In Las Vegas, closet freaks get a free pass every night of the year. Never is this more true, however, than on Halloween.
“They can get away with anything and say, ‘Oh, no, I’m not really like this, this is how I dressed for Halloween,’ ” says Jeff Davis, promoter for Great White Entertainment’s 12th Annual Fetish & Fantasy Ball, where guests can be tied to a cross, rubbed with fur mittens and dripped with candle wax.
“People wait all year for it,” Davis says. “Lawyers and doctors. They get to come out, be in a public arena where they’re safe, and there’s people from the same kind of background doing the same type of thing.”
Plenty of more traditional ways to celebrate Halloween abound in the killer mazes and haunted houses around town this year.
“It’s that sudden rush,” explains Duke Mollner, owner of Freakling Bros, which operates three trailer mazes around town: the Circus of Horrors at Sunset Station, Castle Vampire at the UA Theatre on Rainbow Boulevard and the Mortuary at the Indoor Swap Meet.
“If you’re scared correctly, the body can’t resist the adrenaline rush,” Mollner says. “And knowing that you can’t be hurt makes it an even more enjoyable rush.”
And, as always, there are plenty of G-rated diversions for the door-knocking, SpongeBob costume-wearing little freaks in your life.
“It’s vital for children to be able to pretend and to imagine,” says Bobbie Ann Howell, coordinator of the Free Safe HalloweenFest, “and to participate in something with their family and community.”
Here are a select group of Halloween options, in descending freakiness order.
12th annual Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball
Saturday 10 p.m.-4 a.m.
Tickets: $75 general admission, $45 late admission, $16.50 after-party, $152 VIP
Alexis Park Resort, 375 E. Harmon Ave.
More info: 732-6111 or www.halloweenball.com
This year seven small rooms, instead of the usual two big ones, await the anticipated 3,000 visitors. Each room has a theme — none freakier than the audience participation room. Performers include The Fashionistas, Scooter & LaVelle, Master of Metal and more.
Marilyn Manson concert
Wednesday 8 p.m.
Tickets: $58-$78 through Ticketmaster, 942-7000.
The Pearl at the Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Road
It’s rare that the members of an audience can out-freak Marilyn Manson, but it happens every time this band — led by its eponymous and androgenous lead singer — hits the stage on Oct. 31.
Today and Saturday 7 p.m.-midnight, Sunday-Tuesday 7-11 p.m., Wednesday 7 p.m.-midnight
Tickets: $10 general admission, $25 Freaks Pass
Indoor Swap Meet, 4530 E. Charleston Blvd. (at Lamb Boulevard)
More info: 362-3327
The smell of death hangs in the air. Screams of anguish pierce the darkness. Dreadfully, the final journey begins. No one under 5 admitted and no one under 12 admitted alone.
Monster Mayhem — The Haunted Village
Today through Wednesday 7 p.m.
Tickets: $20 general admission
Las Vegas Boulevard South at I-215 (across from Fry’s Electronics)
More info: 676-3327 or www.monstermayhem.net
The Haunted Village features five complete haunted houses. In addition, an above-ground graveyard features voodoo spirits and fiendish ghouls. New this year is Apocalyptic Vegas where very little is left standing or alive except a few almost human creatures.
The Fright Dome
Today through Wednesday, 7 p.m.-midnight
Tickets: $32.95 general admission; $44.95 fast pass
The AdventureDome at Circus Circus, 2880 Las Vegas Blvd. South
More info: 794-3939 or www.frightdome.com
The Fright Dome features five haunted houses; the Fright Dome Wax Museum inside the Cavern of the Living Dead; and eight unique freak shows.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Tickets: $10 at the box offices or online at www.fathomevents.com
Colonnade, Red Rock and Village Square movie theaters
A double dose of horror awaits those who dare to sit through “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” and “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” without the aid of a remote-control pause button. Two documentary making-of featurettes will precede the mayhem.
Bow Wow Halloween dog costume contest
Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Montelago Village at Lake Las Vegas Resort, 30 Strada Di Villaggio, Henderson
Fee: $10 per dog costume entry
More info: 564-4700
Dog freaks rejoice. This second annual event includes a costume contest with prizes, celebrity judges and a contestant parade.
GhostWalk at the District at Green Valley Ranch (all ages)
Wednesday 5 to 8 p.m.
The District at Green Valley Ranch, 2240 Village Walk Drive, Henderson
If blinking eyes on pumpkins send your kids into panic attacks, this is your speed. It’s trick-or-treating up and down the shops and restaurants of the District. The candy ran out last year, but they promise half a million pieces this time. There’s also a Spooky Hay Maze and a screening of the 1996 movie “Casper.”
The Pumpkin Patch (ages 4-10)
Saturday 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Admission: $10, includes pumpkin, paint and accessories
Veterans Memorial Leisure Services Center, 101 N. Pavilion Center Drive
More info: 229-1100
Pick out your perfect pumpkin to create a jack-o’-lantern.
Pumpkin Slam Contest (ages 7-14)
Saturday noon to 2 p.m.
Municipal Pool, 431 E. Bonanza Road
More info: 229-6309
Slam dunk a pumpkin through a basketball hoop with a twist while jumping off the diving board. Prizes will be awarded. Pre-registration required.
Free Safe HalloweenFest (all ages)
Saturday 5 to 7:30 p.m.
East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave., 229-1515
Dress in costume for a safe night of trick-or-treat booths, carnival games, “Monster Mash” dance contests, costume parade and prizes.
Halloween Dance with Don Burke Dance Band (adults)
Saturday 7 to 10 p.m.
Tickets: $10 advance, $12 performance day
Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St.
More info: 229-6383
Dress in costume and dance to music from the 1940s-’60s, including swing, ballads, waltzes and Latin.
Spooktacular Party (ages 50+)
Wednesday 11:30 a.m. Advance registration required.
East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave.
More info: 229-1515.
Don your best costume and come to enjoy food, ghostly games and a costume contest.
Pumpkin Party Parade of Costumes (ages 50+)
Wednesday 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Las Vegas Senior Center, 451 E. Bonanza Road
More info: 229-6454
Win a bag of goodies by wearing your original costume. Enjoy games and light refreshments, too.
Howling Halloween Carnival (ages 2-14)
Wednesday 5 to 8 p.m.
Admission: $1 for haunted house; all else is free
Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St.
More info: 229-6374.
Costume contests, haunted house, carnival games, candy prizes, jump house and more.
Halloweird Monster Bash (ages 3-adults)
Wednesday 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Rafael Rivera Community Center, 2900 E. Stewart Ave.
More info: 229-4600
Enjoy carnival-style games, treats and the haunted house.
Sixth Annual “Ghosts and Goblins of Nevada’s Past”
Saturday and Sunday 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Admission: $2 general admission
Clark County Museum, 1830 S. Boulder Highway
More info: 455-7955
Children get to trick or treat at 10 houses (attractions and games are an additional charge, parking is free).More on Halloween activities