Usually, Halloween in Cape Town is packed with all kinds of thrilling, spooky activities, from the annual Zombie Walk to the South African Horrorfest movie festival. This year, for reasons we’re all too familiar with (and thoroughly tired of), Halloween will have to be a more subdued affair…but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Here are some great ideas for keeping the spirits alive this Halloween.
Turn your home into a haunted house
You can go all out and transform your entire home or apartment into a house of horrors or perhaps just do a single room or room-and-hallway combo. The task is to take your perfectly happy environment and transform it into scene from Poltergeist or Saw! A severed limb here, a headless doll there, hairy spiders and cobwebs in every corner, and cocktails the colour of blood…the possibilities are endless! Use your imagination and get crafty. Then, invite your friends/family “bubble” over for an evening in a classic haunted house!
You could even work on a display for outside your home (think: carved pumpkins and unspeakable things made from papier-mâché) so that anyone who drives past will be struck with the spirit of Halloween.
Indulge in a horror movie binge
Rather than lament the fact that you can’t do the usual late-night social gathering this Halloween, why not plan a binge night of horror films? You can even embellish the occasion with Halloween inspired snacks (check out 37 Halloween Snacks That Will Make You Forget Adults Don't Trick-or-Treat for inspiration).
Here are some great ideas for horror movies:
For people who love the classics…
- Psycho (1960)
- The Exorcist (1973)
- Jaws (1975)
- Alien (1979)
- The Shining (1980)
- Poltergeist (1982)
For zombie apocalypse aficionados…
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- Dawn of the Dead (1978)
- The Evil Dead (1981)
- I am Legend (2007)
- Zombieland (2009)
- World War Z (2013)
Off-the-wall horror films…
- Beetlejuice (1988)
- Shaun of the Dead (2004)
- Rubber (2010)
- Zombeavers (2014)
- What we do in the Shadows (2014)
For families with younger kids…
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
- Monster House (2006)
- Coraline (2009)
- Hotel Transylvania (2012)
- ParaNorman (2012)
- The Addams Family (2019)
Seriously scary…in our opinion!
- The Blair Witch Project (1999)
- The Ring (2002)
- Paranormal Activity (2007)
- Insidious (2010)
- It Comes at Night (2017)
- Hereditary (2019)
- Host (2020)
Have a pumpkin carving competition
It’s not such a huge tradition in South Africa but it should be! Head on down to your local fruit and veg city to get your hands on several pumpkins—the large orange ones are the best—and get the whole family or friendship “bubble” to carve scary faces into them. Then, once they’re done, put a tea candle inside your pumpkin creations so that their faces glow at night. Make a competition out of it with a prize for the best winner!
South African HORRORFEST 2020
The South African HORRORFEST is the longest running and only event of its kind in the country (if not the continent) featuring new, classic and rare movies, pre-release screenings, dark literature, live silent film soundtrack performance, Halloween dress-up, give-aways, and more. However, with COVID-19 still a threat, this year, the bulk of the 16th edition of the South African HORRORFEST will move online. To keep a finger on the pulse of the line-up, check out the official website for this much-loved annual Halloween festival!
Cape Town Zombie Walk
We’re hesitant to mention the annual Cape Town Zombie Walk, which attracts to the streets of Cape Town literally hoards of people dressed up like zombies. But from the official Facebook page, it does appear as though this Halloween event is still going ahead (scheduled for Saturday 31st October 2020). If you are keen on attending, you should know that this is an event that draws large crowds of people close together. So WEAR A MASK (or incorporate it into your costume!) and bring hand sanitizer along with you so that you can frequently sanitize your hands. And avoid alcohol so that you can be responsible!
The Cape Town Zombie Walk is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience but with this year’s pandemic still a risk to public health, we urgently advise you to practice utmost caution.