Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Halloween in Paradise; Travel: Pack Your Trick Fangs for a Treat in the Bahamas, Where They Know How to Party

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Halloween in Paradise; Travel: Pack Your Trick Fangs for a Treat in the Bahamas, Where They Know How to Party

Article excerpt

Byline: NIGEL TISDALL

IT'S not every holiday that you find yourself packing a suitcase full of wigs, makeup, oversized rubber heads and fake blood. "Darling," I cried to my wife as she tried on some fetching luminous fangs, "do you think this bright-red plastic pitchfork will get through security?" Heading for a family break in the Bahamas that coincided with Halloween, our travel agent was adamant we take the full works.

"They really get into it over there," she insisted, even though we were booked into Small Hope Bay Lodge, a remote gaggle of coral and pine beach cottages lost in the haze of 700 sun-bleached islands and cays that pass for this nation. "You going to Andros?" exclaimed an incredulous local as we travelled through Nassau, the Bahamas' drowsy capital. "Man, that island is quiet, quiet, quiet."

That's why we were going, of course - to relax in hammocks, dine on barbecued lobster, snorkel and dive in ridiculously warm water. "Do you think they really will have a party?" asked my nine-year-old son, but that was only because he and his sister wanted to gobble up the sweets we'd bought in case of unprovoked attack by trick-or-treaters. Marshmallow pumpkins, skull slimes, fun-gum fangs, viper-venom liquid candy - my, we grownups had never had such fun.

While we Brits usually stick to 31 October for our Halloween, in the Bahamas they often celebrate on the last weekend of the month. Come Friday, there was a sudden influx of quietly sniggering arrivals from New York and LA, who started creeping through the palms, hanging up spooky eyes.

By nightfall there were spiders' webs on the ping-pong table, bats in the loo and Frankenstein's head glowing in the fireplace. Innocently reaching into the fridge for a complimentary beer, I pulled out an ice-cold severed hand.

On Saturday night the horrors commenced, the costumes were trad fright with a twist of beach bum. Like all hotel parties, there were those who did nothing, others who wore the token funny hat, and a rum-loving hard core who let it all come out. "My, you've really gone for it," exclaimed an elderly couple from Florida when they saw my dazzling outfit of flowing cape, Dali-esque moustache and red swimming trunks. …

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