Carnivale Spooktacular merges the worlds of magic, circuses this weekend


Christopher Rich of Beauties in a Bottle was a vendor at Thorn & Moon Magickal Market in 2021.

Photo: Courtesy of Thorn & Moon Magickal M

For five years, Jessica Anderson’s Thorn & Moon has created monthly magical community gatherings in Houston that cater to the pagan, occult, macabre, and extreme goth. This Halloween, Thorn & Moon has teamed up with the city of Houston to present Carnivale Spooktacular, a colossal downtown event that will exceed all previous levels of spookiness.

“The city approached me because of what we had been doing with the regular Magickal Markets and wanted something for October,” Anderson explains. “It was surprising, but very exciting to level up and have a big, huge Halloween event.”

Carnivale Spooktacular appears to be about twice the size of the usual events that Thorn & Moon hosts at The Raven Tower (and before that, Avant Garden). The number of vendors peddling ritual supplies, arts, crafts, and other items will be doubled. At least three food trucks will be on site and the city will provide restrooms.

Because it’s a city event, a lot of effort has been made to keep things PG-13 family-friendly. There will be sleight of hand and costume contests. Bewitched Burlesque is thrilled to show that they have a lot to offer performance-wise besides stripping.

“I think people forget that burlesque encompasses a lot of different styles,” says Belle Be Damned, leader of the troupe. “It’s not enough that it’s a striptease. I have performers who do more danced and frightening pieces. We also brought in some of our friends from the Houston drag community, including a drag king and a drag queen singer playing the role of the witch in “Into the Woods.” The spotlight will be on these talents. »

To complete the carnival aspect, Cirque la Vie brings several circus acts. These include strongman Super Duper Shane, who will drive a nail through a board with his bare hands, and Super K, who specializes in balancing on precarious piles of objects like buckets and boards.

“We have always been part of the Thorn & Moon family, community and culture,” Cirque la Vie said in a statement. “It’s always fun, crazy and out of this world!”

Carnivale Spooktacular is more than just a fun Halloween event. It’s proof that Houston’s magical community has grown large enough to be recognized by the general public. When Anderson opened her shop in The Heights last year, she wanted it to be the kind of place that built a community of pagans, witches and other seekers.

“I’m a practicing witch myself,” says Be Damned. “I started as a customer. And I was thrilled to see a market representing me. We became friends, and once [Anderson] discovered that I was an artist, that was all. I love putting on a show that celebrates magic and all walks of life. Our acts honor everything from the Halloween season to superheroes. It’s linked to my spirituality and my magical past. I like to share that with people. »

Anderson always placed the acceptance of pagan and sorcerous spiritual ways at the forefront of his business. His shop even includes an altar that people who feel they can’t practice at home can use in a collaborative effort. Carnivale Spooktacular is another way he’s trying to bring this community out of the broom closet.

“Marketplace sellers are like family, and that’s always been my goal,” Anderson says. “Providing a safe space for everyone to congregate. It’s a marginalized, misfit, and weird community, and having that support welcomes and celebrates their talents. Our event has nothing satanic about it. It may be a bit unusual for some, but there will be something for everyone. It’s for people who want a little magic in their life. If you like Halloween, you’ll love it.

Jef Rouner is a Houston-based writer.

Carnivale Spooktacular

When: Friday 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 14
Where: Historic Market Square, 301 Milam
Details: Free, some parking lots $10, pets allowed; magickalmarket.com




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