Call it the "Nightmare Before Christmas" curse, if you must, but Halloween is challenging Christmas' supremacy as the nation's most blown-out, over-marketed and hyper-monetized holiday.

It's even reached into the arts. Where dance companies once depended on confections like "Nutcracker" to subsidize their more edgy endeavors, the Odyssey Dance Theatre has made a danse macabre its annual cash cow with its spooky "Thriller" performances.

If you've sat through a few "Nutcracker" performances, you'll agree: This is a good thing.

What better way to get into the trick-or-treat mood than watching dancers evoke Frankenstein's love story, celebrate serial murderers, traipse about with chainsaws or gyrate in the beloved classic "River of Blood Dance."

To make it extra creepy, "Thriller," like its anti-matter counterpart "Nutcracker," incorporates child dancers—nothing's as unsettling as a toddler ghoul.

ODT will perform "Thriller" at six locations this year, ranging from Park City to St. George.

September 28th – October 7th – Egyptian Theatre, Park City 435/649-9371, www.parkcityshows.com

October 5th and 6th - Weber State University, Val Browning Center, Ogden 801-626-8500, www.weberstatetickets.com

October 10th – 13th – Covey Center for the Arts, Provo 1-801-852-7007, CoveyCenter.org

October 10th – 30th - Kingsbury Hall, Salt Lake City 801-581-7100, www.kingtix.com

October 19th & 20th – Utah State University, Kent Concert Hall 435/797-8022, http://arts.usu.edu

October 24th – 31st, Tuacahn Amphitheatre, St. George 800-746-9882, www.tuacahn.org

Check www.odysseydance.com for discounts and information.