Nashville

20 Spooky Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Nashville This Year

A terrifyingly good time.

Nashville Nightmare Haunted House
Nashville Nightmare Haunted House
Nashville Nightmare Haunted House

Halloween is here, and luckily, we’re all used to wearing masks now anyway, so it should feel just like any other Sunday. Just make sure you choose a costume you can wear while drinking. Since the big night does fall on a Sunday this year, you can expect a whole weekend of ghoulishly fun activities around Nashville. That “Squid Game” tracksuit you’re planning to wear won’t win any costume contests, but at least you’ll be comfortable (and not in deadly danger) as you crawl from party to party.

Headquarters Beercade Nashville
Headquarters Beercade Nashville
Headquarters Beercade Nashville

Experience the world of “Stranger Things” at Hawkins Arcade

Through October 31
SoBro
If you’re a fan of the Netflix series, you definitely need to make your way to Headquarters Beercade where they’ve turned the whole building into a re-creation of the small town where a bunch of kids battle monsters from another dimension. They’ve got Hawkins Woods and the Starcourt Mall plus the alphabet wall to signal from the Upside Down. If it spells out “d-r-i-n-k,” order one of their special themed cocktails. Heck, order Eleven!

Party in a carport at Bitters & Bones

October 28 through 31
SoBro
Sidebar at Bode Nashville really does feel like enjoying a drink from your buddy’s garage, and that’s a good thing. For the Halloween season, Sidebar has decorated your friend’s carport with cobwebs and creepy crawlers and put together a special menu of thematic drinks and food cooked over live fire like a witch’s cauldron. Spooky music fills out the vibe, and it should be a great place to pass a crisp fall evening. Plus you don’t have to move any junk out of the garage to make room for the keg.

Devil's Dungeon Haunted House
Devil’s Dungeon Haunted House
Devil’s Dungeon Haunted House

You’d better wear your brown pants to Devil’s Dungeon

Through October 31
East Nashville
For an old fashioned scare house, you need to go back to the originals. For more than two decades, Devil’s Dungeon has been delivering the jump scares, creepy tableaus, and immersive experiences from a dark building near Nissan Stadium. Show up ready to be terrified.

Learn some historical history at the Haunted Hermitage Tours

October 28 – 31
Hermitage
Let’s be frank. Considering how controversial Andrew Jackson’s life was during his years as a general and the president, it’s no surprise that his home is probably haunted as hell. Dude made a lot of enemies. Come hear the spooky stories that surround his estate as part of these historical walking tours.

Embrace your inner American Psycho at the Dorsia Dinner

October 28 – 30
Downtown
One of the reasons that the movie American Psycho was so terrifying was that some of the plot elements were so believable. The main character’s obsession with getting into the fictional Dorsia restaurant was a driving force that helped push him into murderous insanity, but you can score a reservation to the real thing as Ellington’s Midway Bar & Grille puts on a mid-90’s costume as the Dorsia for the weekend and creates a menu and ambiance worthy of Patrick Bateman’s ardor. We hear the sea urchin ceviche is excellent!

Superica Nashville
Superica Nashville
Superica Nashville

Enjoy a Mexicali Halloween with Superica’s Day of the Dead specials

October 29 through 31
The Gulch
When Superica came to Nashville from Atlanta, they brought their annual Day of the Dead celebration with them! Enjoy special dishes like spicy tacos del fuego and salsa macha chicken wings along with margaritas and cocktails all weekend while honoring the dearly departed.

Chill to some classic spooky movies at the Belcourt

October 28 through 30
Hillsboro Village
Nashville’s oldest cinema screens classic horror movies all week before Halloween, but they’ve saved the best of the best for the weekend. Restored prints of the lupine classics “Wolfen” and “An American Werewolf in London” highlight the weekend schedule. Maybe drink a few Silver Bullets beforehand, just for safety’s sake.

Leave the lingerie at home at Jackalope’s “Least Sexy Halloween Party Ever”

October 30
Wedgewood-Houston
In a direct push-back to the trend of tarting up Halloween costumes (who really needs to see a “sexy nun”?). Jackalope Brewing Co. presents their Monster Mash party with a live band playing ’90s dance music, costume contests that recognize least and most sexy getups equally and food provided by Daddy’s Dogs to keep your party engine running.

Nashville Nightmare Haunted House
Nashville Nightmare Haunted House
Nashville Nightmare Haunted House

Discover the Nashville Nightmare, and we’re not talking about party buses

Through October 31
Madison
Nashville Nightmare is an entire complex of scary horror experiences, both indoors and out. Mix and match between choices like a mythical abandoned nuclear testing facility filled with bloodthirsty mutants, a prison yard crawling with violent escaped felons or Horror High where the school halls are filled with dangers a lot scarier than that bully who stole your lunch money in ninth grade.

Have a drink at Wicked Brews Speakeasy

Through October 31
Donelson
Trying to find your way around the massive Gaylord Opryland resort can be scary enough, so take a break from wandering through the maze of buildings at their Prohibition Era-inspired haunted pub. Decorated with hi-tech ghostly moving portraits of alleged past patrons that still hang in their favorite old haunt, the immersive experience also includes specially crafted cocktails for the season.

Diskin Cider
Diskin Cider
Diskin Cider

Show off your inner villain at a Nightmare on Martin Street

October 29
Wedgewood-Houston
Diskin Cider celebrates the bad guys of history at this special party at the cidery that also welcomes your four-legged friends. Photographers will be on hand to take pictures of your costume and your pooch’s, and there will be costume contests for both species. Dressing as your favorite villain is encouraged, so go rogue! Other activities at the party include tarot card readings and live dance music.

Spit some spooky rhymes at Hip Hop Skaraoke

October 30
Pie Town
You don’t have to get up on stage to have fun at this celebration of old school hip-hop. In fact, unless your game is tight, you’d be better off just dancing, drinking and cheering on the performers who take this stuff very seriously! Of course, since the party is at Jack White’s Third Man Records, you know the music is going to be legit, including the DJ playing in between the karaoke stars. Costumes are encouraged.

Marathon Music Works
Marathon Music Works
Marathon Music Works

Party down with QDP at Marathon Music Works

October 30
Marathon Village
QDP stands for “Queer Dance Party,” and the group throws some of the most raging events around town. For Halloween, they’re bringing the music and the show to the cavernous Marathon Music Works where you’ll have plenty of room to shake that thang.

Have a sassy good time at “Dinner’s A Drag Hallo-Queen Eve”

October 30
Downtown
Emcee Amaya Sexton is bringing along a cast of characters to put on a fantastic drag show in honor of the holiday at Gray & Dudley in the 21c Museum Hotel. The kitchen has created a special three-course menu if you want supper and a show, or you can just buy a general admission ticket if you want to skip the meal. But don’t sit down front if you don’t have thick skin, because Sexton has a rapier wit. It’s all in good fun, though.

Rock out to some GnR at Demons on Demonbreun

October 30
Music Row
This outdoor party on Demonbreun Hill starts in the afternoon and promises to rage all night, featuring multiple musical acts including Guns N’ Roses tribute band Nightrain.

Tribe Nashville
Tribe Nashville
Tribe Nashville

Dance like everyone’s watching at Fright Night at Tribe

October 30
Midtown
Tribe is one of Nashville’s favorite places to get down and dance in a welcoming and fun environment for everyone. With large screens streaming music venues plus live DJs to keep the party pumping, they’ll also feature a fierce costume competition. You’d better bring your A-game.

Party like Versace at the Mansion Halloween Party

October 30
SoBro
Imagine if Gianni Versace’s Miami Beach mansion was magically transported to the 27th floor of the Westin Hotel, looming high over downtown. Weird, huh? Well, that’s the idea behind this high fashion Halloween party at L27. Mid-90’s glam is the theme for the dress code, decor, and drinks. Lady Gaga and Pitbull producer DJWS will be providing the tunes, and the whole event promises to be over the top.

Beware the Birds

October 30
Downtown
If you’re not old enough to remember Hitchcok’s horror classic, “The Birds,” you may not realize how terrifying a swarm of avian terrorists can be. They’re happy to demonstrate this phenomenon at The Noelle Hotel downtown as they recreate “The Ravening” in their rooftop bar. In addition to the mandatory costume contest, they’ll feature party music, specialty cocktails, and a great view of the crowds below on the sidewalks of downtown.

Immerse yourself in Halloween cabaret with Fable Cry at OZ

October 30
West Nashville
Nashville rockers Fable Cry are known for their immersive cabaret shows which take audiences on a musical and almost spiritual journey with elements of burlesque, puppetry, cabaret, and circus acts to round out the experience. For Halloween at OZ, they’ve invited several guests to join them on stage for this dramatic show. Still not convinced? Read the disclaimer: “This show is recommended for mature audiences due to content that some may deem shocking, including adult language, sexual innuendo, and depictions of horror.”

Win some major bucks at the Zeppelin Costume Party

October 31
Downtown
We get it. You’re proud of your clever costume idea. Maybe you paraded it around town and won a few gift cards or some drinking money at a few contests last Halloween. But if you’re ready for the big time, head to Zeppelin Rooftop Bar & Lounge where contestants will literally strut on the catwalk to show off their “Halloween Haute Couture.” The model deemed to have the scariest, sexiest, and most ingenious costume will stroll home with a smooth grand. That’s right-$1,000 for the big winner. Start sewing those sequins!Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Chris Chamberlain is a lifelong Nashvillager who loves all sorts of pies: pot, apple, or pizza. A three-pie dinner would be a dream come true. Follow him at @CeeElCee.

Nashville

How to Get into Nashville’s Best Speakeasies and Secret Bars

Nashville's speakeasies have impeccable cocktails and even better vibes.

One More Cocktail Club
One More Cocktail Club
One More Cocktail Club

It’s not like it’s difficult to find a spot for a proper cocktail in Nashville, except when it’s intentionally hard. Some of Nashville’s finest bars are a little more hidden away, to create a sense of exclusivity and limit crowds so that talented bartenders can offer the sort of individualized attention that their inventive drinks deserve. Besides, it’s nice to have a conversation at a bar where you don’t have to yell to be heard. Here are some of our favourite places to chill.

The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club
The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club
The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club

The Fox Bar and Cocktail Club

South InglewoodThe talented mixologists at The Fox are a big part of the attraction, and some of their novel takes on classic cocktails have actually won national awards in recipe contests. But even if all you want is a proper gin and tonic, you’ll be delighted by the cozy library vibe of the East Nashville emporium. The bar staff insists on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, so the drink menu changes frequently. Don’t worry if your favourite rolls off, because there’s sure to be something new to delight you.

Danielle B. Atkins
Danielle B. Atkins
Danielle B. Atkins

Attaboy

East NashvilleAn outpost of the James Beard Award-nominated NYC cocktail bar, Nashville’s version of Attaboy is no slouch either. Well, the building is kindy slouchy, a cinderblock edifice hidden away in an alley where guests are invited to “knock gently” to gain entry. If the bar is full, you’ll have to wait outside, but once you gain entrance, the fun really begins. Bartenders interview patrons about their drink preferences and then compose cocktails on the fly to fulfil their wildest dreams. Sit at the bar or settle into a blue velvet booth to enjoy a completely crafty cocktail or two.

Hidden Bar
Hidden Bar
Hidden Bar

Hidden Bar

DowntownThis subterranean lair in the Noelle hotel downtown is intentionally difficult to find. The entrance is through a door you’d probably never pass through unless you work for the hotel cleaning staff, but it’s a passage to something wonderful. Hidden Bar often stages thematic pop-ups that extend to both the riotous decor and the drink list, and large-format drinks are designed for sharing, so bring a few friends.

Skull's Rainbow Room
Skull’s Rainbow Room
Skull’s Rainbow Room

Skull’s Rainbow Room

Printer’s AlleySkull’s has been a Printers Alley institution since the middle of the last century, except for the few years it was closed when notorious club owner David “Skull” Schulman was murdered, reportedly by someone that knew he always kept the evening’s cash receipts in the top pocket of his trademark overalls. Since reopening, the showroom has revived the old-school vibe with nightly jazz and burlesque shows, classic cocktails served from an elaborate wooden bar and a restaurant that features an excellent chophouse menu. It’s easy to forget the time during an evening at Skulls. Heck, it’s easy to forget what decade it is.

Bar Sovereign
Bar Sovereign
Bar Sovereign

Bar Sovereign

SoBroTucked away in a nondescript strip mall among the towering hotel buildings of SoBro, Bar Sovereign’s entrance is marked only by a small golden plaque that is fortunately close to eye level. Inside is a wonderland of bold artwork covering the walls, a sculpture created from a disassembled piano behind the bar and a menu of interesting and affordable cocktails that is rare to find amongst the nearby tourist destinations. The atmosphere gets a little wilder late at night when DJs spin tunes for the party people and industry folks looking to blow off a little steam at the end of a shift.

Bay 6
Bay 6
Bay 6

Bay 6

East NashvilleThis microbar has a double punny name. First of all, it is, indeed, crammed into the sixth bay of what used to be a self-service car wash before the building was converted into an elevated food and drink court with international carryout restaurants occupying the other quintet of stalls. Secondly, the menu is intentionally basic, with simple, well-made cocktails designed to be served quickly so that guests can enjoy them in one of the very few seats in Bay 6 or carry them out to the lively outdoor patio where patrons enjoy their food from one of the options at The Wash.

Green Hour
Green Hour
Green Hour

Green Hour

GermantownBy day, Tempered Fine Chocolates occupies this space, but on Thursday through Saturday evenings, they unpack the bottles, build a bar and flick on the green light that lets tipplers know that Green Hour is now in session. Dedicated to the exotic “Green Fairy,” absinthe, the bar offers pours of more than a dozen versions of the anise-flavoured spirit. Enjoy a classic absinthe service with drops of water to open up the aromas and flavours or order a flight of three for comparison. The bartenders also employ absinthe in an array of exotic cocktails, but if you don’t like licorice, you might want to pass.

Never Never
Never Never
Never Never

Never Never

Wedgewood-HoustonIt’s not like they’re trying to hide Never Never. It’s just that the former welding shop is so non-descript and hidden away next to the railroad tracks, you might need someone to show you the way to the front door. It’s worth the hunt, though, because the cocktails are both clever and cheap. Enjoy small bites, beer, wine and cocktails at the amiable dimly-lit bar or discover the patio oasis out back that feels like being a guest at a friend’s house party.

Minerva Avenue
Minerva Avenue
Minerva Avenue

Minerva Ave

North NashvilleDress to impress at this Tennessee State University neighbourhood cocktail lounge. A tall fence surrounds the compound to provide privacy, but once you knock for admission, you’ll encounter an expansive outdoor deck with cabanas, fire pits and an outdoor bar. Inside, it’s a little more vibey with plush booths, dramatic lighting accents as well as nostalgic music and artwork. Smokers can enjoy hookah service and cigars, and bottle service is available for high rollers.

One More Cocktail Club
One More Cocktail Club
One More Cocktail Club

One More Cocktail Club

DowntownTucked away in the hallway outside of Level 3 South at the Assembly Food Hall, One More Cocktail Club feels like worlds away from the tourist throngs below. There’s only room for a couple of dozen guests in the chic lounge, so everyone is treated like a VIP. The menu is a mix of new craft cocktails and classics, with special attention paid to creating beautiful works of art including appropriate garnishes. A tight menu of red, white and bubbly wines is also available for those in the know.

Pushing Daisies Underground Margaritas
Pushing Daisies Underground Margaritas
Pushing Daisies Underground Margaritas

Pushing Daisies

DowntownIf you park on the top deck of the garage below the Fifth + Broad retail/dining/entertainment complex across from the Bridgestone Arena, you’ll actually have to walk down to get to Pushing Daisies, home of “underground margaritas.” Named after the class of cocktails that feature citrus, sweet and sour, this hot new lounge concentrates on the tequila version of the whiskey sour or daiquiri. Margaritas are crafted using luxury ingredients and quaffed by a hip crowd of guests enjoying pumping music and dramatic lighting. It’s definitely a scene to be seen.

The Late Great
The Late Great
The Late Great

The Late Great

Demonbreun/Music RowFor the first year this cocktail lounge at the Virgin Nashville was open, it wasn’t really open. Instead, it was a private membership club with an entrance hidden away even from hotel guests. Now, we civilians can make reservations for a three-cocktail “experience” in this shrine to music and creativity, decorated like the writers’ lounge outside the legendary recording studios on nearby Music Row. Private memberships are still available if you’re so inclined and still flush with those songwriter royalty checks.

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Sarah Carter is a writer and country music lover living in Lebanon, Tennessee. Follow her (mostly southern) regional exploits and stories on Instagram.

Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink, and travel writer based out of his hometown of Nashville. Find him on Twitter @CeeElCee.

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