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UPDATED: Halloween brings frights and fun across Oklahoma

by Brandy McDonnell and Oklahoma City Museum of Art Modified: October 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm •  Published: October 25, 2013
Frontier City is celebrating the Halloween season with its annual FrightFest, and this year, the festival's centerpiece, the Nightmare Haunted House, has become The Nightmare Institute.
Frontier City is celebrating the Halloween season with its annual FrightFest, and this year, the festival's centerpiece, the Nightmare Haunted House, has become The Nightmare Institute.

UPDATED at 12:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25: There has been a change in showtimes for “Evil Dead the Musical” in Drumright. The show planned for Sunday night has been canceled, but new performances have been added for Nov. 1 and 2. See below for more details.

A version of this column appears in Friday’s Weekend Life section of The Oklahoman.

Halloween brings frights and fun to Oklahoma 
From scary favorites like Frontier City’s FrightFest and the Bricktown Haunted Warehouse to family-friendly options like Haunt the Zoo and the Magic Lantern Celebration, there are plenty of options for folks eager to celebrate the spooky season.

As dusk falls, deranged clowns, shambling zombies, a towering pumpkin-headed giant and other creepy creatures begin to emerge at Frontier City.

And visitors are invited to check out the theme park’s new asylum — and hope they get to check out again.

The theme park is celebrating the Halloween season with its annual FrightFest, and this year, the festival’s centerpiece, the Nightmare Haunted House, has become The Nightmare Institute, which — the story goes — benefactor Dr. Albert Nightmare has opened for “the distressed.”

More like to cause distress, as the winding Nightmare Institute is packed with all sorts of frights and freaks, from eerie paintings barely visible under strobing lights and gory fake viscera splattering the walls to menacing “patients” eager to leap out or silently sneak up on the daring souls who enter.

As usual, the long-running attraction is drawing big crowds to Frontier City, where the regular admission to the Nightmare Haunted House is $5 in addition to regular park admission. The Fast Pass that allows patrons to skip the worst of the line is $10.

For those unwilling to brave The Nightmare Institute, which is recommended for attendees 12 and older, Frontier City also offers three “Scare Zones” — The Trollway, Psycho Circus and Route 666 Motel — where park-goers can experience a quick scare. For families with children 10 and younger, the BooVille Trick-or-Treat Trail is open from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Kiddie Land.

While Frontier City’s FrightFest remains popular, an uncanny array of Halloween-theme events and attractions, from the whimsical to the terrifying, are marking the spooky season all around Oklahoma. For more even more even more blood-chilling and family-friendly options go to Ö or Ö

Anna Billey performs at the 2012 Magic Lantern Celebration in the Paseo Arts District. Photo by Skip Largent
Anna Billey performs at the 2012 Magic Lantern Celebration in the Paseo Arts District. Photo by Skip Largent

Frontier City‘s FrightFest

Check out the Nightmare Institute and other eerie attractions during the theme park’s seasonal celebration from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and Nov. 1, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 2 and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday at Frontier City, 11501 N Interstate 35 Service Road. Information: 478-2140 or

Magic Lantern Celebration

Experience “a night of light instead of fright” Sunday at this annual Paseo Arts District event, organized by Theatre Upon a StarDanceSwan. From 3 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, children can make their own costumes, and from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., they can join the StarDanceSwan dancers and Steve McLinn of Ojas Music for “Spin and Sparkle,” when they can parade in their costumes. Information: 525-2688 or

Haunt the Zoo for Halloween

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Zoo’s trick-or-treating festival. Spend a fall evening with exotic animals, intricately carved jack-o’-lanterns and eco-friendly candy from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday through Thursday at the Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 NE 50. Information: 424-3344 or

HallowZOOeen, Tulsa

Tour the Tulsa Zoo, 6421 E 36 St. N, with your treat-or-treaters from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Information: (918) 669-6600 or

Happy Halloween from H&8th Night Market

Hear live music from Oklahoma bands Born in November, Dr. Pants, Sugar Free Allstars and Spaghetti Eddie and take your children “truck-or-treating” at local food trucks and visiting neighborhood businesses and organizations from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday at NW 8 and Hudson in MidTown. It will be the final H&8th Night Market of the year. Information:


Check out the autumn wonderland in the Children’s Garden at the Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W Reno. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday through Halloween. Activities include pumpkin painting, hay-bale mazes, hourly cider pressing, spooky storytelling and more. Saturday’s Halloween Party in Pumpkinville is sold out. Information:

Arcadia Lake’s Storybook Forest, Edmond

Take the family on a hayride, roast marshmallows and collect goodies from storybook characters from 5:30 to 8:30 nightly through Wednesday at Spring Creek Park, two and half miles east of Interstate 35 on 15 Street. Information: 216-7471 or

Oklahoma City Theatre Company’s “Medea by Euripides”

See a disturbing horror story born of ancient myth, with a tale of adultery, betrayal, and revenge that is equal parts terrifying and tragic. The production is recommended for theatergoers ages 14 and older. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center’s CitySpace Theatre, 201 N Walker. Information: 297-2264 or

Lyric Theatre’s “The Rocky Horror Show”

Check out Lyric’s new production of Richard O’Brien’s interactive seasonal favorite at 8 p.m. Friday, 8 and 11:59 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 7:30 and 11:59 p.m. Thursday at Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16. Performances continue through Nov. 2. Information: 524-9312 or

Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s “Phil Phone Home”

Hear the orchestra perform a family-friendly concert that explores the music of science fiction films and television shows at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker. The instrument playground and other hands-on activities begin at 1 p.m. Information: 842-5387 or

The Sanctuary

Check out the four-story downtown haunted attraction, featuring set design and special effects inspired by Hollywood movies, at 530 S Broadway Ave. from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and Wednesday through Nov. 2. Information: 237-2803 or

Bricktown Haunted Warehouse

Parker DeGraffenreid, 6, collects candy while walking through the Storybook Forest at Lake Arcadia, Okla., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman Archive
Parker DeGraffenreid, 6, collects candy while walking through the Storybook Forest at Lake Arcadia, Okla., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman Archive

Brave this longtime local favorite, which opens at dusk nightly through Halloween in the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center, 425 E California, which fittingly is the former home of the Oklahoma Casket Co. Information:

Bright Night of Superheroes

Dress up like your favorite caped crusader and test your Spider-senses in the rope maze, witness Hulk-like transformations and take in more super-science fun from 6 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday at Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52. The event goes all night. One adult is required for every six children attending. Register by calling (405) 602-3760 or email for more information. Information:

HallowMarine, Jenks

Celebrate the season with trick-or-treating, mermaid and pirate dive shows and carnival-style games from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday at the Oklahoma Aquarium, 300 Aquarium Drive. Information: (918) 296-3474 or

Museum of Osteology‘s Halloween Bash

Look at the bones, check out live insects and reptiles, do a little trick-or-treating and get discounted admission from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the skeleton museum, 10301 S Sunnylane. Information: 814-0006 or

Trick-Orr-Treating and Costume Contest

Take in a sprawling corn maze, pumpkin patch and hayrides from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Orr Family Farm, 14400 S Western. Trick-or-treating begins at noon, and the costume contest starts at 5 p.m. Information: 799-3276 or

Martin Park Nature Center‘s “Ye Olde Hallows Eve”

Take in a free old-fashioned Halloween festival with a howling contest, cockroach races and more family-friendly outdoor activities from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 2 at the park, 5000 W Memorial. Preregistration is required for the pumpkin Olympics and “monster” costume contest. Information: 755-0676 or

Haunt the River

Check out the Zombie Zip, Candy Corn Climb, Ghost Bounce, Kreepy Kayak Zone and more from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday in the Boathouse District of the Oklahoma River, 725 S Lincoln Blvd. Information: 552-4040 or

Haunt the River Cruises

Leave the safe harbor of the Exchange Landing, 1503 Exchange Ave., at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday for a fun and frightening voyage on the Oklahoma River. The Halloween-theme cruises are intended for adults. Reservations are required. Boarding is at 7:45 p.m. Information: 702-7755 or

Hallopolis, Norman

Hear The Choke, Love Cobra and Shutdown Shutouts at 8 p.m. Thursday at The Opolis, 113 N Crawford. Information:

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Street Festival, Norman

Check out the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art’s all-ages celebration of the Day of the Dead, a holiday recognized in numerous Latin American countries that celebrates the lives of those who have passed away through food, music and art. Presented with University of Oklahoma Student Life, the street festival is set for 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 1 at the southeast corner of Boyd and Elm and will feature remembrance altars, live performances and hands-on art activities. Information:

UCO production "Macabret"
Left to right: Willie Hill, Annie Michelle Guy, Duncan Barrett Brown, Liz Valdez.
UCO production "Macabret" Left to right: Willie Hill, Annie Michelle Guy, Duncan Barrett Brown, Liz Valdez.

“Macabret: A Spooktacular Halloween Revue,” Edmond

Listen to the University of Central Oklahoma Musical Theatre Division present an evening of seasonal pop-rock favorites in its fundraiser show “Macabret: A Spooktacular Halloween Revue” at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday at the UCO Jazz Lab, 100 E 5. Information: 974-3375 or

Wormy Dog Halloween Bash

Hear Mont Lyons, Them Hounds and White Mule for free at 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E Sheridan. Doors open at 8 p.m. Information:

“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”

Watch and listen as Breck McGough, a composer from Haworth, performs an original score he wrote for a free screening of the cult classic 1920 German silent horror film at 7 p.m. Friday at The Paramount, 701 W Sheridan Ave. on Film Row. The screening/performance is part of a triple feature that also will include the world premiere of movies created by local filmmakers Spike Alkire and Mickey Reece. Information: 517-0787 or

“Birth of the Living Dead” and “Night of the Living Dead”

See George A. Romero’s 1968 horror classic, along with a new documentary about the making of his influential zombie flick, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Noble Theater, 415 Couch Drive. The museum is offering free admission for moviegoers in Halloween costumes or past deadCenter Film Festival T-shirts — and for zombies, of course. Information: 236-3100 or

“Evil Dead: The Musical,” Drumright

See the horrifically humorous stage show based on Sam Raimi’s cult classic film franchise at 8 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Nov. 1-2 at Scream Country Haunted Forest’s Boomstick Theater, 15853 W 101 St. S. (Sunday night’s show has been canceled.) Information: (918) 409-0274 or

Scream Country Haunted Forest and Hayride, Drumright

Take a “Curse of the Slender Man” hayride or brave the “Slender Forest Haunted Trail” from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 to 11 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2. Information: (918) 607-3327 or

Trail of Terror, El Reno

Get spooked along the trail or in the Haunted Barn from dusk to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Thursday at 2701 W 10. Information:

Haunted Castle Halloween Festival, Muskogee

Find thrills for the entire family from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Thursday and Nov. 1 and 2 at the Castle of Muskogee, 3400 Fern Mountain Road. Information: (800) 439-0658 or

The Hex House, Tulsa

Explore an extreme haunted attraction based on a real event in Tulsa’s past from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday and Wednesday through Nov. 2 at the southeast corner of 71st and Memorial. Information:

Terror on 10th Street Haunted House

Be terrorized from 7 to 11 nightly through Nov. 2 during a tour telling the ghostly history of the house at 2005 NW 10. Information: 232-1816.

Gazette’s Halloween Parade

March with aliens, zombies and other creepy creatures in the annual parade, formerly known as Ghouls Gone Wild, starting at 7 p.m. Saturday in Downtown and Midtown. Information:

Trail of Fear Haunted Scream Park, Lawton

Check out’s pick for the scariest haunted attraction in Oklahoma beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, Nov. 1 and 2 at 11101 SE Lee Blvd. Information:


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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