This Week in New Haven (October 26 – November 1)

L ike many horror stories, this Halloween week starts off light and casual, with nothing amiss. And like those horror stories, it isn’t long before a supernatural vibe creeps in and heads start to roll—in this case, from laughter, music and also genuine alarm.

Monday, October 26
Everything’s normal tonight at Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885), where a weekly open mic starts at 7 p.m. and a $5 cover is good for both entry and a drink at the bar. Also at 7, The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400) hosts its weekly, no-cover trivia night, which challenges you to “come test your knowledge and win some cool prizes!”

Tuesday, October 27
At 8 p.m. at BAR (254 Crown St, New Haven), Comedy Magic Monthly, held every last Tuesday of the month, invites the soft-spoken sleight-of-hand artist Meir Yedid—an “author, magician, inventor and lecturer” whose website says he was the first performer to win the Society of American Magicians’s “Close-Up Magic Championship” twice—to wow folks who’ve paid a $10 cover. Opening the show is Charlie Hayden, a comedy magician who’s performed all over the place.

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Yale Opera

Wednesday, October 28
“This movie explores mature themes. It is not suitable for all audiences. Discretion is advised.” It’s not a horror movie, but documentary Paper Tigers, which gets its Connecticut premiere screening tonight at the Shubert Theater (247 College St, New Haven), deals with frightening stuff—“physically abusive and negligent parents, homelessness, sexual abuse.” Shadowing “six troubled teens over the course of a year” at an alternative high school in Washington state, the film follows Principal Jim Sporleder’s efforts to develop better ideas and techniques for changing the trajectories of traumatized kids. “Told with intimate vérité and diary cam footage, Paper Tigers is a testament to what the latest developmental science is proving: that one caring adult can help break the cycle of adversity in a young person’s life.” Free; registration requested.

Thursday, October 29
No doubt the striking phenomena grouped under the name “aurora borealis,” also called “the northern lights,” have scared the pants off many of their human witnesses throughout history. These days, science lets us enjoy them in peace, with the knowledge that aurorae (like the example pictured above) aren’t swirls of spirits or signs of alien life but rather atmospheric gases colliding with solar particles. Tonight at 7:30 in Woolsey Hall (500 College St, New Haven), the New Haven Symphony Orchestra does its part as well, throwing a “Northern Lights Festival” of “music featuring Scandinavian composers,” intended to “capture their wintry inspirations and celebrate the music and beauty of Nordic music and light.” $15-74, with a $10 option for college students.

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Disgraced at Long Wharf Theatre

Friday, October 30
If you can’t wait until tomorrow, there’s at least one place you can find a few “boo”s tonight—fortunately, the all-in-good-fun kind. At 8 p.m., New Haven Theater Company is throwing a “Worst Song Ever Contest,” a “night of awesomely bad music played well (or at least creatively)!,” at The Spaceland Ballroom (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400). With contestants competing across three categories before “a panel of local celebrity judges” from the city’s music, media and government ranks, tickets cost $12, or $10 in advance.

Meantime, an early moment in horror-genre history gets an eerie resurrection. Starting at 8 p.m. at Best Video (1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 203-287-9286), where “costumes are absolutely encouraged,” is a screening of Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922), a silent film getting a live improvised soundtrack from the band Light Upon Blight—which says its music sounds like “free jazz with a noise aesthetic or an exorcism.” $5.

Maybe a more familiar freakout is what you’re after. Tonight and tomorrow, 30 minutes before the witching hour, Criterion Cinemas (86 Temple St, New Haven; 203-498-2500) fires up a projector for Friday the 13th (1980), a well-timed selection in its ongoing Insomnia Theater series.

Saturday, October 31 – Halloween
Tales from the crypt of the First Church of Christ, a.k.a. Center Church on the New Haven Green—where 137 graves, including those of some New Haven notables, date as far back as 1687—get their last public airing of 2015 today. Visiting hours begin at 11 a.m., then close for the season at 1 p.m., so make hay while you can. Free.

After night falls, the monsters come out—especially at The Only Game in Town (275 Valley Service Rd, North Haven; 203-239-4653), a go-kart/mini-golf/arcade-type place where two temporary attractions, “the Inferno” and “Total Armageddon,” have compelled the business to rebrand every Friday and Saturday night since late September. “The Only Scream in Town” is what it becomes—until tonight, anyway, when TOGiT’s Halloween season ends. Tickets covering both attractions, which are open from 7 to 9 tonight, cost $20.

The Institute Library (847 Chapel St, New Haven) invites costumed (and non-costumed) arts appreciators tonight to the closing party of its Sound + Vision: A Visual Playlist exhibit, “featuring imaginary album covers by contemporary artists.” Proceeds from tickets—selling for $10 apiece, or $5 for registered CWOS artists and Institute Library/WPKN members—plus a silent auction of the album covers, contributed by over 60 different artists, benefit the library alongside Bridgeport’s listener-supported radio station WPKN FM, which is broadcasting live from the party. 7 to 10 p.m.

In Connecticut, we know how frightful a deer tick can be. But Lyme disease isn’t what’s spreading tonight in College Street Music Hall (238 College St, New Haven). That’d be indie rock euphoria, thanks to the road-warrior headliner Deer Tick and opener The Felice Brothers. 8 p.m. $25-35.

Saving the scariest for last is Ordinary (990 Chapel St, New Haven; 203-907-0238), which hosts “Don’t Blink,” a “satanic ritual/human sacrifice/dance party.” As the dry-humored organizers sum it up, “We will be performing pagan traditions and playing mostly ’80s-’90s dance floor bangers, while projecting frightening/disturbing video of actual deaths, human deformities and Lebron James dunking.” The party, and its $5 cover, start at 9 p.m.

Sunday, November 1
Still got your appetite? Good, because today kicks off New Haven Restaurant Week, when some of the city’s many fine eateries—like 116 Crown, Barcelona, Harvest, Miya’s, Olea, Soul de Cuba, Tarry Lodge and 20 others—offer three-course prix fixe menus for lunch ($18) and/or dinner ($32). Sporting a special “dine & donate” option this year, where an extra dollar can be donated to the Connecticut Food Bank, NHRW lasts through Friday, November 6.

Written by Dan Mims. Photographed by Nelly Volkovich. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Turning down a dream editing job right out of college, Dan instead went into marketing and media sales to better cover the rent. Stints at Spin Magazine and Yahoo! followed. But he kept scratching that writing-and-editing itch—first on the side, then at a couple of startups. Dan is now scratching it as Daily Nutmeg's editor.

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