Fright night

Weekend Glitz | Lisa Kao 18 Oct 2019

With Halloween almost upon us, ghosts once again gather at the Ocean Park. Look out on specific days in October as they creep out from every corner after 5pm to greet visitors.

Carrying on with its Halloween tradition, the park invites visitors to participate in an interactive horror story with six haunted zones containing five haunted houses.

Although Halloween is a western festival, the park has incorporated Hong Kong's horror heritage in its decorations.

Plaza Hong Kong Hauntgrounds at the Waterfront is an example that presents Hong Kong-style horror, featuring a phantom housing estate and playground.

Inspired by the city's public housing estates, visitors are guided by a fortune teller and a ghost medium through terrifying legends of abandoned public housing estates from the 1970s and 1980s.

The site not only pays homage to the historical past, but uses actors to revive the art of fortune-telling and ghost mediums to contact the departed.

To find out more about the spooky legends of old Hong Kong, visit the haunted house Phantom Estate 2.0.

The recreated estate will bring you through a spine-tingling lobby, gloomy corridors and cursed flats. The only light you will get is the torch in your hand.

Still haven't had your fill of local ghost lore? Check out the Old Street of Hungry Ghosts for more.

Ocean Park's Old Hong Kong street, the iconic route of the cable cars, has become haunted. Actors dressed as Cantonese opera singers share the space with an evil wizard and his followers, ready to greet you from alleyways to restrooms.

Watch out at 8.44pm as legions of ghostly performers are released and commence the Hell Parade through the park. A coffin glides past in a ceremonial funeral procession to the Phantom Estate Playground, enacts a mysterious ritual, then goes through the Road of Sorrow Souls to Old Hong Kong.

At its conclusion, the gates of hell open and hungry ghosts roam the Waterfront and the Summit.

If you want to catch your breath, other milder attractions are available.

LaserDome at Trill Mountain gives you a chance to fight ghosts with a laser gun.

Working as a team through three areas, you can gain points by successfully hitting your targets. But beware - if the ghosts shoot you instead, you will be incapacitated for a short while. Your friendships will be tested as your high scores will be displayed at the end.

Visitors can also get help from Line Friends characters at the Trick or Treat Mine.

After a series of mini-games and tasks along the trail, those with a sweet tooth will be happy to hear there's a candy reward.

Line Friends also proves that Halloween can be cute, with backdrops for visitors to pose for photos with the characters.

Despite the social unrest, this year's Halloween festivities have been met with a positive public response, said Lau Ming-wai, deputy chairman of Ocean Park.

"Thanks to the early bird promotion, we have seen a 25 percent surge in premium ticket sales from last year. Another testimony to the attractiveness of the new format is that our chartered event bookings have doubled compared to last year."

On October 18 to 20, 24 to 27 and 31, visitors can experience Ocean Park's usual themed attractions and Halloween special spots with regular admission tickets.

The horror starts at 5pm, with park operating hours extended to midnight.

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