Editor’s note: this is an updated version of last year’s article written by Elizabeth A. Haas.
After two decades slowly incubating in Prague, Halloween is ready to hatch like a gremlin out of his egg-sack.
Czechs already had a witch-burning fest in April (Pálení čarodějnic), and a day of dead souls in November (Dušičky), so maybe they thought their calendar looked grim enough. But the American expat population thinks otherwise, and this year Halloween will be bigger, louder and creepier than ever. Now boasting a pick-your-own pumpkin farm farm, a jack-o-lantern procession and a ball monsters would avoid, the city is truly getting into the undead spirit.
As Kafka said, Prague is one little mother with claws. Don´t miss her getting them out this 31st October.
Nowadays street markets and supermarkets stock pumpkins, and small decorative pumpkins and gourds are sold at florists. If you want to make an outing of it, pick your own at Bykoš Pumpkin Patch near Beroun. The farm has a petting zoo with rabbits, chickens and turkeys, and will be happy to arrange pony-rides, bonfires or face painting. Prague´s pumpkin mother lode can be found at Holešovice Indoor Market (Holešovická Tžnice), which hosts the city´s biggest fruit and vegetable market.
For a festive taste of the USA head to Bakeshop, where those too lazy to cook their own jack-o-lantern innards can buy a ready-made pie.
Culinaria stocks a wide selection of tooth-rotters from around the globe, including American classics. Go to Video Gourmet for a wide range of biscuits, candy and chips imported from the US.
This Prague 10 rental shop stocks wigs, costumes, make-up and masks. Adults´ costumes are 390-890 CZK for a weekend; children´s costumes 290-390 CZK. Payment is by cash only with an identity card or passport. For more unusual costumes you will be asked to leave a deposit. Book costumes up to 14 days in advance by going down in person.
Costumes, props and accessories are bookable in advance by phone or email. Bring a passport or identity card. Adult costumes cost 500-1500 CZK for five day rentals; children´s´ costumes 350 CZK. The deposit is double the price of rental.
Barrandov Costume Rental
If you have a hankering for authenticity and a trust fund, drop in at the country´s premier film costume rental. Historically accurate or antique clothes, shoes, wigs and artillery are stored in hangars at Barrandov, the Czech Hollywood. Costumes are 3000 CZK for hire and another 15,000 CZK in deposit, payable in cash.
A wide array of cheap second hand clothes, many of them ghoulish, can be found at MegaSekáč HQ at Hlavní Nádraží. Competition for prize items can get tense, but there are plenty of bargains to be had by the fearless-of-heart and sharp-of-elbow.
Shop with the Goths, online or in Prague 9. Nosferatu specializes in Goth and metal-ware, with a dash of emo thrown in. The website also promises patches and pendants and studs. Oh my.
Halloween is the busiest day of the year at the gardens with more than 2,000 visitors anticipated. Brave the crowds for an evening of Halloween high-jinx with face painting, snacks, bonfires and competitions. The highlight is a procession of jack-o-lanterns at 7 pm. Kids should come in fancy dress.
Where: South Campus, Botanical Gardens
When: Halloween, 3pm- 8pm
Tickets: 120 CZK for one adult, 320 CZK for family ticket (2 adults and 2 children aged 6-15)
Pumpkin-carving, a haunted house, friendly ghouls and a movie – the Charlie Brown Halloween Special as usual, if the bagelists find their missing copy. We are keeping our fingers crossed. Reserve a table and a pumpkin.
Where: Bohemia Bagel, Masná 2, Prague 1
When: Halloween, 4pm-6pm
Tickets: 100 CZK at the door; to reserve call 220 806 590 or sign up at the shop.
The high number of Americans in Prague 6´s Nebusiče makes it a hotbed for peanut butter sandwiches, talking very loudly and trick-or-treating. Try all three together for some genuine Americana, beginning your route on Nebusicka.
Blaq Mummy Halloween Concert and Costume Party
Moving to a new location at Klub Bunkr, the granddaddy of Czech Halloween parties turns 11 this year. Organizers say; “since 1996 Blaq mummy has been carrying the torch to the castle of Frankenstein and masked monsters come and party their faces off”. Quite. This year Stillknox, Trunkshow and Zeroking join Blaq Mummy. Also promised: the return of DJ Scarecrow; ‘scary-eater theatre;´ blood shots; zombie beer and costume prizes.
Where: Klub Bunkr, Nádražní 76, Prague 5
When: 31st October, starts 8pm.
Tickets: 99 CZK, must wear costume. For online reservation click here.
Halloween Night With Radio 1
DJs Pierre Urban and Filip Týc party in the bar, with DJs Fatty M, Lukas Hulan and Ramazi from Georgia, and Malkao and Schwa from Australia manning the dance club. Underground are bands Dirty Airlines and Apatheia, and Radio 1 DJs.
Where: Chapeau Rouge
When: 31st October, 8pm- 5am
Tickets: Free entry to bar and dance club. Underground costs 80 CZK until 22:45, free afterwards.
LUNA di NOTTE Masquerade
Restaurant and bar LUNA host a masquerade with live music, and, organizers say, “maybe even a magician.” A welcome drink and snacks for free, and a surprise later in the evening.
Where: LUNA di NOTTE. Vězeňská 3, Prague 1.
When: 31st October, starting at 8:30 pm.
Tickets: Free. Call 222 312 999 to reserve a table.
Monster Ball 2009
Hosted by Prague TV and in its seventh year, Monster Ball promises Latin grooves from Maradona Jazz plus sets by DJ Big J, Balthazar and Pat Heart. There will be free food from Subway, Bohemia Bagel, Restaurace Jáma, the Hollow and Fraktal; a raffle and costume prizes. All proceeds go to Auto*Mat, campaigners for a car-free Prague.
Where: Retro Club, Fransouzská 4, Prague 2.
When: 30th October, starting 8 pm.
Tickets: 150 CZK if you are in costume, 200 CZK if not. Buy tickets at the door.