Puerto Rico celebrates pretty much all the holidays that we do on the mainland. But while I'm used to some pretty all-out efforts for Halloween in the U.S., I admit I haven't seen the holiday celebrated with that much spirit in Puerto Rico.
Still, that doesn't mean there aren't some epic events, parties and concerts taking place, particularly in San Juan. Here's where you can get your spook on this Halloween in 2014.
Club Brava's annual Black Magic event is usually the talk of the town on Halloween. The costume ball at Puerto Rico's hottest nightclub includes a contest for the best costume with a $1,000 grand prize. As you can imagine, you'll find your share of elaborate, sultry and sexy dress-ups celebrating on Saturday, October 25. You can buy tickets here and find more details here.
Put on your best costume and head to the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan for this large annual concert. This year, Yellow Halloween welcomes The Chainsmokers, authors of the hit song "Selfie." This is among the largest events for the holiday, and it takes place on October 31 at 8pm. You can buy tickets here.
House of Phobia
What better (or creepier) place for a haunted house than the Museum of Wildlife? All those real, stuffed animals staring at you... not to mention the assorted monsters hired to scare the heck out of you. House of Phobia runs throughout October. Check out the details on the museum's Facebook page.
Villanity at La Concha
La Concha Resort in Condado is one of the coolest hotels in Puerto Rico, and its lobby lounge is one of the hippest destinations in the city for a night out. This Halloween, the hotel hosts Villanity, a Halloween party where you get to choose which side you're on: the good guys or the dark side. You can check out the details here.
Not for nothing is Plaza Las Américas the largest mall in the Caribbean. There's always something going on here, and Halloween is no different! The Full Moon Spooky Mansion is a family-friendly haunted house that will put you and your kids (if they dare) in the spooky spirit.
Chasing Ghosts in Old San Juan
Old San Juan has quite a history. Its fortifications were designed to inflict heavy casualties on opposing armies. It was a military fortified city which saw its share of prisoners (they used to be led, shackled, up San Sebastián Street to the Plaza de Armas), pirates, and bloody battles. So of course, there are ghosts here too. From El Morro to El Convento, some of the most famous structures in Old San Juan are said to be haunted. Maybe on Halloween, you can do a little ghost-hunting.
As you can see, there's plenty of fun to enjoy this Halloween in Puerto Rico. But you don't have to be on the island to celebrate a little Puerto Rican spirit this year. If you want to do something creative with your costume, how about going to your Halloween party (or dressing up your kid) as a Vejigante? These folkloric demons are integral characters in Puerto Rican culture, and they're pretty fantastic to look at. The typical mask of the Vejigante is beak-shaped and horned (the number of horns varies), and to complete your outfit you need a colorful cape, and voila! Instant Vejigante!