Monster mashes, graveyard smashes and boozy bashes

A&E plans your Halloween. You’re welcome.

PHOTO COURTESY PINE HAVEN FARM

PHOTO COURTESY PINE HAVEN FARM

Tony Libera

WHAT: The Haunted Basement WHERE: The Soap Factory, 518 Second St. S.E. WHEN: 6 p.m.âÄì12 a.m. through Nov. 1 TICKETS: Mon.âÄìThu. $15, Fri.âÄìSun. $20 WHAT: Nightmare at Pinehaven Farm WHERE: 28186 Kettle River Blvd., Wyoming, Minn. WHEN: Through Oct. 31 TICKETS: $16.34 plus tax WHAT: BareBones Halloween Show WHERE: Hidden Falls Regional Park, 1415 Mississippi River Blvd. S., St. Paul WHEN: Oct. 25, 30 and 31, Starts at 7 p.m. TICKETS: Free WHAT: First AvenueâÄôs Halloween Party & Costume Contest WHERE: First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N. WHEN: Oct. 31, 8 p.m. TICKETS: $10 with costume, $15 without costume âÄôTis the week before Halloween, and all through the town, monsters are rising from deep underground. The pentagrams are lit and burning quite bright, as ghouls prepare to cause a ghastly fright. But something is amiss; the people do not scare! Women want to run around with skin nearly bare! What is this madness? Where is the fear? Halloween sucks when you watch six Borats chug beer. Fret not, dear reader; A&E has a scheme, to turn your Halloween plan from a yawn to a scream. The Haunted Basement Thrill aficionados living in Minneapolis over the last two years know The Soap Factory is the place to be on Oct. 31. The psychological sadists on staff are well versed in both the evil and the gruesome, constructing an elaborate dungeon inundated with the darkest of human fears. Last yearâÄôs Haunted Basement focused on the terrors associated with disorientation, but this year the Factory team tackles the seedy underbelly of the disturbing. The plan is to lure visitors down to the hollow, isolate them from all traces of natural light and prod them through a labyrinth of increasingly unsettling terrors, using various sensory exploiting techniques to trick the mind into hysteria. TheyâÄôve even hired a local scent company to saturate the air with foul stenches. It will be interesting (and unquestionably horrifying) to see how the Factory team manages to outdo last yearâÄôs performance (that bear still haunts our collective dreams). After all, how much creepier can they possibly get? Nightmare at Pinehaven Farm A freaky basement is one thing, but an accursed dwelling that sits 40 miles outside of the city is another. Pinehaven FarmâÄôs haunted house and horror hayride can be found way out in Wyoming, Minn. ItâÄôs a hike, to be sure, but those who attend will undoubtedly find their pants properly scared off. The evening starts off in a haunted house made all the scarier due to its isolation. Any other haunted house is located safely within the bounds of urban or suburban civilization, but Pinehaven is way out in the boonies, and that means anything can happen (see: 1972âÄôs âÄúDeliverance âÄú). The malevolence continues as attendees take a mile-long hayride through the insidious forest that borders the farm. Horror movie staple Michael Berryman (âÄúThe Hills Have EyesâÄù) has already been spotted stalking the land; who knows what other foul beasts lurk in the wooded shadows? In addition, Pinehaven offers fortune telling, face painting, a haunted cornfield and nightly bonfires for telling terrifying tales. BareBones Halloween Show Not all âÄôween lovers feel the need to scare themselves stupid. There are, of course, other ways to enjoy the day. Those who take pleasure in the finer arts âÄî along with any other Joe that marvels at the extravagance of an ornate live show âÄî can cross the river for the BareBones Halloween Show. BareBones Productions puts on an incredible outdoor performance that features everything from giant puppets to searing flames. This yearâÄôs themes include lycanthropes, moths and Egyptian mythology, with a smidge of Little Red Riding Hood and a blend of armed mummies. ItâÄôs anybodyâÄôs guess how theyâÄôre going to merge such a variety of concepts into a cohesive whole, but itâÄôs certainly going to be a spectacle. First AvenueâÄôs Halloween Party & Costume Contest First Avenue claims to be hosting the best Halloween party in town, and it just might be true. The house DJs will be blasting stone grooves all night, while Ian Rans of Metro Cable NetworkâÄôs âÄúDrinking with Ian âÄú judges the costume contest. ThereâÄôs more than $1,000 in prize money, so thereâÄôs always the chance youâÄôll leave with a little coin. Over at 7th Street Entry you can dance the night away as Monster Mash 3 grabs hold. DJs King Otto and Mike the 2600 King will host, mashing up classic hits from the âÄô50s and âÄô60s for what promises to be a graveyard smash.