Halloween at Meow Wolf

Penny the growlbix is there to spook the kiddies. Photo by Sasha Hill

The House of Eternal Return is abuzz with paranormal activity this Oct. Creatures of the night are ready to take to the immersive art complex Meow Wolf with several events to get visitors into the spooky mood. Meow Wolf’s newest installation “Freak or Treat” is the complex’s second Halloween themed event running 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 26-31. For six nights “a bunch of crazy characters come crawling out of the woodworks,” says Billiam Rodgers, a member of the Meow Wolf narrative team. Here’s the premise: Members of the goth punk band Meowhaus, Edgar and Shelley, have accidently found themselves at the House of Eternal Return via space warping guitar pedal. Meanwhile, doppelgangers and a creature called “the growlbix” are roaming the house, which the chaos-hating Charter agency is not happy about. Meow Wolf will also host several family-friendly events and musical performances for the Halloween holiday, as well as two parties to celebrate.

Different from last year’s Halloween event, Freak or Treat has protagonist characters (Edgar and Shelley) in addition to the usual cast of creatures that only come out around the holiday. In addition to the fake goth/punk band Meowhaus, Penny the growlbix will be found wandering through the complex with the Charter Dogcatcher hot on her trail. The Dogcatcher, who is hoping for a promotion, is hellbent on catching this strange creature. If an alien dimension-hopping band and a strange creature weren’t enough, the House of Eternal Return is also infected with doppelgangers, beings which look and act just like Charter agents and are intent on inflicting chaos.

Billiam Rodgers is a narrative team member for Meow Wolf’s freak or treat. Photo by Sasha Hill

Rodgers wrote the bulk of this year’s narrative along with Kendall McElhaney, who also worked with actors and staging, and help from deputy general manager Stacy Hernandez. The show lasts two hours and takes place throughout the complex, a format which creates unique challenges for the narrative team. There’s no designated place for the audience to watch the show. “You take a risk every time you have the chance of the audience wandering away from you,” Rodgers says. “What we’re trying to do with the Halloween event is to find ways to try to onboard the audience into the story.” The team has several ways of doing this. Last year, the show used an “escalation scenario” to bring audience members into the right places. Depending on when audience members came into the show, there was a change in atmosphere that caused them to move to different areas of the complex. This year, the team has written various different science fiction scenarios to bring audience members into the story, which includes audience participation.

Meow Wolf has several other events going on for Halloween. Special Freak or Treat Family Days will allow children and parents to enjoy the Freak or Treat show during daylight hours. These special days will also include crafting in the Learning Center and are included in the price of admission. Family Days are 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct 28 and Oct. 29. Children 12 and under will also have the opportunity to trick or treat at the House of Eternal Return Halloween night 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Kids will follow a predetermined path throughout the house that will bring them into contact with a range of kooky characters. Children must be accompanied by at least one adult (free of charge.) Tickets for trick or treating one hour time slots are $14. Trick or treaters must sign up for one timeslot and arrive within their selected hour.

Wolf in sheep clothing. Photo by Sasha Hill

If you’re looking to get your spooky groove on this Halloween, Meow Wolf is the place to go. The complex has several musical events planned this weekend. The Friday Halloween dance party “Melt Shake,” is a ticketed event which runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Oct. 27 and features guest acts from Defunk, NiceFingers, Captain Curt, Purpetual, Duchess, PhxFlux and LAWD (Live Above Win Daily). This show is for ages 18+ only.  From 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Oct. 28, Meow Wolf has another party “Dance Monster Halloween,” which will feature Ana M, Badcat, Zenova, Spoolius and Graeme Byous. This show is for ages 21+ only. Tickets for both of these events are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Meow Wolf’s Freak or Treat event is included with the cost of admission to the House of Eternal Return. Tickets are $20 for adults ($17 for NM residents), $14 for children 12 and under ($12 for NM residents) and $18 for seniors and military ($15 for NM residents).