Barnaby Castle Halloween Party Returns Bigger and Scarier

This seasonal tradition on Broadway promises a spooky extravaganza while raising funds for restoration


It’s a Broadway landmark – you can’t miss the octagonal tower with a peaked roof, large solarium with curved windows, and tantalizing combo of Gothic and Romanesque styles all coalescing in one structure. In the summer, you might be lucky enough to spot bubbles on a breeze blowing from the roof of this eccentric Victorian, but in the fall, Barnaby’s Castle is a thing of nightmares.

“This year's vibe is Barnaby's Inferno,” says event organizer Kaitlyn Frolich of the fifth annual Halloween party extravaganza that raises funds for the mansion’s preservation and restoration. “It gets better each year. Ideas grow, and the team of volunteers works like a fine-tuned machine. We are throwing it all out there this year. Going a bit darker, hotter, and more delicious, with more performers and decor, too!”

All-inclusive tickets include valet service and give guests access to three floors transformed into different levels of hell. A costume contest, drag performances, fire dancers, and more entertainment are all part of the spooky fun. Along with plenty of cocktails, Pizza J, 10 Prime Steak & Sushi, and American Mussel Harvesters are a few vendors serving up devilish delights. 

For the especially daring guest, VIP tickets offer additional special performances and surprises.

“VIP also gets you a first crack at the tarot and palm reading that we have at the top of the turret,” says Frolich. “That's a big deal considering it’s always a fan favorite!”

More than an evening of Halloween frights, the annual party is essential to keeping the castle standing. “This year, the focus remains on the restoration of the famed four-story tower. Last year’s event helped save the tower from falling; now we restore,” explains Frolich. “Halloween at the Castle is also responsible for the restoration and preservation of the seven stained-glass windows of the solarium as well as part of the exterior painting, and now the tower. Not bad for a ragtag group of preservationists!”

You may feel the presence of the past owner at the party, too. Built for Jerothmul Bowers Barnaby in 1875, the home was a display of his eccentricity and wealth, which he acquired from establishing J.B. Barnaby & Co., a clothing and men’s haberdashery company formerly on the corner of Dorrance and Westminster Streets that quickly grew to become one of the largest stores in Rhode Island. According to the lore, the castle was home to many a lavish party during its heyday, though it’s also known for the unusual circumstances surrounding Barnaby’s widow Josephine’s death. Poisoned by whiskey she received in the mail from an unknown sender, it was the first documented instance of murder by post in the United States.

“We always want to incorporate the history in some way, be it through a signature cocktail, decor or this year, the name,” says Frolich. “JB is always with us.”

Reserve tickets for Barnaby’s Inferno at 299 Broadway on October 29 online at


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