Halloween in the Crescent City calls for two things: a lot of fun and a lot of frights! We've got everything from haunted houses and ghost tours to spooky sights. Here’s how you can celebrate this October.
Krewe of Boo
The most petrifying parade in all of New Orleans is put on by the Krewe of Boo! This annual celebration of spooky season transforms the French Quarter into the Fright Quarter with extravagantly decorated floats and riders and marchers decked out in costumes. They take to the streets with tricks and treats all evening long! This year’s Krewe of Boo parade rolls Saturday, October 21, 2023 - so get your costumes and candy bags ready!
Before the parade that night, run (or shamble) through the French Quarter during the New Orleans Zombie Run as you avoid the zombie-hunting Big Easy Rollergirls!
Looking for some frightening fun? Pay a visit to the Museum of Death or the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum! These are two on-brand October outings that are sure to send a chill through your spine. The Museum of Death features some horrifying highlights and history such as body bags, a skull collection, a history of cannibalism, crime scenes, and more. Or opt for the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum - a historic apothecary housed in the French Quarter. Its collection tells the story of medicine over the decades and some chilling practices that are no longer.
Take a Haunted History or Ghost Tour
New Orleans is known for its haunted history. Hotels, restaurants, and streets across the city are known to have spirits floating throughout, and there’s no better way to hear the eerie tales of how these ghosts came to be than by taking a tour. You’ll find an abundance of options for haunted group tours, especially in the French Quarter, which is filled with stories of ghosts and ghouls in almost every building.
See the Spooky Decorations on Homes Around the City
Holiday home decor is a specialty in New Orleans (second, of course, to costumes). Take a stroll around any neighborhood to see how locals decorate for Halloween. Be sure to walk around the Garden District/Uptown to see the stunning St. Charles Avenue mansions with amazing decorations. Pretty much any neighborhood in NOLA will be filled with houses sporting festive (and frightening) decor.
The Skeleton House (6000 St. Charles Ave.) is an annual favorite for its scary and satirical décor. The Kraken House (6574 Memphis St.) is known for its large-scale tentacles, while Ghost Manor on Magazine Street (2502 Magazine St.) also goes all out with an electronic light show timed to spooky tunes. Additionally, the Buckner Mansion (1410 Jackson Ave.) is a Halloween hotspot, famous for its terrifying feature on the FX hit series, American Horror Story and Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Don't forget to dress up and snag a few shots in front of its gates!
Visit a Haunted House
Every fall, haunted houses make their highly-anticipated annual return to New Orleans. Prepare to be spooked as you wind your way through multiple floors of ghouls, goblins, and costumed actors at The Mortuary and New Orleans Nightmare.
Stay in a Haunted Hotel
Consider booking a night in a haunted hotel to get into the spooky spirit this Halloween season. Legend has it, the 14th floor (actually the 13th floor) of Hotel Monteleone is home to some paranormal activity. Guests have reported hearing the footsteps of Maurice Begere, the young ghost child who haunts the hotel. For more on haunted hotels, see here.
Enjoy some spooky family fun
Head to Audubon Zoo from October 20-22, 2023 for Boo at the Zoo. The beloved family Halloween tradition includes unforgettable animal experiences, festive treats and decor, and plenty of family-friendly activities.
Explore the French Market District for live music, kid’s activities, trick-or-treating, and a Spooky Second Line at Boo Carré Halloween Haunt, or enjoy a weekend at City Park for Ghosts in the Oaks, which includes trick-or-treating, arts & crafts, a pumpkin patch, and hot-dog roasting around the campfire. Costumes are encouraged for all!
Experience performing arts, Halloween style
New Orleans' vibrant performing arts scene has lots of upcoming events to get you in the spooky spirit! Experience "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at The Mahalia Jackson Theater on Saturday, October 28! And for a spooked orchestral sensation, head on over to see the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's rendition of "Get Out" on October 12-13.
Immerse yourself in the perfect eerie ambiance at Candlelight: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics, with performances taking place at The Sazerac House.
Check out the Halloween Nightlife
When the sun goes down, the fun and frights only get better over Halloween weekend! Break out your best Thriller or Monster Mash as you dance the night away at Brujeria Carnaval. Don your best costume and embrace your inner child for an adults-only Halloween bash in the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park at Brews and Boos.
At NOLA Motorsports Park experience Zombie Paintball. You and your fellow hunters will be loaded on to the battle bus and driven through an interactive Zombie Apocalypse where you can shoot zombies. In addition to Zombie Paintball, you can enjoy go karting, axe throwing, live music and beer specials (select nights), food trucks, promo nights, face painting, pumpkin crafting station and more.
One of New Orleans’ most legendary Halloween events also benefits a cause near and dear to the city. Halloween New Orleans (HNO) is an LGBTQ Halloween extravaganza that last all weekend long and has been known to host some of the city’s most epic parties. In its 39 years, the event has raised over $5 million for its host charity, Project Lazarus, an assisted-living home for those suffering with HIV/AIDS. Between the Queen’s Ball, the costume/dance party, and the tea dance and second line, you won’t want to miss one spooky, sparkly moment.
Finally, make your way over to Endless Night's The New Orleans Vampire Ball: Temple of The Dark Goddess for a bloodthirsty good time, with a lineup of iconic spooktacular performances taking place at the House of Blues on Saturday, October 28th at 9:00 p.m!