Dust off those flashing devil horn headbands and sharpen your knives to carve pumpkins - Halloween season is here.
But wait, you may want to go more high-tech than that - have a zombie laser tag experience at Halloween Horror Nights .
Held at Universal Studios Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), the popular Halloween event is breaking new ground as it uses "brainwave technology" for the first time.
In this new experience, which costs $38 a person (apart from park entrance fee), teams of four will work together to fend off and "kill" deranged zombies in infested areas.
One participant will put on a headband that can sense this person's level of focus. During the quest, he will have to concentrate his thoughts on a door in order for the door to open, so that his team can proceed to the quest's next level.
Mr Jason Horkin, 42, senior vice-president of attractions at RWS, says: "This is the most technologically advanced edition. There are many zombie laser tag experiences available in the market and the incorporation of brainwave technology takes the scare factor to a new level of engagement."
Halloween Horror Nights, which launched in 2011, is among many Halloween events taking place across the country.
HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 7
Five haunted houses, two scare zones and two live shows await partygoers at this event at Universal Studios Singapore.
Where: Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway
When: Till Oct 29, from 7.30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
HORROR HAUNT: SCHOOL OF HORRORS
Participants will make their way through spine-chilling school-themed rooms to uncover clues and solve a mystery involving a dead school girl. The first 75 people each day who solve the mystery will each win a Cathay Cineplexes movie voucher
Where: External atrium, The Cathay, 2 Handy Road (Wednesday to Oct 22); basement 1 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, 8 Grange Road (Oct 26 to 29)
When: 6 to 10pm
Admission: $10; shoppers can also present a minimum of $5 same-day receipt from The Cathay or Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, or a ticket stub from Cathay Cineplexes
MUSEUM OF HORRORS VII: VENGEANCE
Back for its seventh run, this year’s event features the story of a girl and her thirst for revenge. Expect to visit a backyard with graves everywhere, a bathroom where you might hear cries for help, a master bedroom with something mysterious lying on the bed and more
Where: *Scape, 2 Orchard Link
When: 4 to 10pm (Oct 21, 22, 28 and 29); 6 to 10pm (Wednesday to Oct 20, Oct 26, 27, 30 and 31)
From haunted houses that can raise the scream-o-meter to 11, to spooky dance parties perfect for those wearing sexy succubus outfits, to milder family-friendly events, there is something for everyone.
The second edition of the Singapore Halloween Festival, held at Downtown East this year, will feature a Monster's Ball dance party, a zombie maze challenge and Singapore's first Halloween run at a water park.
The entertainment hub also has a virtual-reality experience, where guests can immerse themselves in four scenarios, such as a zombie apocalypse or a mission through the underworld.
Downtown East's general manager, Mr Ronnie Tan, says that about 2,000 thrill seekers attended its Halloween events last year.
He adds: "Downtown East has always refreshed our offerings to ensure that the thrills continue to excite our guests. Singaporeans are still looking for creative and fun ways to celebrate Halloween."
In response to this demand, malls, nightspots, and businesses are also gearing up with their own Halloween-related activities.
With the scene getting more crowded in recent years, even Halloween Horror Nights, which many say is the premier event of the season, is upping the ante.
The event, which does not reveal attendance figures, will feature five haunted houses, two scare zones and two live shows.
This year, close to 500 scare actors are involved - up from 280 in the first edition in 2011 - and they will take on roles such as zombies, ancient Chinese empresses and witch doctors.
Guests can also expect more cutting-edge technology, science, stagecraft and daring stunts in this year's edition, adds Mr Horkin.
Observers say it is the event's constant renewal and fresh programming that set it apart from most other Halloween events here.
Ms Sheila Sim, 46, a senior lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic for its leisure and events management diploma programme, says: "Universal Studios Singapore has the resources and infrastructure to offer a unique and exciting product year after year.
"There will still be niche opportunities for other attractions, but Halloween Horror Nights is undoubtedly the most successful event of its genre in Singapore."
Mr Michael Chiam, 56, a senior tourism lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, says: "The space allocated to Halloween Horror Nights is larger than that of the other events in Singapore.
"This year's event also has more than seven attractive themes - each with a different fright level - and visitors are drawn to the thrill and excitement."
Business development executive Adeline Koh, 24, has been to Halloween Horror Nights three times - in 2012, 2013 and 2015 - and will most likely attend this year's edition too.
She says: "I always look forward to see the sets, props and make-up of the actors."
Events manager Jasmine Nera, 23, has not decided what to do, but will plan something with her friends soon.
She says: "I'm quite a party animal so I usually end up celebrating more at the clubs with my friends than anywhere else."
For party lovers
Singapore's first cashless bar and club - Get Juiced - will be hosting its first Halloween event, where it promises to have three bone-chilling attractions: a butcher's shop, his slaughterhouse and a cold room filled with hanging body bags.
Where: Get Juiced, 02-01 Clarke Quay, 3E River Valley Road When: Oct 28, from 7pm Admission: $25 (includes one drink), free entry for those in full costume before 10pm
TRUE ATTICA GHOST STORIES
Staff of this nightclub will share dark tales of its building as well as unexplained sounds heard and "things" seen by staff working after the nightspot's operating hours.
Where: Attica, 02-05 Clarke Quay, 3A River Valley Road, When: Oct 28, 10pm to 4am Admission: $30 (includes two drinks)
CE LA VI HALLOWEEN WITH CIRQUE LE SOIR
The rooftop nightclub at Marina Bay Sands will partner London nightclub Cirque Le Soir to present a repertoire of wondrous acts, featuring dauntless sword swallowers, bizarre clowns, bold contortionists and exotic dancers. They are supported by the sounds and beats of Ce La Vi's resident DJs.
Where: Ce La Vi at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3, 1 Bayfront Avenue When: Oct 28, from 10pm, Admission: From $48 (includes a glass of premium pour)
CARNIVAL OF THE ABSURD
Lulu's Lounge's first Halloween party will be themed around a Coney Island freak show, with roving characters and wacky stage performances.
Where: Lulu's Lounge, Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Boulevard When: Oct 28, 9pm to 6amAdmission: $30 (no drink included)
Expect to come face to face with monstrous mummies and devious queens as the Bang Bang nightclub transports partygoers to an ancient Egyptian tomb, and tells the story of an undead queen's revenge.
Where: Bang Bang, Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Boulevard When: Oct 27 and 28, from 10pm Admission: $35 (includes one drink)
AFTER DARK HALLOWEEN SPECIAL
Kilo Lounge moved from Kampong Bugis to its current premises in Tanjong Pagar last year and this is its first Halloween event at the new location. Partygoers will make their way into the venue through a creepy haunted house, to a fun party in the "safe zone", which is the club.
Where: Kilo Lounge, 21 Tanjong Pagar Road When: Oct 27, 10pm to 3am; Oct 28, 10pm to 4am Admission: $50 (includes one drink)
THE WHITE RABBIT'S HALLOWEEN 2017: CASTLE HARDING
The Lo & Behold Group's annual Halloween party returns to The White Rabbit restaurant and bar, which is converted from the former Ebenezer Chapel. For the party, the place will become "Castle Harding", a portal to the Middle Ages, with lords and ladies, dragons and demons, sly seers and nefarious alchemists seeking the secret to eternal life.
Where: The White Rabbit, 39C Harding RoadWhen: Oct 28, from 10.30pm Admission: Free
CREEPIN' IT REAL
At W Singapore's night pool party, the hotel will be transforming its outdoor pool area into a spooky den for the night. This year, the event will also have a haunted bus, with spooky surprises and hidden prizes, such as dining vouchers, drink coupons and a one-night stay at the hotel.
Where: W Singapore, 21 Ocean Way When: Oct 28, 4 to 10pm Admission: Free, $69 (all you can drink from 4 to 7pm)
THE LABORATORIUM OF HORROR
Zouk will undergo a transformation into a blood-curdling and gut-churning laboratory, with heinous deposits of body parts and grisly organs strewn all around the club. The laboratory's diabolical scientist, the twisted Dr Gore, will seduce revellers with the promise of an unforgettable experience.
Where: Zouk, 01-05 Clarke Quay, 3C River Valley Road When: Oct 28, 9pm to 4am Admission: $55 (includes one standard housepour), free entry for the first 100 people in full costume
THE UPSIDE DOWN
If you are tired of the typical scary school uniform, nurse or vampire costume, head to this Netflix-themed party at Canvas Club. Go as a character from a Web television series such as Stranger Things or Orange Is The New Black. Boogie all night to your favourite throwback hits.
Where: Canvas Club, B1-01 The Riverwalk, 20 Upper Circular Road When: Oct 28, 10pm to 4am Admission: $20 (includes one drink), free entry for those in costume
THE LAST HOUSE ON EMILY HILL
This event at Emily Hill promises to be an alternative Halloween experience. There will be Halloween-themed cocktails at Kult Kafe, as well as a maze by Kult Studio & Gallery set in the eerie and historical 19th-century colonial house on the hill. This maze borrows the structure of a typical haunted house, but without the bloody guts and scare actors.
Where: 11 Upper Wilkie Road, Emily Hill When: Oct 27, from 7pm Admission: $15 (includes one drink)
For kids and families
A TALE OF FRIGHT OR FLIGHT
A spookylicious range of activities for shoppers can be found at The Seletar Mall this Halloween season.
On Oct 29 at 1.30pm, the mall aims to set a new record in the Singapore Book of Records for the largest number of painted pumpkins.
That same day, shoppers are invited to come dressed in Halloween costumes to take part in the Spooky Masquerade Contest. Winners stand to win more than $5,000 worth of SPH Malls vouchers as well as take a photograph.
From Monday to Oct 28, those who spend a minimum of $20 in a single-day receipt also get to enter a "fright house". This experience is suitable for those aged 12 and older; parental guidance is advised for those under the age of 15.
Where: The Seletar Mall, 33 Sengkang West Avenue When: Till Nov 5 Admission: Free
EXPLORERKID'S HALLOWEEN SPOOKTAKULAR PARTY
Take part in a trick or treat parade, Halloween games and a best dressed competition at this children's party.
Where: eXplorerkid @ Downtown East, 1 Pasir Ris Close; and eXplorerkid @ AMK Hub, 53 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 When: 2 to 5pm, Oct 21 and 29 Admission: $35 (NTUC and eXplorerkid members), $45 (public)
ACM AFTER DARK - THE PECULIARS
Asian supernatural beliefs come to life at the Asian Civilisations Museum's well-loved annual Halloween offering, which this year is inspired by notions of the strange and the peculiar.
Be thrilled by activities and performances inspired by the objects from the galleries. Hear haunting tales in the galleries, strike poses at the dress-up booths and make your own spooky souvenir to take home.
Where: Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress PlaceWhen: Oct 28, 7pm to midnightAdmission: Free
SINGAPORE HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL
This festival was first held at Fort Canning Park last year and its second edition will be held at Downtown East. It consists of a Monster's Ball dance party, a zombie maze challenge and Singapore's first Halloween run at a water park, on Nov 4.
Where: Downtown East, 1 Pasir Ris CloseWhen: Oct 28 and 29, Nov 4 and 5, noon to 10.30pmAdmission: $40 to $80 for adults, $30 to $80 for children
HALLOWEEN FAMILY NIGHT OUT
This family-friendly event at KidZania will feature immersive sets where participants can enter and listen to stories. There will also be Halloween make-up booths, spooky savoury foods and a best dressed competition.
Where: KidZania Singapore, 01-01, 31 Beach View, Sentosa When: 7 to 11pm; Oct 27 and 28 (sold out), Nov 3, 4 and 5Admission: $45 (adults and kids aged three and older), free (infants aged two and younger)
TRICK OR TREAT
This is the first Halloween dinner at The Ritz-Carlton hotel. Its restaurant, Colony, will be transformed with decorations and its hostesses will be in costume. There will be a photo booth, a trick or treat door, as well as face-painting for the little ones. There will also be an international buffet selection, as well as handcrafted desserts such as pumpkin pie, a live candy apples station, spooky cupcakes and witch fingers.
Where: Colony, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Avenue When: Oct 28, 6.30 to 10.30pmAdmission: $98 for adults, $49 for children, prices include a Halloween-themed mocktail and unlimited pours of fruit juices and soft drinks. Adults can pay an additional $30 for unlimited prosecco, wine and beer.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2017, with the headline 'Bring on the zombies'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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