GEORGE JENNE: YOU'VE REACHED THE OFFICE OF STUART ULLMAN
(Through Nov. 4, Lump, Raleigh, www.lumpprojects.org) Of all the cinematic spaces one might dream of entering, is any more frightening and enticing than The Shining's Overlook Hotel? At Lump, you can live the nightmare: the centerpiece of George Jenne's solo exhibit is a precise re-creation of the office set from Stanley Kubrick's film. An accompanying video nearby puts a more than mimetic twist on this cinematic study in the banality of evil. Don't linger too long.
AN EVENINGWITH EDGAR ALLAN POE
(Oct. 26–29, William Peace University, Raleigh, www.peace.edu) Edgar Allan Poe's bruise-purple prose and lurid scenarios just beg for the stage. William Peace University's theater department will perform Robert Mason's anthology production of six stories by the macabre maestro, from famed ones like "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" to deep cuts like "The Oblong Box." The college's nineteenth-century parlor is a period-appropriate setting; sounds like you'll still have to break out your old Simpsons DVD for your "nevermore" fix, though.
HOUSE OF THE FURY
(Oct. 26–31, Sonorous Road Theatre, Raleigh, www.sonorousroad.com)
Joining the fray with Little Green Pig (see below), Sonorous Road debuts its own mysterious immersive-theater haunted house this year, and it sounds like a doozy. (Its webpage features no less than four viewer-discretion warnings.) Here's what we know: as you participate in an approximately hourlong story that your actions shape, you'll be masked, you'll be silent, and you'll face "extreme lighting effects" and "psychologically distressing situations." The trailer is way intense. Did we mention viewer discretion is advised?
JEGHETTO: JUST ANOTHER LYNCHING: AN AMERICAN HORROR STORY
(Oct. 26–28, Walltown Children's Theatre, Durham, www.walltownchildrenstheatre.org)
Of course, the worst terrors aren't imaginary. Afrofuturist puppet master Jeghetto (profiled in the INDY on August 9) works his sublime art on the real-life horror of the lynching of African Americans in Just Another Lynching: An American Horror Story. If you only know his whimsical robot and animal marionettes, check out the stark trailer on his Facebook page, which features the haunting strains of "Strange Fruit," a camera bobbing through dark trees, a burning cross, and a gunshot in the dark.
- Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures
(Oct. 27, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, www.naturalsciences.org) We know, we know, but when was the last time you saw it on the big screen? Really, that recently? Oh ... well, when was the last time you saw it at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, and you got to play with movie-themed science stations beforehand—create your own ectoplasm, that sort of thing—and hear from experts about what the movie gets right and wrong, science-wise? And all with A/V Geeks' Skip Elsheimer presiding? OK, we didn't think so.
(Oct. 27, Duke Homestead, Durham, www.dukehomestead.org) In the pre-virtual world, sharper senses and darker, emptier spaces conspired to produce frights from subtle apparitions inaccessible to us today. But for a night at Duke Homestead, the historic nineteenth-century farm of the university's namesake, you can travel back to those times for a spooky-not-scary, educational adventure. Wandering the site after dark, you'll encounter and interact with costumed interpreters of folklore, spiritualism, divination, and other flights of Victorian fancy.
(Oct. 27, The Cary Theater, Cary, www.thecarytheater.com)
If you have any braaaaains ... braaaaains, you won't try to drive in downtown Cary on Friday night, because it's going to be positively lousy with the living dead. This zombie-themed block party will feature at least fifteen locally produced short films about zombies, screened outside the Cary Theater, as well as a screening of Dawn of the Dead. Attendees are encouraged to dress as zombies for a costume contest. Remind us again how flesh-eating got so mainstream?
HALLOWEEN MONSTER MASH
(Oct. 28, Unsripted Durham, Durham, www.unscriptedhotels.com) Giant swans floating lazily in a pool. A moonlight glow mixing with misty neon party lights. Buoyant eyeballs swirling through Jack Daniels in plastic pint cups. That barista you've been flirting with all summer, unrecognizable now in a ghoul getup. Unscripted's Monster Mash sets the scene for a classic high school horror flick, or rom-com, or maybe just the weirdest rooftop Halloween costume party in Durham. It's worth checking out for the characters and eerie new Durham cityscape.
DURHAM SCHOOL OF THE ARTS FALL FESTIVAL
(Oct. 28, Durham School of the Arts, Durham, www.dsa.dpsnc.net)
DSA's fall festival celebrating Día de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, has become an annual Durham tradition. The holiday, dedicated to appreciating the living and honoring the dead, is practiced by people of Mexican descent around the world. This evening begins with a community parade around DSA's campus and continues with exhibits of student art, the requisite foods, live performances, and face-painting, with aims including "to further expose our school community to Latinx culture."
THE MYERS HOUSE NC
(Oct. 28, 1520 Hight Lane, Hillsborough, www.myershousenc.com)
So, going on ten years ago, this guy Kenny Caperton built a full-size replica of the murder house from slasher classic Halloween out in Hillsborough. Then he moved into it. You can visit by appointment year-round, but the best time to go is for Caperton's ninth-annual Halloween bash on Saturday. It features games, raffles, and outdoor big-screen showings of some Halloween films as well as 1981's My Bloody Valentine, presumably because its killer-star, Peter Cowper, was willing to fly in from Colorado to sell autographs—and, maybe, to kill?
- Photo courtesy of Christine Parker
- Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival: Blood Shed
SICK CHICK FLICKS FILM FESTIVAL (Oct. 28 & 29, The Cary Theater, Cary, www.thecarytheater.com)
If you caught the recent anthology film XX, a collection of horror shorts by female directors (including St. Vincent mastermind Annie Clark), you're probably hungry for more of the fresh perspective it brought to a historically male-dominated genre. In its second year, the locally produced Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival collects dozens of shorts from around the world—horror, sci-fi, and fantasy—with an emphasis on female-led independent films.
THE PURITANS (Oct. 31, Mystery Brewing, Hillsborough, www.littlegreenpig.com)
It wouldn't be the most creepiest time of the year without Treatbag, the immersive, interactive theatrical fundraiser that springs annually from the mad minds of Durham's Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern. This year's choose-your-own-fright, The Puritans, takes place at Mystery Brewery in Hillsborough. No spoilers, but we hear the village of New Falmouth is hiding a sick secret, and you're in on it. Otherwise, who knows what you'll get into. Good luck.
DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS
(Nov. 3, The City of Raleigh Museum, Raleigh, www.cityofraleighmuseum.org)
The Day of the Dead begins on October 31 and ends November 2, but you can keep the celebration going at the City of Raleigh Museum on First Friday. The museum is partnering with the Artist Studio Project for an evening of Mexican music, dancing, art, and crafts. Three female artists will install an altar to commemorate women who were important to them and others present, in association with the El Quixote Festival for Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz, a seventeenth-century Mexican nun who became an acclaimed writer and women's rights advocate under the yoke of colonialism.