9 spooktacular Halloween events for grown-ups in and around Sacramento

Vampireball 1
Photo courtesy of Shannon McCabe's Vampire Ball
Fire twirlers and burlesque dancers will cast their spells at the annual Vampire Ball.

If you're #adulting this year—i.e., not trick-or-treating—you can still get your Halloween on at one of these nine fangtastic events, from a glittery jazz-era gala to a scream-worthy, pitch-black haunted house and a haunted escape room.


Ongoing Spend your Halloween trying to escape from the clutches of paranormal creatures in one of the locked rooms at Arden-Arcade escape room Enchambered. Co-owner Theresa Morrison ranks the “The Legend of the Skull Witch” room—in which participants are trapped by an evil voodoo sorceress in a run-down cabin on the edge of a New Orleans swamp—as the facility's scariest challenge yet. You’ll have one hour to find and solve puzzles while the unnerving sounds of the witch’s voice and eerie blues music play tauntingly in the background. Twelve lanterns that help illuminate the dimly lit room will go out every five minutes, a reminder that time is ticking, and the alluring witch herself may barge into the room just to spook you off your game. Not up for a fright? Become a paranormal investigator in the “The Whispering Halls” room to help uncover the strange occurrences in an old abandoned manor. $35. Times vary. 2230 Arden Wy. 916-674-2008. enchambered.com

Old Sacramento Living Ghost Tours

Oct. 26 & 27 Uncover the River City’s sordid Gold Rush past at the Sacramento History Museum during its 15th annual Living Ghost Tours, during which costumed volunteers will reenact scenes from the capital’s most enduring—and true—scary stories. Ghost hunters will meet 12-year-old May Woolsey, who died suddenly in 1879 and is said to haunt her childhood home in Alkali Flat, as well as other colorful characters. All of the 11 scenes come from historical sources, including a lurid confession from a murderous husband that researchers found in a 19th-century newspaper, and often involve the museum’s artifacts, such as Woolsey’s white dress that stands on the display floor as if ready to float away. $15. 6:30-9 p.m. Tours depart on the half-hour. 101 I St. 916-808-7059. sachistorymuseum.org

Heartstoppers Haunted House

Through Oct. 31 Rancho Cordova locals claim to have heard the ghostly giggles of children coming from this haunted house’s former existence as an abandoned mini-golf course. If the rumors don’t spook you, enter this spine-chilling haunt that features four intertwined stories, beginning with Deadlands, a Western town infested by the walking dead after a bounty hunter unleashed an unknown evil in the underground catacombs of Murk. On the edge of town at the Steamghast Asylum, patients have grown violent, attacking all who enter, thanks to a steam-powered technology treatment; and in the twisted, fantasy world of Underland, you’ll encounter Alice, the crazed daughter of a psychiatrist who went missing from the asylum. $25-$50 ($80 for season pass). Dates and times vary. 2300 Mine Shaft Ln. Rancho Cordova. heartstoppershaunt.com

Ultimate Terror Scream Park

Through Nov. 3 The largest haunted house in Sacramento is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with an expanded space divided into three brand-new themed areas with towering 14-foot walls. Uncover the origins of a killer who created a deadly pathogen in Cabin Sickness, dodge a psychotic doctor with an eyeball obsession in Optic Surgeon and encounter the unsavory undead in Paranormal Playground. To heighten the fright, head out for the Glow Stick Fright Nights on Nov. 2 and 3, during which dim fluorescent tubes are your only protection in a pitch-black haunted house. A custom soundscape completes the eerie atmosphere (keep an ear out for the screams from Hitchcock’s Psycho). Hours vary by day. 4909 Auburn Blvd. 530-794-8511. screamparkcalifornia.com

Terror by the Tracks

Oct. 26–27 Roseville will pay twisted homage to its railroad heritage with its fifth annual “Terror by the Tracks” haunted house on Oct. 26 and 27. The spirit of the Railroad Butcher will possess an empty lot near the historic junction where—as the story goes—he left a whole train car full of victims and mysteriously disappeared. Passengers on this walk-through journey will encounter the aftermath of the grisly scene and possibly face the Butcher himself. A toned-down, free version of the haunted house will occupy the same lot on Oct. 25, with spooky ghosts subbing in for the Butcher. $32. Fri. & Sat. 7 p.m.-11 p.m. 412 Vernon St. Roseville. terrorbythetracks.com

Up to 60 performers will be on hand at the Cemetarium Haunted House ready to give guests a good fright. (Photo courtesy of Cemetarium Haunted House)

Cemetarium Haunted House

Oct. 26-Nov. 3 After more than 15 years of conjuring the creeps, the Cemetarium Haunted House will host its grand finale at its Citrus Heights location, which is scheduled to be demolished next year. The 16,000-square-foot building has been transformed into a distorted vision of a house—complete with a scare-packed bedroom, kitchen and basement—connected by nightmarish scenes, like a butcher shop with a hillbilly butcher and a swamp with a voodoo witch doctor. Up to 60 performers will occupy the house and grounds, ready to jump at hapless house guestsor, during low-scare nights, give high-fives. $8-$22. Hours vary by day. 7983 Arcadia Dr. Citrus Heights. 916-969-4963. cemetariumhauntedhouse.com

Haunted Fort

Oct. 27 Hear grim stories of life (and death) in the 1800s as you wander through Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park in the dark of night. Encounter docents dressed in period costumes in the fort’s buildings, who will spin yarns of erstwhile medical practices, like using leeches to cure ailments or how people perished while traveling cross country by wagon due to dangers en route. Watch a re-enactment of a spiritualist séance or head to the distillery room to see actors from B Street Theatre perform an eight-minute original play about the history of Sutter’s Fort. $10. 6:30-9 p.m. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. 2701 L St. 916-653-6995. suttersfort.org

Great Gatsby Gala at Revival

Oct. 27 Party like it’s 1929 at this Halloween celebration inspired by the extravagant parties thrown by the titular character of  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The Kimpton Sawyer Hotel will host this event at its rooftop lounge, Revival, where a vintage 1928 Ford Model A will be parked for photo ops at the door. Don ’20s-era garb, like sparkly flapper dresses, feathered headbands, pinstripe suits and fedoras, and shimmy and shake to the sounds of live swing band The Klipptones and DJ Mano Gil. In between jumping, jiving and wailing, sip champagne and retro cocktails like the Sazerac. $75 (includes one glass of champagne). 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Revival at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel. 500 J St. 916-525-7111. revivalsacramento.com

Shannon McCabe's Vampire Ball

Oct. 27 For the 10th iteration of Sacramento’s spookiest soirée, the California Automobile Museum will be converted into Nosferatu’s castle, complete with shimmering chandeliers, glitter-painted coffins and a costumed count at the piano. House band A Death in Bloom will growl out goth-industrial grooves while burlesque dancers from Sugar Cheeks and Bungalow Bunnies vamp on the main stage and fire twirlers work the courtyard. Head to the bar for a cocktail, like the “Vampire’s Kiss,” a scarlet concoction made with vodka, soda and grenadine (an oft-used ingredient in fake blood). A portion of tickets and bar sales will benefit KOV Children’s Charities and Spirit of Children. $25-$40. 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. California Automobile Museum. 2200 Front St. vampireball.net

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