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NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters in a war of words and wits
City Park’s Botanical Garden (5:00 PM)
New Orleanian songwriter performs at the weekly outdoor concert series
The Ogden Museum (6:00 PM)
Singer/ songwriter who has recently performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival and provided tour support for Raul Malo and the Wood Brothers
The Foundation Gallery (6:00 PM)
A screening of Maya's award-winning animation "Pareidolia" followed by a Q &A with the artist
Snug Harbor (8:00 & 10:00 PM)
The third evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Hi Ho Lounge (9:00 PM)
Hip hop artist raps on St. Claude with his album Trap Hop
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Performing tracks from the new album 'What a World'
The Power to Scare: Mortuary, House of Shock Rise to the Top of New Orleans' Halloween Fright Cards
by Jillian Firnhaber
Haunted tales are a dime a dozen around the French Quarter, but those looking for a good scare on Halloween weekend have a couple options outside the Vieux Carre that don't involve hand grenades and stories that may be a little loose with the truth. Sheriff Charle's Foti's famed haunted house in City Park is no longer around, so the debate about which of the Crescent City's haunted house is scarier is down to two: House of Shock or Mortuary. Staples of the NOLA-Halloween festivities, both creepy cottages feature plenty of that will send a chill down even the most jaded horror fans. NOLA Defender makes a case for both sites.
One of the nation's most well-known haunted houses (we blame Billy the Exterminator), House of Shock (319 Butterworth St., Jefferson) was founded in 1992 by Pantera frontman, Phil Anselmo, in his friend's backyard. Bullied by city officials due to its controversial Church of Satan scene, House of Shock finally found a more permanent home in Jefferson.
According to owner Ross Karpelman, “House of Shock is so much more than just a haunted house. It's a full experience.”
The haunted festival features a huge outdoor arena with stage shows that include stunts and pyrotechnics. While waiting, fright fans can enjoy cocktails, and the ghoulish antics of Hallo-freaks who may or may not still buy their clothes at Hot Topic. Performers put needles through their skin, hang weighted suitcases from their piercings, and eat live cockroaches.
“You can hang out here all night and not even go into the haunted house,” Karpelman says. “And it's free.”
There's also a new addition of the Arachno-ride – “basically a mechanical bull except a spider.”
Inside there is no shortage of actors to leap our from every cranny and crevice. House of Shock runs with the help of more than 400 volunteers. The owners have tried to remain true to their New Orleans roots – featuring scenes from haunted New Orleans' cemetery, swamps, and French Quarter. There is no age limit for attendees.
“If you think your kids can handle it, we'll be happy to give them nightmares,” Karpelman finishes.
If you're looking for something a little more local, Mortuary (4800 Canal St., New Orleans) in Mid-City is a classic standby. The creepy, former funeral home claims to be verified as an actual haunted house. Come Halloween-season, the Mortuary only gets creepier. This year's theme is Cirque du Freak. If you don't like clowns, bring new underwear.
A line snakes around the building, with costumed creeps stalking impatient ticket-holders. Many people get too scared while in line and don't even make it inside the haunted house. Guests are led into the foyer by a comic-vampire who tells them that they've been invited to the funeral of his brother, a creepy clown. Then guests are led through a maze of clowns, dolls, scary doctors, and general monstrosities. Watch out for the toilet scene – you'll see what we mean.
Particularly terrifying is the blind crawl through pitch-black sheets. Be careful or you will find yourself trapped in a dead end with a life-sized Chuckie doll. Although much shorter than the House of Shock maze, Mortuary packs a terrifying punch, and you will spill out of the building breathless and screaming. Our reporter shrieked so much she's now on Youtube as “freaked out haunted house chick.”
Whichever haunted house you choose, you're in for a treat this season. Both Mortuary and House of Shock cost $25 and are open after dark this weekend.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Ryan Sparks, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Ryan Sparks, Kerem Ozkan
Michael Weber, B.A.
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B. E. Mintz
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