Halloween in Moscow: Tunes, Treats and Freaks

For MTChildren from Moscow school No. 715 celebrate in ghoulish costumes.
Muscovites in search of a scintillating spook can celebrate Halloween this Friday night with musical creatures, dancing freaks and even the ghost of a Michael Jackson past.

Before All Hollow's Eve actually hits, though, the halls of one house of horrors will already be open for trick-or-treating: a haunted mansion near Moscow's Anglo-American school built by Canadian Perry Samoyloff. The fright-filled project, designed for children ages seven to 16, took six weeks and the help of eight area families to complete. "We decided to do something that hasn't been seen in Moscow," said Frank, a community member who contributed to the project.

The house, a row of low structures built entirely out of shipping containers delivered to newly settled Canadian diplomats, looks straight out of a Tim Burton film. Only the surrounding stucco homes reveal its prime location in a gated community.

"The community understands what the kids are getting out of it," Samoyloff said, adding that while it would be problematic to allow people from outside the gated neighborhood into the house, he and his neighbors are leading twenty other classes of fourth graders from the school on a tour of it to get spooked this week and for trick-or-treating on the 31st.

Gaudi Arena
See Dutch-English duo Villan at Gaudi Arena.
For slightly older costumed gallivanters, the city has many dark dens and fiery light shows to satisfy one's need for horror. If dancing is your shtick and raucous Russian rockers give you a spook, the place to head is concert venue B1 Maximum for a show from Zveri, a native group whose name means 'creatures.' With songs like "Traps," "Lightning" and "Cyborg Murderer," they are sure to set a freaky mood. Stay in the building after midnight to eye some livid figures at the Costume Ball of Devilry, where they will reward everyone in properly ghoulish dress with discs from electronic act S.U.N. Project.

Next, you can make your way to club Gaudi Arena for their intriguingly titled Princess Superstar Freak International Party. Expect a schizophrenic evening of gags, stunts and gender-bending performances from Andrei Bartenev's costume show, the self-explanatory Aquaaerobika, British elecro artist Adam Sky and Danish-English team Villan -- a pair of performers with credentials that include the notoriously lewd Nag Nag Nag parties held for years in London. Needless to say, a spirit of adventure is a must for the event.

For MT
The haunted house designed by Canadian Perry Samoyloff is for kids only.
Finally, take a trip back to a time when Halloween was nothing but a whisper in the ears of Moscow residents at cafe Tekhniki Molodyozhi, where the theme is Michael Jackson's monster-filled "Thriller" music video. Popcorn, scary movie-theater decor and 70s music are all promised at this party that will supposedly "never end." You can, however, leave whenever you get tired of hearing "Thriller" on repeat.

Bouncing beats and undoubtedly countless angel and demon costumes keep Halloween going around the city on Friday as well as Saturday night. Club and music hall Ikra will get silly with tunes from group "Hands in the Air!", the Soviet version of Wham, on Oct. 31, while club Fabrique on the embankment of the Moscow River will import German project R.I.O. the night after, Nov. 1, to treat crowds to some eerie electronica.

The Zveri concert starts at 8 p.m., Oct. 31 at club B1 Maximum, 11 Ul. Ordzhonikidze. M. Leninsky Prospekt. www.b1club.ru. 648-6777.

The Freak International Party begins at 10 p.m., Oct. 31 at Gaudi Arena, 1 Skladochnaya Ul. M. Savyolovskaya. www.gaudiarena.ru. 508-0755.

"Halloween with 'Thriller'" kicks off at 11 p.m. on Oct. 31 at cafe Tekhniki Molodyozhi, 24 3rd Ul. Yamskogo Polya. M. Belorusskaya. 363-2811.

"Hands in the Air!" starts at 9 p.m., on Oct. 31 at club Ikra, 8A Ul. Kazakova. M. Kurskaya. 778-5651.

German duo R.I.O. will play at 11 p.m., on Nov. 1 at club Fabrique, 2 Kosmodamianskaya Naberezhnaya. M. Novokuznetskaya. 953-6576.