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Halloween costume parties

Where to Scope Out the Craziest Halloween Costumes in LA

By / September 24, 2018

Long after the trick or treating has ended, Halloween rages on, and the streets fill up with drunken, sinister ghouls staggering toward the next unholy costume party.

Of course, wearing a costume isn’t just for kids, and the role play we indulge in as adults says a lot about deepest, darkest fantasies, like wanting to become a giraffe.

Here in Los Angeles, a city that trades in fantasy, Halloween is a time to show off our creativity and ingenuity while also indulging in a cocktail or two. From meme-themed parties to cosplayers and epic Halloween parades, here are the best places to scope out the most outrageous costumes this year.


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West Hollywood Halloween Carnival

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Location: West Hollywood
Cost: Free

Since 1987, a sinister group of ghouls, ghosts, and creatures from your worst nightmares have gathered in West Hollywood to celebrate Halloween. The carnival regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of costumed party-goers and curious onlookers. Anything goes here, and you’re likely to see everything from Snow White to bloody, mutilated corpses walking the streets. Despite being open to the public, things can get a little freaky, so it’s suggested that you leave children and pets at home.


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Noho Monster Bash: Pirates of the Caribbean

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018
Location: Federal Bar, North Hollywood
Cost: $30

If you’re looking to get wild in the Valley, look no further than NoHo Monster Bash. This year’s theme is “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and if previous years are any indication, you’re likely to see some pretty elaborate takes on Jack Sparrow and company. As a bonus, a professional photographer will be on-site to document your costumes, with prizes for the best outfits. Acrobats, burlesque artists, and circus performers will also be on-state throughout the night to create a truly carnivalesque atmosphere.


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Bar Sinister 10th Annual Ghostly Halloween Ball

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Location: Bar Sinister, Hollywood
Cost: $20-$25

Bar Sinister is the preferred hangout for Hollywood goths. Even on a regular night, things can get pretty crazy, but on Halloween, Bar Sinister turns it all the way up to 11. This being a favorite goth holiday, the regulars certainly don’t hold back. Expect plenty of ghostly-pale visages along with partiers decked out in skimpy leather and lace, bondage chic, piercings, and of course, platform shoes. There’s also a $500 costume prize, but note that the bar is gonna be set pretty high for this one.


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Nightmare on #MemeStreet Halloween Party

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Location: APT 503, Koreatown
Cost: $10

Is going viral for all the wrong reasons your worst nightmare? It’s all in a day’s work for a meme. Billed as an “interactive costume dance party,” guests are encouraged to dress up as their favorite meme, and APT 503’s surreal, cartoonish décor makes it the perfect backdrop for this deliciously disorienting Halloween experience. With a DJ spinning haunted hits all night and with plenty of Instagram-worthy scenarios, things are likely to get very meta very quickly.


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Le Jardin Hollywood Monster Night

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018
Location: Le Jardin, Hollywood
Cost: $35-$420

Le Jardin has a reputation as a celebrity Hollywood haunt, but on Halloween, it’s the beautiful people who get haunted, donning elaborate and outrageous costumes to party the night away. Of course, there’s likely to be plenty of drinking and dancing, but keep your eye out — there may be some famous faces lurking behind that elaborate makeup.


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Willy Wonka Costume Ball

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Location: Los Angeles Theatre, Downtown LA
Cost: $35-$85

Do you see yourself more as a Mike Teavee or a Veruca Salt? If you’re planning on attending the Willy Wonka Ball at the Los Angeles theatre, you’ll have to decide, as costumes are mandatory. After a screening of the original 1971 Willy Wonka film featuring Gene Wilder’s famously unhinged performance, you’ll be treated to live music, DJs, and a costume competition while the theatre is transformed into a sugary, psychedelic wonderland.


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Be Kind Rewind 90s Halloween Party

Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Location: Lucky Strike Live
Cost: Free

Dust off your flannel shirt, JNCO jeans, and belly button ring, and get ready to face the terrifying prospect of a ’90s fashion revival. Be Kind, Rewind’s ’90s-themed Halloween party will feature costume competitions, DJs playing ’90s hits, a live ’90s tribute band, and a POGs competition.


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Cabaret de L’Enfer at The Edison

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Location: The Edison, Downtown LA
Cost: $30

Descend into the bowels of The Edison for a Halloween steampunk experience that will include DJ sets, live performances, aerialists, stilt walkers, tarot readings, and “Attractions Diaboliques featuring Apparitions and Gifted Eccentriques from across the Globe.” While it’s not a costume party per se, The Edison’s strict dress code and the general vibe of the night are sure to produce some exceptional people watching.


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Halloween Cosplay Party

Date: Monday, October 29, 2018
Location: Dave & Buster’s, Culver City
Cost: Free

Dave & Buster’s might not be your first choice for Halloween, but this year the Culver City location is hosting a Halloween cosplay party where you can catch all your favorite anime characters in the flesh. The party is organized by professional cosplayers, so you’re sure to see some A+ costume creations.


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Gatsby’s Masquerade Costume Ball

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018
Location: W Hollywood Hotel, West Hollywood
Cost: $23-$2,299

Halloween is all about getting crazy and letting your alter ego loose, but if you prefer your crazy with a touch of glamour, then this Gatsby-inspired masquerade ball at the W Hollywood Hotel is the place to witness a more refined celebration of darkness and mystery. The W Hollywood Hotel’s ballroom and top DJs provide the perfect backdrop for your Halloween experience, and who knows where things might lead if you happen to lock eyes with a mysterious masked stranger across the dance floor.

Want more spooky things to do this Halloween?
Check out our guide for the best Halloween happenings in LA!


Matthew O’Shannessy is a writer living in Los Angeles. He grew up in Tasmania, Australia and moved to LA via Melbourne where he joined an art collective and worked for the Melbourne International Film Festival. His work has been published in various magazines and he’s currently co-editing an arts anthology. He lives in Echo Park, but you can often find him scouting out the San Fernando Valley.

More articles by Matthew O'Shannessy



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