Halloween is just around the corner and for those of us who take it very seriously, it’s time to start preparing for the spookiest day of the year (let’s be honest, you’ve probably already started). While the stereotypical Halloween celebration in America is full of candy and suggestive costumes, the Spanish have kept Halloween on the scary side. You will see most people dressed up as something dead, monstrous or horrific. So, what exactly is a typical Halloween in Madrid and how can you make the most of this famous holiday? Take a look at everything Madrid will offer this October 31st!
1. Day of the Dead / All Saints Day
The Day of the Dead is really the holiday that started it all. This particular day is most well known for being a Mexican holiday, however it’s very popular in almost all Roman Catholic countries, Spain included. This is also known as All Saints Day (Día de Todos los Santos) and takes place the day after Halloween. This is a day where families and friends honour all the souls in their lives who have passed on.
Typically the people will wear all black and visit the local cemetery, or the cemetery where loved ones are buried. You can buy traditional flowers and candles at almost any street corner on this day. After which you can bring them to pray for and honor any lost souls in your life. In the afternoon, it’s typical for friends and families to gather together for a feast of traditional All Souls Day foods – like Huesos de Santo (sweet, bone-shaped marzipan) and Panellets (cookies made from almond and sweet potato, coated in pine nuts). If you want to do the Halloween season right, you have to participate in this ancient tradition!
2. Halloween Parties
There’s no better way to get ready for the Halloween festivities than starting of the night with a bang! Where better than at Nightlife’s Halloween Parties? To get the most of this Halloween weekend come party with us on Friday the 30th and Saturday the 31st! Visit Nightlife Madrid for details about tickets, hours and VIP experiences!
3. Terror Parks
Both of Madrid’s prominent theme parks will be hosting multiple Halloween themed events through the month of October and early into November. Parque Warner will be completely transformed into a town of horrors, complete with two horror attractions based on famous horror films. Returning for 2020 are two attractions based on the film “La Llorona”; a new passage of terror with a route of more than 300 meters between windy roads, scary trees and dark areas where you be haunted by live actors. Be sure to also check out the Warren Records with a new scene of the recently released film “Annabelle Vuelve a Casa” in which the doll plays even a more scary role. If you think the movie was scary before… It is now much more! Besides these attractions, there will be more Halloween activities in the park. For children there will be an Animal Forest completely themed and a big spooky parade at the end of each night!
In addition, Madrid’s Parque de Atracciones will also be transforming into a terrifying world of horrors. New this year a variety of Halloween Terror Experiences, like the Horror Cinema, The Hospital of the Dead and the famous “Walking Dead Experience”!. For those looking for family-friendly Halloween fun, Parque de Atracciones has great options for kids of all ages, including the “Nickelodeon Funhouse” and face painting!
4. Murder Mystery House
This immersive escape game will give you all the scary Halloween vibes! Get together with your friends to solve an epic murder mystery and discover all the secrets that live in this abandoned mansion. The game will take place at Madrid’s gorgeous Palacio de Santa Bárbara. It takes around 2 hours and you can book the experience with all your friends. Make sure you get your tickets before they’re all gone!
5. Amazing Halloween Costumes
Like most shops in the Madrid city center, you won’t be able to find massive department store sized costumes shops like you might back home. You might find some ridiculously overpriced costumes at El Corte Ingles but you’ll be better off looking at local shops. There is no shortage of costume shops all over the city for you to buy this year’s scariest costumes. You’d better start searching for a Halloween persona now! Scary costumes are much more prominent here, so you’re most likely to find those at costume shops. You will definitely be impressed with some of the costume creativity you will see! Some great shops to check out include BarulloCompany, Menkes, Maty and Fantástica.
Take advantage of this special Citylife offer: 10% off costumes at Fiestas Paco!
6. Day of the Dead Exhibition
Casa de Mexico is a center dedicated to sharing the beautiful are and culture of Mexico. This year they will bring back their breathtaking exhibition on Dia de Muertos which will allow visitors an insider look at this ancient tradition. The main showpiece, the alter of the dead can be seen from the center’s large vestibule, but you’ll want to get tickets and an audio guide to truly see the secrets that this expo holds.