Top 10 Halloween Haunts in Spain
In Catalunya, traditional celebrations begin with La Castanyada, when families tuck into soft, roasted sweet potatoes and panellets – regional delicacies made with marzipan then rolled in pine nuts. On the “Day of the Dead” (the 2nd November), communities congregate around the graves of loved ones past, praying, sprinkling holy water and scattering flowers. This is also the only day of the year one can purchase pan de muerto (the extremely delicious ‘bread of death’).
Pumpkin Electronik (Brunch Electronik Autumn Edition)
Back by popular demand, the Autumn Editions of Brunch Electronik will culminate with a bang on the 31st at Club Nitsa, with a rotating line-up of cracking tunes and a splendid Brunch Feast put on by El Filete Ruso. The group are taking charge of the Autumn menu this month, with juicy breakfast burgers and organic sandwiches ideal for grabbing en route to a DJ set. Expect plenty of tricks and even more treats!
For those still after a good scare Port Aventura host an unreservedly petrifying Halloween spectacular with 12,000 flickering jack-o-lanterns and hundreds of performers poised to leap out of the dark and yell Boo – not for the faint hearted.
This atmospheric Catalan ruin, long since transformed into a show-stopping hotel, is the ideal pitstop on the 31st. The medieval castle is said to have been the home of one of Christopher Columbus’ right hand men and is utterly steeped in history. Think silky black drapes and candlelight flickering off the uneven stone walls. With low vaulted ceilings and moody velvet alcoves, ex wine cellar turned drinking den Cava del Drac is a suitably dramatic lieu for a crispy glass of something – take the whole coven, and drink in the atmosphere!
Castell d’Empordà s/n
17115 La Bisbal
+34 972 64 62 54
For those of an easily spooked disposition, skip the Halloween festivities altogether and head to the Aiguaclara Hotel for a steamy bowl of delicious Pumpkin Soup (‘sopa de Calabaza‘). Less forbidding and more enticing, this hearty Autumnal dish will restore those jangled nerves and remind you why this is one of the loveliest times of the year on the beautiful Costa Brava.
Sant Miquel 2
+34 619 25 36 92
From 5pm on Friday 30th October, head to Pau Casals Tennis, where the “Mansio de la Por” will kick off a weekend of fun events for local families in El Masnou organised by the local town hall. Activities will include a costume competition for the little ones, chocolate tasting, Horror make-up workshop and (from 7pm) the “Tunnel of Terror”, for the very bravest!
On the day of the 31st, there will puppet shows and story time at the Joan Corominas Library from 11am, followed by The Castanyada itself from 5pm in Placeta Ca n’Humet, featuring traditional dances, the arrival of the town’s old chestnut lady and at 7.30pm, the procession of dancing devils and witches through Plaça d’Ocata – spooky fun for all the family!
For home-baked Halloween goodies after the excitement all of those dancing devils and revelry, stop off at Mama’s Muffins on the way home for a batch of scrumptious custom cupcakes, made with love.
Hot on the heels of Sitges’ International Sci-Fi and Horror Film Festival (and terrifying annual Zombie walk) – one might assume that this seafront gem of a town has experienced its entire year’s dose of frights, but not so! There are a plethora of goings on across Sitges this weekend, including the “ Castanyada Terrorifica” at much loved local club New Ricky’s. Boasting an amply stocked “bar of terror” and a photo booth with Ricky’s very own creepy castañera (a traditional Catalan chestnut street vendor!!) – frightening stuff indeed!
C/Sant Pau 25
+34 647 749 154
Known for its team of skilled mixologists, shaking up some of the best cocktails in the region, Freudenhaus is heading over to the dark side this Halloween with a sinister soiree inspired by Eyes Wide Shut. As always, expect creative drinks which double as works of art, with seasonal ingredients and meticulous execution, accompanied by a selection of tempting nibbles and fantastic music. To gain entry, don’t forget to don a mask (the more extravagant the better)!
Avenida de José Banús s/n
Urb Jardines del Puerto Local 6
+34 633 359 934
Scream Halloween Festival, City of Arts and Sciences
Valencia’s Scream Halloween Festival was conceived in a bid to showcase local artists and welcome global music talent to the Spanish city. Set along the central promenade of the city’s futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, there will be several stages dedicated to both Techno and EDM genres. The eerily lit structures make a fantastic setting for dancing under the stars (and with such loud music, nobody will bat an eye should you howl at the moon!)
Back by popular demand, this year’s hair raising Halloween Run will see participants making a dash for their lives over a 6,66km (geddit?) circuit, riddled with terrifying obstacles. Runners battle it out not only for the best time, but the most elaborate disguise, with some spectacular efforts on show each year. Children from 10+ can also take part provided they are with a family group (and aren’t easily spooked). Participants are welcome to recover with plenty of treats in the post-race Party Zone!
Hipódromo De La Zarzuela
Avenida Padre Huidobro s/n
A-6 Km 8
Dining With the Dead
An increasing number of establishments are hosting Halloween themed supper clubs across the capital this year.
Drop by La Candelita for a Dia de los Muertos inspired tasting menu by chef Valerie Iribarren, with cocktail pairings by Nico Smircich – you can’t go wrong with one of his specially ahem, adapted Bloody Marys. Inspired by the Latin American celebrations of the dead, referred to by the chef as “Latino Freestyle”, expect a devilishly good selection of experimental dishes. Those who dare to dress up will be handsomely rewarded with a glass of blood-red vino upon entering.
Alternatively, if you are more inclined to the Deep South’s hearty fare and particular brand of black magic, New Orleans culinary mastermind Matthew Scott’s Gumbo is hosting an eery, VooDoo themed soiree. Complete with table-side tarot card reading and comfort food hailing from Louisiana (think spicy Jumbalaya and other Creole delicacies), all washed down with a (surprisingly piquant) Love Potion.
+34 91 523 85 53
+34 91 532 63 61
Following the success of last year’s event, Bambuddha is set to go bump in the night once again, as the flamboyant host of the island’s most coveted Halloween ticket! The Balinese establishment’s opulent setting, lavish menu and perfectly executed production combine for the most spectacular pagan celebration on the island! Their policy is “no costume, no entry”, with make-up artists available on the night to vamp up your look. Beware, Ibiza’s year-round residents are no shrinking violets – dress to impress and win over the Bambuddah gatekeeper to enter the white isle’s shadowy underworld for this renowned soiree.
For a more family-friendly alternative to the above, park your broomstick at Babylon Beach. With entertainment for the wee-ones including creepy crafts, a Halloween cinema rotating the kiddies classics, bobbing for apples (just like the good old days) and another supremely scary visit from the ubiquitous Cachirulo El Clown.
Ctra de San Juan Km 8.5
07840 Santa Eulalia del Río
+34 971 19 75 10
Barrio Sa Caleta 20
07840 Santa Eulalia
+34 971 332 181