The Witches Ball in the Hotel @ the Lafayette would usually stake its claim as No. 1 in Halloween's The 10 but alas, it's sold out. Don't fret, though; turn your fiendish frown into a sinister smile, as several other spooky events are slated for Western New York.
Here's The 10, with special-edition spookiness levels (number/10 indicates creepiness):
1) Halloween parties at Buffalo bars, various locations and prices. Since several Buffalo bars are hosting their own parties, I figured I roundup would be useful. I've inevitably missed some, so if you know of one that's not on the list, shoot me an email with a link.
*Acropolis OPA, 10 p.m. Oct. 31 at 708 Elmwood Ave.
*Buffalo Iron Works with Aqueous, 9 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31, at 49 Illinois St.
*Colter Bay, 9 p.m. Oct. 31 at 561 Delaware Ave.
*Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar, 9 p.m. Oct. 31 at 253 Allen St.
*Frizzy's, 8 p.m. Oct. 31 at 140 Allen St.
*HandleBar, 9 p.m. Oct. 30 at 149 Swan St.
*Mister Goodbar with The Spin Wires, 11 p.m. Oct. 31 at 1110 Elmwood Ave.
*Mohawk Place, 7 p.m. Oct. 31 at 47 E. Mohawk St.
*Osteria 166, 6 p.m. Oct. 31 at 166 Franklin St.
*Rusty Nickel Brewing Co., 11:55 p.m. Oct. 31 at 4350 Seneca St., West Seneca
*Waiting Room, 10:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at 334 Delaware Ave.
Commentary: Click the venue links for more information about the events. Spook Level: Varies, most quite tame
Commentary: In a descriptive blog post about musicians' emotions -- and insecurities -- Jeff Miers previewed Sufjan Stevens' show at UB North Campus. The music critic lauds the Michigan-born artist's newest work, "Carrie & Lowell," as "retaining a sense of wonder, insisting on levity, and refusing to be maudlin, even when pondering the heaviest of heavy issues." It's a thought-provoking read, for sure. Spook Level: 2/10
Commentary: Seemingly the polar opposite of Sufjan's serious indie folk pop is Badfish's tribute to Sublime, a popular annual Halloween show in Buffalo. The band dresses the part, of course, appearing as an unusual collection of superheroes last year. You can see Erica Morano's photo gallery here. The rumor that Totes McGoats costumes get in for free is unfounded, we believe. Spook level: 7/10, depends heavily on costumes
Commentary: In Mac McGuire's concert preview, he notes that DeLong encourages fans to paint their faces, which is naturally Halloween friendly. If you don't trust yourself or your friends to paint your face, DeLong brings a street team called the "Tribe of Orphans" to do the deed. Add points to the Spookometer! USA Today describes the Seattle native as a sci-fi lover turned EDM purveyor, a musician who embraces the one-man band challenge. Spook Level: 8/10, DeLong and his street team sound bizarre
5) Murder in the Disco, 9 p.m. Oct. 30 to 2 a.m. Oct. 31 in Pearl Street Grill and Brewery (76 Pearl St.) Tickets can be purchased for $20 at the door.
Commentary: Pearl Street will be decked out in Halloween decor for an MNM Presents dance party, replete with DJs and three floors of activity. Check out the Facebook event to see what's going on in the Bazoinker, Igloo and Portal rooms. One of the highlights is Rhubarb's performance of John Carpenter's "Lost Themes," which earned a 7.6 on Pitchfork upon its February 2015 release. Spook Level: 8.5/10, mostly because "murder" is in the title and one of the rooms is called "Bazoinker."
6) Rise Collaborative's Bye Week Brunch Bash, 11 a.m. Nov. 1 at Buffalo Proper (333 Franklin St.). Cost depends on what you order! Rounds of reservations for table seating are at noon and 1:30 p.m. (783-8699), but drinks and food can also be ordered at the bar or along the window seating.
Commentary: Buffalo Proper Chef Edward Forster takes brunch seriously, and we've posted his menu for Sunday's partnership with Rise Collaborative below. News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau gives the downtown restaurant his stamp of approval in his top 20 so far, and there are surprises planned of which we know little. If you're unfamiliar with retail-blog Rise, which was just mentioned in a New York Times article, peek around here. Spook Level: 0/10, unless a cocktail entitled "Hair of the Dog" frightens you a bit
7) Monster 5.0, 6 p.m. Oct. 30 at 464 (464 Amherst St.). Free to attend.
Commentary: The creepy holiday lends itself artistically, and 464 has arrived at its fifth iteration of the "Monster" event series, which highlights all types of spooky art (and has no affiliation with the potent energy drink). Read Colin Dabkowski's preview here, and see my favorite piece that he highlights, by Sara Dauer, below. Spook Level: 8/10 because ALIENS ARE HERE
Commentary: As of Friday morning, around 30 tickets remain for Soul Patch's Buffalo show, presented by buffaBLOG, so we wouldn't risk buying tickets at the door. The '90s alt-grunge cover band, comprising Every Time I Die's Keith Buckley and Lockhouse Distillery co-founder Niko Georgiadis, among others, has quickly become a hot ticket for their showmanship, talent and nostalgia-inducing catalog. Sixties Future is the scheduled opener, with Soul Patch following with two sets. Spook Level: 7/10, depending on whether Buckley shaves. We're kidding.
9) "Shaun of the Dead" 7 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31; "Ghostbusters II," 11:30 a.m. Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in North Park Theatre (1428 Hertel Ave.) Adults pay $9.50 or $7.50 if in costume for the former, and then all attendees pay $5 for the matinees on Saturday and Sunday. See the theater's full list of films here.
Commentary: Hertel's North Park Theatre continues its robust series of well-known Halloween films, lighthearted seasonal flicks and cult classics with "Shaun of the Dead," which distinguishes itself in its endurance despite many other feeble comedy-horror attempts, and "Ghostbusters II," which will reacquaint (or potentially acquaint) you with ectoplasmic slime. The answer is yes, there will be Ecto Coolers and Twinkies available for purchase at the latter. Spook Level: 6/10, at least these two particular films
10) Halloween on Hertel, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 31 on Hertel Avenue between Parkside and Colvin, plus a few businesses between Colvin and Delaware. Free to attend.
Commentary: Get your Halloween started early in the day with a romp around Hertel Avenue, as 46 businesses will be open, with many doling out candy to costumed trick-or-treaters. See the full list at the Facebook event page, and take the family and kids to explore a new (or familiar) neighborhood on the rise. Spook Level: 4/10, the kids won't be too scared, unless sugar scares them, in which case we can't help.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who was "Totes McHorse" for a previous Halloween party, at email@example.com
Story topics: 464/ Badfish/ brunch events/ brunches/ buffalo proper/ Ghostbusters II/ halloween/ Halloween events/ Halloween movies/ Halloween on Hertel/ Halloween parties/ Hertel Avenue/ North Park Theatre/ Robert Delong/ Shaun of the Dead/ Sufjan Stevens/ Town Ballroom