Spooktacular things to do this Halloween
Halloween is almost upon us, but what exactly is it? Halloween is the modern version of an ancient Celtic pagan harvest festival, Samhaim, which was incorporated by the Early Church as All Hallow’s Eve – the time in the liturgical calendar dedicated to remembering saints, martyrs, and all the faithful departed.
Death is still the underlying theme in popular culture, blending the macabre with entertainment. The A List runs its eye over some spooktactular things to do around Halloween through an arts and culture lens.
Created by award-winning playwright Chong Tze Chien, Murder at Old Changi Hospital invites you to solve the murder of canteen worker Farah Aiyah (played by Munah Bagharib), whose ghost is said to have trapped four Commandos suspected of her murder within the hospital. Fellow paranormal investigator (Bright Ong) is your guide as you sift physical evidence including film footage and flashbacks in the form of 360° videos complete with spatial audio surround sound. This shock-filled sleuthing experience has a rating advisory of 16.
Fright Night at the Museum delves into the tragic suicide of Rose, a Nyonya whose house was left vacant for decades before being turned into a private Peranakan museum. The journey begins at the former Joo Chiat Maternal and Child Health Clinic built in 1907 and traverses Koon Seng Road before arriving at the museum, where paranormal events are witnessed by the caretaker. Amidst the ghostly action you can also discover this exclusive collection of Peranakan treasures.
If you feel a little more introspective, why not curl up with a good paranormal read? Visit the NLB Overdrive website for a selection of chilling stories by local authors. A standout story is Ponti, by Sharlene Teo, which was judged “a triumph” by the Sunday Times of London newspaper and “remarkable” by Booker prize winner, Ian McEwan. Ten Things My Father Never Taught Me won the Singapore Literature Prize for Cyril Wong a few years ago, while Gabby Tye’s Runhideseek trilogy has become a cult hit.
Singaporean writers have made something of a speciality of ghostly tales. Ning Cai’s Savant Trilogy won plaudits from no less a figure than Neil Gaiman, while three-time winner of the Star Readers’ Choice Awards, Tunku Halim, opens the creaking door to twisted minds and various forms of terror in Scream to the Shadows.
If you prefer classic ghost stories of the old school, look no further than A Mosque in the Jungle, a collection of ghost stories penned by the Othman Wok in the 1950s, before he became a pivotal figure in Singaporean politics after independence. See Epigram’s selection of horror and ghost stories here.
Whatever you get up to, we hope you have a spooktacular time (sorry).