New Orleanians hardly need an excuse to pull out a costume and party, but we take it to a whole new level when the big costuming holidays (see: Halloween, Mardi Gras, etc.) come along. Different kinds of celebrations will be packing the streets, so knowing your destination is key. If you’re looking for some frightful fun this Halloween, here’s where to find it in New Orleans.
1. Get Scared Silly: Head down to the Mortuary for their Zombie Outbreak-themed haunted house. The Mortuary is located in a 100 year-old funeral home nestled among New Orleans’ famed Cities of the Dead (the above ground graveyards) in Mid-City. Beware though, the Mortuary is for the truly brave only, as the funeral home it is located in is considered one of the most haunted buildings in America and the Mortuary haunted house was named as America’s Scariest Attraction by the Travel Channel. Best of all, it is right on the red streetcar line and easily accessible from downtown and the French Quarter.
2. Catch a Spooky Parade: The Krewe of Boo parades through the French Quarter for Halloween featuring freaky floats, scary cast members and a crazy, costume-mandatory after party at Mardi Gras World. If you’re having a little trouble imagining what the Krewe of Boo looks like, think of a classic Mardi Gras parade featuring all of your favorite mummies, vampires and other ghoulish characters. And just like Mardi Gras Day, you can guarantee the crowd will provide almost as much entertainment as the Krewe. KoB gets rolling Saturday, October 26 at 6:30 p.m. on this French Quarter route.
3. Join a Vampire Ball: The Endless Night Vampire Ball at the House of Blues is a vampire-themed masquerade ball which truly goes all night long, with the doors opening at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. Endless Nights has been described as “a Venetian Masquerade Ball mixed with a Vampire Court, the energy of a rock concert and the elegance of a burlesque cabaret” and named as Trip Advisor’s #1 Big Halloween Event. But don’t think you’ll be able to duck in to the Vampire Ball at the last minute, as there is a strictly enforced three tiered costume/dress code policy. While the dress code may seem a bit restrictive, it really helps set the mood and atmosphere for the party.
4. Frenchmen Street: Costumed pandemonium. That is Halloween on Frenchmen Street in a nutshell. Frenchmen is guaranteed to be packed wall-to-wall with some of the most creative and elaborate costumes you’ll ever see. With the endless number of bars and clubs lining the street, Halloween on Frenchmen is as big an outdoor costume party as you’ll find anywhere in the world. So you’re not one of the only folks not in costume, check out the best costume shops in New Orleans to get a great looking outfit for the Frenchmen fun.
5. Sleep Scared: Brave enough to stay in a haunted hotel? New Orleans is full of them, but the Hotel Monteleone would be my pick for a haunted Halloween stay. In 2003, the International Society of Paranormal Research spent several days at the hotel and contacted more than a dozen “earth bound entities,” including former employees and guests. In addition to being haunted, the Monteleone is an upscale hotel located in the French Quarter, which gives you easy access to everything on this list, and it has a top-notch cocktail bar (the Carousel Bar) and restaurant (Criollo). If you’re really up for a scare, try to get a room on the 14th floor, which is said to be the hotel’s most haunted floor.