Looking for something a little less terrifying than another round of campaign ads? How about a Halloween week dose of Franz Kafka, ladled over with a rock opera and topped with a smattering of fright-filled movies at Union Market, E Street and the AFI Silver Theater? Kafka at the Library The author of some of the literary canon's creepiest stories, including "The Metamorphosis," gets star treatment at the Library of Congress Wednesday with "Glimpses of Kafka's Fiction and Memoirs for the Stage." Who better to bring a short film and theater performance musing on the master of Middle European dread than faculty and students from Georgetown University, the setting for "The Exorcist," one of the greatest horror films of all time. Free, at 101 Independence Ave. SE in the James Madison Building's Pickford Theater from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Atlas Electrified Looking for a psychedelic Halloween? Starting Friday, the Atlas Performing Arts Center hosts the Baltimore Rock Opera Society's latest original piece, "The Electric Pharaoh," which the Atlas describes as the story of a "strange boy" who is looking for the secrets of Egypt's pyramids in a "futuristic dark age" ruled by an electricity-hoarding pharaoh and "set to a synthesis of garage rock and larger-than-life electronic sounds." So it's a documentary about Baltimore? (Kidding. We love Charm City.) Shows are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 1333 H St. NE and are available on the Atlas' website .
Friday Night Frights The movies are one of the easiest ways to have the stuffing scared, or laughed, out of you, and Tinsel Town has provided a host of films that D.C. area venues are more than happy to showcase. Union Market at 1309 Fifth St. NE is showing a Halloween-themed movie for its 8 p.m. drive-in series against the market wall. It's a people's choice selection among "Ghostbusters," "The Addams Family" and "Edward Scissorhands." Free for walk-ups, $10 to park.
If you need all day long to prep for All Hallow's Eve, the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Md., is showing the macabre and fun all day long, starting at 3 p.m. with "Sleepy Hollow," and following with "Frankenweenie" at 5:10, "Beetlejuice" at 7 p.m., "Shaun of the Dead," at 9 p.m. and "Rosemary's Baby" at 11 p.m.
If you still have it in you that night, head to E Street Cinema at 555 11th St. NW for one of two midnight movies, "The Monster Squad" or — what else? — "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."