Most parties don't have monsters, ghouls, goblins, or devils on the guest list, but these gatherings are anything but ordinary. The otherworldly oddities at these festivals attract guests from all over the world. Some look like a scarily good time, while others are just plain creepy. Could you bear to spend an entire day partying it up at one of these fright-fests?
1. Kukeri Festival (Pernik, Bulgaria)
The Kukeri are Bulgarian folk dancers who specialize in frightening away evil spirits. Indeed, one look at their creepy costumes would send most beings, discarnate or otherwise, fleeing terrified into the night. The Kukeri Festival takes place at the end of January in the city of Pernik, Bulgaria, and sees thousands of Kukeri congregate from across the country.
2. Día de Muertos (Mexico)
Adorned with human skulls, the Aztec goddess of the underworld, Mictecacihuatl, is thought to have been the original patron of Mexico’s Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Falling on November 1 and 2 every year, the present-day festival commemorates the dead, whose spirits are said to be able to return to Earth for the day, and features a phantasmagoria of colorful skeletons. Similar festivals are held across Latin America; for instance, the people of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil celebrate with a Zombie Walk.
3. Holy Week (Zamora, Spain)
Leading up to Easter Sunday, Holy Week celebrations in Zamora, Spain, feature unnerving processions of penitents bearing flaming torches through dark city streets. Their white robes and ghostly conical hats, which have roots in medieval society, are intended to obscure the identities of the participants and symbolize their humility as sinners who must be redeemed.
4. Wave-Gotik-Treffen (Leipzig, Germany)
They're weird, morbid, and proud of it — there may be no higher compliment for a Goth than “creepy.” Needless to say, the annual Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Germany is a spectacular creep-fest that features some of the world’s best – and most extreme – dark art and music. It is attended by thousands over the Pentecostal weekend in Leipzig.