Witches and warlocks, ghouls and goblins, spooks and monsters! Get up and howl! Or, kick back and cackle! Whatever your style, Washington is going to give you a haunting Halloween.
If you're a freak for film, the Touch of Evil Film Festival may be just what the (mad) doctor ordered. Presented by the Satellite Foundation and dedicated to Rod Serling, the Kennedy Center's American Film Institute has been featuring literate horror films this month, including "Psycho," "Rosemary's Baby," "Alien" and the original 1956 "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." "The appeal of the genre is simple -- vicarious thrills," says executive director Brian Tate. "Fear is nothing to be afraid of." Show times and films vary. For details, call 785-4600.
If you'd rather dress to kill, try the Black Magic Ball at the Pavilion at the Old Post Office at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Honoring Houdini -- who died on Halloween night and vowed to rise from the dead years later at the stroke of midnight -- the ball, sponsored by the Touch of Evil Film Festival, will feature New York's Vernon Reid & Living Colour, and J.J. Jumpers. Call 289-4224 for further information.
But if you have to be in bed before the witching hour, try Voices in the Glen. The band of Washington-area storytellers will tell "Ghostly Tales for Grown-Ups" at 8 p.m. Friday at the Ethical Society of Washington, 16th Street and Kalmia Road NW, and "Frightening and Funny Stories for Families" at 7:30 Halloween night at the Adventure Theater in Glen Echo Park. "This is like scary gossip for children," says event coordinator Charlotte Smutko of the family story session, "no nightmare stuff." For information, call 622-2492.
Finally, children can learn to make scarecrows when Mark Baron hauls straw, plaid flannel shirts, jeans, stockings, dresses and other scarecrow essentials to the Old Post Office Pavilion from 2 to 4 p.m. on Halloween. "The straw is magical," says Baron, "a real autumn kind of thing." For information, call 289-4224.