It’s Spooktacular!

The Halloween scene

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Possibly because no one who knows me has ever seen me in a costume or witnessed me giving candy to a child, people are often surprised—shocked even—to find out that I love Halloween just as much as anyone else in this Halloween-obsessed town. Every Oct. 31, I don orange and black before making my way to Bellingham’s downtown core to witness what happens when costumes and cocktails collide.

However, it’s not exactly accurate to act as though Halloween is confined to one day. Around these parts, we are known to make a week of it. And with Oct. 31 falling on Wednesday this year, the celebrating will happen early and often. As is our perennial custom, music is plentiful, with some once-dead bands coming back to life to entertain us, while a couple of Halloween mainstays—in particular Polecat and Clambake—are nowhere to be found. Since I don’t have the space for comprehensive coverage of the Halloween happenings, I’ll try and hit the highlights instead.

Owing to their richly deserved status as Bellingham’s holiday headquarters—no matter the holiday—a good place to begin any entertainment journey is Boundary Bay Brewery. Unsurprisingly, the brewpub is going all out, enlisting the creative crew at BAAY to transform the warehouse and beer garden into a Haunted House and Fear Garden” that will feature “ghosts, ghouls, and surprises at every turn.” The BAAY Haunted Dancers are scheduled to perform as well, and you can have the dickens scared out of you before being entertained by the rhythmic stylings of celestial beings Oct. 26-27 and Oct. 31. Boundary will also be the site of a Halloween Jam on Oct. 27, with music by Deadly D, Ayo Dot, and the Monday After. Where: 1107 Railroad Ave. Info:

If you were to ask any member of Misfits cover band Horror Business whether they got into this expecting to still be doing it 15 years later, they would probably laugh by way of an answer. But year in and year out they have donned their distinctive (and now a little ratty) devilocks and given us the old-school horror punk that we seem to never stop craving. For their 15th anniversary show happening on Halloween proper at the Shakedown, they may have invested in fresh devilocks and learned a whole new set, but somehow I doubt it—which is perfectly fine by me. If it ain’t broke, don’t break it. Joining Horror Business will be Saganist (I’m going to need everyone but Ryan Greer to dress like Carl Sagan for the Halloween show), the Wyrds, and Meece. Where: 1212 N. State St. Info:

Remember nearly a decade ago, when Black Eyes and Neckties supposedly called it quits and had us all come to a big blowout at the Nightlight to say goodbye? That was a fun show. Since then, like the zombies they are, they’ve come back to life several times, and will do so again Sat., Oct. 27 at the Wild Buffalo with No-Fi Soul Rebellion (welcome back), as well as the Wednesdays. Not content to just don the kerchiefs and the fake blood and give it another go onstage, BENt recorded a pair of new (to us) songs and made videos to go with them in advance of this show. Does this mean they’re back for real? No. But I can think of no other Bellingham band I’d rather see on Halloween, so I’ll take what I can get. Where: 208 W. Holly St. Info:

Should you want to take yourself a little farther—or more than a little, as the case may be—off the beaten path, the Guemes Island General Store is hosting its third annual Halloween Costume Party on Oct. 27. The night includes music from Ebb, Slack and Flood, a buffet dinner and a costume contest. Plus, if you’re not enticed by the idea of spending Halloween—or the Saturday before it, as is the case—on a tiny, sparsely populated island only accessible by ferry and with limited cell service, you are not in the holiday spirit. The party begins early, at 5:30pm, is family-friendly, and if you don’t come in costume, you’ll pay more at the door. Where: 7885 Guemes Island Road, Anacortes Info:

However, that’s far from all that’s happening on Halloween and the weekend prior to it. There are pumpkins to be carved at Stones Throw Brewery (Oct. 27) and money to be won at costume contests at locales both within Bellingham and at the casinos surrounding the city—and at Boscoe’s there’s an Oct. 27 event just called “Halloween” with a description of “get ready,” a sentiment that sums up the Halloween scene in Bellingham better than I ever could.

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