Did you know there is a large and avid horror aficionado community in Kansas City? From the KC Horror Club to Crypticon, there is pretty much always something going on for those who love the spooky and scary. And October is prime fright time. Below I have gathered some top things to do in Kansas City to scare yourself silly.
To get things rolling, I talked to my friend Jenius McGee, local horror aficionado, President of the Kansas City Horror Club, Co-host of 3 podcasts: Nerds of Nostalgia, Nightmare Junkhead, and Media Rewind, and host of various screenings at Alamo Drafthouse and Screenland Tapcade. He definitely had some thoughts to share about Halloween in Kansas City!
What are your favorite KC haunted houses and why?
I enjoy them all. In my younger days, I worked at The Beast. So from behind the scenes to the end of the line, I’ve been a fan of them for a long time. I thoroughly love the ones in the Bottoms AND Worlds of Fun’s Halloween Haunt. I like the bigger established ones. They have great attention to detail and very well designed scary rooms.
But sets and scenes aside, what makes or breaks a haunted house are the actors. If the actors are not having fun (or too much fun) it can ruin the experience for the people who are just looking for some Halloween shenanigans. Also, as an haunted house patron, be cool to the actors, because, like in life, you will get nowhere by being a grade A jerk.
Beyond haunted houses, what else is there to do to celebrate and embrace spookiness in KC?
I love KC. KC is a halloween town. Beside the haunted Houses, there is a bevy of horror/halloween things to do. Screenland Tapcade and Armour has Shockotber, where they have a horror movie screening every night in October. Alamo Drafthouse also has a great Halloween line up. In fact, (shameless plug time) on Oct 19, at Tapcade is Nerdoween, which I and my podcating partner Greg, host 3 mystery horror movies. Then the next day at Alamo, we’re hosting Dismember the Alamo, which is 4(!) mystery horror movies!
There are also Halloween-themed paint and drink nights, Horror trivia nights, Louisburg Cider Mill is embracing the season and is a must-stop in my fall calendar. There are hayride at various farms and pumpkin patches. The Deanna Rose farmstead is gearing up for Halloween. There is also a lot of Dia de los Muertos celebrations going on not only on the Kansas side but at the Nelson Atkins. All this and that’s not including halloween parties, dances, concerts. You can throw a dart at a map of Kansas City and hit something that’s in line with and celebrating the season. KC is a halloween town!!
I love how involved Jenius is in the horror community in KC – if corpses had pulses, he’d have his finger on it!
With those insights, now on to the resources! Here’s where you can check out all the spooky fun Jenius mentioned!
Kansas City Haunted Houses
There is no shortage of haunted houses in Kansas City – some even refer to KC as “The Haunted House Capitol of the World.” A number have been around for decades – I remember going when I was in high school, and that was some time ago!
- Edge of Hell – West Bottoms/Downtown
- The Beast – West Bottoms/Downtown
- Macabre Cinema – West Bottoms/Downtown
- Mt. Washington Manor Haunted House – Independence
- Worlds of Fun Halloween Haunt – northeast KC
- Exiled (outdoor forest tour) – Bonner Springs
- 3rd Street Asylum – not open in 2018; looking for a new venue for 2019
Kansas City Ghost Tours
Kansas City has a long history, and some of its oldest citizens still pop up from time to time. Many historical sites offer ghost tours, including paranormal investigation opportunities.
- John Wornall House – south KCMO
- 1859 Jail & Marshal’s Home – Independence
- Haunted and Historic Places tour – Lee’s Summit
- Haunted Fort Leavenworth – Leavenworth, KS
- Paranormal package at the Elms (year-round) – Excelsior Springs, MO
- Kansas City Ghost Tour – Strawberry Hill
- Ginger Rogers House (year-round for groups) – Independence
- Paranormal Adventures Ghost Tours – Excelsior Springs, Independence, Liberty
- Belvoir Winery – Liberty
Movie Screenings & Plays
Several local theaters are taking advantage of the spooky time of year to host special screenings of horror and Halloween classics.
- Terror Tuesdays – Alamo Drafthouse
- 10/8: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – Tapcade
- 10/9: Horror Roulette Monsters – Screenland Armour
- 10/10: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer – Alamo Drafthouse
- 10/11: The Changeling (1980) 4K remastered – Screenland Armour
- 10/12: Interview with the Vampire – Screenland Armour
- 10/14: Black Sunday – Tapcade
- 10/14: Analog Sunday double feature – Screenland Armour
- 10/15: Movie/Podcast: Oddly Scary 80’s – Tapcade
- 10/17: Little Shop Of Horrors Movie Party – Alamo Drafthouse
- 10/18-10/21: Kansas City Horror Fest – SqueezeBox Theatre
- 10/18: Halloween (2018) premiere – Screenland Armour
- 10/19: Nerdoween Horror Marathon – Tapcade
- 10/20: Dismember the Alamo – Alamo Drafthouse
- 10/20: 65Ft Underground Screening of THE DESCENT – Screenland Armour
- 10/24: Stephen King’s Pet Sematary – Tapcade
- 10/25: Howl-O-Ween Horror Mixtape – Alamo Drafthouse
- 10/25: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors – Screenland Armour
- 10/26: Lucio Fulci’s Zombie 3 Remastered – Tapcade
- 10/27: Bubba Ho-tep 4K – Screenland Armour
- 10/28: Scream 2 – Screenland Armour
Did I miss a spooky Kansas City event or place? Give a shoutout and link in the comments section below!