Creepin' it real

Get into Halloween's intoxicating spirit with Austin's spookiest bar events

Get into Halloween's intoxicating spirit with Austin's spookiest bars

Craftsman The Boozery pop-up
The Craftsman is turning into a haunted bar for the Halloween season. Photo courtesy of Craftsman

Some say alcohol is called spirits because of its roots in Middle Eastern alchemy, but we like to believe an alternate story. The Arabic word al-ghawl refers to an intoxicating demon, something very much in the, ahem, spirit of Halloween. Regardless of the word’s origin, this month we are setting out to put some boos in our booze with these four eerie events.

Bad Wolf Ghost Tours
Looking for a new way to explore Austin’s favorite haunts? Bad Wolf traipses through some of the most cursed spots in the city. This walking tour searches for signs of life after the grave while a guide tells tales of local history’s most gruesome events. In between stops,  work up a little liquid courage with free cover and drink specials at each bar. The paranormal promenade runs every Friday and Saturday starting at 10 pm, but weeknights can be accommodated for large groups with notice.

The Boozery at Craftsman
With its historic bones and spare furnishings, East Austin’s Craftsman already looks like the kind of place where someone might wander into the odd specter or two. But now the bar is doubling down on the spooky with a two-week pop-up event transforming the space into a haunted tavern. The Boozery runs October 17-31 with scary surprises each night and a special cocktail menu inspired by Halloween lore. Highlights include the Hocus Pocus-themed Billy Butcherson with Jagermeister, pumpkin butter syrup, lemon, orange, and Grand Marnier foam and The Bride in Room #525, a Sierra Nevada pale ale and Dickel whiskey concoction paying homage to the infamous room at the Driskill rumored to be full of wedding day horrors.

Nightly Spirits
With frequent appearances of a woman in a white dress and pool cues that sometimes float of their own accord, the building that houses Sixth Street’s Buffalo Billiards is said to be one of the most supernaturally active in the region. And that’s just the start of this four bar crawl, which takes off Friday and Saturday at 8:30 pm The potentially traumatic tour then heads to The Gatsby, Russian House, and Waller Creek Pub, where you can hear hair-raising ghost stories while indulging in themed cocktails. The company also operates in other major Texas cities if you are into terrifying travel. 

Torment Tavern at House of Torment
Believe us, after walking through Austin’s premier haunted house, you will need a drink. Luckily, this year the locally owned fright fest has introduced a bar with a chilling supernatural theme, running through November 10. The spooky libations include two signature Jekyll and Hyde drinks served in glowing souvenir cups and a seasonal pumpkin ale made in collaboration with 4th Tap Brewing Co-op. After a heart pounding evening, it will help get lull you to sleep. Now, what to do about all those nightmares ...