the shore in search of his “lost golden hook.”

Even the stuff we think we already know, like the infamous legend of San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House, is being given a fresh coat of terror this year in the form of an interactive haunted house/seance dubbed “Unhinged: Nightshades Curse.”

Running on 16 select dates, “Unhinged” is a reminder that celebrating Halloween has long since transitioned from a single night to a month-long affair. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered for every fun-sized day between now and All Hallow’s Eve.

From legitimately terrifying haunted houses to kid-friendly attractions, read on for local highlights from this year’s packed calendar of Bay Area Halloween event offerings!

Featured Photo: Mark Duffel

Seriously Scary

A person in a tattered red and green jester costume and smudged face paint grins menacingly in a dimly lit, eerie, and dilapidated building. The background features cracked walls, broken windows, and blue lighting that casts an ominous glow—perfect for Bay Area Halloween Events.
Photo: Courtesy of Terror Vault

Terror Vault: The Summoning

Sept. 29 — Oct. 31
Timed entry; $65-$85; Ages 18+
The Mint, 88 5th St., San Francisco

Make no mistake: this is a combination haunted house/drag show/gore extravaganza conceived by beloved SF drag queen Peaches Christ. Returning for another run at San Francisco’s iconic (and, allegedly, haunted) The Mint, prepare for a cast of 78 to blow your mind in more ways than one. Both funny and frightening, there’s no haunted house like Terror Vault anywhere else in the Bay Area. Stick around to visit the vampire-themed Fang Bang bar for a post-scare beverage!

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A spooky, black-and-white glitch-effect scene shows a formal dinner table in disarray at one of the memorable Bay Area Halloween Events, with a man standing behind it lifting a large cloche to reveal a woman's head on a platter. Candles, cobwebs, and scattered cutlery add to the eerie atmosphere.
Photo: Courtesy of Mayhem Mansion

Mayhem Mansion

Oct. 20–21, 26–28
Timed entry; $20-$30; Ages 8+
Haas-Lilienthal House, 2007 Franklin St., San Francisco

Is there just something inherently creepy about historic homes? See for yourself when San Francisco’s Haas-Lilienthal House transforms into Mayhem Mansion this October. Reimagining the Queen Anne style home — which is both a designated S.F. landmark and a National Trust for Historic Preservation designated National Treasure — into the setting for a “thrill-filled, guide-led, evening tour” complete with a Spookeasy saloon to ease any frayed nerves.

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Family Friendly

Goblin Jamboree

Oct. 21–22, 25– 30
Various times; $25
Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito

Discover an all-ages solution to Halloween fever with a trip to the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Goblin Jamboree. Special activities available to enjoy include a hay maze, a web weaving workshop, spooky science lessons, and something called a “slime banquet.” Plus, if you stop by during the weekend, there is also a pop-up Bug Museum presented by Beetle Lady to explore.

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Halloween Jam

Oct. 20–22, 27–29
10am to 4pm; $18
Children's Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland

There’s never a bad time to pay a visit to Children’s Fairyland but you won’t want to miss what they’ve got planned for Halloween this year. Famed as one of the places Walt Disney visited while plotting out Disneyland, Children’s Fairyland is cranking up “Monster Mash” with a pair of Halloween Jam weekends. Highlights include specially decorated sets and rides, a “creepy crawly” scavenger hunt, a DIY bat costume craft station, and plenty more.

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A large crowd of people, many in Halloween costumes, walk down a street at one of the Bay Area Halloween events. Children and adults alike are dressed in various outfits, some pushing strollers. The background shows trees, buildings, and emergency vehicles with flashing lights.

Halloween Sausalito

Monday, Oct. 31
6pm; Free
Robin Sweeny Park, Sausalito

Marin County is home to a number of wonderful Halloween traditions, including lots of local parades and trick-or-treat events. Spent Oct. 31 in Sausalito for a taste of both, although this event’s headliner is arguably the Howl’O’Ween Dog Costume Contest scheduled to kick off at Robin Sweeny Park at 6:30pm. Dress your canine for a chance to win prizes in two weight classes as well as the all-important Best Couples Costume between human and dog.

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Spooky Cinema

National Theatre Live: Frankestein with Benedict Cumberbatch / Johnny Lee as the Creature

Oct. 31
12pm / 6pm; $25
Lark Theater 549 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur

Selling out its 2011 performance at the National Theatre, the broadcast of Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee’s alternating performances as the creature in Frankenstein directed by Academy Award-winner Danny Boyl has become an international sensation. On Halloween day find two showings of this spooky spectacular at the Lark Theatre.

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Only in the Bay Area

Flyer for Monsters Bash 2023 Halloween Dance Party on Oct 28 from 7 PM to 1 AM, hosted by the USS Hornet. Features live music from The Cocktail Monkeys with Halloween-themed graphics, including bats and tree silhouettes. Don't miss one of the spookiest Bay Area Halloween events!
Photo: Courtesy of USS Hornet

USS Hornet Monster Bash

Oct. 28 - 29
7pm-1am; $30
USS Hornet, 707 W. Hornet Ave., Alameda

Few people appreciate the historical importance of Alameda’s USS Hornet. Beyond it’s pivotal role in several WWII battles, the ship was also called upon to pick up the crew of Apollo 11 following their splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Sufficie to say, there are plenty of reasons for the Hornet to be haunted — enough that MTV’s Fear once shot an episode there. Things will be less intense when the ship hosts a Monster Bash on Oct. 28th – 29th with live music from the Cocktail Monkeys. But beware, as “frightful fun” awaits below deck in the form of a Haunted Sick Bay installation.

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Pumpkin Patches

Autumn scene with various pumpkins and hay bales on the ground surrounded by colorful fallen leaves. The background features blurred trees with fall foliage, reminiscent of Bay Area Halloween Events. The image evokes a cozy, seasonal atmosphere.
Photo: Courtesy of Joseph Gonzalez

Ft. Mason Pumpkin Patch

Open Oct. 20–29
Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco

Urban pumpkin patches are here, and they don’t get much better than Ft. Mason’s scenic offering. Featuring daily themed pumpkin patch events, craft cocktails, bites, Halloween movie screenings, and plenty of themed decorations, Ft. Mason’s Pumpkin Patch has something for everyone. The selfies will be incredible.

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Nicasio Valley Pumpkin Patch

Open September 23–October 31
5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio

Looking for a pumpkin patch experience that offers more than gourds? Nicasio Valley Pumpkin Patch has you covered with a veritable autumn amusement park’s worth of fun stuff to do. Visit on the weekend to enjoy their full slate of attractions, including hay mazes, BBQ, hay rides, face painting, and a petting zoo. Admission is free, and even better, if you come in costume, you may just win a free pumpkin.

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Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch

Open Sept. 29
2453 Hancock St, Alameda

Pushing the definition of what a pumpkin patch can be, Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch has slides, jump houses, a mini train, a petting zoo, and, naturally, giant human hamster balls. Thankfully, the space also includes an “adult chill area.” A popular destination during October, be sure you snag reservations ahead of time to avoid any sad little ghouls or ghosts.

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Looking for more things to do in the area?

Visit our What to Do in Northern California page!

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