+ A

Seoul’s Halloween events get more varied : Take a zombie safari, go zombie yourself or just enjoy a craft beer

Oct 28,2017
Everland in Yongin, Gyeonggi, sends zombies to its animal safari zone to walk around. It takes visitors in a bus into the safari zone so they can have contact with the zombies. [EVERLAND]
From left, first two photos: Lotte World has hired actors to walk around its theme park to make the Halloween experience scarier than ever. Third from left: Seonyudo Park is where people who are interested in cosplay can gather in costumes to take photos. Fourth from left: The Great Korean Beer Festival in Yongsan District, central Seoul, will feature craft beer from here and overseas and will have a costume contest until Sunday. Far right: B One and other bars have been promoting Halloween events happening today. [LOTTE WORLD, YOON SO-YEON, GREAT KOREAN BEER FESTIVAL, MYK INC.]
Bleeding zombies trying to get onto a bus filled with people is a fairly common scene in a movie or on television. But at Everland in Yongin, Gyeonggi, it actually happens - and you can be on the bus. A warning: The bus gets chaotic with screams of people trying to get away from the zombies. Even when the zombies recede, it’s important to check fellow passengers to make sure everyone on the bus is zombie-bite-free.

“Are you okay? Are you really sure you didn’t get bitten?” a guide on the bus asks.

We are in the safari zone, where visitors to the theme park are usually taken to get a close look at all kinds of animals. At Halloween time, it is the zombie zone. Our guide has a crucial role. With his dramatic acting and his valiant attempts to keep passengers safe from zombies, the laughter and screams rarely stop. He actually struggles with zombies trying to enter the bus. One of the bus passengers is even dragged out of the bus and thrown into a pack of zombies.

“Now the road is blocked,” the guide shouts, “and we all need to get out of the bus and walk.” It was quiet and dark, with around 30 people huddled together on the road. It was so hard to tell who was who. Once this reporter turned back thinking I was in front of a fellow reporter, but a zombie was right behind me opening his mouth to get a bite. I was startled and ran to the other side of the road where the guide was beckoning at me. I turned back and more people were screaming and running towards us. It really was chaotic in a way that afterwards made us laugh.

Everland has other Halloween attractions, including a maze in which zombies appear from around a dark corner. You can even wear a rented camera to record the entire tour of the maze and bring the video back home.

If you want to be a zombie yourself, Lotte World in southern Seoul provides rental of garments and a special make-up service to help you scare everyone around you. Depending on the kind of effect you want, prices range from 10,000 won ($8.85) to over 50,000 won. There are some photo zones including a big box designed to look like a cell in which visitors can take photos. Many visitors ask the other dressed-up visitors to take photos together, which allows people to mingle and contributes to the festive mood.

At both Everland and Lotte World, actors dressed like zombies walk around. But they are friendly zombies and will happily pose for a photo with visitors. Some zombies show off group dance performances.

Clubs in Itaewon are encouraging people to come out in costume. Prost, Glam Lounge, B One and Southside Parlor and restaurants like Guilty Pleasure have been promoting their events on social media with specific themes. Guilty Pleasure is encouraging people to come in 1980’s outfits while Glam Lounge is going for the Hollywood glamor of a haunted variety. Prost is the place to go in superhero outfits.

Although there is no particular event planned at Seonyudo Park in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul, the park is a good place to go if dressing up in costumes is your hobby. The park has been earning its name as a cosplay destination in the city, where people often come on weekends with their costumes and take photos.

You can even go to some cultural places like art galleries in costume and get free admission. D Museum in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, is offering free admission to people in costumes during the ongoing exhibition “Plastic Fantastic” until Tuesday. The museum will stay open a bit late today, until 8 p.m.

If dressing up isn’t your thing, you can still go out for Halloween drinks. The Great Korean Beer Festival 2017 is being held in the parking lot of Yongsan Electronics Mall in central Seoul through Sunday. Here you can try different types of craft beer from local breweries or overseas, and fill your stomach with different types of sausages, jamon, pizza and more. There will be a costume contest as well so visitors will have something to watch while sipping their beer.

On Tuesday, Alice Cheongdam, which has been named one of the best bars in Seoul by Asia’s 50 Best Bars, will be having a cocktail battle with the bar Miners in Hannam-dong, central Seoul. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. guests will get their third drink for free, and people ordering bottles will get two complimentary cocktails. Anyone who posts their drinks on Instagram will get additional drinks. The bars will compete and see which sells more cocktails that day.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]