Ghosts! Witches! Candy! That's right, Chicaghouls: Halloween is nigh, and it's time to pencil in your havoc. Since there are theoretically 1,631 places to boogie/drink some booze/win a costume contest/find love this weekend, Chicago's narrowed it down to 10 events that are so fun you'll scream. May the moon guide your way.
Devil's Night at Bar on Buena
Start Halloween a night early with Evil Twin beers and a horror flick marathon at Bar on Buena. Remember to dress up—best costume wins a pair of Bulls tickets. Thursday at 7 p.m. Bar on Buena, 910 W. Buena. Free.
Bric-a-Brac's Halloween Explosion at the Owl
While you're dressed up pretending to be somebody else, see a bunch of bands pretending to be other bands! Night one of Bric-a-Brac Records's two-day Halloween bash at the Owl features the Pinheads covering the Ramones, Hymen Moments covering the Misfits, Eyes of Satan covering the Pagans, and the Lemons (the present-day Chicago band) covering the Lemons (the early-90s Seattle band). Thursday at 10 p.m. The Owl, 2521 N. Milwaukee. Free.
Expect some over-the-top spectacle at Redmoon's thousand-person, hundred-dollar shebang (they've already promised a fire garden, celestial swing, UFO carousel, and mechanical pastry dispenser). Friday at 9 p.m. 2120 S. Jefferson. $100.
The Allis (Soho House) Masquerade Ball
No costume? No worries. The Allis, Soho House's ground-level lounge, is throwing a come-as-you-please masquerade ball, and with some sequins, a stick, and couple feathers, and a half hour, you can fit right in. 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Allis at Soho House, 113-125 N. Green. Free.
Toga party at Scofflaw
Yes, the city's chicest cocktail bar is throwing the holiday's most kitschiest bash, but there's no doubt Danny Shapiro & co. probably make a mean jungle juice. Throw on a bed sheet and do a toga chant. 8 p.m. Scofflaw, 3201 W. Armitage. Free.
Ghost of Bonny's at Slippery Slope
Now that Scofflaw's larger, dancier sister-bar has risen, it will inherit Ghost of Bonny's—Scofflaw's big, annual dance party. Costumes highly recommended. Bottled cocktails highly available. 8 p.m. Slippery Slope, 2357 N. Milwaukee. Free.
Some utter weirdness at the Dawson
Get this: If you give the Dawson $15 between 7 and 10 p.m. on Friday, they will give you a drink called the Corpse Reviver and take you into a back room ("the Devil's Den") for a haunted palm reading. It's unclear whether you'll ever return. 7-10 p.m. The Dawson, 730 W. Grand. $15.
Headquarters Fearcade and Deadquarters Beercade at Headquarters Beercade(s)
These are essentially the same party—one's in Lakeview, the other's in River North—and both consist of a $500 first–prize costume contest and a $6 pumpkin beer special. The real kicker is that an RSVP guarantees entrance before 10, which is huge, since Skilling's calling for snow. Friday at 8. Headquarters Beercade, 2833 N. Sheffield (Lakeview) and 213 W. Institute (River North). Free.
Haunted (Punch) House
Scouting for some choreographed freakiness? Salonathon curator Jane Beachy teams up with art collective the Inconvenience for two spooky shows—one at 7, one at 10—at Thalia Hall's Punch House. DJs spin afterward. Friday at 7 and 10 p.m. Punch House, 1227 W. 18th. $22 (comes with a Lagunitas or cup of Letherbee punch).
Disco Devil at the Whistler
Dance the night away to funk, gospel, soul, and disco, all pulled deep from the crypt (read: very old, rare vinyl). Friday at 9:30 p.m. The Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee. Free.