Edgar Allen Improv? Nevermore! Plus: songs from orcas and an immersive haunted house.

Publicity image for Dark Matter.

With Halloween just over a week away, thrift stores are filled with last-minute revellers. Along with the panic of finding a costume, there’s also the question of how best to spend these days (and nights) leading up to the event.

If you think there should be more to Halloween than Rosemary’s Baby and a dark pumpkin ale, here are a few ideas—including whale sounds near a cemetery, an immersive haunted house, and Edgar Allen Poe (or a reasonable facsimile) improvising poems.

Songs for a Lost Pod (Oct. 29 at 7 and 8:30 p.m. at Celebration Hall, 5455 Fraser St.)—Leah Abramson has just released a song-cycle that combines scientific research, orca vocalizations, marine mammal history and eight (human) voices. The Vancouver singer/songwriter and friends (including seven other singers) perform Songs for a Lost Pod at Celebration Hall Oct. 20 as part of All Souls at Mountain View Cemetarys. Pages from a comic that accompanies the record, with artwork by Taylor Brown-Evans, will be on display. This event is free and accessible. (Free; for more info visit nightforallsouls.com.)

Halloween Monster Match (Oct. 28 at 7:30 pm at The Improv Centre on Granville Island)—Vancouver TheatreSports™ League (VTSL) presents a night of costumed improv and other Halloween hijinks. Performers will compete in TheatreSports matches, but audience members will also be treated to a palm-reading by Madame Improvo and Poe Corner, in which the long-dead poet improvise poems. It ends with a dance party for audience members and performers alike. (Ticket price of $37 includes admission to both shows, dancing, costume parade, and other assorted treats. Tickets at vtsl.com.)

Dark Matter (Oct. 25-28th, 31st, Nov 2-4 at 7 and 9 p.m., 8 p.m. start on Oct. 31 at the James Black Gallery,144 East 6th Ave)—Nebula Company Theatre presents this immersive Halloween theatre event. It’s a narrative haunted house that blends science fiction, horror and nostalgia. 
Written/directed by Vancouver actor/writer Mily Mumford, it posits that there is “a house in the city where several sensory ‘abnormalities’ have been recorded. Rumour has it several people living in the house have disappeared without a trace—as if swallowed by a black hole. You are invited to participate in a psychological study to ‘experience’ the house and observe for yourself the phenomena within. We assure you it is safe. And there is a scientific explanation for everything.” (Tickets starting at $15 at brownpapertickets.com.)

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