Beetleguise costumes

With Prague’s macabre tourist attractions and reputation for being a party city you’d think it would be a good choice for a Halloween visit.  This year, however, didn’t work out quite as planned.  There were painted faces and walking dead everywhere this past Halloween, but the main event, a party called “Bloody Sexy”, was a total nightmare.

Prague from above

Prague as seen from the clock tower at the Palace.

Halloween in Prague

I landed in Prague four days before Halloween – plenty of time, you’d think, to figure out something fun to do in a city with a reputation for cheap beer and a great party scene.  Hostel One Prague, the hostel I ended up at, has something going on every day and, typically, a 2nd event like a pub crawl scheduled at night.  With a great, interactive staff, it isn’t hard to land here and find yourself drinking with new friends that night.

Zombie in Red

Probably the best zombie costume I saw all night.

It wasn’t hard to hear about the Bloody Sexy party soon after my arrival and I figured that’s where I was headed for Halloween.  With no luck contacting the promoter and the email for press bouncing back, I figured I would simply show up to the party and see about getting in with my camera gear.  I left the hostel with high hopes but low expectations.

Dressed as Catwoman

I’d guess 95% of the hostel went to the party. Of those, only a couple didn’t dress up.

Bloody Sexy

While you couldn’t really tell it was Halloween during the day, the tram trip to the venue was half full of ghosts and goblins. Following the costumed herd made the party much easier to find in a city requiring constant contact with my map.

You could tell things weren’t going well upon arrival.  There were three lines, but only the VIP / guest list line was actually moving.  The two lines for ticket holders were already a couple hundred people deep and only trickling into the venue.  It took me about 45 minutes to track down the promoter, all the while watching the lines get longer and more of a problem.

Surging at Entrance

Masses of people and a lack of organized security staff made me think someone would be trampled before the night was through.

Screams of Terror

Surging party goers and literal screams of terror are what I’ll remember most about Halloween this year.  When you have that many people pushing each other and security slowly losing control, it’s like watching a train wreck about to happen.  I couldn’t help but think they’d already past the point where it would have gotten shut down in the states.  Talking with one of the guys running a pre-party pub crawl, many of the issues stemmed from a lack of communication between the venue, the promoter and security.

Bearded Lady

Would you want a bearded lady checking you in to your hostel?

Two things prevented anyone outside from getting hurt.  First, when the screaming started, people wisely decided to leave.  They’d already waited over 90 minutes with no real progress and no hope in sight.  A short while later, an emergency exit door at the end of one of the lines opened and a mass of people, including myself, took that opportunity to go in.  This was probably just a little before two in the morning.


The Joker was a popular costume, second only to various versions of Zombie.

At that point I have no idea how long it took the masses to enter, but when I left about 4 there was no longer anyone outside except the drunk and those on their way home.  The party itself wasn’t anything special.  The music wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either.  Even so, most who made it inside looked like they were having a good time.  I’d give it a five on a ten-point scale but then I’ve also spent a summer photographing some of the biggest clubs out there.

Zombies Zombies Zombies

From the walking dead to gorgeous sugar-skull paint jobs, zombies were the most common costume of the night.

All in all the party was a flop.  Perhaps it was high expectations or just going there with the intent of covering it instead of attending it.  I met some cool people and got some interested photos, so for me it went okay, but I can’t imagine being one of the people who paid to get in.  Moral of the story – for big outings centered around a holiday like Halloween or New Years, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.  Think about having a back up plan so you can salvage your night.

Have you ever headed out for a holiday party and had it go wrong?

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