Izzy Mittag reviews House of Horror: Back from the Grave, which she defines as something out of a Stephen King novel.


From Geisha woman, to leather-clad T-Birds, to suited-up Astronauts, St. Andreans did not disappoint at the House of Horror: Back from the Grave 2016. The night commenced with the short bus ride to Kinkell Byre, a venue that as a fresher, I had yet to investigate. Greeted by an assortment of food trucks with the names of the Cheesy Toastie Shake, On the Roll and Fresh Revolution, I knew my exit would be just as awe inspiring as my entrance.

The entrance was something out of a Stephen King novel. Enter through a doorway adorned with thick plastic strips, one is instantly met with an eerie feeling of horror. I almost felt that a meat butcher with shiny cleaver in hand would jump out at any second. I made my way from the coat check to the archway covered in bloody appendages, the infamous “blood shot” was awaiting me. The committee – ‘terrifyingly’ fashion forward ladies in bridal-esque dresses and streaky black makeup – showed their devotion to the night as they served them in a very apt test tubes. Once the shot was tossed back, it only left me wanting more.

After conversing with a few cheerleaders, a Wednesday Addams and a “sleep-deprived Sleeping Beauty”, the general consensus was that Kinkell Byre was a well-chosen location. The vaulted ceilings covered in string lights and the stone walls adorned with spider webs fully agreed with the theme. A gothic biker thought the ambience was unique and really enjoyed the entirety of the event, but did wish for a few more ‘horrifying’ activities to take part in. The “sleep-deprived Sleeping Beauty” also made a point in saying she was really looking forward to, but then slightly “bummed out and confused” as to the fact there was no true “Haunted House”. The expectations of a classic Halloween witch and evil angel concurred with the sleeping beauty. The angel believed there were going to be many more actors as she ended her statement with, “I wanted actors wondering around, covered in blood and wearing masks to try to scare the living out of me!” Excuse the pun. The music seemed to please many of the guests especially when “Trap Queen”, a few classic pop songs, and a great amount of electric house music was played.

Now onto the food, which we all know can either make or break an event. In the case of House of Horror, the plethora of options was outstanding. For the lucky 100 that were able to hit the crepe table, they were not disappointed. Served by the Vic’s regular chefs, these guys made waiting for the crepes a much less grueling process with great banter. The food trucks offered numerous options for those trying to keep their summer swimsuit bodies in check and for others that just needed a drunken toastie. When asking some food lovers what they would possibly change about the selection, they said they wanted more typically Halloween themed ‘noms’. There was, undoubtedly, a cheer for a possible stand of apples covered in caramel, apple cider donuts and some boozy apple cider or mulled wine.

Last, but certainly not least: costumes. Many truly pulled out all the stops for this event. Sexy aliens, a Viking, and hippies all came together for a classic St. Andrews night. Two costumes that seemed to stand out and grabbed a number of people’s eyes was one of a girl who had painted her arms to look frighteningly like real bones, sported a pair of thigh highs and had her makeup perfectly match her realistic skeleton look. The other, also of skull variety, was a man that had placed a number of diamond encrusted strips mixed with black makeup and black contact lens to resemble a bedazzled skull that was hard to look away from.

Amongst the array of costumes and booze, the night most certainly has heated up those Halloween feelings in St Andrews and was a fabulous precursor for a week that is sure to be filled with many more ghosts, ghouls and cheerleaders.


Izzy Mittag