Chinatown has many interesting characters. From the cute old Asian woman selling lei on the corner to the fixie-bike riding hipsters, the multicultural district has seen it all – until now, that is. Bloodthirsty vampires and wicked witches will step out of their immortal worlds and into Chinatown’s (most) Haunted Garage.

Rich history lurks in the alleys of Honolulu’s Chinatown.

Not to be confused with one of the municipal parking garages, the ARTS at Mark’s Garage – known for its support in the culture and arts – will get a Halloween makeover as part of a first-time fundraising event for the venue. It’s part of the Hallowbaloo Music + Arts Festival also happening tonight through the weekend. The entire gallery and performance space will be transformed into a terrifying walk-through, with themed rooms that include the Gallery of Horrors, Wicked Witches of Shakespeare, R.I.P. Cabaret, Starving Artists Attack and Day of the Dead bar.

“Guests will be led through a world where only the truly obsessed continue to make art,” said Ryan Sueoka of ARTS at Mark’s. They expect to spook more than 500 guests each night.

I’ve always been a huge supporter of the ARTS at Mark’s Garage. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside usually has a bunch of neat stuff, ranging from classic to modern art. This fundraising effort will be a great way for art enthusiasts to check out another type of art though – the wacky, scary kind found no where else on the island. Those galleries listed above already tell me it’s going to get weird! It’ll be a unique and educational way to experience the art of Halloween in all its various mediums.

Partnering organizations hope to haunt the garage with their various art and performances. These include the Hawaii Watercolor Society, Hawaii Craftsmen, Convergence Dance Theatre and the Cherry Blossom Cabaret. Proceeds will go to the ARTS at Mark’s and the Hawaii Academy of Performing Arts.

While the area is known for its spunky daytime characters, Ryan believes Chinatown’s got a few restless souls that wander the streets at night.

“There are too many Chinatown ghost stories to mention,” he said. “We are located at the center of the Arts District, on the edge of Chinatown and in an area significant to Native Hawaiian history…it’s natural to be surrounded by ghost stories.”

And while the Haunted Garage will be scary, it won’t be too scary for children. Customized tours will be offered until 8 p.m. each night, and they ask that you register no later than 7:45 p.m.

Photo Credit: Noa Myers

HAUNTED GARAGE • Tonight to Monday, 6 p.m. • The ARTS at Mark’s Garage • 149 Nuuanu Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii • 808-521-2903 • http://artsatmarks.org • $10 adults, $5 children • Street and municipal parking available; Near bus route

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