Horror Film Fest in a Haunted Opera House!

Mark your calendars for a scary good time! Join the Dickens Opera House on October 20 for Paranormal explorations, films that will give you the shivers and some scary friends to join you in the screaming good time!

The festival is not a gore fest but a creepy, spine-tingling and suspenseful event paired with straight-up horror films as well unique workshops. Titled Fear and Film on the Front Range, the festival runs from 11:00 AM-11:00 PM at 300 Main Street, in the Dickens Opera House building next to Dickens Tavern.

Make sure to come in costume and celebrate the 3rd annual festival with horror film screenings lasting all day and night. Along with the films, the workshops throughout the day will illustrate the behind the scene processes such as costume and make-up design that effectively suspends our disbelief. This festival will scare the Dickens out of you.

Tickets range from $12 for a single film block to $45 for an all-access pass to both films and workshops. You can purchase tickets here.

The historic Dickens Opera House, built in 1881.
Photo: Sheri O’Hara

Brief History on the Dickens Opera House:

William H. Dickens was a relative of Charles Dickens, wealthy and influential Boulder County businessman, and murder victim. He was a famous 19th Century resident of Longmont whose influence is still evident today.

Dickens began to make Boulder County, more specifically Longmont, his home. In 1876, William married Ida Kiteley, and they had five children. The Dickens family farmed, raised livestock, and acquired lots of land in Longmont. In 1881, Dickens wanted to bring culture to the community, so he built an Opera House, 300 Main St., on a parcel of land given to his father by President Ulysses S. Grant. The Opera House opened for business in 1882, and over the years it housed many ventures. It was home at one time to the Longmont Ledger (local newspaper), Farmers National Bank (which Dickens founded), and in 1885, it served as the home to the Longmont College. Dickens was also a good man – stories are often told how he used to let the homeless stay in the Opera House’s basement if they helped clean up after parties.

Dickens was sitting in his home library reading with his wife on the evening of November 30 when someone from outside fired a gun, shooting Dickens in the back and killing him within minutes. Dickens’ death has always been a mystery. There are many theories as to what might have happened, and many suspects were sought, including Rienzi, Dickens’ son. Rienzi Dickens stood trial for the death of his father in spring 1915, and he was found guilty on May 28, 1915 of second degree murder. For more information on the haunted history of the Dickens click here.