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The spookiest things to do and check out this October

From zombie raves to haunted festivals, we've got you set for Halloween by diving deep into the graveyard of good times and pull out nothing but the finest. 

The Beaufort 

The Beaufort – otherwise known as the undisputed masters of tiki cocktails – have teamed up with their pals over at Stomping Ground to put together one very special, very spooky beer for Halloween. Inspired by the king of tiki cocktails, The Zombie, will be scaring you straight this October.

Dancing between flavours of fresh fruit including between pineapple, passionfruit and lime, they've thrown six bottles of Plantation rum into the mix for good measure. Rounded out with pomegranate molasses, the beer will turn out a ghoulish shade of blood red – the perfect hue for a bev that's been brewed on Friday the 13th and released on Halloween.

Of course, no good deed goes uncelebrated at The Beaufort. That's why they're throwing a big ol' Halloween bash to commemorate the beer being tapped for the first time. Plus, you'll see it mixed into some stellar beer cocktails on the night too.

Ghoulish guests A.Swayze and the Ghosts, kicking out jams so tasty they'll raise punters from the dead just to catch a glimpse. Support comes from Tony Dork and Moody Beaches, playing out back in the freshly renovated David Boon Boom Room.

Prizes will be given out to the best-dressed on the night, so get your finest Halloween garb in order for a shot at free booze. Pro tip: this year's must-have Halloween outfit is to dress up as any Big Brother contestant from 2001 or a former Australian Idol contestant. I'm going as Millsy though, so don't steal my outfit or there'll be hell to pay.

Brunswick Hotel

Hear ye, hear ye: there are three simple commandments this Halloween over at The Brunny – riff, drink and be scary. They're getting in early with a lineup so good it'll scare the pants off of you.

Inside the spooktacular Brunny you'll find a day chocked with top-notch bands and acts. You'll be getting things started with rockers Palmerslum before the likes of TenThousandTaipans bring some of their crusty tunes to the stage from Brisvegas. Capping it off comes some outrageous psychobilly from  Traumaboys before things get meaty from stoner doom rock behemoth GIANT. Closing out the night will be a mammoth set from Cyclone Diablo – perhaps the finest psycho-jazz-doom-metal-punk band in the world (if not the only).

Outside in the Brunny's infamous beer garden you'll find DJ Dan dropping the best of rock, punk, goth, goth, glam and other suitably scary tunes. Naturally, costumes are a must and there'll be prizes for best dressed. And while we're talking costumes, anyone who dresses up as 'Thom from Beat' will get a beer from me. PM your proof to Beat's Facebook account.

Over the past eight years, the venue has gone through its strides to become a thriving free entry bandstand in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, hosting live shows almost every night of the week and giving the opportunity to up and coming artists to cut their teeth on a premium stage. This Halloween is the perfect opportunity to enjoy everything you love about the venue. It's just going to be a little spookier. 

Hardware Lane Costumes

Tell us about Hardware Lane Costumes. Hardware Lane Costumes is a theatrical costume hire shop in the city with a very unique collection. Special due to its history, with items dating back to old Victorian Opera, JC West End and Australian Ballet days, as well as our new collections featuring all the latest film and TV characters that we are constantly updating.

Why should we all engage in Halloween this year? By dressing up in a costume, a person can embody a new character; break away from reality for a moment and step into a fantasy.  Let's try and forget the oppressive forces and dress up as them instead. Subvert the real evil in the world by cutting it down with your Star Wars light sabre or Viking sword.

What do we get to experience at Hardware Lane Costumes? You’ll be personally styled by our in-store costume stylists, all of whom have professional experience in the theatre, film and TV industries. Not only are they professional costume designers and stylists, they also have a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm for whatever weird and wacky character you wish you become.

A moment that perfectly captures what Hardware Lane Costumes do best was? We had a customer recently who worried she wouldn’t fit into anything for a masquerade ball. Given our wide range of sizes we were able to find a beautiful and elaborate gown that fitted her perfectly. Our stylist knew which dress looked the most flattering on her body shape, and the customer was really thrilled with the experience. 

Day of the Dead Fiesta

Day of the Dead is set to weave its festive tendrils through Melbourne once more. But with so many options to choose from these days, which Day of the Dead party should you hit up? Well, I'm here to tell you boys and ghouls. Day of the Dead Fiesta is essentially two parties in one, meaning double the death and double the fun for those who're keen to experience the most authentic incarnation of Mexican culture in Melbourne.

Traditionally, Day of the Dead is all about embracing death in order to celebrate life. In other words, we're all going to die – so we might as well slam some tequila before we kick the bucket. The folks down at Brown Alley will be converting their space into a haunted mansion from 10pm til sunrise, offering two rooms with alternate music. The first will be blazing with Mexican and Latin Inferno Beats, including a live Mariachi band and DJ collective Cumbia Massive. Together, they'll be raising hell with their spicy beats. Over in the second room you'll find The Tech Zombie Town – bubbling with a cauldron of Melbourne's best electronica, tech and deep music that'll have you raving like an extra in Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Capping it off comes a photobooth with a coffin, and a traditional altar with sugar skulls and traditional decorations. There'll also be Mexican wrestling featuring more than 12 professional luchadores and enmascarados (masked wrestlers), face-painters onsite to get you looking the part and a competition for best outfits.

The Old Bar 

When was House of Horror born? We were still the Nightmare on Gold Street house party and during the DJ set the old school hills hoist got crowd surfed out of the backyard and down the street. We looked at each other and knew we were going to need a bigger boat.

A cherished moment that perfectly captures what House of Horror do best was? Last year we spotted Pennywise (IT) and Chihiro (Spirited Away) being best mates and bringing our favourite films and genres together.

Why is it important to continue to celebrate events such as Halloween? These are heavy times. Playing dress ups in a fantasy world for the night is just what the doctor ordered.  

Where do House of Horror turn to for inspiration? Horror movies, red wine and Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

What is House of Horror most proud of? We put a lot of love, detail and effort into creating original sets and props and our guests always bring such legendary costumes. The effort, humour and creativity that goes into them makes us instantly humble and thrilled to death.

Spooktober

Where does Spooktober turn for inspiration? The Event Director lived in the USA for many years and loves the USA Halloween experience. The Halloween experience in the USA is for everyone from kids trick or treating, parties, bar events, corn mazes and the haunted houses. The fully immersive haunt experience is something we have drawn inspiration from. It’s exciting to be able to create the full Halloween experience in one place for Halloween and horror movie loving people.


What do we get to experience at Spooktober?Spooktober is unique because there’s something on offer for everyone. Whether it’s spending the day with the kids trick or treating and playing festival games, braving the horror of Blood Manor and the Doll Factory or getting dressed up and enjoying some great food and drinks with your friends. You’ll find it at Spooktober.

What do Spooktober offer that you won’t get anywhere else? The haunted houses are truly terrifying immersive experiences. As you make your way down deserted hallways, blood curdling screams ringing in your ears, who knows what horrific creatures await you around the next turn.

Why is it important to continue to celebrate events like Halloween? Spooktober was born out of a desire to share and celebrate the fun of Halloween with an Australian audience. Halloween is an invitation to dress up, play games and tricks on people and push your fear limits. It’s always good to get your heart racing every now and then.