Halloween and Dia de los Muertos offer culture

by Beacon Staff • October 26, 2005

Emerson Halloween happenings

Clear your throat and head down to the Halloween Open Mic event, co-sponsored by The Emerson Review and Gangsters in Concrete, scheduled for tonight from 7 to 9 p.,"There are plenty of kooky, spooky things to do in and around Boston this Halloween weekend. You can get your tricks and treats even if you don't have a costume.

Emerson Halloween happenings

Clear your throat and head down to the Halloween Open Mic event, co-sponsored by The Emerson Review and Gangsters in Concrete, scheduled for tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Student Union.

"The open mic is not Halloween-themed, per se, though we're encouraging people to dress up to enhance their performances, or to read horror- [and] Halloween-themed poetry and stories," said Rebecca Flanagan, co-editor-in-chief of The Emerson Review and a copy editor for The Beacon. "It is an opportunity for students to showcase their work in their own voice."

Free cookies, cider and hot chocolate will be served. Performances are limited to 10 minutes in length.

Also scheduled for tonight is Emerson Peace and Social Justice's "Tricky Treats," an evening to support Fair Trade. "Tricky Treats" will feature music and costumes designed to promote awareness of the poor working conditions facing many of the world's coffee and cocoa bean farmers. Free Fair Trade coffee and chocolate will also be provided at the event.

The Emerson fright-fest continues Sunday night with Latent Image's Halloween film festival, "It Came From the Vault." From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Bill Bordy Theater and Auditorium, test your tolerance for terror with short horror films made by fellow students.

Andrew Rostan, president of Latent Image, said that the multimedia festival will have hosts, costumes and popcorn.

"Every film student has an idea for a horror movie, and now we're giving them a reason to make one," Rostan said. In addition to films, he said the night would include some horror-kitsch decorations inspired by Roger Corman and William Castle's iconic B-movies of the 1960s.

Wrapping up Emerson's salute to scariness, WECB and comedy troupe Jimmy's Traveling All Stars are sponsoring "Rock and Comedy Halloween Night" at 8 p.m. on Monday in the Little Building Cabaret. The free show will feature the All Stars along with Emerson bands Riot! Riot! and The Singles Club.

City-wide spooky attractions

Rub elbows with Mayor Menino at Hill-o-Ween, the annual fundraiser for Hill House, Beacon Hill's community center. It will be held at Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End. For $75, you can dance the night away and have all you can eat and drink. You can also win door prizes and participate in both silent and live auctions. Items donated include coveted sports tickets and a lunch with author Robin Cook, according to Events Coordinator Jessica Podlaski.

"We're hoping for a turnout of 300 to 350 people," Podlaski said. "Last year was a ball, and we made over $100,000." The funds will support Hill House programs and scholarships. Visit www.hillhouseboston.org to register or pay at the door.

More thrills and chills are only a T ride away. The Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Harvard Square is sponsoring two evenings of spine-tingling tales narrated by storyteller Jennifer Justice, tomorrow and Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance or $15 at the door.

For a truly wild time, head down to the Franklin Park Zoo this Saturday and Sunday for "Zoo Howl" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For the regular zoo price you can enjoy games, crafts, a haunted maze and more. Admission is $9.50. (The zoo is accessible by taking the MBTA Orange Line to Forest Hills and then the number 16 bus to Franklin Park.)

Another option for your inner child is Halloween Town at the Seaport World Trade Center (accessible by the MBTA Silver Line) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. There will be "Haunted Laser Tag" and "Spooky Mini Golf" along with face painting, pumpkin decorating and live entertainment, according to event brochures. The Halloween Town atmosphere is geared mostly toward families with young children, which is perfect for those who want more fun than fright this weekend. Tickets for the event are $12 and available at participating Shaw's stores and through www.nextticketing.com.

If you're not squeamish, check out ImprovBoston's third annual "Gorefest" musical. This year's original show, The Tale of Penny Dreadful, is packed with "dismemberment, disfigurement and disgust," according to the Improv Web site. Shows are at 8 p.m. now through Monday, as well as this Saturday and Sunday at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be ordered at www.improvboston.com.

If watching freaky flicks in dark rooms is more your thing, bring your Halloween candy to the Coolidge Corner Theatre for the 3-D midnight showings of Friday the 13th Part 3 on Friday and Saturday. Also at the Coolidge, on Halloween night see the original Frankenstein movie at 7:30 p.m. or the silent film Nosferatu at 10 p.m. Live musicians will be providing soundtracks for both movies. Tickets cost $9 for the weekend midnight movies and $12 for each film on Halloween.

Halloween isn't just about ghosts and goblins. Two Latin American cultural groups, La Pi