Halloween in Germany may look different this year, but it isn’t off entirely

Halloween in Germany may look different this year, but it isn’t off entirely

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

First the bad news: gone are the scary parties, spooky labyrinths and most other forms of events in which otherworldly beings come in contact with humans. While 2020 oftentimes feels scripted out straight out of a horror movie, those in charge are valiantly trying to shield us from a doom-filled end while not cutting out all forms of fun entirely.

This means that many of the events that lend the tingly taste of terror to the year’s scariest season haven’t vanished completely, but rather morphed into other forms. Event organizers and park managers are cautiously going forward with amended versions of their usual Halloween-related festivities. Of course, the situation could change rapidly, so be sure to check latest installation guidance and event websites before traveling. Here’s a look at what’s happening where:

Burg Frankenstein: for decades, the moody castle ruins of Burg Frankenstein have served as the eerie backdrop to one of Germany’s first and most legendary Halloween celebrations. The lonesome structure poised high upon on a hill in the mystical, thickly wooded Odenwald is more than 1000 years old and perhaps most famed for its link to the Mary Shelley novel titled “Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus,” penned in 1818.

The party first kicked off by bored U.S. soldiers stationed at Cambrai-Fritsch Kaserne in Darmstadt way back in 1977 has been called off, but in its wake, organizers are offering a retrospective of sorts. “Halloween Backstage - The Exhibition” promises a behind-the-scenes look at the horror-filled happenings of the past years by means of photos, videos and the props that have been used to such eerie effect. Those who’ve played the roles of spooks and monsters are among those who’ll be retelling the spooky tales.

The exhibition takes place Fridays through Sundays from Oct. 23 through Nov. 8. Attendees must book their visits for specific time slots in advance. Entry tickets go for 12.20 euros and are available at https://halloween-backstage.reservix.de

Germany’s theme parks have also long been in on the act of hosting ghoulish interactive events targeted to adult audiences. While these are largely off the docket this year, the parks will remain open for those who like to get their thrills aboard roller coasters, free fall towers and other attractions. The big difference this year is that at most places, you will need to book your tickets in advance rather than just turning up, a means to keep visitor numbers from exceeding the maximum allowed and ensure everyone’s continued good health. Here’s a quick reminder of their opening hours:

Europa-Park: Summer Season’s opening hours remain in force through Nov. 8; with the park open from 9 a.m. to at least 6 p.m. daily and later into the night on weekends. Visitors can still enjoy the pumpkins, apples, corn stalks and bales of straw that turn the park into an impressive autumn landscape each year, and a creepy critter or two just might pop up! Tickets go for 55 euros adults; 47 euros ages 4-11, and are free for those age three and under.

Holiday Park: the park is open daily from 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. through Nov. 1; on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31, it stays open until 10 p.m. Tickets are priced by the height of the visitor: those over 1.40 cm pay 36.50 euros, those between 1 meter and 1.39 cm pay 31.50 euros, those between 85 cm and 99 cm pay 12.50 euros. Visitors entering the park on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 can experience “The Walk of Death,” billed as the longest horror maze in Europe. It’s not recommended for those under 16 years of age.

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