W ith this year’s Halloween falling on a Monday—next Monday—some of your best bets for scary fun happen the weekend before.
Monday, October 24
This national political season, the extent to which private agendas interfere with news media’s public commitments to journalistic principle has never been more visible. Nor has the commensurately pernicious effect those media have in shaping political discourse and outcomes. One bright spot has been Politico, which investigated critically important stories—like this one—that other major players wouldn’t even report. Today at Yale’s William Harkness Hall (100 Wall St, New Haven), you and the rest of the crowd can meet the woman behind Politico’s newsroom: editor Susan Glasser, who’s participating in a 5 p.m. Q&A. Free.
Tuesday, October 25
The subject of a mini-exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art across the street, photographer/sculptor/costumer/filmmaker Yinka Shonibare comes to the Yale University Art Gallery today for “a conversation” with art history/African-American studies professor Kobena Mercer. The conversing, which the public can attend for free, gets going at 5:30 p.m. 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven. (203) 432-0600.
Wednesday, October 26
Between two of its branches, the New Haven Free Public Library gives kids hours of free after-school fun. Things begin at the Ives Main Library (133 Elm St, New Haven; 203-946-8835), where, from 3:30 to 5, an “Experimental-Monster-Making-Cake-Decoration Tea Party” involves icing cupcakes and working together “to create and decorate”—and, presumably, eat—“a giant monster cake.” Then, from 6 to 8, the Stetson Branch (200 Dixwell Ave, New Haven; 203-946-8119) hosts a family-friendly Harvest Festival offering “stories, music, snacks and crafts,” with costume-wearing—no doubt owing to the upcoming holiday—encouraged.
Thursday, October 27
At 7 p.m., the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven) screens “one of the most damning critiques of the Japanese feudal structure ever,” then hosts a discussion with the star—a shopkeeper who would become “one of Japan’s greatest actors” after being plucked from relative obscurity. The movie is Harakiri (1962), and the actor is Tatsuya Nakadai, directed in this film by Masaki Kobayashi, the man who did the plucking. Now 83 years old, Nakadai will presumably speak about filming this particular movie, though discussion could veer into his experiences across any of the films, TV shows or plays in which he’s appeared over the last 70 years. Free.
Friday, October 28
All aboard. Tonight and tomorrow night mark the last calls for the Shore Line Trolley Museum’s Haunted Isle attraction, in which “legend has it that somewhere in the woods at the end of the trolley tracks lurk the things that nightmares are made of.” $12 admission sometime between 7 and 10 p.m. gets you an eerie trolley ride to a freaky walk through forest, where “flashing strobe lights, loud noises, fog machines, small places, dark places, actors that jump out at you, props that spring out at you and many other scary things” await. 17 River St, East Haven. (203) 467-6927.
Southern Connecticut State’s Lyman Center gets in the Halloween spirit, too, with a multimedia talk dubbed “The Warren Files.” Regionally famed—and often disbelieved—exorcists/ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren founded the New England Society for Psychic Research, which has now passed to their son-in-law, Tony Spera. Spera’s the speaker at tonight’s event, which promises “a spine-tingling evening of encounters with the supernatural” via an examination of the Warrens’ “case files.” $15, with discounts for SCSU faculty, staff, students and a limited number of students’ guests. 501 Crescent Street, New Haven. (203) 392-6154.
Saturday, October 29
The finale of City-Wide Open Studios 2016 is Erector Square Weekend, unfolding today and tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m. It happens, naturally, at the expansive complex known as Erector Square (315 Peck St, New Haven)—once the headquarters of the famed toymaker A. C. Gilbert Company, now a buzzing hive of local artists, 112 of which are opening up their studios and letting the public wander in. Free.
“Reinterpreting music from such artists as Shostakovich, Gilbert & Sullivan, Tom Waits and others, Le Tre Fenici and guests”—a trio of voice, flute and piano, with friends on viola and stilts—“celebrate the macabre of Victorian Paris’s historic 1890s Cabaret du Néant” tonight at Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885.). The French stands for “Cabaret of Nothing,” which speaks to the evening’s ephemerality but not to its substantive delights. They involve a “masqued gala” punctuated by “performance art and celestial imaginings,” with costumes and masks in “the spirit of the cabaret” highly encouraged among attendees. 8 p.m. $15.
Sunday, October 30
Westville’s annual Giant Puppet and People-Making-Mayhem Parade gathers at the corner of West Rock and Whalley Avenue, then steps off for a promenade at 11 a.m. With puppet-wielders “joined by costumed friends, neighbors” and really anyone at all, the parade finishes at the street corner where it started, pushing into the nearest portion of Edgewood Park for “one gigantic outdoor Halloween Party,” thrown in tandem with the concurrent CitySeed farmers’ market.
Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.