At its heart, Halloween is a perfect Seattle fall holiday: gloomy, dark, and full of decadent food. There are also plenty of activities for parents who need a break from trick or treating — or those who just want to party. So whether it’s a creepy camp-themed costume party on Capitol Hill or watching a classic horror movie in a chill lounge with a live score, here are the best bets for spine-tingling food, drink, and fun.
This cocktail lounge in the State Hotel downtown will channel a 1920s speakeasy with a ghoulish twist Thursday night. That means flapper era-specific music and spooky costumes featured prominently, along with specialty drinks such as a Red Witch (with tequila, red wine, and pink peppercorns) and a Corpse Reviver No. 2 (with gin, lillet blanc, and absinthe). There’s also a Scaryaki special, which is a three-course prix fix dinner for $19.20 (get it?), with baby lettuce salad, teriyaki-glazed chicken thighs, and matcha ice cream.
130 Pike Stet
Billed as “Seattle’s oldest restaurant,” Merchant’s in Pioneer Square has some ghostly history. Back in the late 1890s, it served as a brothel and, according to legend, there’s still a “lady of the night” wandering around the premises. Since a private real estate firm recently purchased the property, now may be a good time to visit the old school dive. But given the city’s colorful past, Merchant’s isn’t the only active restaurant and bar with some supernatural vibes. Eater’s sister site, Curbed, has helpfully compiled 17 of the most haunted places in Seattle, including Kells Irish Restaurant and Canterbury Ale House.
109 Yesler Way
Housed in a former 1920s funeral parlor, the Pine Box in Capitol Hill would be a creepy venue to celebrate Halloween on its own. But Thursday night, it’s really leaning into the theme with a “seance” paired with beer (so, basically, a party). The bar will also host a costume contest with prizes, set up a coffin photo booth, and display scary movies on the projector in the back. Beers on tap include Voodoo Ranger Hop Avenger, Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale, and Southern Vine Sour. No cover.
1600 Melrose Ave
Known for its nautical theme and happy hour drink specials, this low-key Wallingford bar is hosting a costume contest, like many other venues on Halloween. The difference is the “Snack Attack” event is limited to food-specific outfits, whether that’s a sexy Popeyes chicken sandwich … or a sexy Beyond burger (winners will get $20 gift cards). To fuel the competition, there will be also be Captain Morgan-filled syringe Jello shots and Deep Eddy lemon “specimen” shots, which sound appropriately ominous.
2109 N 45th St
This longtime Capitol Hill dive has a “Twin Peaks” aesthetic (with its wood paneling and David Lynchian lighting), but it’s channeling “Friday the 13th” this Thursday for a Halloween at Camp Linda’s event. Starting at 9 p.m. and going until the dead of night (with no cover), there will be music from DJ Paco, a haunted graveyard in the back, and a costume contest.
707 E Pine St
Fans of classic horror movies may want to head down to Columbia City and check out The Royal Room, which is screening “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” with a live score. Award-winning Seattle Wayne Horvitz and his ensemble will be playing along to silent German film about a crazy hypnotist who gets a sleepwalker to commit murders for him. Doors are at 6 p.m.; no cover, but there’s a suggested donation.
5000 Rainier Ave S