Halloween is not cancelled: everything queer happening this spooky season

Ghouls and goblins delight! For Halloween is not cancelled, here are a few ways you can still celebrate the spooky season around Ireland and abroad.

Halloween is not cancelled Two smiling jack-o-lanterns lit up in the dark

Ladies and gentlemen, demons and goblins, I declare Halloween is not cancelled. Yes, we will all have to celebrate this year a little differently, and a lot more safely with masks and social distancing and plenty of good hand washing, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy this spooky season.

So dust off your witches hats, iron that Dracula cape, because here is a list of all the perfectly ghoulish delights happening in Ireland and abroad.

The Kraken Rum’s ‘Screamfest’ returns in virtual guise this Halloween, with ‘in real life’ video game, Starring Game of Thrones Actor, Iwan Rheon

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any scarier, think again… This Halloween The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is teaming up with Iwan Rheon to star in its terrifying new ‘real life video game’ – ‘Screamfest 4: The Kraken’s Revenge’. Using their smartphones or laptops, people will be able to remotely control every move of the Game of Thrones actor live as he is pursued by a horrific creature through a nightmarish real location.

Created by legendary games director John Zurhellen of Grand Theft auto IV and Manhunt 1 & 2 fame, this one of a kind real life video game will be a world first as players will be able to remotely issue commands to Hollywood actor Iwan Rheon and watch him respond immediately on a live video link.

Inspired by John Zurhellen’s illustrious career in creating Hollywood blockbuster-style games spanning almost two decades, the stalker-like game will see fans guide Iwan using a single torch light, directing them through a series of terrifying rooms, tiny cramped cells and damp, well-trodden corridors to safety – before it’s too late! Tense, frightening and chillingly dark, our courageous players must evade The Kraken’s nemesis at all costs.

Iwan Rheon said, “I’m used to playing a character that did all the controlling but now the tables are turned. I’ll be at the mercy of people controlling my every move online from anywhere in the country, sending me from room to room in a particularly creepy location while I’m hunted by a monster. I do wonder how many Kraken fans will send me to my doom and how many will save me!”

Rockstar Games alumni John Zurhellen, whose work on Manhunt 2 was forebodingly described as one of the ‘most gruesome, dark and unique stealth action titles ever made’1 is aiming to deliver similar reviews for his latest nightmare-inducing effort.

John Zurhellen said, “The brief for Kraken Screamfest was simple: come up with a concept more terrifying and warped than anything 2020 has to offer. So, I delved deep into our primal fears – being hunted, tight spaces, dark shadows, hate-filled creatures – and I’m pretty confident I’ll deliver one of the most terrifying experiences to be seen in UK homes this year. On a personal note, I’m extremely honoured to pick up the baton where Neil Marshall left off, so rest assured Kraken fans, I will do your Mighty Beast proud!”

With both The Mighty Beast and John Zurhellen keeping the hideous and horrid storylines close to their depraved, tormented hearts until the launch, fans of The Kraken will have to wait until the launch to find out first-hand what’s in store for those brave enough to go toe-to-toe with The Balthazoid.

How to play

To play ‘Screamfest 4: The Kraken’s Revenge’, visit EventBrite now to snatch a ticket. Tickets are priced at €10 each per 10-minute slot and players will also receive The Kraken’s Survival Pack through their letterbox.

This exclusive offering will include The Beast’s bespoke game-guide, ingredients and just enough delicious Kraken Rum to create an exclusive Halloween cocktail. After all, if you’ve escaped The Beast’s archenemy, received eternal gratitude from The Kraken himself and are revelling in the glory of being an official saviour of human souls…. you’re going to need a delicious cocktail, right?

How to watch

If, like some scaredy-cats, you’re worried you’ll spend more time cowering behind the sofa than teaming up with The Beast to outwit the deadly Balthazoid, then why not watch others play instead? Each slot of the five-day experience will be streamed live, so the terrifying spectacle will be available for all to witness.

The Kraken’s online IRL game, ‘Screamfest 4: The Kraken’s Revenge’ will run from Wednesday 28th October until Saturday 31st October, with slots running throughout each day.  Iwan Rheon will be ‘playable’ from 4pm – 6pm on October 28th and each player will get 10 minutes to remotely control the actor’s every action in the innovative horror experience.

Check out The Kraken’s social channels in the coming weeks via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more news.

Remembering victims of COVID-19

Candles on left for the Irish LGBT Vigil for Orlando Mass shooting on left, Omar Mateen

Dublin City Council is calling on people all over the city and country to light a candle at 9 pm on Halloween night to remember those who have died this year, especially as a result of COVID-19.

In keeping with the ancient tradition of Ireland’s celebration of All Souls, we invite all individuals, families, neighbourhoods, and communities to take part in #alightatdusk.

“This is a simple gesture, linking to the old tradition of Oíche Shamhna, that I am delighted to support,” said the Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu.

“2020 has been such a difficult year for us all and we need to remember and celebrate all those who we have lost. The Irish community has always shown its strength in standing together, particularly in remembrance.”

Working through two core projects, ‘Holding It Together Apart’ and ‘The Dockers & Demons Halloween Festival’, Dublin City Council has partnered with ALONE and both The Department of Rural Development & Community, and The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on the initiative.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to come together and remember, while obviously staying apart,” said Declan Hayden, Community Development Officer in the South East Area. “We encourage everyone to join in and light a candle at 9 pm on October 31st.”


Friends of Dorothy Live Halloween Special

This Halloween the ‘Friends Of Dorothy‘ will be crawling right into your homes with a special live edition of their podcast! Hosted by Candy Warhol and Kiki St Clair and featuring ghoulish guest performances from international drag talent, a special guest interview and their ‘Creature Of The Night’ drag competition!

The Friends of Dorothy Halloween Special comes to you live as part of GCN’s In & Out Digital Festival. More details to be announced soon.


Shudder Street

For all of you horror fans, I present to you your next fan favourite: Shudder Street. The four-part horror anthology series is like no other. Set on a sleepy street in suburban Dublin, each episode looks at individual tales in each individual house. From exorcisms to masked killers, and the vengeful undead, nothing is as it seems on Shudder Street.

Episode one of the series will be released on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 8 PM on the Shudder Street YouTube channel.


IFI Horrorthon

Another treat for you horror junkies is the Irish Film Institute’s Horrorthon. IFI has lined up all of the best horror films that Ireland has to offer.

With a collection of 23 films ranging from horror-comedy to your old school goodies, you can take your pick of either one film, or spoil yourself to all of them with a festival pass. Either way, you’re in for a scary good time. Check out IFI’s Horrorthon here.



BEND Poster

Now if you’re looking for a more drop dead fabulous experience, look no further than BEND. BEND is a new alternative online drag night, and is the antithesis of what people expect Drag to be. Influenced by alternative drag movements like DRAGULA and House of Drag NZ, BEND creates a space where drag performers can explore their darkest ideas without feeling the need to fit the typical drag mould expectation.

Hosted by Punk glam rock Queen Lavender, BEND begins on October 29. Keep up with the latest BEND news on their Instagram.


Bram Stoker Festival

Feel like you’ve been living in a coffin and are just dying to get out of the house? I suggest Dublin’s Bram Stoker Festival. DracuHa!, a walking tour with a devilish difference, is a self-guided audio tour through Dublin, where listeners will be guided by some of Ireland’s most celebrated writers and comedians regaling you with their personal horror stories inspired by Dublin’s fair streets.

If you decide that there’s no place like home, the Bram Stoker Festival also includes a chilling audio theatre experience from the comfort of your bed to creating Macnas puppets at home, the festival has plenty of deadly adventures to occupy little monsters and aged vampires over the midterm and Halloween Weekend. For more information, sink your teeth into the festival here.


International tricks and treats

And finally for all you witches and warlocks celebrating this haunting season abroad, we haven’t forgotten about you. Most haunted houses have now become drive-thru, apple and pumpkin picking is outdoors and socially distanced, and streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ have a group watching feature so you and your friends can watch your favourite Halloween classics together, even when you’re apart.

If you’re in Salem, Massachusetts take a day trip to see where the infamous witch trials took place, or if you’re in Savannah, Georgia, ride on through the Bonaventure Cemetery where the inspiration came from for the chilling Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

No matter where you are in the world, Halloween is not cancelled. Now if only there was a spell that’ll make COVID-19 go away…

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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