Halloween in Cape Town

by biltong101

old zombieSouth Africa doesn’t seem to be too big on Halloween in the traditional sense. Perhaps you can find kids walking from one household to another asking for sweets but I haven’t encountered any. I’d assume that because of safety issues (both paranoiac and factual), it wouldn’t be the case. However, the marketing people use Halloween for their purposes and you do receive all the “frighteningly good” or “fangtastic” offers in you mailbox during this period. There are also numerous Halloween themed events organized nationwide.

Halloween is my personal favorite. I don’t know whether you know that about me but I’m a massive thriller/horror/suspense fan. I even used to contribute to one of the biggest zombie websites in Poland, writing about movies. This is why I’m quite bleak that this year me and my husband are moving during the Halloween weekend (again!!!) and I cannot fully participate in the celebrations. Enough about me, though! Let me give you a quick breakdown of what’s worth attending during the Halloween period.

First of all, the City of Cape Town has been hosting an annual Zombie Walk since 2009. Zombie virgins: a zombie walk means a bunch of people dressed up like zombies walking around groaning and roaring for shits and giggles. Even if you’re not willing to dress up yourself, it’s actually quite a fun and occasionally scary event to watch. This year’s zombie walk will be taking place at 6 o’clock on the 28th October. The starting point is 11 Mechau Street. Don’t get confused by the mentions of cover charge on the web: the zombie walk itself is free. You only need to pay if you want to attend the after party. You can find other details about the event here. I try to pop in to the walk annually to at least take a few snaps. Below you can see some of my pictures from the 2012 event.

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If you’re already dead inside and up for a dress up party, you’re quite spoilt for choice. For instance, you can release your inner clown at the (apparently) Ultimate Halloween party, MCQP Presents Halloween. This year, perhaps not surprisingly, the theme is IT. I hope the organizers haven’t overestimated the maturity of potential participants who hopefully won’t be too scared to attend an event, where their childhood fears come true. If you’re not ready to face your traumas, you may opt for the Day of the Dead party at HQ. You’ll find plenty of tequila and Mexican tapas there to help you cope with your existential angst. I don’t know why you’d like to go to Decodance or Gandalf’s but just FYI they’re also hosting Halloween parties on the 28th.

For horror movie fans there’s an annual SA Horrorfest Film Festival at the Labia Theatre (25th October – 3rd November). You can see both new and old movies during this event. A definite highlight of the festival are the screenings of silent movies with the live soundtrack of Makabra Ensemble. Last year I saw “Vampyr” with their music and it was a really fun experience! This year you can see “Metropolis” at 21:30 on Saturday, the 28th of October. My other personal favorites are short movies, which give you a nice variety of horror sub-genres. This year there will be three parts of such screenings. You can learn more about the festival and check the exact schedule here. Another movie option is the Galileo screening of “The Dawn of the Dead” at Bloemendal Wine Estate. I guess, it isn’t very exciting for real horror fans who can recite all dialogues from this movie backwards. Fortunately, there are some new releases at the cinema as well. If you haven’t seen “IT” yet, I recommend you go watch it and then never go to the circus again. Another scary movies you can see on the big screen at the moment are “Annabelle: Creation” and “The Snowman”. If none of this is to your satisfaction, you can always opt for a scary movie at home. I’ve discovered, for instance, that “Gerald’s Game” (another Stephen King’s adaptation this year after “It” and “The Dark Tower”) is available on South African Netflix.

I know that the choice of events on this blog is not comprehensive and rather subjective but no one pays me for it so I can do what I want. Still, I hope that my short guide will help you celebrate Halloween in style.

Are you big on Halloween, Dear Reader? What’s your favorite horror movie? Please also don’t be shy if you need some suggestions for scary movies to watch or books to read. I could talk about them for hours!