Halloween in Ibiza: 31/10/09

Photography by Annie Peel

Photography by Annie Peel

You’d probably never know it just by looking at me, but Miss W’s favourite occasion has always been Halloween. While I didn’t grow up anywhere that trick or treating took place, I always envied those American kids and as I got older, aspired to become somewhat of a scream queen. When I arrived in Ibiza, I was thrilled of course to realise that Halloween was a Major Event on the social calendar, one that required maximum effort and military like planning precision…

Even more so than frocking up for a night at Pacha in the summer!

Sasha and John Moon at Bambuddha Grove Halloween - Photography by Annie Peel

Sasha and John Moon at Bambuddha Grove Halloween - Photography by Annie Peel

The place to be in Ibiza on Halloween is (and has always been) the hallowed temple-like grounds of Bambuddha Grove, and 2009 was no exception. This year, guests received strict instructions to arrive before 1.30am as the doors would be closed from hereon in – though those in the know will assure you it’s essential to reserve a table for dinner in order to guarantee your group some space to breath and a meeting place later on in the evening, as well as the restaurants famous MediterrAsian delights.

Driving along the San Juan road, there was a huge cloud of smoke hovering over the roof of Bambuddha Grove, illuminated by the not-quite-full-yet moon, looking altogether ominous and spooky – and that was before we were greeted by the car park attendants in monster masks and hoods, accessorised by their obligatory fluoro yellow jackets. Were they actually directing us to an available parking space (and let me tell you they were few and far between by midnight) or was it merely a ploy to lead us to our imminent gory deaths?

Photography by Annie Peel

Photography by Annie Peel

Thankfully, we made it though this ‘stage’ unscathed and the next step was to join the scary hordes (more on that in a minute) on the red carpet, single file only folks as we slowly filed into the very crowded bar. I was overcome with a feeling not unlike waiting to board a roller coaster or enter a haunted house type of amusement park ride – fear, nerves and excitement all mixed together.

Bambuddha’s usual Asian influenced décor had clearly been possessed by something a little more evil tonight, as spider webs, skeletons, masks and all sorts of scary memorabilia draped from the celing, walls, buddhas, trees. At the same time, Ibiza’s one and only fancy dress shop must have been very busy, as there wasn’t a single person inside who wasn’t costumed to the max. From fake blood and fangs to wigs, zombie face paint and even fake animals

The beauty of dressing up on Halloween in Ibiza is that you don’t need to choose a character – you simply need to be SCARY!

And scary they were indeed (check out our galleries for the photographic evidence!). We saw Snow White’s evil queen, a dead ringer for Heath Ledger’s Joker, complete with custom dyed green hair (in fact, Miss W was a little scared that Heath had risen from the grave this Joker was so authentic). There were knives through heads, creepy dolls, a phantom of the opera, pirates of the Caribbean, scary priests, werewolves, witches, skeletons – in fact, anything you’ve ever been scared of and had to convince yourself couldn’t possibly be real… well, it was real and it was right here in Ibiza.

Of course, I’m sure the question you’re all asking yourselves right now is just who did Miss W dress up as? I can’t tell you, or I’d risk revealing my true identity… or would I?

DJ Ryan O’Gorman was spinning some scary tunes in the back bar, which resembled the set of Michael Jackson’s thriller video what with all the ghouls and ghosts dancing their hearts (and brains!) out. Unfortunately, as we arrived the bar in here was closed, meaning we had to do a complete 180 and head back into the cocktail bar – along with the rest of the room – no mean feat in itself!

Eventually the crowd got a little too much for Miss W and the White-ettes, who didn’t want to risk any sweat smudging our make-up, so we made a hasty exit and sped up the road to Aura, who were throwing their own little Halloween soiree.

While the atmosphere was slightly tamer when we arrived, by the time we’d finished our first drink and the local’s fave DJ Antz hopped behind the decks it became very clear that this was going to be another big event indeed, scoring all the overspill, as it were, from Bambuddha after they’d closed their velvet rope and of course, attracting their very own crowd of Draculas, witches, Vikings, cat women, mice and even a few foxy French maids who looked like they’d survived a massacre of sorts – perhaps in all the hustle and bustle of fighting the crowds on the party circuit!

Halloween at Aura - Photography by Annie Peel

Halloween at Aura - Photography by Annie Peel

THE LOWDOWN

THE GOOD: As always, the immense effort literally every single person on the island goes to in order to get into the ghoulish spirit of Halloween was as impressive as walking into the make-up and costume department of a horror movie. Just when you think it can’t get bigger, badder or scarier than the year before, someone always manages to go that one step further… will it be possible to top this next year?

THE BAD: Apart from the obvious complaint, like too many people rammed into a small space instilling a horror movie style death-by-unwilling-asphyxiation fear into the hearts of punters, Miss W’s only other gripe was not being able to decipher who was who underneath all the make-up, masks and wigs! But perhaps that’s a good thing…

THE GOSSIP:
After Bambuddha Grove’s Halloween Bash was rather unceremoniously closed down by the police in 2008, plenty of new contenders for the Halloween crown popped up this year, with restaurants, bars and clubs getting in on the action. But was it worth the effort of staying open when the entire island still flocked to Bambuddha Grove in droves?

Photography by Annie Peel

Photography by Annie Peel