It’s officially spooky season, bringing with it no shortage of shows and performances that can haunt your October evenings. You can explore a secret society with a group of ghosts or dress up in your best costume while immersed in the terrors of legendary horror movies. Perhaps you’re more inclined to watch murderous ambition play out in front of you through the words of Shakespeare or experience a slasher taken down through improv.
But don’t worry: If the frights aren’t for you, plenty of family-friendly options fit the season’s theme as well. Do me a favor and leave the candy corn at home and head out to experience these unique October outings to help you celebrate the Seattle area’s Halloween season the right way.
Nordo has already begun its haunting season with a new immersive experience, “Spirit Parlour,” which features a boutique-style cocktail lounge haunted by five ghosts summoned by a secret society. The immersive experience created by storyteller Julia Nardin, who serves as the Destiny Universe narrative director for the Destiny video game series, combines featured aerial acts and eerie musical performances with a world for audiences to explore. When not watching the performances, you’ll be able to interact with the ghosts and explore exhibits by listening to old recordings, going through papers and carrying out quests assigned by the secret society and the ghosts.
Through Nov. 20; Culinarium at Nordo, 109 S. Main St., Seattle; tickets start at $48; cafenordo.com
“The Emerald City Slasher”
A serial killer is on the loose in the rainy metropolis of the Emerald City in this improvised murder mystery from Jet City Improv. Directed by Mario Orallo-Molinaro, and produced in association with Theatre Off Jackson, the show allows the audience to create the characters and follow along while trying to discover the killer’s identity and not become the slasher’s next victim. In this production, the killer’s identity will change with every performance.
Oct. 6-22; Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S., Seattle; $18, with Oct. 13 and Oct. 20 being pay-what-you-can nights; jetcityimprov.org
Something wicked this way comes as Seattle Shakespeare Company stages “Macbeth” this fall. After three witches present Macbeth with a prophecy that he will one day be King of Scotland, ambition turns to corruption as Macbeth and his wife do whatever it takes to fulfill that prophecy. Filled with witches, murder and visions of daggers and bloodstained hands, can anyone escape this dark tale of devotion and pride turning to vanity and death unscathed? ACT artistic director John Langs directs this production that features Reginald André Jackson and Alexandra Tavares.
Oct. 25-Nov. 20; Center Theatre at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle; $35-$56; 206-733-8222; seattleshakespeare.org
October also marks the return of the Museum of Pop Culture’s Halloween bash after a multiyear hiatus. The Halloween party, taking place Oct. 29, will feature a costume contest, an escape room from Hourglass Scapes, MoPOP’s horror exhibition “Scared to Death” and music from DJ Morgue Anne. “Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film” features props and costumes from some of the most legendary horror films and television series, including “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Addams Family.”
Oct. 29; MoPOP, 325 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle; $20-$28; 206-770-2700; mopop.org
If the above options prove a bit too spooky (or a bit too adult), there are a number of more family-friendly performances in the Puget Sound area that can help you get into the Halloween mood.
Tacoma Little Theatre is presenting the Agatha Christie classic “Murder on the Orient Express” (Oct. 21-Nov. 6, tacomalittletheatre.com), and Tacoma City Ballet is offering evenings of eerie dances in “The Haunted Theatre” (Oct. 21-30, tacomacityballet.com).
The Lisa Kron, Jeanine Tesori and Alison Bechdel-musical “Fun Home” may not immediately come to mind when thinking of Halloween, but the Bechdel Funeral Home setting is a perfect backdrop for this emotional musical focused on a graphic novelist’s relationship with her father. Michael Jenkinson will direct this production of “Fun Home” (Oct. 6-29, harlequinproductions.org) from Olympia’s Harlequin Productions.
To end with another classic that everyone in the family can love, The Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds is presenting “Clue: On Stage,” which puts six dinner guests in the middle of a mystery, with their anonymous host for the evening at the center. Much like the movie and the board game before it, “Clue: On Stage” (Oct. 7-30, tptedmonds.org) gives each guest an alias, a weapon and the opportunity for murder.