By: Eline Jeanne
That one night of the year is here again, when many of us willingly choose to be scared out of our minds by the macabre and ghoulish. Make sure you’re well prepared with our roundup of easy costume ideas, movie choices and prop stockists for both kids and adults – in short, everything you need to know about Halloween 2015.
Healthy trick-or-treat snacks
Of course, for most kids the very best part of Halloween is the trick-or-treating. But all that sugar isn’t the best for young teeth. Here are some healthier options for serving at home or for handing out to fellow trick-or-treaters:
1. Caramel apples
Rule one: anything covered in caramel tastes good. So cover some red apples in caramel and dress up like Snow White’s evil stepmother, and your Halloween is sorted.
2. Bloody popcorn-filled surgical gloves
Popcorn is a healthy snack, and to make it Halloween-themed, fill some surgical gloves with the stuff. Apply fake blood to the gloves, and the kids will be delighted.
3. Clementine pumpkins
If you peel a whole clementine, you’ll realise that it looks like a cute mini-pumpkin. Stick a green gummy worm through the middle to imitate the stalk, and you’ve got yourself an edible lookalike pumpkin.
4. Bloody lychee eyeballs
What’s scarier than eating an eyeball? Peel and pit some fresh lychees, or (easier) buy a can and drain the liquid. Put a blueberry or a grape in the hole left by the pit, to replicate the iris. Pour a little bit of red food colouring in the cracks around the blueberry or grape and the result is a very scary looking, but delicious, eyeball. You can also put these in punch and serve your guests a drink with floating eyeballs.
Best stores for Halloween candy
1. Candylicious stocks a vast variety of Halloween candy, mainly imports. You’re sure to find an authentic spread at one of the stores in Sentosa, VivoCity or Takashimaya.
2. Sticky specialises in themed rock candy, so look out for its Halloween mix featuring bats and pumpkins.
Not-so-scary films for kids
Scary movies are a big part of Halloween, and there are countless horror films for adults to choose from – or Ghostbusters to fall back on. Here are six suggestions for the little ones, so they don’t miss out.
• The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride were both created by Tim Burton. These animated movies have appropriately eerie Halloween themes, mixed with song and dance. Great for kids seven and up, who’ll have the songs stuck in their heads for days.
• Monsters, Inc. is charming, funny and exciting all in one. The two main stars are monsters, but not the really scary kind, so it’s perfect for little kids. Anyone over the age of four is sure to love this one.
• Casper offers the perfect mix of Halloween and kid-friendliness. Casper the friendly ghost and Kat, a normal teenage girl, quickly become friends and go on adventures together.
• Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie is suitable for all ages; after all, honey-loving Pooh would never scare anyone!
• Hocus Pocus is perfect for pre-teens. It features three witch sisters on the path of revenge.
1. Halloween Night at JWT Kids Gym includes arts and crafts, playing with the multitude of toys and obstacle courses on offer, as well as pizza and drinks. 30 October.
2. As much as kids like to eat treats around Halloween, they’ll have just as great a time making them at the Kids’ Halloween Cooking Soirée at Expat Kitchen. Cook “butter eyeballs” and “mummified sausages”; there’s a Halloween craft corner too. 17 October ($55).
3. Stage For Kids is holding a musical Halloween party for kids aged four to 10, filled with music, storytelling, apple-bobbing and other activities. 31 October. $24.
4. Perfect for kids, the Hollandse Club is holding a hunt for ghosts, mummies, zombies and witches, for five- to 10-year-olds willing to take up the challenge! Haunted Halloween Spooky Night includes snacks, a best costume competition, a disco and a youth-friendly horror movie. 30 October. $28 (non-members).
Halloween Horror Nights returns with a new chapter of attractions based on Singapore ghost stories. In conjunction with local ghost writer Russell Lee, Universal Studios is sure to deliver a night of terrifying fun for adults and children 13 years and older. Check dates for Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows from 2 to 31 October. Universal Studios. Buy tickets online at halloweenhorrornights.com.
Can you run 5km? With zombies chasing you? Returning this year with 10 times more zombies, this race will have you working up a sweat. Stick around for the Halo Rave after-party, 5pm, 31 October.
If you’re a museum fan, then you’ll love the Asian Civilisations Museum’s Halloween event. Starting at 7pm, explore Halloween in a different way though tours, activities and performances. Free. 31 October.
Easy face-painting at home
If you don’t have time to assemble a costume for your child, or to spice up an existing costume, face-painting is the way to go. Pick up some face-paint at any costume store, and try one of these simple templates:
Quick and easy DIY costumes
• Orange T-shirt
• Black leggings (or a black tutu for a girl)
• Black cardboard or felt
• From black cardboard or felt, cut out three triangles (two for the eyes, one for the nose) and one mouth (preferably imitating some missing teeth!).
• Stick your black cut-outs onto your orange T-shirt, and secure with super glue.
• Add either black leggings or a black tutu, and voilà, you’re a pumpkin!
• White sheets
• White face-paint
• White underclothes (a white shirt and shorts will do)
• Optional: old coffee or tea water
• Rip sheet into strips (ripping is better than cutting, for an aged look).
• If you have time, soak your strips in old coffee or tea water; this will get rid of the new white look of the strips.
• Over your white T-shirt and shorts, start tying and wrapping the strips. Make sure to cover the whole body, and make the knots visible.
• Paint your face white, and you’re instantly transformed into a scary mummy!
• A long white tutu for girls, or a long white T-shirt for boys
• Black cardboard or felt
• White face-paint
• From your black cardboard or felt, cut out two circles (for the eyes) and one long oval (for the mouth).
• Stick the cut-out shapes onto your tutu or T-shirt, preferably with superglue.
• For the tutu, wear it right under the armpits, to create a dress-like outfit. For the T-shirt, just wear it as normal, though it looks best when it covers the knees.
• Paint your face white, and BOO!
• Formal white shirt
• T-shirt with Superman logo (if you don’t have one, create the red and yellow logo out of paper and stick it on to a blue t-shirt).
• Glasses (fake ones if you don’t usually wear them)
• Optional extra: necktie.
• Wear the Superman logo T-shirt under the formal white shirt, leaving the top four-to-five buttons open (so that the logo is visible). Tuck the shirt in.
• If you have a tie, wear it loosely around the neck.
• Put on the glasses, hold your shirt open, and go save Metropolis!
Where to buy or rent costumes
Here’s your chance to be any superhero: Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman or even The Incredible Hulk. Rentals from $90. #09-03 Henderson Industrial Park. 6270 1722
Costumes and Mascots
Don’t want to splash the cash? Costume rentals at this shop start from $50 for three days. 779 North Bridge Road. 6299 0882
There’s plenty for everyone here, including vampire, witch and zombie costumes for grownups, and bumblebee, shark and superhero outfits for kids up to 10 years old. 73 Kampong Bahru, #01-01. 6224 8742
This store is crammed with costumes and props – basically, there’s something for everyone. 766 North Bridge Road. 6392 2792
Choose from 20,000 rental costumes, with costume ambassadors on hand to help create the perfect look. Made-to-measure costumes are available too. 84 Joo Chiat Road. 6345 8731
This place has over 50,000 costumes and 4,000 accessories for movie heroes, villains and more. Rentals start at $60 for a standard costume, accessories from $10. General Magnetics Building, Level 2, 625 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh. 6333 9440
Awesome Costumes creates customised handmade costumes, and offers rentals starting from $60. 3 Pemimpin Drive, #03-04E. 9796 0776
Where to buy party products
How can you argue with a store where everything is $2? That includes decorations, pumpkin treat-holders, and an array of toys to give to kids who come knocking. Daiso has 13 stores, including at VivoCity, Parkway Parade and Plaza Singapura. 6376 8065
Stop off here for decorative ware, from skulls to spiders and frogs. Best of all are the tricks and gags, including prank tape, fangs, fart bombs, squirt rings and cockroaches. #02-03 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road. 6875 0430
The outlets in both Holland Village and Raffles City stock everything for a spooky party, from table covers, cups and plates to plenty of tricks.
Well known as a craft mecca, Spotlight sells all manner of decorations, fancy dress, table dressings and all the arts and crafts materials you could ever want or need. Level 5, Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road.
If you don’t have the time to go to a, then check out Bug’s Party. The website offers an extensive range of Halloween props with well-priced shipping.
For a good selection of smaller props at very affordable prices, visit the stores at Tanglin Mall and Ming Arcade. 6887 3384
This story first appeared in Expat Living’s October 2015 issue.