9 Suggestions for Scaring up Some Fun on Halloween in Asia
From Taiwan to Thailand, you can get in the spirit of Halloween in a glass, at a costume party, in a theme park, or even a cemetery.
Published on Oct 16, 2013
Considering the supernatural beliefs that are widespread in Asia, combined with the many shrines and altars for paying homage to spirits and dead ancestors, every day is Halloween on this continent.
No wonder that the Western day for the dead – an ancient pagan festival known as All Hallows Eve – is celebrated so widely.
Most of the scare tactics revolve around two choices: theme parks given horror-movie makeovers, and upscale clubs where sometimes the most frightening thing can be the prices, and the biggest chills you’ll get come from the frosty glares that the elite give to the less privileged.
But there’s no end of masquerade parties in clubs, bars and discos.
On October 31st even the beautiful people get to look scary, the meek can dress up like Hannibal Lector, and the wallflower turn into Poison Ivy (the sexy villainess of the Batman and Robin myth.)
It’s a night for dropping your inhibitions – or at least hiding them behind a costume, makeup and the evaporating armor of alcohol – to give your personal demons and fantasies a little exercise, all in a safe environment.
To inject a little life into this celebration of the dead, here are some suggestions for high-spirited high jinks.
1. Halloween Horror Nights
Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, October 14 to November 3
Those chill-seekers who have toured the original Universal Studios in Los Angeles have seen the sinister house from Psycho, the animatronics shark from Jaws, and many other dark delights.
All that special-effects wizardry is on full frontal assault at the Universal Studios Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa.
This Halloween a trinity of terror awaits visitors with three female ghouls in the form of a sexy young vampire who is the Daughter of the Undead, an evil Chinese opera singer, and an old crone of the forest. All three are looking to lair innocents into their chamber of fiendish horrors.
With Haunted Houses, Scare Zones, Chill Out Zone, and even photo ops with lookalikes of the twisted sisters, this is a carnival of frights. The rules state that, “No food, drink, laser pointer or video or photography is allowed. However screaming and crying is fine.”
2. Haunted Hotel
Mansion 7, Bangkok; daily, 6pm to midnight
In Dawn of the Dead, George Romero’s sequel to the ghoulish godmother of all zombie flicks, Night of the Living Dead, the action unfolds inside a shopping mall. What Romero intended as a snide comment about mindless consumerism has been taken to an extreme degree at Mansion 7 in Bangkok.
This horror-themed mall is a retail graveyard now. All the stores and restaurants, even the only legal sex shop in the city, are shuttered, though a cocktail bar prevails.
Every Halloween the Haunted Hotel comes back from the dead to scare the daylights out of nightlifers. Too scary for children, who are not allowed inside, the Haunted Hotel’s backstory revolves around a greedy businessman who built the hotel in spite of all the paranormal activity. After multiple deaths on the premises, there’s hell to pay for anyone who enters.
To calm your nerves after you exit, quaff a drink at the bar called Cocktail. On the Halloween menu you can order a special vodka-heavy beverage called “Suicide” that comes served in a water pistol.
3. Hong Kong Disneyland
Are you ready to take the park’s “Scream No More” challenge? They will certainly test your tightlipped sense of courage or lung power with such brilliant attractions as “Revenge of the Headless Horseman,” with its reenactment of the Sleepy Holler legend, and the “Sideshow Carnival Extraordinaire” that stars X-men-like mutants such as Inferno, the Crystal Temptress, Bat Boy and Siren of the Skies, who have been blessed and cursed with paranormal powers.
Harry Potter fans will thrill to the Graves Academy, a school for the black arts gone terribly wrong, where wizards of woe run amok and you can take a major in terror and a minor in fear.
There’s also the newly opened, high-tech “Mystic Manor” where guests travel on the “Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage” through an assortment of exotic oddities amassed by the eccentric adventurer and collector Lord Henry. When his cheeky pet monkey Albert unwittingly opens a music box, marvels and horrors are unleashed.
4. Oskar Asylum
Oskar Bistro, Bangkok, October 31, 7pm till very very late
Oskar Bistro are collaborating with those doyens of dazzling events from the Biz-Art Alchemy team to turn the club into a ‘60s-style lunatic asylum (in this part of Bangkok that’s not as much of a stretch as it may seem).
Richard Wilson, the Picasso of flesh-painters, will be creating a variety of beautiful monstrosities from zombies to mummies to all sorts of mutants in between, as 30 such characters get their freak on.
The French-style bistro with its casual dining vibe and outdoor terrace, not far from Q Bar and the recently closed Bed Supperclub, also makes a convenient launching pad for those who prefer their spirits in a glass.
5. Rocky Horror Picture Show Party
W Taipei, Friday, October 25
Camp and vamp it up for the biggest costume party of the year at W Taipei with its Rocky Horror Picture Show theme party. The musical, with its characters like the transsexual Dr. Frankenfurter, and rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack of tunes like the “Time Warp,” is a cult classic.
To keep the party rolling, DJ Parvenu (the spin-doctor duo of Damian Boylan and Jonathan Daltrey from the UK) will pump up the action. Also on hand will be Make for Ever, professional makeup stylists to provide a touch-up service for those revelers who get a little too sweaty on the dance floor.
The most “haute-fied” costume will receive a room or restaurant voucher from the hotel, and great deals on champagne are the order of the night.
6. Nights of Fright
Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur, October 19, 19, 25, 26, 31
From amusement park to nightmare scape, Sunway Lagoon will be inhabited by all sorts of monsters roaming around themed areas such as the “Wild West Ghost Town” and “All Hallow’s Cemetery” and “Fun Fear” scare zones, as well as a new horror maze called “The Mummy’s Revenge – Tomb of Terror.”
The Scream Park area is going to host a big display of Halloween pumpkins carved into horror idols and a stage with magicians, dancers and an undead fashion show.
The park warns potential visitors that the attractions are too extreme for those under 12.
7. Supernatural Night Out
The Mira Hong Kong, October 25
One of Hong Kong’s most stylish hotels is hosting a stylish party for fashion vampires with a taste for Louis Vuitton not blood at Room One.
Supernatural Night Out won’t win any prizes for originality, with its costume contests and theme décor, though they are also having a competition for “freakiest dancer” with HK2,000 worth of dining vouchers up for grabs. Time to do the “Monster Mashup.”
On the wheels of steel are Yao, Black Bart, VISA, and the resident (evil) live band from Room One.
For those with less means but more guts, getting to pose as one of the city’s beautiful people for a night has never been easier. Just remember potential Cinderellas that the fake Ferrari you’ve been talking up will turn back into a pumpkin (or just a taxi) by 2am.
8. Sentosa Spooktacular
Singapore, October 20, 25, 26 and 31, November 1 and 2, 7pm to 11pm
The horror movie remains one of the most bankable genres in Southeast Asia. In this region, Thai directors are the titans of terror.
Five of the country’s best fright flicks have inspired the main theme areas in Fort Siloso. GTH, the producer behind the screams, is also producing Sentosa Spooktacular.
Of the films, Shutter inspired a Hollywood remake. Coming Soon uses a dead movie starlet to frame some terrifying action. Body takes autopsies and forensic science to a gruesome extreme. Dorm is a supernatural riff on a young victim of bullies turning the tables on them.
And Pee Mak, released last year, has now become the highest-grossing Thai movie of all time. It’s a sometimes chilling, sometimes funny reboot of the most popular Thai ghost story of all time.
Bloodhounds are sure to search out these cheap chills.
9. All Saints Day
The Philippines, November 1
Halloween is the eve before All Saints Day, celebrated as the Day of the Dead throughout Mexico and Latin America.
In the predominantly Catholic Philippines it’s a national holiday and a day for families to gather in graveyards to pray for their deceased loved ones. Throughout the day people come, bringing flowers and food, to offer and honor the dead. Some spend the night, singing, playing cards, and sleeping beside the tombs.
All Saints Day, as celebrated across the archipelago, is a moving reminder that the original meaning of such festivities is being beautifully maintained.