Halloween Down Under

Here at Calypso Backpackers, we love fancy dress. There’s practically a new theme each week, be it for a birthday, leaving do, or public holiday. As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, Halloween was no different.

It was a full-day event at the hostel, starting with a murder mystery for guests and staff to solve. It just happened overnight… when we woke up there was a body on the floor of our common area.

We were encouraged to follow clues written in blood on mirrors and photos of potential suspects on some of the doors, but who was the killer? It was nearly impossible, but I’m sure you can guess who figured it out: Matt, of course. He can never resist a good challenge or puzzle and had it completed before I got back from work to join him.

“I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly.”
– Elizabeth, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

With the rest of the hostel fully decorated in cobwebs and caution signs, it was time to get ready. Halloween music played throughout the speakers to set the mood.

We spent a few hours together sharing drinks and makeup while trying to scare each other. Once everyone was dressed and ready, it was time for the spooky photo booth!

There was a wide range of costumes, and everyone went all out. You wouldn’t believe that some were bought only using items from a charity/secondhand shop. My costume came to $9, including the basket and cape.

As more people started to arrive from Mad Monkey Backpackers Village, it was like night of the living dead in Calypso.

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“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.”
– Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Matt made special themed drinks for the bar, and we highly recommend noting these for next year. They were a huge success:

Dark ‘n’ Stormy: Kraken black spiced rum, ginger beer and lime
Poison Apple: Fireball cinnamon whiskey and apple cider
Monster Mash: Jagermeister and cranberry juice

For anyone not wanting alcohol, there was blood red and monster green coloured juices available, featuring eyeballs, zombie heads, severed hands and a few spiders. Yum.

“It’s all just a bunch of hocus pocus!”
– Max, Hocus Pocus (1993)

With the murder mystery solved, the party started. There were a ton of games to be played and prizes to be won, including:

Best Dressed: Our friend Colin won for his Rambo costume.

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Toilet Paper Mummy: A Halloween Classic. Well done Alex!

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Bloody Eyeball Race: In a team of 4, you stand in a line with a bowl in front of you. Using only your mouth, move 6 eyeballs from your bowl to the next in line. The goal is to be the first time to get all the eyeballs in the end bowl.

Balloon Pop: You have a balloon tied to your leg, the last person with a balloon wins. Our girl Maddi got this one!

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I’ve never experienced a HOT Halloween, and the humidity in Cairns was almost unbearable. Back in Canada or England, you could never wear a cute, short costume like that because it would be too cold. There were a few years growing up where there was already snow on the ground and I had to wear a winter coat under my costume!

I felt bad for the boys who had worn long-sleeve tops and trousers. Those with face-paint didn’t last the night, but it added to the creepy, undead factor.

“Being normal is vastly overrated.”
– Aggie Cromwell, Halloweentown (1998)

Unfortunately, Matt and I didn’t plan our costumes together. Matt was the Joker (from Suicide Squad). Creepy, right? He really looks like the character.

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It suits him so well, and Matt went as far as laughing and reciting lines from the film. All of his tattoos were drawn on by hand, using liquid eyeliner. From the 8 tattoos, white face paint and green hair dye, Matt has been a colourful mess for a few days!

I went as Little Red Riding Hood (emphasis on the LITTLE). My friend John was the other half of my costume and went as the wolf. While he almost ate me a few times throughout the night, I slayed him in the end.

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“It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”
– Sheriff Leigh Brackett, Halloween (1978)

The night ended with the witching hour, after many more photos, poison apple cocktails and Halloween sing-alongs. You couldn’t imagine the mess that was left for the morning after… fake blood, balloons and toilet paper was everywhere.

Shout out to Clem who organised the event at the hostel for everyone. Calypso had the best party in town. Our Halloween down under was a different kind of experience, and the people we celebrated with are what made the day so great! Next Halloween, I hope to go a little scarier/gorier, and just maybe Matt and I will finally have matching costumes.

PS I hope no one has Christmas decorations up already. Halloween only just ended!

— Ally

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