Scary Affairs

A frightening array of the scariest parties on S.F.'s biggest holiday

Halloween Magic: Michael Stroud, author of The Klutz Book of Magic, performs magic at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science's annual Halloween party. In addition to the sinful witchcraft show, there will be face painting, fortune telling, bats, snakes, and spiders. Ew. Sat., Oct. 30, 6:30-9 p.m., $10-$12. Lawrence Hall of Science, Centennial & Grizzly Peak, Berkeley, 510-642-5132.

Halloween Masquerade Ball: Classy, exclusive, sophisticated, God-I-hope-my-picture-makes-it-in-Paper City kind of gala featuring DJs Donovan and Sunwoo. Sat., Oct. 30, 9 p.m., $20-$450. Top of the Mark, 1 Nob Hill, 999 California (at Mason), InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, 616-6916.

Halloween Party at Club Lamia: A truly scary Halloween party where women get in for free before 11 p.m. if they're sporting a mini skirt. Plus there's a Girls Gone Wild contest to boot. The horror! The horror! Sat., Oct. 30, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., $10-$20. Club Lamia, 3910 Geary (at Third Ave.), 876-4080.

Halloween Party at the Hotel Utah: Taste the garage-rock musical stylings of The Husbands, Don't Shock Me Lucifer (a Roky Erikson Tribute Band), and Harold Ray Live In Concert. And be sure to dress up in costume for this one, or run the risk of being collectively vibed out of the place for being a gigantic party-pooper. Sat., Oct. 30, 9 p.m., $7. Hotel Utah, 500 4th Street at Bryant, 546-6300, www.thehotelutahsaloon.com.

Halloween Party at the Powerhouse: Notorious SOMA club throws a Halloween bash that's sure to be delightfully perverted. Sun., Oct. 31, 9 p.m., free. Powerhouse, 1347 Folsom (at Ninth St.), 552-8689.

Halloween Show: Tripp, Katie Jay, and Suburban Slow Death perform during Tongue & Groove's annual Halloween show. Sat., Oct. 30, 8 p.m., $7.

Halloween's True Meaning: Want to know why you let your kids go up to strangers' homes to demand sweets? Curious as to why we gut and then carve up perfectly good squash? Have you always wondered why we celebrate Allhallows Eve? You do? Then this fun party is perfect for you and your family. Sun., Oct. 31, 1-3 p.m., $5-$15, www.ftloose.org. Shotwell Studios, 3252A 19th St. (at Folsom), 289-2000.

Happy Tree Friends: Come see the creators of this funny, violent, cult cartoon series. Fri., Oct. 29, 7 p.m. Tower Records, 3251 20th Ave. (at Winston), 681-2001.

Haunted Castle Halloween Roctoberama: The famous Edinburgh Castle turns into a macabre haunt for the night. Indie rock bands Pillow Pusher, The Slow Poisoners, PrOnstar, Pono, and The Floating Corpses are scheduled to perform. Sun., Oct. 31, 9 p.m., $5. Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary (at Larkin), 885-4074, www.castlenews.com.

Haunted San Francisco: Ghost Stories From the City's Past: Author Rand Richards reads selections from his book about San Francisco's ghostly past. Wed., Oct. 27, 6 p.m., free. Main Library, Book Bay at the Main Bookstore, 100 Larkin (at Grove), 557-4238.

Hemlock Halloween Bash: As if its poisonous name and Polk Street locale weren't frightening enough, they're throwing a Halloween bash with Boyjazz, Jesus Replicator, and DJ Coffin. Sat., Oct. 30, 9 p.m., $5.

Horror of Politics and Politics of Horror: A Halloween Double Feature: Instead of slasher Halloween-themed flicks, the Roxie presents Political Advertisement 2004 and The American Nightmare. The former film shows a series of campaign commercials from over the past 50 years, while the latter parallels horror films (ala George Romero, Tobe Hopper, Wes Craven, and David Cronenberg, to name a few) that invoked themes of social commentary along with knife wielding and brain munching. Scary ... and educational! Sun., Oct. 31, 8 p.m., $8. Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087.

Iron Science Competition, Halloween Edition: Let your inner nerd out at this event that puts a scientific twist on the popular Iron Chef: Science teachers are given 10 minutes to create science demonstrations. Fri., Oct. 29, noon, $8-$12. Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon (at Marina), 397-5673, www.exploratorium.edu.

Jack O'Lantern Jamboree: A costume parade, arts and crafts, fairytale characters, and loads of candy cut with lots of sugar promise to keep your tykes wired and giddy for hours of crazy Halloween fun. Oct. 30-31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $8. Children's Fairyland, 699 Bellevue, at Grand, Oakland, 510-452-2259, www.fairyland.org.

KISS FM Screamin' Halloween Cruise: The San Francisco Spirit boards at Pier 9 at 7:45 p.m. sharp for a Halloween evening spent cruising around the Bay. Sat., Oct. 30, 7:45 p.m.-midnight, $32.

Kunst-Stoff: Modern dance company performs a scary routine involving bloody hands and dying swans. Ew. Fri., Oct. 29, 8 p.m., $10-$15. Jon Sims Center for the Arts, 1519 Mission (at 11th St.), 554-0402.

Little Red Riding Hood vs. the Undead: All hell breaks loose as fabled heroine Little Red Riding Hood goes head to head against zombies in this humorous Halloween theatrical production. Oct. 28-30, 8 p.m., $12. Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission (at Fifth St.), 896-6477, www.offmarkettheater.com.

LYRIC LGBTQQ Youth Masquerade Ball: Queer youth from throughout the Bay Area come out to this popular Halloween bash. Costume contest, celebrity judges, and guest DJs will highlight a wild night of dewy, youthful fun. (Ages 23 and younger only. So, chicken hawks? Stay home.). Fri., Oct. 29, 7 p.m.-midnight, free. Women's Building, 3543 18th St. (at Valencia), 431-1180.

Metal Tribute Night: Band your head in honor of Satan himself with these cover bands: Children of the Damned (Iron Maiden), Hangar 18 (Megadeth), Hail Satan (Mercyful Fate), Brewtallica (Metallica). Sat., Oct. 30, 7 p.m. Rooster's Roadhouse, 1700 Clement (at Grand), Alameda, 510-337-9190.

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