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Misteri Jam
Photograph: Mediacorp

The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in Singapore

Trick-or-treating, ghost stories, creepy trails, and more, this is your guide to the spooky holiday

Written by
Time Out Singapore editors
&
Cam Khalid
Contributor
Cheryl Sekkappan
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Let your freak flag high on October 31 when the world welcomes hell – we mean, Halloween. But why October 31? The spookfest originally started over 2,000 years back as the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain (pronounced 'sow-in') in Ireland. It marks the end of the harvest, welcoming new beginnings on All Hallows' Day on November 1. However, the superstitious Celts believed that the baddies from hell would descend onto earth for a day of carnage on All Hallows' Eve. What a nightmare.

Nowadays, instead of hiding in the corner of your bedroom, Halloween is a great excuse to get your freak on. Singapore may not have the orange autumn season, but we sure have 'em pumpkins. From scary escape games with ghosts of British Occupation past to a hellish indoor activity park, it's time to dust off your witch's hat, summon the coven, and party (safely!) past the witching hour. Here's your guide to a devilishly good Halloween.

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in October

Brave the dark events

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Set sail on the spookiest cruise ship this Halloween – the four-masted 22-sail luxury tall ship Royal Albatross will be changing it up from its usual luxe vibes to a distressed look, complete with tattered sails – a fitting ode to Sentosa's dark past. The tall ship will also be bringing back the popular Ghost Ship Cruise and The Barkest Night, a Halloween-themed dog cruise this October. In case you're wondering, it is indeed a reference to the Batman movie The Dark Knight in which the Royal Albatross features in for a cameo moment. 

Howl-loween Dog Cruise: The Barkest Night, October 27

Gather all your pup friends and come celebrate the very first Halloween dog costume party on a tall ship happening for one night only. Savour a lavish three-course dinner alongside your dog who will also be digging into a specially prepared fancy feast. All packages include a welcome mocktail, free-flow soft drinks, and a goodie bag filled with treats to bring home. You'll be having a howling good night!

Prices start from $175 per pax, get your tickets here.

Ghost Ship Cruise 2021, October 29-31

Leave all your mortal worries behind on the mainland and hop on the Ghost Ship Cruise for a night of spooky fun out at sea. The excitement begins as soon as you step aboard the cruise, where you will be greeted by a specially concocted mocktail. Afterwards, pull up a seat and partake in a delightfully ghoulish three-course Halloween-themed dinner. Make sure you come dressed for the festivities because there will be a mystery prize (worth $200!) awarded to the best-dressed partygoer. The Halloween night is not complete without some proper screams and scares – pay a visit to the Haunted Captain's Cabin after hours if you dare. 

Prices start from $195 per pax, get your tickets here.

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Stream and scream

After Dark
Photograph: Mediacorp

After Dark

Available on meWATCH

Standout Wattpad stories make it to the screen in After Dark, an anthology series featuring hair-raising stories by Singaporean horror writers. Encounter familiar figures from your darkest nightmares, including pontianaks, the penanggalan, nasi kang kang, and the ox-head and horse-face guardian of hell. Follow a different protagonist every episode, whose regular life gets overturned by the supernatural – that could just as easily be you. 

Misteri Jam 12
Photograph: Mediacorp

Misteri Jam 12

Available on meWATCH

If you're an avid follower of the popular radio show MJ12 Gerun Malam on RIA 897, you'll be glad to know that its spine-tingling tales have now been adapted for the screen. In Misteri Jam 12, six terrifying stories shared by radio listeners have now leveled up in the fear factor – thanks to chilling visuals and sounds effects on the  drama spin-off on meWATCH, as well as the curated podcast version on meLISTEN and Spotify. 

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Marma Medai
Photograph: Mediacorp

Marma Medai

Available on meWATCH

Some of the best horror stories we know take place in radio stations – which sounds promising for Marma Medai. This Tamil drama series revolves around the up-and-coming radio RJ Samar who comes up with a promising new concept called Marma Medai for the night belt at Innisai 90FM. As the show gains popularity, strange things start happening around Samar, events which seem tied to the recent death of the station's radio star RJ Vedhika, and to the Marma Medai show itself.

Soul Reaper
Photograph: Mediacorp

Soul Reaper

Available on meWATCH

This Chinese supernatural drama follows Soul (Ian Fang), a handsome Soul Reaper whose job is to transport the living to the afterlife. Less of a horror flick than a moving drama, Soul Reaper examines the choices that individuals make when faced with death. 

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Folklore Season 2
Photograph: HBO GO

Folklore Season 2

Available on HBO GO and HBO

The HBO Asia Original horror anthology series Folklore is back with a second season of frights. Travel to six different Asian territories – Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore to explore deeply rooted superstitions and myths. Each episode is directed by a local director from that terrority, so expect contextually rich and psychologically compelling stories. The second season premieres November 14 at 10pm exclusively on HBO GO and HBO. In the meantime, catch up with Season 1 on meWATCH

 

Walk down spooky lane

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If exploring tombs is your kind of thing, get on a Bukit Brown walking tour by All Things Bukit Brown is a loose group of volunteers, promoting the heritage, habitat, and history of Bukit Brown Cemetery.

Spooky stories Of course a cemetery more than 90 years old would have some tales to tell. There are many stories about pontianaks haunting the place and sightings of wandering spirits, perhaps of those who are buried there so if you're up to meet some spooky characters... 

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  • Changi 

Although it's known for being a sleepy town in the corner of Singapore, Changi has a rich history that goes way back to the days of World War II. Hop on an informative tour with the award-winning group, Journeys

Spooky stories Where do we begin? Changi's home to Singapore's most haunted place – Old Changi Hospital. The place might be a hotel now but it had been abandoned for a long time and known to be haunted those who died there when it was a wartime hospital. Just down the road is Changi Beach where the Sook Ching massacre happened. 

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  • Things to do
  • City Hall

Explore the many nooks and crannies of Fort Canning Park and its many colonial-era relics, learn more about the paramount roles it played in the defence of the island and even before the British arrived, when it served as the residence of Malay royalty with guided tours by Battlebox

Spooky stories Many have said that they felt like they were being 'watched' in the park and there's also the huge creepy tree in Fort Canning Green that exudes spooky vibes, especially if you're hanging out in the park around dusk. 

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Popular with joggers and water sports enthusiasts, Bedok Reservoir is an 88-hectare park in the east. The reservoir is a converted sand quarry but it also hold some dark secrets. While there are no official tours, you can explore the public park easily on your own. 

Spooky stories With so many mysterious deaths surrounding this body of water, there will be strange stories. One of the more chilling ones is the drowning of a mother and young child – and they were dressed in red. Best to keep the jogging in the morning.

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  • Things to do

In a land-scarce city that hardly sleeps, even the dead can’t always find a proper resting place. We wander across the island in search of the most haunted places. Take note, while some are free and easy for you to explore, some of these spots are located on state land or private property so we wouldn't recommend checking it out – lest you get caught by something scarier than the ghouls: law enforcement. Happy hantu-hunting.

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It's a modern world we live in now with advanced public transportation systems and super-futuristic buildings, but we're still the most superstitious people around. Our irrational belief in all things supernatural means age-old superstitions remain. From the ridiculous to the ones that hold some sort of logical explanation, let's talk superstitions.

Wear a scary mask

Ministry of Costumes
  • Things to do
  • Quirky events
  • Bukit Merah

For the best collection

One of the longest-running costume shops in Singapore, Ministry of Costumes has a huge collection of costumes you can pick from, whether you're a baby or an adult. With over 30 years of experience and 25,000 costumes for rent, enter fantasy worlds and magical realms without busting your budget. Rental starts from as low as $20 for three days so get perusing for Halloween already. 

  • Shopping
  • Bukit Timah

For last-minute simple costumes

For over two decades, Party With Us has provided a one-stop party solution for customers in Bukit Timah Plaza. On top of the usual decorations, balloons, and party supplies, the store also has a neat collection of costumes for adults and kids. While the collection may not be large, you can get classic costumes like a ghoul and a knight.

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Customade Costumes and Merchandise
  • Shopping
  • Fancy-dress
  • Rochor

Best for retro threads 

Founded in 1998, CCM has built a reputation for its tailor-made costumes. Whether you're looking to rent costumes in bulk or buy made-to-measure outfits, or want some maintenance work done on your costume, just talk to the folks here. Your best option is to head down to the shop and trawl the shelves yourself – who knows what you'll find. For retro costumes, its wide range of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s gear is more than satisfactory.

Pan-In-The-Box
  • Shopping
  • Fancy-dress
  • Raffles Place

Masks galore

Most might know Pan-In-The-Box as a cosplay shop, after all, it has been around since 2003 and frequently participates in anime and cosplay events in Singapore. Come October, the shop gradually fills up with masks, wigs, capes, and all sorts of scary props you might need to embellish your Halloween outfit. There are costumes for both adults and children available for rental and purchase along with children-friendly animal masks. We even spotted a realistic rubber pig's head sitting on the top shelf – talk about freaky!

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Awesome Costumes
  • Shopping
  • Fancy-dress
  • Bishan

Best for custom-made outfits 

It may have a heck of a tacky name, but the people at Awesome Costumes are serious when it comes to custom-made costumes. The company specialises in character and themed costumes, but it's up for almost any challenge you might have. Depending on the complexity of a request, it can take up to two months to complete a costume. So if you have something specific in mind, get your requests in early.

  • Shopping
  • Fancy-dress
  • Raffles Place

Best for pop culture pieces 

Step through the doors and you’ll be greeted by an entire world of weird and wonderful costumes. From outfits to accessories to latex prosthetics for DIY wounds – whatever character you’ve got your heart set on this year, chances are this store has you covered. However, if you just want to have a quick browse for inspiration, its entire catalogue is computerised in-store, so you can easily see what’s available. Suicide Squad, superheroes, princesses and Game of Thrones outfits are just a few in its impressive range. 

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  • Shopping
  • Fancy-dress
  • Kallang

Best for Halloween classics 

Don’t base your opinion of this place on its website: it doesn’t do it justice. The store is deceptively big – one small doorway leads to another massive room. The walls are overflowing with wigs, wings, masks, helmets, an extensive array of cowboy hats and lots of bling, including a giant dollar sign necklace. It specialises in mascot costumes (think Adventure Time characters and animal outfits), and it's especially popular during Halloween as it offers a wide range of the classics: zombies, witches, vampires and pirates with props to match.

  • Shopping
  • Fancy-dress
  • Marine Parade

Best for sexy costumes 

Halloween doesn’t have to be all about horror and gore: it can also be a night to let loose and embrace your fun or sexier side. Dimac Glam and Glitter stocks an extensive range of costumes – make as if you're from the renaissance age, a beer maiden, pirate or fairy  – available in adult versions (read: all with very short skirts). It also stocks men’s and children’s costumes, with sizes ranging from toddler through to plus-size.

More things to do this Shocktober

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  • Things to do

We love our creepy stories in Singapore. Sharing ghost stories and spooky encounters is a great way to bond with people. And we're blessed with heaps of content. From NS experiences to urban legends, here are some popular entry-level local ghost stories you should know before going to that Halloween party

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It's unexplainable, but sometimes you just know there's something extra spooky about your hotel room. The vibe may be off, you may be paranoid, or there's just something going on – and you can't figure out what. The seventh month may be over, but Halloween is unto us, and who doesn't love listening to spooky stories? Snuggle up and brace yourself, because we've rounded up real-life stories from some hotels in Singapore. Just a friendly disclaimer: you may sleep with the lights on tonight. 

RECOMMENDED: The creepiest haunted places in Singapore and 8 abandoned places in Singapore and the stories behind them

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  • Things to do

In a land-scarce city that hardly sleeps, even the dead can’t always find a proper resting place. We wander across the island in search of the most haunted places. Take note, while some are free and easy for you to explore, some of these spots are located on state land or private property so we wouldn't recommend checking it out – lest you get caught by something scarier than the ghouls: law enforcement. Happy hantu-hunting – and remember to wear a mask while you're at it.

RECOMMENDED: 10 local myths and superstitions that every Singaporean should know 

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