Last Tuesday night saw the launch of the House of Horror Charity Gala at the Rule. As a precursor for the main Halloween event of the year, there was high anticipation for the launch, with online tickets selling out two days before the event, and tickets at the door disappearing within minutes, according to one committee member.
The event channelled all things Pennywise. The ‘IT’ blockbuster film character himself even made a creepy appearance in the form of a real-life costumed clown, red balloon in hand. However, with the committee drawing inspiration from the famous Dreamland Fair of Coney Island, the more fantastical elements of Halloween were also invoked – delivering equal doses wonderful and macabre. Free ‘candy shots’ and candyfloss were presented to guests upon arrival, transforming The Rule into a scene out of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, except in place of the rabbit hole leading to a tea party and talking Cheshire Cat, one was welcomed into a mystical land of tipsy youths and flowing tunes.
So was this truly the resurrection of the infamous Dreamland fair we had been promised? Once past the queue, we entered a menacing scene where faces were smudged and smeared in inky black paint, and clambering around were committee members who had assembled into a cult of clowns dressed in white. At this balloon-filled launch, however, the early bird guests downed the copious array of free candy shots and took full advantage of the bar. By midnight, it was clear to many among the crowd that the 9am lecture the next morning was not going to be happening.
The scene was enlivened by the eerie-sistable DJ set of Ahmed Shareefy, Tom Hurst, Quentin Wight, Hamoosh and more. While the playlist for the night didn’t necessarily put the ‘Rave’ back in Grave, an eclectic mix of electro-beats, all combined with the sheer gusto exuded by fellow dance enthusiasts, kept the dance floor brimming all night long, after which the crowds thronged out to the street on the hunt for their well-earned midnight snack.
The one dampener on the night was the disappearance of guests early on, with the crowd thinning slightly after 12am. However, the event was nevertheless an evident success, setting the tone for the main Halloween event this October and getting this writer very much in the Halloween spirit. Time to start pondering your costumes and stocking up on fake blood, because it seems the Halloween season in St Andrews is officially (albeit, prematurely) upon us.