VIDEO

Ker-ching, as more Singapore businesses cash in on the spirit of Halloween

Halloween might have started in the West as a way to honour the dead, but in Singapore and many countries, it has become an excuse to dress up, make merry and party. -- PHOTO: RAZOR TV
Halloween might have started in the West as a way to honour the dead, but in Singapore and many countries, it has become an excuse to dress up, make merry and party. -- PHOTO: RAZOR TV

Halloween might have started in the West as a way to honour the dead, but in Singapore and many countries, it has become an excuse to dress up, make merry and party.

An increasing number of businesses here are jumping onto the Halloween bandwagon. Malls get zombie makeovers; tourist attractions offer haunted houses and ghost walks; eateries serve Halloween menus, and supermarkets stock Halloween merchandise.

A quick check on the website Halloween.sg reveals there were more than 10 major events and parties happening on the weekend before Halloween.

Some people busking in the festive mood told RazorTV last weekend that they had turned up as they enjoyed the horror theme, and found it was a great opportunity to hang out with friends and have fun.

But for an event that is not a real holiday here, has Halloween become just an excuse for businesses to cash in - much like Valentine's Day?

Mr Godwin Pereira, co-founder of bistro and lounge The Vault, which organised a circus-themed Halloween party, felt Halloween is in line with his establishment's pitch.

"It's all about escapism. Everybody wants to be something different. That's what The Vault really provides for," he said.

Mr Sam Lee, who helms the annual Sentosa Spooktacular, felt it was natural for businesses to offer Halloween-themed events since there is a demand for them.

This year, Spooktacular held its Asian horror theme by teaming up with GTH, the Thai film studio behind popular horror movies Shutter and Pee Mak. It brought in film props from Thailand to turn Fort Siloso into a horror theme park. It is expected to draw 15,000 visitors this year, up from 10,000 last year.

Mr Lee, director of island business at Sentosa Management, said: "The fun element is a priority for our guests. They just love paying to get scared and laugh. If Halloween did not exist, would Spooktacular carry on? Maybe in the 7th month?"

And it's not just cafes offering quirky Halloween menus. French fine-dining restaurant St. Pierre at Quayside Isle in Sentosa Cove will also get into the mood on Halloween night itself.

It is offering diners a six-course dinner based on the supposedly ominous number 666. Chef and owner Emannuel Stroobant said it was an idea that came out of the kitchen, and that his staff enjoyed creating new dishes for the night, complete with spooky decor, actors and dancers, as well as smoke machines.

However, he promises there will be nothing Halloween-ish or "crazy" about the food itself. Instead, "the way it's plated" will be really interesting, he added.

Some people RazorTV spoke to also feel that while Halloween is becoming too commercialised, the choice ultimately resides with the consumer if they want to join in the fun. Watch the RazorTV clip above to find out what they have to say.

bryands@sph.com.sg