The Seoul Stop's Guide to Halloween
By Micky Miranda
Ladies and gentlemen, fall has arrived! Many people associate fall with hiking, sweaters, and football. Others associate it with...HALLOWEEN!
Halloween is a holiday that is very much rooted in western culture. Ghosts and vampires don't exist in Korea. That doesn't mean that Seoul has nothing to offer for the holiday. In this blog post, The Seoul Stop has tried to provide you with a guide to celebrating Halloween in Seoul. This guide includes:
- Where to Find a Costume
- Halloween for Kids
- Halloween for Adults (the non-party version)
- Halloween for Adults (the party version)
It should be understood that this is obviously not a complete guide. Seoul is a big city. If you have anything to add, don't hesitate to leave a comment in our comments section below.
There are a lot of online sites that sell costumes. Here are 3 good ones:
- Stupid - an online retailer that specializes in party goods and costumes. They have some headings in English, but you have to explore the site.
- Joy Party - another party site that sells Halloween costumes. If you are looking for a sexier outfit, this may be your best option. However, the site is mainly in Korean. You may need a local to help you out, or you may need to use a translator.
- Party n Deco - similar to Joy Party. This site has a pretty good selection.
Hongdae has quite a few second-hand clothing shops. Most of these shops are called 'vintage shops'. Look around Hongdae's shopping areas and you are sure to stumble upon one. If you are creative, there is enough variety here to put something together. One thing to keep in mind, although these are second-hand shops, they are not as cheap as the used clothing stores in western countries. (A used t-shirt may cost anywhere from 5,000 - 15,000 won.)
Seoul Folk Flea Market
This market has been reviewed on Seoul Stop before. It actually is much cheaper than the vintage shops. It is also a great place to spend an afternoon. They have a lot of stalls with a lot of random thing---including used clothing and various props. If you are creative, you will easily be able to put something together.
On the main street--and the small alleys off of the main street--of Itaewon, many vendors set up small stalls with basic Halloween costumes and makeup. Most of these stalls only accept cash.
E-Mart / HomePlus
In the kids clothing section, there is usually a small selection of Halloween costumes. If you are looking for basic items, this is a great place to start.
Dongdaemun and Namdaemun Markets
Both these markets offer a small selection of costumes. The problem is these markets are quite large. If you have the time and know both these markets, then take time to browse. I personally would skip both of these markets if the former is not the case.
A lot of these shops offer a great selection of felt, paper, and other craft materials. I have had friends who went as Cass and Soju. They used felt to make their costumes. It was all done within an afternoon.
Halloween for Kids
During September and October, Lotte World offers a Happy Halloween Party. The park is decorated with a Halloween theme and they also offer a daily parade.
Similar to Lotte World, Everland also has a Halloween themed event. In addition to a daily parade, Everland also has a haunted house. (The haunted house is quite scary, and is mainly for adults.)
Seoul Land has a Halloween Festival with many themed performances and events that complement its usual rides. Take a look at their website as the list is quite long.
Halloween for Adults: Scary/Fun Adult Events
Everland has a great haunted house. Depending on your scare level, you may come out crying (some adults do actually come out crying).
On Halloween night, Seoul Land offers a unique interactive event. It is called Zombie Run. You essentially have 3 flags and there are 7 zones. The goal is to make it through the zones without your flag being snatched by a zombie. The event goes from 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. with an after-party afterwards.
Apart from Halloween night, Seoul Land is also offering Halloween themed performances and characters. Although most of these performances and characters are geared towards kids, there are a few (e.g. The Virgin Ghost) for adults.
Seoul Zombie Walk (October 17 - 3:00 p.m.)
Every year, Seoul has a zombie walk. Every year the zombie walk gets bigger. If you are unfamiliar with a zombie walk, you essentially dress up as a zombie and then 'terrorize' the streets. This year's zombie walk will begin in Sinchon and end up in Hongdae. The event is free and there is an afterparty. There is also a make-up service provided for a small fee. Take a look at their Facebook page (click on 'See More' and the English section will appear).
Halloween for Adults: Party Areas
Itaewon's party usually spills onto the streets. Bars and clubs offer events all night long. Just be prepared for a lot of people.
Hongdae Park offers a great setting. If you are unfamiliar with the park's location, it is close to Hongdae University. If you are looking to mingle with more locals, you should head to Hongdae Park. This is a great place to start. From here, you can head to any of the many clubs in Hongdae. Check out Halloween in Hongdae for a more detailed description of this scene.
In addition to the general areas mentioned above which are great for finding a good time, several spots around Seoul host special Halloween parties. The following is just a small sample of what is available: