There are so many spooktacular things to do in Columbus for Halloween, it's tough to fit them all in!

Halloween means different things for different people and everyone marks the holiday in in a variety of ways. Some like the aesthetics, some like the spooky parts, some like the history; truly there are so many aspects to Halloween, but whatever you're looking for, we've got an event for you. Check out our incredible list of ways to get in the Halloween spirit in Columbus for all types of personalities!

Go ahead; pick your poison:

If you like the pomp and circumstance that comes with Halloween, then step away from Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween and check out one of these movies, plays, musical performances and fashion shows taking place right here in Columbus this month. Many arts organizations in the city have vaccine requirements, so be sure to double check before you go. 

Movies

Hitchcocktober at Gateway Film Center: In its 12th annual tribute to the Master of Suspense, Gateway Film Center screens Hitchcock films in 35 mm daily for the entire month at 7 p.m., with additional matinees at 2 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check out the lineup and reserve your seats here.

Ghostbusters with the Columbus Symphony: The Columbus Symphony is offering an exciting new way to enjoy the original 1984 version of Ghostbusters - with them playing the score to the film. Check out this unique viewing on Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre, and be prepared for a few special guests and surprises too. Purchase tickets here.

Performances

The Rocky Horror Show and Young Frankenstein at Short North Stage: For many, a staple of Halloween is the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and if you make Dr. Frank-N-Furter part of your Halloween tradition, you can see the film come to life with Short North Stage’s interpretation in The Rocky Horror Show, live Fridays and Saturdays beginning Oct.15 and running for the remainder of the month. Find showtimes and tickets here. Short North Stage is offering double the trouble this Halloween with its staging of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. This hilarious musical adaptation of the hit movie runs Oct. 7 through Nov. 7, and tickets are available here.

District of Doom at District West: The fabulous Queens of the West Family - Virginia, Krystal and their band of merry misfits - are back to "slay" you in the Horror-ific HALLOWEST 2: District of Doom! Showtimes begin Oct. 15 and run weekends through the end of the month. Grab your tickets here.

Music & More!

Haunted Fest at Ohio Expo Center: Prime Social Group is bringing back their popular Halloween-themed EDM music festival on Friday, Oct. 29. The frighteningly good lineup includes Alesso, Duke Dumont, Dombresky, Sigala and Mr. Kristopher. Secure your spot here.

Highball Halloween at Express Live!: The world's most fashionable costume part is back in person this year for one night only, Saturday, Oct. 23, at a new location - Express Live! Hosted by Virginia West and NBC4’s Monica Day and Matt Barnes, you can expect performances by Virginia and The West Family as well as local talent MojoFlo. Seven amazing designers are set to display their fa-boo-lous fashions during the White Castle Costume Couture Fashion Show, and the public is invited to compete for cash in the Out of the Closet Public Costume Contest. Categories include: HighBall Horror Story, Life imitates Art, Dynamic Duo, Squad Goals and #What?. Tickets to this year's event are limited so get yours here as soon as possible. 

Beer Garden Halloween Party at Land-Grant: Prepare for a spooky Friday night in the Land-Grant FEAR Garden! Costumes will be judged between 8-9 p.m. and prizes will be awarded for best individual and best group costumes.

Halloween Costume Party Cocktail Tour: A cocktail tour and costume party? That's exactly right! Join Columbus Craft Cocktail Tour on Oct. 30 from 4-8:30 for a very special night. Get your tickets here.

Budd's Falloween Late Night: Budd Dairy Food Hall's adults-only Halloween celebration on Oct. 30 from 8 p.m. to midnight will have music on the rooftop by Bohno, a costume contest, beer and shot specials, and scary movies being played throughout the building.

If it's being viscerally terrified that gets you excited for Halloween - and power to you if so - we've got you covered with plenty of haunted houses and ghostly experiences at other haunted places in Columbus. We've made note of age recommendations or requirements where necessary. 

Haunted Houses

ZOMBIEzi Bay: The pools of Zoombezi Bay are now filled with waves of terror, in a new haunted experience where the undead rule the night. Get the crew together to explore the wicked new world with four haunted houses, two scare zones and plenty of other sinister surprises. This experience runs through Oct. 31 is only for ages 13+. Get your tickets here - if you dare.

Ghost Trolley: Worthington's Ohio Railway Museum is offering its fan-favorite, family-friendly Ghost Trolley rides on October Saturdays beginning Oct. 9. Check out Halloween scenes, hear a spooky story and see if you can detect anything supernatural on your ride. Reserve seats here.

COSI After Dark - Fright Night: Enjoy COSI without kids at this 21+ event from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14. Be prepared for a side of creepy when visiting this time-traveling haunted house, get ready to monster mash with DJ Josh Stanley and compete for costume prizes. Get your tickets here.

Thurber House Halloween Extravaganza: Take a tour of the haunted Thurber House, former home to cartoonist James Thurber, during this free event on Oct. 31 at 1 p.m. Enjoy the spooky spot's Halloween decor while you hear strange tales about the property and enjoy special treats and activities. This event is family-friendly and not designed to be scary! However, paranormal enthusiasts can enter a raffle to win a private ghost investigation tour of the property. Learn more here.

Haunted Mine Adventure: Picture this: A mysterious buyer has purchased an abandoned mine. At first, work at the site goes smoothly but soon, supernatural events occur and terror overtakes the camp. Now, the community, ages 6+, is invited to join the miners on an immersive family-friendly adventure to escape the collapsing mine. This experience runs from Oct. 21-Nov. 1 at Olentangy Liberty High School and the proceeds support the drama club to replace funds lost during Covid. Find more details here.

Ghost Tours

Columbus City Adventures Walking Tours: This October, Columbus City Adventures is offering three tours that show the creepier and most secret sides of Columbus. These include: Secrets of Statehouse Square, History and Haunts of Fort Hayes and the brand-new offering, Tales of the Arena District. Each tour costs $35 per person and can be booked here.

Fernando's Funeral: A haunted Tour at The Kelton House: Join the Junior League of Columbus to learn about Victorian mourning rituals and the ghosts that linger in the Kelton House on Town Street. This after-dark tour will include ghost stories and tales of spooky experiences on the property. This event is recommended for ages 10+ and takes place on Oct. 28 and 29. Get your tickets here.

Uptown Westerville Ghost Story Tours: Hear the haunted history of Uptown Westerville in this slightly theatrical and highly entertaining Ghost Story Tour. Offered weekends through Halloween at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., each 1.5-hour tour is $23. Check out the route and get tickets here.

Columbus Ghost Tours: Check out the spookiest places in Columbus, including Greenlawn Cemetery by day or night in these spirited tours. Explore a variety of tour options and times here

There are plenty of merry-not-scary Halloween events across the city great for kids of all ages. 

Special Events

Boo at the Zoo: The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium's signature seasonal event includes a trick-or-treat trail, Halloween train ride, costumed characters and more. Don your costume during October weekends and head to the zoo for a day of spooky-kooky fun - there's no cost beyond regular admission. No tricks here; only treats!

All Hallows' Eve: Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on October Saturdays, the Ohio History Center's Ohio Village opens its doors to the community for an evening of Victorian-era Halloween fun. The traditional retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is joined by new programming such as Fashions that Kill and Mysterious Monsters of Ohio Lore. Bring the whole family for pumpkin carving, fortune telling, a straw maze, crafts and more. Time entry is required, so secure your spot here.

Boo & Brew: Polaris Fashion Place is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 1-4 p.m. with a Boo & Brew birthday festival extravaganza. Taking place at the main entrance by the flag poles, the event will include live music from British Invasion, a costume context, food trucks, professional pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting, costumed characters and of course a beer garden! Proceeds from all beer sales support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. This is an Ohio State bye week so you can fully invest in fall fun. 

HOWLoween Pet Contest & Fall Festival: Head to Easton on Oct. 24 from 12-3 p.m. for an exciting and ultra-cute pet costume contest! Additional fall festival activities will include an inflatable corn maze, pop-up pumpkin patch and caricature artist. Check out costume categories and more details here.

Ex-STRAW-dinary Scarecrows: Dawes Arboretum invites families to explore dozens of scarecrows throughout the Parkwoods Trail, in a variety of fun costumes and poses.

Budd's Falloween: Budd Dairy Food Hall is hosting a fun-for-all-ages event on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. A small business market will join opportunities for pumpkin painting, a hot chocolate station and balloon artist. Costumes are encouraged and will get of-age patrons $1 off drafts all day.

Dawg Costume Contest: Land-Grant promises and action packed Halloween Sunday in their beer garden, starting with a dog costume contest at 11 a.m., followed by Browns vs. Steelers at 1 p.m. and completed with Ghostbusters at 7:30 p.m.

Community Festivals

The Great Gahanna Goblin Trail: Gahanna is turning Academy Park into a drive-through Halloween experience featuring live entertainment, a festive light show, socially distant trick-or-treat fire performances and plenty of other spooky surprises along the way. The event will be held Oct. 21 and 22 from 6-9:30 p.m. and costs $15 per vehicle. Costumes and car decorations are encouraged! No admission will be sold at the door so get your ticket here.

Dublin Halloween Spooktacular: Goblins, ghosts and ghouls are invading Dublin's Coffman Park on Oct. 14 and 15 for the city's Halloween celebration featuring trunk-or-treat, dance performances, sidewalk chalk, costumed characters and plenty of activities for the whole family. The first 30 minutes of each day will be designated as sensory friendly, during which lights, sounds and wait times will be reduced to make the event more enjoyable for guests with special sensory needs. Learn more here.

The Great Westerville Pumpkin Glow: Westerville is reimagining its Pumpkin Glow event and taking it on the road to neighborhoods throughout the community to allow for smaller crowds and more distancing. From 7-10 p.m. Oct. 20-26, nine parks throughout the community will have unique scenes made of lit pumpkins available for viewing. Check out all the locations for this free event here.

Worthington's Halloween on the Green: Celebrate the season on the Worthington Village Green from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. Enjoy trick-or-treat, local vendors, arts and crafts, live performances and more. Get the latest updates here.