Each year, the House of Horror Charity Gala hosts the largest Halloween event in all of Scotland: House of Horror (HOH). As an avid Halloween fan, I was nothing short of excited to boogie the night away decked out in spooky attire! Located outside of St Andrews, HOH converted the infamous Kinkell Byre from a typical ball venue into a haunted forest inspired but the tales of the Brothers Grimm.
Compared to last year, the event wasn’t much different, save a few decoration changes. This year, the HOH Charity Gala traded in Willy Wonka chocolate bars for haunted gingerbread houses, sweets and other fairy-tale themed decorations, however everything else essentially remained the same. The music was similar to that heard at any bop or club, despite the rotating DJs; nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Given that, the dance floor was fairly empty, so it was quite easy for my friends and me to dance to our hearts content, though at times it seemed forced.
Similar to last years event, HOH featured a carnival style ride. Students gathered around the flashing lights and anxiously waited in line to give the quintessential carnival ride a go, although many were unable to experience the fun as the ride closed before midnight. Normally, this would not have been a problem, however many attendees arrived late as the allotted busses stopped running before the pre-announced time. In a town like St Andrews, it is quite rare that party-goers plan on leaving before 10:30pm; many were disappointed that they needed to buy a taxi despite the fact that a bus ticket was included in the event’s ticket price.
With a closed carnival ride and lacklustre dance floor, students were left to seek refuge at the bar. Surprisingly, the bar served a wide array of reasonably priced drinks and cocktails while also accepting both cash and credit cards; many attendees seemed quite enthusiastic about this as there was a constant mob of costumed students fending for the bartenders’ attention. Other than drinks, HOH also offered a few food options to appease the hungry Halloween enthusiasts: crêpes, pizza and ‘street food.’ Personally, the stone-fire margarita pizza was the highlight of my night.
Halloween is one of my favourite holidays so a spooky night spent eating candy and dancing in costumes seemed like an event tailored for me. I was excited to see what the HOH Charity Gala had planned for the students of St Andrews, yet the night fell short of my expectations. Nonetheless, it was fun to spend time with my friends and marvel at the myriad of costumes and decorations spread throughout Kinkell Byre. Despite having a seemingly average night, I am hopeful that the House of Horror Charity Gala will produce an event worthy of the ticket price in the coming years.