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Halloween happenings

Horror-filled film fest, art, parties and more to celebrate creepiest holiday
Wigging Out DJ one and Johnny Biggs strike a pose at last year's Monster Massive bash, held at Merlin's.

The pumpkin is carved, leaves are raked into piles on the lawn, and a basket of candy stands at the ready by the front door. But when the sun goes down on Friday night, the Halloween revelry begins.

If you haven’t managed to come up with that perfect costume yet, don’t rip the sheet off your bed and transform into a boring ghost just yet. Instead, visit Peak To Party Novelties, where you can pick up a packaged costume, or accessories to finish your look off.

And if you’re on a bit of a budget, or just want to exercise a bit more creativity, head to the Re-Use-It Centre in Function Junction for some second-hand finds.

F As in Frank, a new vintage clothing store, is another great place to dig up a stellar costume. They just opened last fall, and stock an impressive collection of vintage clothing and accessories year-round, but during Halloween, they go all out. They have racks of wild pants, shirts, dresses, robes, over-the-top shoes, and crazy accessories to finish off just about any look.

The store is also sponsoring one of the biggest parties of the weekend — Monster Massive IV. This annual local’s party is organized by Solartribe Soundsystems Underground DJ Collective, so the 300 guests who managed to snag tickets to this sold-out party at Dusty’s on Friday night can definitely expect to be treated to some amazing music. There are eight DJs — Tone, Phroh, Rob Banks, Surgeon, Adam Bomb, Milton, Tim Livingstone, FSU and Goodkid — on the decks spinning the night away with everything from trance to drum ’n’ bass.

“It’s a solid lineup. There’s going to be a lot of DJs and a lot of madness,” Phroh said with a laugh. “…All summer long, people go to our parties and then after a while it gets cold and people get the idea that there’s not going to be a really good party for a while, because of the dead season, and then all of a sudden, ‘oh yeah, Halloween!’”

Organizers are offering prizes for the top costumes, with loads of other spooky surprises in store throughout the night.

And Monster Massive IV certainly isn’t the only big Halloween bash in town — the GLC is renowned for their annual Halloween shindig, and this year will be no exception, with local party queen, Ace McKay-Smith hosting the Ragnaroc party on Friday night, complete with over-the-top decorations and audiovisual effects to wow partygoers. DJ Vinyl Ritchie (aka Captain Howdy), Bad Brian and others will be making music to get the crowd moving.

Before you have a chance to cock an eyebrow and ask, Ragnaroc refers to the historic roots of Halloween, and the Old Norse concept of the doom of the gods. So the GLC will be fully decorated according to theme, and guests are expected to come decked-out. Read: no costume, no entry, even if you have a ticket.

“We put a lot of effort in and we’re able to do that because the GLC is closed,” McKay-Smith said, explaining that she would be able to start transforming the space on Monday.

Anyone who missed out on snagging tickets to this year’s event will have another chance at a night of mayhem at the GLC — they’re hosting a second party this year, on Saturday night.

“Now that it’s a Friday and Saturday, it totally makes sense… because there’s definitely enough people for two nights,” McKay-Smith said.

Since Halloween falls on a Friday night this year, a few bars and clubs have plans to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve all weekend long, and most of them don’t require a pre-purchased ticket.

The Freaky Friday Halloween Bash at Moe Joe’s is a sure thing, with DJ Dakota on the decks, and a $500 cash prize for best costume. And Garfinkel’s is holding their sixth annual local’s Halloween event, the Boo-gie Night Halloween party, with free cover for locals and music by DJ Rosco. Locals can also get in for free, and check out some stellar music by Vancouver’s TMS Crew, at the Monster Mash-up at the Savage Beagle.

Buffalo Bill’s is yet again transforming into a haunted mansion for the evening, and holding a costume contest to top things off.

Finally, Tommy Africa’s is hosting a Vixens and Vampires party on Friday evening, with DJ Rich-A providing the tunes, and a $500 cash prize for the best vixen and vampire costume. They’re also holding Halloween Part II on Saturday night, so if you’re not done with partying, don’t pack away that costume.

Even the Rotary Club of Whistler is even getting into the spirit of things, hosting The Day After Halloween Dance Party at the Telus Conference Centre on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. The evening includes door prizes, a raffle, silent auction, games and music by DJ Diamond Doug.

And parties aren’t the only thing on offer this Halloween — there are some creative activities in store, as well.

Feet Banks is cofounder of Heavy Hitting Films, the creative production team that hosts the annual B-Grade Horror Festival. This is the seventh year for the event, which features short films loaded with guts and gore, and apparently the event sold out in just five minutes, as the submissions are better and more plentiful than ever.

“It’s pretty awesome, actually, because there are so many filmmakers in town, and just the way the festival is, it’s the kind of thing where you are calling your buddies and asking for favours to get your movie done, so basically it’s almost all cast and crew in the room. Everyone in there has a real vested interest, because they put sweat, blood, tears and more blood into it,” Banks said.

The red carpet rolls out at around 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30 at MY Millennium Place, with screenings starting at 7 p.m.

If you’re looking for some healthy, wholesome Halloween fun, WORCA will be hosting the fourth Halloween Loonie race on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m., so expect to see riders decked out in some creative costumes as they make their way along the route.

And for a family-friendly event on Halloween night, catch the Park and Spook bus to the Tapley’s Farm area, which will be closed off to traffic from 5 p.m. onwards on Friday for the fun and safety of trick or treaters. The Shaw Pumpkin Patrol will greet costumed tots and parents at the entrance, and parents are encouraged to set up a safe place to meet their kids in case they get separated. Finally, after the pillowcases are full of sweet treats, head to the soccer field at Myrtle Philip School to catch Nesters’ annual fireworks display, which starts at 7:30 p.m.

Happy haunting!