When the freaks come out

By Oliver Robinson (That's Beijing)
Updated: 2006-10-24 10:26

Halloween-the one night of the year when it's considered cute for gangs of masked youths to intimidate their elderly neighbors, and terrorize them into giving away free stuff.

While most of us have grown out of posting lit fireworks through widows' mailboxes, Halloween is still a great excuse to disguise yourself as a dominatrix, cross dress or assume a number of other slightly disturbing aliases in the name of "fun". This year there will be more places than ever hosting Halloween hoedowns, so in the spirit of the festival, here is some of the best places in town to get freaky. Literally.

October 27

that's Beijing Halloween Masquerade
No Halloween roundup would be complete without a shameless plug for that's Beijing Halloween Masquerade! tbj takes a leaf out of Lestat's book and aims to attract Beijing's classier creeps to sleek 'n' sexy club Rui Fu. This isn't to say that we don't encourage guests to come in all manner of costumes, from giant teddy bears to mandatory gimp gear. Mandatory? Okay, maybe that's just me. To top it off there will be some great giveaways and, just for good measure, some free booze.

Location: Club Rui Fu, Courtyare No.3 Zhangzizhonglu, Dongcheng
Tel: 010-64042711

October 28

Yen Fetish Party

Dust off your hotpants and welding goggles for one of Beijing's oldest and most established Halloween parties. Zero Space at 798 is the rendezvous point for this year's fetish freaks who'll bump, grind and gurn to the sounds of usual Yen suspects Mickey Zhang, Yang Bing, Dio, Patrick Yu, Usami and more.

Location: Zero Space,No.4 Jiuxianqiaolu
Tel: 010-84565809

The boys at Browns will make any excuse to throw a party of gargantuan proportions and plan to do just this for Halloween. Events manager Drew Grahame promises that Browns will be decked out with suitably spooky paraphernalia, and drink and food specials are set to compliment the ghoulish goings-on. This said, the weekly abandon of some of the more mature patrons (think menopausal women gyrating on top of the bar) can make Browns a pretty scary place at the best of times. On the following day, October 30, there'll be a special event for the kiddies starting from 11am.

Location: 4 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District
Tel: 010-65912717

Bar Blu
The prospect of a fancy dress party can be heaven to some, and hell to others. Fitting then that Bar Blu is going with a heaven and hell theme that will see the devilish divas and not-necessarily-nice angels fill the Sanlitun hotspot to quaff promotional drinks and win prizes for the best costume. Prediction: a girl in a short skirt-cum-belt will win.

Location: 4/F, 5/F Tongli Studio, Sanlitun Beijie
Tel: 010-64174124

Frank's Place
Letterman jackets and pom-poms galore at Frank's, where Beijing's jocks and cheerleaders descend on the Lido to chug beer, exchange high five and administer wedgies to nerds unlucky enough to be in the area.

Location: Jiangtai Xi Lu, West of the Rosedale Hotel, Lido Area
Tel: 010-64378399 ext. 213

Prim and proper residents of Shunyi who don't fancy taking their bondage gear all the way out to 798 for Yen's Fetish party, can enjoy Halloween from the comfort of the newly renovated Pomegranate. The theme is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which will be screened throughout the evening and prizes will be distributed to the eveningĄ¯s best-dressed Rocky Horror couple.

Location: 19 Kaifa Lu, Xibaixinzhuan, Houshayu
Tel: 010-80462558

October 31

Suzie Wong's
The folks at Suzie's weren't planning on having a particularly big event for Halloween, that is, until we asked them. "We don't really go all out at Halloween, but seeing as you guys are giving us free media coverage, we thought we'd make an effort this year!" How we laughed.

As a result, the Chaoyang behemoth plans a racy affair on October 31 (one of the only midweek Halloween parties in town), which should see the Suzie's regulars wear even skimpier costumes than usual.

Location: West Gate of Chaoyang Park, near Annies Italian Resturant and Jenny Lous
Tel: 010-65936049