Written by Elizabeth A. Haas
Given Halloween´s allure—it´s the one night a year when you can wallow in the sheer bliss of becoming someone else entirely—and the growing number of expats who call this place home, it´s no surprise that the holiday´s popularity has picked up speed here in Prague. Those who are haunted by the crass commercialism of the American experience may rediscover the joy of a low-key Halloween here; then again, if you´re nostalgic for a good old-fashioned ghosts and goblins freak fest, you won´t be disappointed either. A few tips, tricks, and treats:
“Boo”-tify your pad
Halloween isn´t just about witchcraft—it´s also about just plain craftiness. Hit up one of these shops for an orange and black attack—novelties and decorative items to give your home freakish flare. Supermarkets including Tesco and Hypernova (multiple locations) carry a skeletal offering of ghastly gear—decorations, party favors, and the like. This-n-That (Vodičkova 19), a novelty shop that stocks everything from candles to oddball ashtrays, has a nice selection of Halloween/harvest goodies and pumpkin paraphernalia galore. Venture out to Galerie Butovice (Radlická 117) where you´ll find a seasonal shop devoted entirely to all things creepy and crawly. Your local paperníctví, or stationery shop, is likely to carry a small selection of spooky stuff alongside a handful of wigs, novelty hats, fake noses, masks, and face paint at a nice price. The paperníctví is also the place to go for things like orange and black construction and crepe paper should you find yourself inspired to decorate DIY style.
Carve up some fun
Pumpkins are getting easier to come by in Prague, though they´re still a little on the pricey side and you may have to search until you find one that isn´t a bit banged up. Smaller pumpkins are available at most kvetiny, or flower shops. You may even spot them at street stands in and around the metro. Larger florists will also carry Halloween-themed odds-and-ends like decorative pumpkin candles and harvest scented potpourri. Prague Market Holešovice (Bubenské nábřezi, Prague 7) peddles bigger pumpkins, as do most supermarkets; pay anywhere between 40-200 CZK depending on size. If the selection around town has you feeling unsatisfied, improvise with easier-to-find gourds and melons (especially yellow and green) for a more colorful, though less traditional, menagerie of jack o´lanterns.
A few upcoming events geared toward little monsters blend pumpkin carving with additional atrocious activities. Bohemia Bagel’s annual pumpkin carving and screening of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is a fright-night delight (Saturday, Oct.27, 16:00 – 19:00). Kulturní centrum Zahrada (Malenická 1784, www.kc-zahrada.p11.cz) offers a day of carving (Saturday, October 27th, 10:00 – 17:00) followed by a parade of lighted jack o’lanterns. On October 31st, the Prague Botanic Garden (Nádvorní 134, www.botanicka.cz) will host a pumpkin carving party and campfire sing-a-long. The event begins at 15:00. Children are encouraged to come in costume.
Get your ghoul on
Decorations and pumpkins are all well and good but costumes are at the horrible heart-and-soul of Halloween. Suit up for scariness on the cheap at Karneval (Pluku 7, www.agenturakarneval.cz). Rentals range from 290-390 CZK for three days. For more elaborate costumes you´ll have to pay a deposit of up to 3,000 CZK. Karneval also carries fright wigs and ghoulish makeup. Ateliery Famood (Spálena 7, www.famood.cz) does a brisk trade in flapper, pirate, and pimp get-ups. For historical costumes (princes and princesses, wizards, Egyptan Pharaohs, and more) try Ladana (Opatovická 20, www.kostymy-ladana.cz). Hardcore Halloweenies will be floored by Barrandov Studio´s (Krizeneckeho namesti 322, www.barrandov.cz) costume collection. Chose from an assortment of more than 260,000 costumes, wigs, and accessories. Be prepared, however, to pay a rather lofty deposit. Funding an over the top ensemble may be out of reach for some; this is where the Megasekác (multiple locations) chain of thrift stores come in handy. Oddities like cowboy costumes and clown pants are to be found at the Hlavní Nádraži store.
And just for kiddos: Atelier Féerie (Lumírova 1, www.atelierfeerie.cz) crafts glorious costumes for children; clothing retailer Pinito Boutique (Karlovo nám. 10, www.pinito.cz) sells a handful of masks and costumes. Toy stores like Sparky´s (multiple locations) stock cheap costumes, for both kids and adults, year ‘round, as well as silly extras like pumpkin antennae. The tiniest terrors can also horrify from the neck up with help from Little Clown Face Painting (222 519 465, www.littleclown.com). Their professional face painters will even travel to your fright-night festivities.
Dance like a demon
Got the soul for getting down? Bump, grind, and monster mash the evening away at one of the city´s Halloween hurrahs. On Saturday, October 27th, join Expats.cz at Club Bordo (Vinohradská 40, www.bordo.cz) for Prague´s most long-standing Halloween to-do, the 9th Annual Blaq Mummy Concert, a showcase of bands from the darkside. Before the Blaq Mummy bash, swing by Jama after 18:00 for a Haunted Hospital-themed party with zombie nurses; 80 CZK cover and free bloody sangria entry drink. On Halloween, October 31st, check out another Expats.cz-sponsored throwdown at Radost FX (Belehradská 120, www.radostfx.cz); come in costume—an inventive one that is—and you could land flight tickets from Skyeurope. Or stop into Swank Martini Bar (Havelská 27, www.swankbar.cz) and swing with the well-heeled at the venue´s Swank Horror Halloween celebration. If turntables and martinis are your idea of Halloween hell, the Drop Dead Festival, billed as “The Largest Deathrock and Horror Music Festival in the World” kicks off at Cross Club (Plynární 23, www.crossclub.cz) on Halloween night and continues at Rock Cafe (Narodni 20, www.rockcafe.cz) throughout the weekend. Also on the 31st, M1 Lounge hosts their annual Big J’s Spankin Hallowen Party, featuring a costume contest and more.
Do terror, light
The more subdued will seek out an alternative to ear-bleeding fun. Find it at the Black Light Theatre´s (Václavské nám. 43) latest offering, The Colour Dreams of Dr. Frankenstein, a classic black light theater show with a modern 3D twist. Or check out the Prague Ghost Walk (www.praguewalks.com) which meets daily at the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square at 19:45 and 21:00. Cap your night off with a glass of Dracula´s Blood, a treacly libation available at pubs throughout the city and served in test tube glasses. Hardly a horrible way to spend an evening.