As the street lights blinked on and the sun sank beneath the horizon, people started wandering around St Andrews looking for a venture. A quiet had settled about the town – even as you passed the Vic and the Union each in turn were devoid of people. Only a few were seen flitting in and about various establishments or dwindling outside doors with smokes in hand. However it would be wrong to think that this night was to be entirely empty, for it seems all of the lifeblood of St Andrews had been drawn to one place, House of Horror. As I approached South Street a pool of light revealed a crowd of people standing beside The Rule, spilling out onto the street, queueing in doorways, all accompanied by a buzz of conversation and a thrum of music. With the event sold out, and not a ticket to spare, there was an urgency as people jostled to enter in.
Passing the entrance one was faced a row of individuals adorned with clown-esque make up, black diamonds colouring the space around their eyes, with red wide smiles to match. Once you’d passed by the committee with your hand stamped with ‘APPROVED’ in fresh blue ink you were faced with quite the sight. People spun and danced on the floor below, clumped together in a ever-moving busy horde while others spilled over the railings on the floor above, in what felt like one enormous house party. While the scene resembled a house party, the decorations said otherwise. Black and white vintage style films projected ghostly figures onto each wall. Stripy monochrome fabric draped over the walls and stairways, bloody fabric and plastic limbs adorned the banisters and red ballon’s ominously floated above head height at this carnivalesque themed frenzy.
So the tale of the evening read as follows:
In 1911, DREAMLAND in Coney Island, New York was the greatest amusement park in the world. A masterpiece of the senses, it had everything you could imagine: dashing lion tamers and curious incubator babies, visionary gondola rides whisking you to Venice and miniature railroads.
But on 27 May, 1911, a new ride called HELL GATE exploded and Dreamland went up in flames. Firefighters battled through the night to salvage the park, but, by morning, Dreamland was nothing more.
FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY, WE RESURRECT DREAMLAND FROM THE GRAVE.
Dream land has returned and so had its ghosts. Clowns in full uniform, with cherry coloured manes, painted faces and spindly claws roamed the room. Knifes in hand they grinned with uneasy mirth. The attendees were also suited up for the occasion. Women dressed to the nines in lace leotards and ruffled shirts. Sequins glittered on people’s outfits as drinks were poured and the evening ticked onwards, with the nightfever only increasing. Candyfloss was combined with alcohol to form sugary shots aimed to bemused the senses.
Various DJs performed their sets, ensuring the sound was always changing, thanks to excellant Quentin Wight, Max Dupa, Tom Hurst, Hamoosh and Anna Massek. From the above railing they blasted the songs we knew and the tunes we didn’t, pushing the throng below into a dizzy. Events like these, where committees are dedicated to portraying a theme are always a real success, as was proved here at House of Horror and at Bacchanalia last term. The whole event was inventive, oddly nostalgic, freaky and bloody fun – I can’t wait for House of Horror to return in all its blazing gore and glory.