LindyGroove’s 2018 Haunted Halloween Ball: The Best One Ever?

Lindygroove's 2018 Haunted Halloween Ball

On Thursday, October 25th, LindyGroove in Pasadena had its annual Haunted Halloween Ball and it was EPIC!

Granted, LindyGroove’s Halloween parties are always good, with amazing decorations, good music, a huge turnout, and most of all, over-the-top incredible costumes.

Last Year – A Bit Disappointing?

In 2017, I felt that there weren’t as many amazing costumes as there had been in previous years. You might even say I was a bit disappointed, to the point where I decided not to write about it on There was also some grumbling on Facebook – some thought the costume contest winners were not deserving.

None of that was LindyGroove’s fault. It’s just how people happened to dress up that year. And, even a “bad” Lindygroove Halloween party was better than 99% of other Halloween parties in L.A.

This Year

So, I wasn’t sure what would happen in 2018. Maybe people were losing interest? Fortunately, that was not the case! This year’s LindyGroove Halloween was simply amazing, with some of the best costumes I’ve ever seen there!

This year’s costume contest winners were as follows:

A very well-deserved first place went to Princess Peach, Bowser & Mario, from the Mario Bros video game franchise.  Unfortunately I didn’t catch the Princess in this photo but you can see that the Mario and Bowser costumes are incredible!

Lindygroove Halloween 2018 Princess Peach, Bowser & Mario

In second place was Jack Pumpkinhead & his Friend Corn from Wizard of Oz Book 2. They are at the left side of this photo with the Corn partially obscured. In the center and right are the Alice in Wonderland crew, who got fifth place.

Lindygroove's Haunted Halloween Ball 2018

Third place went to “The Mirror has Two Faces”. This was an insane costume!

Lindygroove's Hanuted Halloween Ball 2018

Fourth place went to the wonderful Light Fairy (Charlotte, who always makes it to finals, at the very least!)

Lindygroove's Haunted Halloween Ball 2018

Finally, sixth place went to the Finding Nemo Jellyfish and Marlin and Dory, a great group costume on the left! To the right is a very convincing original Alice in Wonderland crew!

Lindygroove's 2018 Haunted Halloween Ball

All of these were amazing – and even many of the runner ups were deserving. I’m sure it was a difficult task to narrow the finalists down to these six! I mean, check out this robot!

Lindygroove's Haunted Halloween Ball 2018

There were so many great costumes that I didn’t get pictures of. If you do a search on Facebook, you’ll find them there.

Of course, Ben Yau’s Thriller Shim Sham is an annual Lindygroove Halloween tradition not to be missed!

Thriller Shim Sham at the Lindygroove Haunted Halloween Ball 2018

Finally, here’s yours truly and my wife Janette as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Not everyone knew who we were supposed to be, but those who did got a kick out of it. We had a blast. Give peace a chance!

John Lennon and Yoko Ono Halloween Costume

There was a great crowd there, but still ample room to dance!

A packed house at Lindygroove's Haunted Halloween Ball 2018

Some Tips for a Great LindyGroove Halloween Costume

Based on what I’ve seen over the years, here are my tips for a great LindyGroove Halloween costume that people will love:

  1. Start thinking of ideas early
    The hardest part is coming up with a good  costume idea. So, start thinking about it early, like months in advance, if you can. I definitely don’t recommend waiting until the last minute to come up with your costume idea for this party.
  2. Make it yourself – don’t buy it
    The LindyGroove costume contest judges will ask you if you made your own costume, as opposed to just buying a pre-made one. I don’t think they’ll even consider a pre-made costume, given the caliber of home-made ones there.  Note, if you didn’t actually make your costume but you assembled it from different items you bought, that is OK. Just don’t buy a ready-made costume.
  3. Go as a group
    Four of the finalists were group costumes. Plus, it makes it more fun to dress up as a group, you’ll get more visibility, and it opens up possibilities! So, find some friends and brainstorm!
  4. Aim for “fun” rather than “creepy”
    If you want to dance with people, it’s best to aim for a fun costume, rather than something horrific, especially if your face is completely covered with a mask. I’ve seen some really disturbing costumes in the past where you’re not sure who you’re dancing with.
  5. Do something off the beaten path
    When “Pirates of the Caribbean” came out, there were tons of folks dressed as pirates for Halloween. Nothing wrong with that, but the costume won’t be as memorable unless it’s really amazing.
  6. Go all-out
    The winners and semi-finalists put an insane amount of work into their costumes. I’m not saying you have to quit your job and spend a ton of money to create your costume, but try to go the extra mile in whatever way you can. The bar is high at LindyGroove!

If you missed it, there is still time to dress up for some other swing Halloween parties. Be sure not to miss the LindyGroove Haunted Halloween Ball next year!

What did you think of LindyGroove’s 2018 Haunted Halloween Ball?   Please comment below! – Brian

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Gene Hashiguchi
Gene Hashiguchi
5 years ago

Nice review, Brian. There were many excellent costumes that didn’t make the finals that actually won the top prizes at other contests. Other notable items at the LindyGroove Halloween Ball included three very nice backgrounds for taking photos, a trick or treat table with a generous amount of bagged candy, a Blues dancing room in addition to the regular ballroom, and a vendor selling gourmet ice pops. The Ben Yau led “Thriller Shim Sham”. keeps getting better every year as dancers become more proficient doing it. Lance Powell and Vicky Chan along with their crew have to be congratulated on hosting this outstanding annual event. A couple of weeks ago, the Pasadena Weekly listed LindyGroove as being the top reader recommended dance venue in the Pasadena area. Gene