Halloweekend tips

This weekend, ghosts, monsters, witches and other dark forces leave the depths of the underworld to celebrate Halloween. But did you know that Antwerp can be quite spooky too?

Underground mysteries and magnificent cemeteries

Head to Schoonselhof cemetery for the most traditional horror experience. Several famous Belgians and Antwerpers are buried – such as the poets Herman De Coninck, Paul van Ostaijen and the author Gust Gils – but it is also a lovely park where you can go leaf peeping and enjoy some magnificent autum colour.

Or how about a tour of underground Antwerp? Book a visit of De Ruien, the city’s old canals and sewers. During an adventurous and strange walk through the city’s underbelly you can discover Antwerp’s fascinating and rich history. As you move along, you are surprised by secrets and mysteries both past and present.

Lange Wapper the demon

You can also err the city’s streets at night and hope that you do or don’t bump into Lange Wapper. This Antwerp demon likes to stalk drunks and prank them. First as a tiny little man, but gradually he grows taller and taller until his head sticks out above the city’s roofs. Hence his name, Lange Wapper.

Obviously you can also play it safe. Folklore teaches us that it is not usual to be frightened to death when you bump into Lange Wapper – and simply go take a look at the statue of this demon in Steenplein. It’s also a great opportunity to visit Steen Castle, Antwerp’s oldest fortress.

Ghost walks

Book one of the many spine-chilling tours through the city at ghostwalk.be. The perfect way to explore the dark side and folklore of Antwerp, with a fun twist here and there.

You’ll learn, for example, that Antwerp’s Zuid district was not always as trendy as it is today but also was a risky neighbourhood where people often met an untimely death. Or take a night-time tour of the dark alleys and hidden corners of the city, in search of Antwerp’s ghosts!

Getting spooked in the comfort of your local cinema

If you don’t believe in actively seeking out goosebumps, but prefer to be spooked from the comfort of a cinema chair, then there’s always the cinema. On Monday 31 October, Kinepolis Antwerp is organising the Kinepolis Halloween Night where you can see the best horror films that are about to hit the screens: Train to Busan, Ouija: Origin of Evil and The Windmill Massacre.

Prefer a more light-hearted approached? Don’t feel like hiding under the duvet or curling up in a chair for days after seeing the horror movie from hell? But do you secrely enjoy Halloween? Then visit one of the many markets in Antwerpen and buy a nice pumpkin to carve or prepare yourself a tasty pumpkin soup!

Because Halloween in Antwerp is enjoyable for everyone, from Frankenstein to foodies.

Jan Crab

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