Boo! Halloween parties haunting SeoulThe past few years have seen Halloween fast become a tradition in Korea, especially for those who love to party. This weekend provides plenty of opportunities to dress up as Count Dracula or Elvira and hit the ubiquitous parties, or just get drunk and scare passers-by in the dead of the night.
The expatriate community and military personnel in the Itaewon area have long celebrated Halloween in their favorite pubs and bars, and in recent years Koreans have been joining in on the annual bash. According to our Itaewon Wanderings columnist Mike Ferrin, there are four main parties going on this weekend.
Limelight (02-790-0588) starts early, from 7 p.m. on Friday night; their party is hosted by Seoul Classified and costs 15,000 won ($12). All-night revelers can hang out in Spy Lounge (02-796-9993) and new bars Bric X and Rocky Mountain Tavern, located near 3 Alley Pub, on Saturday. Spy Lounge charges 10,000 won, Bric X costs 5,000 won and Rocky Mountain Tavern is free before 10 p.m. if you’re decked out in costume.
Spy Lounge will award a 200,000 won prize to the best-dressed reveler, while Limelight is giving away a travel package to the Philippines as well as meal coupons.
J.J. Mahoney’s (02-799-8601) at the Seoul Grand Hyatt Hotel has one of the oldest Halloween traditions in Seoul; the club has organized theme parties since 1988. A ticket costs 30,000 won in advance and 35,000 won at the door. There will be live music, dancing and events on both Friday and Saturday. The fun goes on from 6 p.m. until 3 a.m. The Grand InterContinental Hotel’s Hunter’s Tavern (02-559-7619) and Lotte Hotel’s Bobby London (02-317-7091) are also gearing up with special cocktails, food and events on Thursday and Friday evening, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The JW Marriott Seoul’s Di Moda (02-6282-6762~6) will host a “Halloween Masquerade Ball” on Thursday and Friday night from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The 30,000 won admission includes a ghoulish Dracula or Scream mask and a bottle of wine. Prizes for the Latin dance and best dressed competitions include a 500,000 won travel certificate and room certificates at the hotel.
If your theme is grungy macabre then head to Hongdae clubs. On Saturday night, M2 (www.ohoo.net), Hodgepodge (www.ohoo.net) and Joker Red (www.jokerred.co.kr) welcome dancers dressed up for a night of haunts.
M2 and Hodgepodge are offering cash prizes of up to 1 million won for best dancers and dressers. The entry fee at each club is 10,000 won, but the cost of admission at M2 will rise to 15,000 won after 11 p.m.
Seoul’s better-known party planners like Sway (firstname.lastname@example.org) and MK Project (email@example.com) are targeting young professionals on Saturday night.
Miggi Chi of Sway says three floors of the Mr. Chow restaurant in Cheongdam-dong will become a giant haunted house for “Night of the Haunted.” Prizes include fancy outfits from Joop! and cosmetic products. The party lasts from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. and a ticket costs 30,000 won.
MK Project is hosting a sleek Halloween party at Woobar in the W Hotel in eastern Seoul. Expect live performances and a best dressed contest. Prizes include golf clubs, airline tickets and accommodation coupons. The party runs from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.; a ticket costs 40,000 won.
by Ines Cho
Lee Jung-bi contributed to this article.