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Top Pick: Halloween creeps into Bratislava pubs

Halloween. Bizarre costumes cutting horrifying figures in the night. The contorted, evil faces of the Jack-o-lanterns. Cool October breezes raising the hairs on the back of your neck...
The holiday originated hundreds of years ago in Celtic Ireland, where villagers dressed in ghoulish costumes to frighten away spirits searching for bodies to inhabit. Immigrants brought the customs to the US, where Jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating were added. Since 1989 the spooky Irish/American trimmings of October 31 have come to haunt Slovakia.
This is most evident in Bratislava, where every year more pubs transform into eerie horror houses, with witches and ghosts serving Halloween drinks at special rates. Visitors to these pubs are encouraged to come in costumes. Some pubs give awards for the best costumes. Other surprises await...


Expect a gruesome encounter on October 31.
photo: Courtesy Montana's Grizzly Bar

Halloween. Bizarre costumes cutting horrifying figures in the night. The contorted, evil faces of the Jack-o-lanterns. Cool October breezes raising the hairs on the back of your neck...

The holiday originated hundreds of years ago in Celtic Ireland, where villagers dressed in ghoulish costumes to frighten away spirits searching for bodies to inhabit. Immigrants brought the customs to the US, where Jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating were added. Since 1989 the spooky Irish/American trimmings of October 31 have come to haunt Slovakia.

This is most evident in Bratislava, where every year more pubs transform into eerie horror houses, with witches and ghosts serving Halloween drinks at special rates. Visitors to these pubs are encouraged to come in costumes. Some pubs give awards for the best costumes. Other surprises await...

Umelecká záhrada (Umelka), Dostojevského rad 2, Tel: 02/5296-5854. Umelka celebrates Halloween for the first time. Masked waiters will serve Tequila at reduced rates amid candles and pumpkins. The manager is open to suggestions for expats.

Montana's Grizzly Bar, Michalská 19, Tel: 02/5443-4998. British/Slovak rock band Drink Drank Drunk will perform while the waiting staff, dressed in costumes, serve a Halloween brew. The beer garden will be transformed into a nightmarish graveyard. First drink free for those with costumes. Best costumes awarded bottles of alcohol or barrels of beer.

Duna Gallery, Radlinského 11, Tel: 02/5296-5037. www.duna.sk. Slovak and Austrian DJs mix gothic metal, punk, industrial and death rock. Gogo girls dressed in leather and wrapped in chains dance stageside. A multitude of candles, ghost props and bloody trimmings decorate the underground pub.

Kelt, Hviezdoslavovo námestie, Tel: 02/5441-1589. Around 200 pumpkins scattered in spider webs. Staff serving in costumes. A mixture of rock and pop played all day.

Hystéria pub, Odbojárov 9, Tel: 02/4445-4495. Staff dressed in costumes serve Seagram cognac at a special rate. DJs mix popular disco music all evening. Best costumes awarded prizes between Sk300 and Sk1,000.

17's Bar, Hviezdoslavovo námestie, Tel: 02/5443-5135. Masked staff serve Tequila, B52s, and flaming Baileys cocktails at special rates. Popular rock music mixed all evening.

By Zuzana Habšudová

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