Making fun of everything you thought you might go to
// Sarah Vitet

With Halloween just around the corner, it's time to decide where to party party party! This year the whole weekend is fair game, which means the events listings are an even bigger nightmare to navigate than usual. Here are some of this year's top contenders that we've carefully evaluated for your perusal.

Halloween at the Waldorf
Friday / Saturday / Sunday / Monday

The Waldorf Hotel re-opened their doors and became trendy last year on Halloween, so they've decided to throw four parties to mark the occasion. They claim to take Halloween very seriously, and to prove it they have a “16 Story Drop of Doom” that you can try. Alcohol plus free-falling? Genius. “The Waldorf is really a great place for parties,” explains Daniel Fazio, the Brand and Design Manager for the Waldorf. “When you come to Waldorf, every inch of the building is packed with cool stuff to see and do.” In addition to the Drop of Doom, there will be carnival games and an erotic holographic theatre (one would hope this means holographic penises, but it will probably just be titties), and they are bringing in REAL ghosts to haunt their hotel rooms (I mean fake ghosts).

On Friday they're throwing a retro dance party with DJ Lady Miss Kier, Saturday promises “an all-star band featuring members of some of the most talented bands in the city … playing dark Halloween classics,” says Fazio (Monster Mash played over and over?), Sunday has Maria in the Shower headlining a show and playing “all your favourite murder ballads” and on Monday, Ice Cream Social is celebrating their six year anniversary with a 50s and 60s-inspired sockhop. So basically, if you watched Pan Am and thought it was the scariest thing ever, then the Waldorf is definitely your Halloween go-to venue.

➼ Recommended Costume: Undead Buddy Holly
➼ Similar to: Halloween Extravaganza at the Electric Owl Social Club

Club Crawl
There are lots of Club Crawls happening, and they are all cleverly titled “Halloween Club Crawl”. The allegedly most popular one is run by Student Tours. You may have seen their lawn signs erected around campus (or laying in the mud), and wondered, “What is that all about?” Well apparently, it's been going on for 17 years and helps thousands of students get from party to party without getting lost.

“The Halloween Club Crawl is your best bet for Halloween because your ticket gets you into FOUR different parties as well as a fifth party on the bus between each stop,” explains Amanda Anderson, Director of Operations for Student Tours. “Costumes are mandatory, so everyone is dressed up, and it is a mobile party that literally takes over the downtown core … It is just a major party atmosphere!” (Which means that everybody is going to be WASTED.)

They note that the Club Crawl ticket includes entry into the Roxy, the Blarney Stone, and Au- Bar, amongst other downtown venues. And it's not just regular entry, it's express entry, complete with drink specials (so that the Club Crawlers can get into the clubs before the other clubbers and buy more drinks to get even MORE WASTED). They also promise contests with major prizes.

Anderson says that “probably the scariest part of our event are the crazy costumes people pull off, or the antics you witness on some of the buses!” (Basically, that means wear a protective chastity belt.) Since clubs always raise their cover fee on nights where more than 33 per cent of the population is likely to go out, namely Halloween and New Years, the Club Crawl seems like it might be a pretty good deal.

➼ Recommended Costume: Terry Richardson
➼ Similar to: Bootylicious Halloween at Gossip

Dooms Night

“Leave your shades at home,” warns the description on the Facebook event page. Not satisfied with regular three-dimensional reality, Dooms Night is Vancouver's first and only intangibly three-dimensional Halloween event. You supply the $100, they supply the 3D glasses. The plan is to put roughly 4500 people in the Pacific Coliseum and keep them there “between 10pm [and] 8am,” so in other words, be ready to party like a mob, and don't forget to bring some stimulants (I mean caffeine).

According to Stanley Ho, the Director of Operations for Solid Events (the company organizing this holographic party), the hefty price is due to the enormity of their vision. “The struggle has always been trying to keep these events affordable for everyone,” Ho says. Aside from 3D images jumping out at people, you can expect to hear some electro music from DJs Showtek, Technoboy, Marcus Schossow, and Arty (Ho refers to them as “world class DJs,” which makes sense because they are all from other countries). This event is also all-ages, so feel free to bring your little brothers and sisters.

➼ Recommended Costume: Richie Rich
➼ Similar to: Halloween Costume Ball at Science World

Parade of Lost Souls Festival

An East Vancouver Halloween tradition, the Parade of Lost Souls once saw 60,000 costumed people walking down Commercial Drive on a family-friendly terror rampage. Funding cuts to Public Dreams forced the event to change structure, with the Secret Souls Walk (as it is now called) leading people through side streets, alleyways, and community spaces. On the walk, participants encounter various forms of entertainment, from dancers and musicians, to street performers and ghouls (yes, ghouls).

After the Walk there is a celebratory dance party/ fundraiser at the Maritime Labour Centre featuring DJs Timothy Wisdom, Rico Uno, MY! GAY! HUSBAND! and Cherchez La Femme; they also promise “delightful” fire performers. The festival itself starts on Tuesday with various workshops for people of all ages.

➼ Recommended Costume: Freaky Fairy
➼ Similar to: Stanley Park Ghost Train

A Rad Spooky Time/Dance or Die
Friday /Saturday
Free – $10

If you like supporting local musicians and DJs and you don't mind dancing (or alternately, dying), then these are the appropriate events for you. According to Natasha Lands, a DJ and organizer for both, they “aren't trying to capitalize on Halloween … When other venues and nights are just stamping Halloween onto their regular nights … we want to create a fun atmosphere, and also create value for peoples' money.”

The Friday event, A Rad Spooky Time (an extension of the weekly Rad Times night), is taking place at the Astoria and has free cover until 11pm, a $500 costume contest, and a candy treasure hunt for free drinks (free candy and free drinks, what more could anyone ask for?). According to Lands, “EXPECT IT TOOO BE RADDD!”

For Dance or Die they promise that the Rickshaw will be terrifyingly decorated for the night, with DJ sets in addition to performances by local bands masquerading as super famous bands (Defektors are pretending to be AC/DC, and so on). There is a costume contest for this, too, with fun prizes like vintage clothing store gift cards and cash.

➼ Recommended costume: Man Leopard
➼ Similar to: Halloween Covers Night at Glen

Restricted: Fetish Halloween

If you're worried the above events won't be sexy enough, this one is actually fetish-themed, which means that your costume should incorporate latex, fishnet, garters, pasties, crotchless catsuits, or whatever makes you look really ready for sex. Unlike most Halloween events where the emphasis is on the costumes, with “sexy” as a byproduct, Restricted is discouraging costumes that are too Halloween-y. “Though full costumes are acceptable for this event, please remember it is first and foremost a FETISH event, so we highly urge all attendees to keep their costumes fetish or kinky in some way,” reads the Facebook event description. So, if you were thinking of wearing one of those big full-body mascot costumes, this probably isn't the event for you. Don't just show up in your underwear, though, as there is $400 in cash for first place in the costume contest (and they reserve the right to refuse entry if you aren't interesting-looking enough).

According to Sylvia Machat, attendee of several previous fetish Halloween nights (when they were known as Sin City), Halloween is a good night for newcomers to the fetish community, as it gives everyone an excuse to get dressed up. “While there is a small dungeon and some people do engage in some kinky play,” explains Machat, “it's generally mostly for show and there's no fucking happening at the event … at least officially, as this is a bar where liquor is served and that combination of activities is illegal in Vancouver – booze & sex, that is.” She explains that it's more of a fetish-themed club night, with the emphasis on dressing up, drinking, and dancing.

➼ Recommended costume: Man Leopard
➼ Similar to: Halloween at Celebrities

Bass Coast Halloween

In Squamish, Bass Coast Halloween is putting on a full-on music festival for the night as an offshoot of the summer Bass Coast Festival. A lineup of electronic and live acts will be performed on two stages, one of which is inside North America’s largest teepee. In addition to music, they are serving local wine and beer with the proceeds going to the Squamish Helping Hands Society (getting drunk is always better when you can feel righteous about it). They are also promising a giant bonfire and seven covered wagons (if you loved playing Oregon Trail, get excited).

According to organizer Andrea Graham, “We transform the venue into a different theme and style each year – it's always a surprise … We bring art into every aspect of the event, and this year we will also have a surprise performance that will utilize the decor.” The costumes at this event are also notoriously impressive (so if you’ve been working on your costume all year, you’re guaranteed to blend right in). As it’s in Squamish, there are shuttles and accommodation options available.

➼ Recommended Costume: Silk Worm
➼ Similar to: ShockOne, Longwalkshortdock and Dark Arps at Five Sixty

// Sarah Vitet, Editor-in-Chief
// Illustration by JJ Brewis

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