Translated from Spanish by Cristina López & Melissa Lyras
Halloween is one of those festivities recently imported to Spain from the Anglo countries (just like St. Patrick’s Day) which show that, so long as it doesn’t involve working, we’re all up for it and which reflects up to what extent we are actually a US colony and will adopt just about any opportunity for a piss-up.
It goes without saying that I’m not a fan of Halloween. Yes, I may be one of those outdated change-averse people that doesn’t like anything that has even a remote whiff of being American, even if I’m writing this on my MacBook sitting in McDonalds (no, I’m not in Scotland). What’s next, celebrating Thanksgiving or the 4th of July?
Like All Saints Day, but more fun
At this time we’d traditionally celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day (the 1st and 2nd of November respectively), which is more in line with our culture of being a Catholic country. But in the end it’s all the same, even if everyone commemorates their deceased and spirits as they wish (and if you’re not sure how you should do it, just look to the Mexicans for inspiration).
Both festivities, Halloween and All Saints, are Christianized holidays that hail their origins from pagan European cultures. At it’s core it’s a remembrance of the thin line that separates life and death, the physical and the spiritual. It’s like a cocktail of the Celtic rites of the end of summer, the spirits from the beyond, the Holy Company and the Christian saints.
Will this be San Anton Market in 2025?
I admit that going to the cemetery with a candle is not the most festive plan, but if what you want is to put on a funny costume then you shouldn’t have to wait until carnival. Halloween is a just one more chance to do essentially the same thing: be something different than what you are in your everyday life. So much is our penchant for playing dress ups that, in many Spanish towns, carnival is celebrated in the winter solstice at the end of December.
What to do in Madrid, whether you’re dead or not
Anyway, I was going to talk about what we can do in Madrid to celebrate Halloween, so here we go:
I propose Cinema, costume, some drinks and good music at Sunset Cinema’s Halloween. It takes place in Palacio de la Prensa in the Callao Cinema and you can choose among three classic films
What is Halloween without a zombie apocalypse? If you agree, Survival Zombie in the Madrid metro is for you. .
More zombies in the Gymkana Friki de Terror (Geeky Terror Obstacle Course) at the Halloween Madrid Movie. Put on your costume and participate in an obstacle course in the center of Madrid.
What about living 7 horror experiences in Madrid’s theme park? Not for children! Check out the Parque de Atracciones Halloween offerings.
If you really enjoy feeling scared and want a true horror experience, check out Caserón de la Familia Dam. You will find lots of different horrific plans, from a special dinner to sleeping in a cemetery.
A hipster in Malasaña. No… he is not in a costume.
Escape rooms. You can choose among the three options they give you in Lavapiés Room Escape Adventures: psychological horror, zombies and the new “Infectus”.
One for kids: Enigmatium, a restaurant where you can enjoy a horror show with magic, humour and good food (and the obligatory open bar for parents).
Do you want to get to know the most horrific parts of Madrid? Sign up for this guided tour through the most sinister corners of the city. Legends and secret passages in La Noche de los Espíritus.
Horror and magic are a great combination in this interactive theatre show for people over 16 years old (read: don’t go with the kids!). You can find this in La Caja del Terror.
It might sound like an excuse but there is a great electronic music fest called HalloWAN . It takes place in La Cubierta de Leganés and, of course, costumes are welcome!
As you can see, October 31st is full of events and activities for everyone if you want to celebrate Halloween in Madrid, so don’t stay home, go out and do something! Above all because…those new neighbours are a bit strange and you never know what they will do when the lights go out…what if Halloween comes to look for you?
So, will you put on a costume in Halloween? Where will you go? Tell us, don’t be shy...