You might have thought that the Danes would have no need for Halloween. After all, on June 23 each year, they are quick to stick a wicked witch on top of a blazing bonfire and party into the wee hours, not to mention the annual Shrovetide festival, Fastelavn, with fancy dress galore and party games a-plenty.
But no – as the beckoning spectre of unbearable winter darkness approaches, the festival of Halloween has somehow been magically stretched to last virtually the whole of October. Tivoli now officially has three seasons: Summer, Christmas and Halloween, and gurning pumpkins are here, there and everywhere. The cynical may put this down to over-enthusiastic commercialism, but perhaps Denmark just doesn’t like to give up the ghost and has wholeheartedly embraced this pagan celebration of the supernatural.
Halloween is, of course, mostly celebrated on October 31 around the world, and this tradition is also still faithfully followed in Copenhagen. For the Halloween purists who have ignored the premature paranormal paraphernalia, here are a handful of events taking place. Some take place on Halloween itself, while others are scheduled for the following weekend. After all, if you’re going to walk the Earth in a state of undead abandonment, what’s a couple of days between ghouls?
Weekend of the Witch
Huset’s Biograf presents the Weekend of the Witch. Starting with a Bloody Mary at 18:00, the 1922 film Heksen is followed by a rare big screen opportunity to see a sinister and sadistic Vincent Price in the 1968 horror cult classic Witchfinder General at 21:30. On Sunday at 19:00, you can see Ken Russell’s controversial The Devils at 19:00.Husets Biograf, Rådhusstræde 13, Cph K; Sat Nov 2, 18:00-23:00; tickets: 70kr, email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve; www.huset-kbh.dk
Hard Rock Café: ‘Little Monsters Ball’
On Saturday morning the Hard Rock Café is once again having a Halloween party for kids, with pumpkin carving, face painting, trick-or-treating and cartoons, plus a brunch that both the kids and adults can enjoy. There will be prizes for the best costumes. Reservations are necessary for this one.Vesterbrogade 3, Cph V; Sat 10:00-12:30; tickets: adults 99kr, kids 79kr
Welcome to the Valby nightmare
Valby Kulturhus opens its gates to hell for a ghoulish encounter with witches, spooks and the living dead. Ghastly guides take you on an unnerving journey in the darkened confines of the Kulturhus corridors to witness four different hair-raising scenes played out by creepy costumed actors and actresses. There are less scary tours for sensitive kids and more macabre ones for daring adults.Valby Kulturhus, Valgårdsvej 4-8, Valby; Fri Nov 1, 20:00-23:00; tickets 25kr; www.kulturogfritid.kk.dk/node/14209
Nørrebrogade, by the cemetery gates
More family fun opposite the screaming yellow walls of Assistens cemetery, the shops of Nørrebrogade host Halloween activities on Thursday. The occasion includes pumpkin carving, face painting, a parade at 16:30 and bargains in the local shops.
Nørrebrogade 84-88, Cph N; Thu (Oct 31) 15:00-19:00; free adm; www.nørrebro.dk
In the name of the father, the son and the holy ghost
Various churches open their doors on Halloween, and evil spirits in the guise of small children in fancy dress are welcome. St Stefan’s Church in Nørrebro has always been much more than just a house of worship. On Halloween evening, the priest will be telling spooky stories to the ungodly sounds of the organ and a ‘Hyggeween’ atmosphere. If you can’t make it to Nørrebro, check out your local church to see if they are also having a Halloween do too.
St Stefan’s kirke, Nørrebrogade 191, Cph N; Thu (Oct 31) 17:00; www.stefanskirke.dk
Hard Rock Café: ‘Adults’ Halloween’
A little later on in the day, it’s time for the grown-ups to let their hair down and party past the witching hour. A best costume prize of two tickets to New York could be yours, so let your creative juices flow and come dressed to scare the living daylights out of the other guests.
Vesterbrogade 3, Cph V; Sat 22:00; ages 18+; free adm
Rave to the grave
Just around the corner from The Copenhagen Post’s office, Undercover Lover is presenting a free Halloween rave in the warehouse atmosphere of Block 66 in Kødbyen. Five DJs from Denmark and Europe will be keeping the music pumping until 05:00. Dressing up is optional.
Block 66, Onkel Dannys Plads, Bygning 66, Cph V, Fri Nov 1, 23:00-05:00; free adm
Culture Box: Welcome to the nightmare
The dancing continues into Saturday at Culture Box. The three rooms have a haunted house atmosphere with a host of DJs ready to make the evening a memorable one.
Kronprinsessegade 54A, Cph K; Sat Nov 2, 21:00; tickets: 70kr; www.culture-box.com
The Irish Rover Halloween Party
Copenhagen’s resident Irish pub is holding its annual Halloween party – with guests encouraged to turn up in costume, with a trip to Dublin up for grabs for the best. Should be a scream!
The Irish Rover, Vimmelskaftet 46, Cph K; Sat 22:00; free adm; www.theirishrover.dk