As ghosts and ghouls descend upon Minneapolis this Halloween season, there’s plenty to do to put you in the mood for haunts and horror. From one of the scariest haunted houses in the Twin Cities to a celebration of spooky art, here are our picks for what to do this Halloween.
Soothsaying and Spirit Boards
From the new Halloween flick “Ouija” to television series “American Horror Story,” we seem to be obsessed with connecting with the beyond. And thanks to the American Swedish Institute, we can learn about the tools practitioners have used over the centuries to do just that. Local spiritualism expert Lacey Prpić Hedke will guide interested souls through the Victorian Spiritualist movement and more during ASI’s “Soothsaying and Spirit Boards” events. Admission includes a Halloween-themed cocktail and light bites, and costumes are encouraged. Be sure to also check out ASI’s October exhibit, “Mansion in Mourning,” featuring the mournful mementos and remorseful relics of the museum’s storied collection.
Where: American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave. S.
When: Oct. 26 and Nov. 1
For the past decade, those courageous enough have ventured into the Soap Factory’s basement to come out horrified, a fresh bout of nightmares in tow. This year, the Haunted Basement offers a twisted view of real-life horrors, diving into the daily life of a typical tortured soul. For the bravest among us, new this year is an in-depth “blind invocation” experience with one-on-one encounters, and for the fraidy cats, there are also lights-on tours without the creeps. Above the fray on the Soap Factory’s first floor there will be a retrospective of the previous nine iterations of the basement, along with a exhibit from artist Brandon Keuhn featuring artwork inspired by paranormal phenomena from across the state.
Where: The Soap Factory, 514 2nd St. SE
When: Through Oct. 31
Twin Cities Horror Festival
If you’ve ever wanted the spirit of the Fringe Festival combined with the frights of Halloween, look no further than the Twin Cities Horror Festival. The fest of all things scary in theater, film, dance and music returns to the Southern Theater for 11 days. The theater company that launched it all, Four Humors Theater, is putting on “Ubu for President” this year, featuring the eponymous presidential hopeful — also a disgusting creature. The 16-plus show kicks off the fest this year on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. following a 5:30 p.m. opening reception. Perhaps the year’s bloodiest performance, “Senseless” from Dangerous Productions, tells the terrifying tale of a woman’s nightmarish journey into an underground facility. It comes with the warning “Do not bring children. Do not come alone,” which hopefully speaks for itself. For ratings on gore, violence and language on the fest’s 18 shows, visit its website.
Where: The Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S.
When: Oct. 27–Nov. 6
Cost: $15.12 per event, passes and packs available
TC Veg Fest
If you’ve ever considered a vegan way of eating and living, TC Veg Fest, a festival celebrating all things animal-friendly, is a one-stop shop to taste and try local vegan food and more. Minneapolis residents should see familiar faces, from The Herbivorous Butcher, the newly opened vegan butcher shop in Northeast Minneapolis, to Gorkha Palace, a Nepalese restaurant and the city’s main source for momos. Other exhibitors include everything from bee-free honey makers and vegan cookbook publishers to humane dog trainers and clothing brands.
Where: Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. SE
When: Oct. 29–30 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Minneapolis-based electronic music artist Martin Dosh is collaborating with In the Heart of the Beast for a unique event combining poetry and puppetry. Dosh will kick off the South Minneapolis theater company’s Music Animated concert series with director Bart Buch to tell the story of their neighborhoods, Powderhorn and Phillips. Like a silent film set to music, this live, family-friendly event features the musician’s ambient sound paired with the company’s passionate storytelling and puppetry.
Where: In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 1500 E. Lake St.
When: Oct. 20–22
Cost: $20, $2 for children on Oct. 22
Let Me Out
Minneapolis native Peter Himmelman is used to touring. The Grammy-nominated songwriter is known for his improvisational stage performances, and his extensive work goes back to the ’70s and ’80s. Now he’s setting his sights on releasing his first book, “Let Me Out,” which details Himmelman’s techniques for creating and making ideas into reality. The musician-turned-creative-corporate-consultant will speak about his creative strategies at Open Book — a home for many aspiring creatives — sign copies of his book and maybe even play a little music.
Where: Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S.
When: Oct. 29 at 8:30 p.m.
The Oldest Boy
Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen brings thoughtfully original work to the Jungle Theater with the regional premiere of “The Oldest Boy” from award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl. In this piece from Ruhl, who wrote “In the Next Room,” which Rasmussen directed for the Jungle in 2012, an American mother and her Tibetan husband are asked to take their child — believed to be the reincarnation of a high Buddhist Lama — away for a life of spiritual training in India. “The Oldest Boy” stars Christina Baldwin, Randy Reyes, Eric “Pogi” Sumangil and puppeteer Masanari Kawahara with cultural consultant and artist Tenzin Ngawangu.
Where: The Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S.
When: Nov. 4–Dec. 18