Like it or loathe it – Halloween is gaining popularity in Australia, and WATCH OUT!…Its just lurking around the corner.
If you’ve a penchant for a costume, or enjoy having the bejeezus scared out of you, a quick google search can uncover options to dress up, or freak out if you aren’t planning on trick or treating or partying at home. But for those of you ‘fear fanatics’ who feel that being scared out of your wits one night a year isn’t enough, I’ve unearthed some of the best fun and freakish year round scares to whet your spine-tingling appetite.
SYDNEY FOR THE SERIOUSLY BRAVE
Q Station Sydney Harbour is known as one of Australia’s most haunted sites, and has been featured on multiple International Ghost Hunting TV shows. Used from the 1830′s to isolate contagious diseases such as Spanish Influenza, Smallpox or Bubonic Plague, Quarantine Station holds an important place in Australian history, and provides panoramic views of Sydney’s incredible harbour, along with its spooky atmosphere. Although open for visitors during the day, it’s the night-time when the hair-raising thrills are on offer. From family friendly ‘Ghost Trackers’ tours to ‘Ghost tours’ and full on ‘Paranormal Investigation nights’, Q station has something for everyone. This year they are also hosting a special Halloween Event
As the settlement base for the first fleet, and a colourful history of murders, mysteries, hangings and hauntings it’s not surprising that The Rocks has a ghostly reputation. Even walking the cobblestone lanes during the day, it has an undeniable ‘feeling’, but joining a Ghost Host on a Tour of The Rocks, really makes the history come alive when you wander the streets with the spirits who still linger in the dark.
THE GOLD COAST SHOWS ITS FREAKY SIDE
It’s a Creepy Cabaret, with a few surprises that may make you jump out of your skin, but what it lacks in cutthroat scares, it makes up for in fantastic food, costumes and bellyaching laughs. It’s got pedigree from being an after dark attraction for 30 years, so if you haven’t done it already, you really should tick it off the list. With a daytime version for Kids, a franchise in Melbourne, and a sister attraction walk through ‘Haunted House‘ there really is something for everyone!
On weekends for the month before Halloween, Movie World on the Gold Coast opens its gates after dark for Fright Nights (Ok, its not a year round attraction but it’s seriously cool). Transforming into a horror movie scene, the costumes are amazing and the scares are real. It gets crowded so you can expect to queue for the mazes and rides (fast track passes available), but most of the fun (fear) is wandering the streets avoiding zombie outbreaks, being pursued by a cleaver wielding mad doctors or evil goblins. Warning! Its NOT for the little ones! Recommended for 15+ or in my daughter’s case really really brave 12 year olds.
Port Arthur is officially Tasmania’s top tourist attraction, and apart from its macabre infamy after the mid 90’s massacre, the former convict settlement has plenty more to offer those looking for an eerie experience. You can take a 90 minute lantern lit Ghost Tour with exclusive building access, the option to add in a two course meal or serious ghost hunters can partake in a monthly Adults Only Paranormal Investigation Experience. Some Wyndham Vacation staff members toured Port Arthur recently, and they thoroughly enjoyed the tour, however it was the unexplained ghostly images that showed up on their photographs that really made Port Arthur a spooky encounter to remember.
FOR THE FITNESS FREAKS OR BLEEDING HEARTS
Occasionally an event will pop up that mixes the joys(?) of being scared and a doing something good for yourself or Charity.
The goal of the Zombie Walks in Sydney and Brisbane is to tempt thousands of zombies out of their basements to drag their rotting limbs through the inner city streets. Fundraising to support The Australian Brain Foundation, it’s a light hearted way to help at great cause, while having an awesome excuse to dress up as ghoulishly as possible. Some make-up and costumes are downright terrifying.
Also raising funds, but providing a bigger challenge is Running Scared. An 8km obstacle course with a spooky twist that will see’s victims participants crawling, climbing, jumping, and running from the live action spooky creatures that lurk in the dark! The Cancer Council will benefit from the freaks coming out to play and receiving a thrilling and unforgettable scare experience. This year two events are being hosted to coincide with Halloween, but keep an eyeball out for other events like Run for your lives or the Great Zombie Escape emerging from the shadows in the future.