Sheriff Leigh Brackett said it first in the 1978 cult classic: “It’s Halloween. Everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”
September’s House of Horror launch at The Rule was a severely understated preview of the shenanigans that occurred Tuesday night. Kinkell Byre was wholly transformed from its pleasant, rustic feel to a spooktacular, strobe-filled venue.
Cobwebs were draped across the wooden beams of the converted farmhouse and bloodied sheets hung from the walls. Upon entrance, guests were greeted—or perhaps, glowered at—by a trio of unsettling girls dressed as children, standing still as statues with teddy bears in their arms. Reminiscent of the Grady twins in The Shining, it was a delightfully creepy start to the night.
Indeed, perversion of childhood motifs seemed to be a recurring theme. Battered and bloodstained Mickey Mouse toys and porcelain dolls decorated the walkway, a frightfully disturbing addition that gave the event all the more character.
Committee members kept rounds upon rounds of their signature blood shots coming in little test tubes, a creative touch that added to the themed decorum —though the Kinkell bar staff could have spared a splash more of spirits to fulfil the inebriation quota of the night. Nevertheless, the bar was constantly packed all evening as guests tripped over each other to bring drinks to their friends, swerving to avoid spilling gin on angel wings or animal tails.
Luckily there was an abundance of food to tide over the drunken masses. Aside from the complimentary treats and sweets scattered across a table, one advantage that overly keen guests had over the more fashionably late arrivals was the promise of free crêpes, courtesy of Ludo and Lolo’s Crêperie. The scent of warm, buttery goodness brought many a costume-clad party-goer flocking over to snag one of the first free 100 crêpes offered by the pair of chefs. Additionally, food trucks were stationed outside offering toasties and bratwurst.
Of course, the event could not have been complete without the incredible costumes. As expected every year, classic Halloween outfit trends like cats and devils that just don’t seem to die out were spotted in high frequency. Several boys wore their favourite sports jersey and called it a day, while others threw a sombrero into the mix.
There was also an interesting selection of creative outfits, including a Scottish highland cow, a carrot, a pepper, and a sheep dressed head to toe in cotton balls. Someone else went nostalgic with a traditional ghost costume, consisting of a single sheet with three holes cut out for the mouth and eyes. A priest and a pair of scantily clad nuns could be seen hovering around the bar beside a group of Vikings. There was the anticipated Hillary Clinton mask, although, interestingly enough, no Donald Trump in sight. Disappointingly, there were no Harambes to be seen either.
No costume was too much or too less; whether you decided to go sexy, comfy, creepy or just downright horrifying (like the person in the pig mask), House of Horror had it all. The £30 ticket, though a significant source of hesitation for those interested in the event, was well worth the cost when taking into account the effort that went into the venue, as well as the free buses to transport the guests there and back. House of Horror 2016 demonstrated an impressive, Walking Dead-worthy rise from the grave that will guarantee its popularity for many Octobers to come.