Hor­ror de­scends on Sen­tosa

> Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Sin­ga­pore’s an­nual scarefest re­turns to stir up The Dark­ness Within

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY DENISSA GOH

SINCE 2011, the bright lights of Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Sin­ga­pore at Re­sorts World Sen­tosa are dimmed ev­ery Oc­to­ber, and our worst night­mares come to life dur­ing the Hal­loween Hor­ror Nights event.

This year, Sin­ga­pore’s big­gest and most-an­tic­i­pated an­nual scarefest is hap­pen­ing ev­ery Fri­day and Satur­day night, as well as se­lected Thurs­day and Sun­day nights un­til Oct 31.

theSun was part of a 250strong group of me­dia who were treated to a taste of the ter­ror at the re­cent launch of Hal­loween Hor­ror Nights 6.

Re­sorts World Sen­tosa se­nior vice pres­i­dent of at­trac­tions Ja­son Horkin is hope­ful last year’s record at­ten­dance of over 170,000 vis­i­tors will be bro­ken.

He said: “We have 16 nights this year, which is two more [than] last year ... we’re hear­ing from peo­ple that they want more ways to be scared, and more things to do.

“We have the March of the Dead, which is new, and we brought back the show in the Pan­tages Theatre with Jack [the clown] a very pop­u­lar char­ac­ter [we in­tro­duced] two years ago whom peo­ple said they wanted to see more.”

Re­sorts World Sen­tosa vice pres­i­dent of en­ter­tain­ment An­drea Teo added that while last year’s event ex­plored ways to scare on the sur­face, this year they aim to frighten guests “from the in­side”, hence, the theme of The Dark­ness Within.

Hal­loween Hor­ror Nights 6 has five hor­ri­fy­ing haunted houses, two ter­ror­is­ing scare zones, and two hair-rais­ing live shows, as well as Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Theme Parks’ firstever dark the­atri­cal pro­ces­sion in­spired by the Mex­i­can Day of the Dead fes­ti­val.

Ev­ery night, the scarefest kicks off with a ‘scare­mony’ in­volv­ing a ‘skele­ton’ deejay per­form­ing on top of five tall Gothic lancet arches.

As the crowd thrills to his EDM beats, he is sud­denly en­gulfed in flames, and Lady Death makes her chill­ing ap­pear­ance, ut­ter­ing in­can­ta­tions be­fore she is joined by the main icons of each of the five haunted houses, as well as Jack the sin­is­ter clown.

Head­lin­ing the five haunted houses this year is the in­fa­mous Old Changi Hos­pi­tal, once used as a tor­ture cham­ber dur­ing World War II by the Ja­panese. To­day, the hos­pi­tal is known to be one of the most haunted sites in the world.

Re­sorts World Sen­tosa di­rec­tor of events and pro­duc­tion Scott Peter­son re­lates a per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with this hos­pi­tal.

“When I was in sec­ondary school, my friends and I would sneak up to the Old Changi Hos­pi­tal to ex­plore the space [and] there was this care­taker who told us in Malay to get out … only now, when I was do­ing the re­search, did [I find] out that [the care­taker] was ac­tu­ally a ghost!”

Vis­i­tors can ex­pect to come across this same care­taker right out­side the haunted house.

Lurk­ing in­side the dark, de­funct hos­pi­tal are a pon­tianak as well as lost spir­its of those long-dead pris­on­ers tor­tured by the Ja­panese. In the blood­smeared morgue, ex­pect to be chilled by the tem­per­a­ture and sight of dead bod­ies.

The sec­ond haunted house, Bod­ies of Work, of­fers a skin­crawl­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with con­tro­ver­sial artist and host Damien Shipman. The grotesque works rep­re­sent a twisted homage to his fam­ily who per­ished in a fire.

Hear screams for help as you walk through the cramped, macabre gallery, filled with dan­gling in­testines and men­ac­ing masked char­ac­ters.

Watch as a woman is grue­somely butchered with a meat grinder, and run for your life across a mov­ing carousel as Jack the clown chases you from the house.

The Salem Witch House ref­er­ences the sto­ries of witches burnt alive in the town of Salem in the late 16th cen­tury, but in this haunted house, the witches are back from the dead and out for re­venge. Watch out for those hid­ing in the dark woods, wait­ing to pounce on you.

At Hu Li’s Inn, the ex­ter­nal ap­pear­ance of this night­club set in 1930s Shang­hai is as al­lur­ing as that of the cheongsam-clad beauty queens within.

But like the Chi­nese le­gend of fox spirit Huli Jing, those beau­ti­ful women can turn into a mul­ti­ple-eyed mama-san, or half-women-half-crea­tures feast­ing on men, with fox-lady Hu Li lead­ing the killing fest.

Ex­pect to feel your stom­ach turn at the Hawker Cen­tre Mas­sacre, when you come face-to-face with flesh-eat­ing zom­bies, the re­sult of a ra­dioac­tive food poi­son­ing.

If the haunted houses are not enough to have you run­ning home, en­ter the scare zones.

Be­gin with a walk through the per­turb­ing Sui­cide For­est. Here, you’ll meet lost souls – some hang­ing from trees, and oth­ers with hor­ren­dous in­juries from a car ac­ci­dent.

But the screams come to a dead si­lence as the March of the Dead be­gins. Per­form­ers dressed in el­e­gant calav­era cos­tumes move grace­fully and silently in a pro­ces­sion ac­com­pa­nied by a mo­not­o­nous drum beat as vis­i­tors in­stinc­tively clear the road for the mon­u­men­tal start to the im­pres­sive float pa­rade.

For more, go to www. hal­loween­hor­rornights.com.sg.

(right) Giv­ing you the creeps … scare zone Sui­cide For­est (inset, above) and March of the Dead pro­ces­sion.

(be­low and bot­tom) Spook­tac­u­lar scares from the haunted houses ... (clock­wise, from far right) Salem Witch House; Old Changi Hos­pi­tal; Hu Li’s Inn; and the Hawker Cen­tre Mas­sacre.

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