Goth culture descends upon Tacoma

// Celebrate the macabre this All Hallows Eve at Le Noir Bizarre

  • (Photo courtesy of Kevin Ray Jones)

  • Le Mort Magnifique. Deadly Nightshade Botanical Society (right) will perform and sign copies of their new CD.

With all due respect to flesh-eating ghouls and knife-wielding maniacs at Halloween time, there is a comparatively more subtle, artistic and ancient aspect of All Hallows Eve that will be celebrated in Tacoma on Oct. 30.

Le Noir Bizarre, as the event is called, is a one-day-only “bizarre bazaar” celebrating art, fashion, culture and entertainment of gothic romance and the steampunk sub-genre of science fiction in which phantasmagoric technologies meet dark Victorian-era fantasies. Admission is free, but guests are encouraged to help support Le Noir’s charity partner Standup For Kids Tacoma, which works to help end the cycle of youth homelessness. Le Noir Bizarre vendors will also be donating proceeds to this chosen charity.

Held in the antique library inside Sanford & Sons from noon to 5 p.m., this all-ages gothic market brings together dozens of local artisans, artists, entertainers and performers. The event is the mad creation of Julia Jones, owner of the very successful shop A Little Touch of Magick located on the middle floor inside Sanford & Sons. She’s had to expand her store since opening a year ago, so she feels ready to have the official grand opening during Le Noir Bizarre, which she founded in order to bring something edgier and “a bit more bizarre” to T-Town for her customers and the general public.

“I want to give South Sound artists and vendors an outlet to make money and be successful,” she said, “and I want to make a lot of money for Standup For Kids.”

Located just beyond the green doors of Sanford & Sons’ entrance at 744 Commerce St., Le Noir Bizarre features oodles of shopping opps:

  • Andrea’s Ouija Boards she makes from a 150-year-old walnut tree
  • Odd and monster dolls from Devout Dolls and Dr. Frankenstock’s Precious Creeps line
  • Unique T-shirts, cards and prints by Fiddlebones;
  • Coats and cloaks by KinShan
  • Vintage and recycled neckties and bowties by Haute Under the Collar
  • Leather masks and accessories by Tormented Artifacts;
  • Perfume oils by Varuca’s Vault
  • All kinds of other weird stuff courtesy of Stormblood Curiosities….and much more.
  • Performers and entertainers will be on two stages and throughout the mall, including an appearance from Rain City Hearse Club in front of the Broadway entrance.
  • Among these obscure, odd and wonderful attractions are:
  • a Victorian tea party hosted by The Tea Works accompanied by literary readings from classic horror literatue
  • musical selections from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” performed by a live cast from Blue Mouse Theatre
  • a beer and wine tasting (21 and over only) by Abby’s on Broadway featuring gothic-themed wine and seasonal beers
  • selection from “Phantom of the Opera” performed by local musical theater students
  • Fire performances by Eros, who expresses the beautiful symbiotic dance between flame and human through devices and props including an 8-foot bullwhip
  • “Photo in a coffin” photo booth sponsored by Rain City Hearse Club with proceeds benefiting and Standup For Kids Tacoma
  • Tarot readings by Lady Demitra and tea leaf readings by Madam Lazonga
  • a special FX make-up charity booth hosted by local artist Jordan Peavler

A major highlight will be live performances by Deadly Nightshade Botanical Society, a popular Tacoma-based steampunk-themed band that’s just released their fourth CD titled “Carnival of the Poisoned Rose.” The CD will be available for sale and for signing by band members.

Be sure and stop by A Little Touch of Magick as well. There you’ll find an extraordinary collection of romantic gothic gifts, fashions, hand-made jewelry and accessories.

“I cater to the grown-up goth girl,” says Jones. “If you work at a bank, for example, we have clothes for the corporate goth to work in the real world. That’s my niche.”

At shoppers can find even more goodies – including prom dresses for girls up to plus-size 28 and things that aren’t on the store’s shelves.

For more info visit


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