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What to Do for Halloween in the Capital

Many city businesses have put up decorations in the spirit of Halloween. Vladimir Filonov

Double, double toil and trouble — Halloween is upon us and there is plenty to do in Moscow for those who want a thrill this holiday weekend.

Despite recent news of Halloween celebrations being banned in the Siberian city of Omsk, Halloween is becoming an increasingly popular holiday in Russia, and more people are celebrating it every year, especially in the capital. Halloween is especially popular among young people in Russia — students and teenagers, eager to participate in the fun, love getting dressed up and enjoying the holiday.

The tradition of 'trick-or-treat' does not exist in Russia. The excitement of children running in a sugar-fueled frenzy from house to house seeking candy would probably not translate to Russian tower blocks. But Halloween need not be a nonevent, there are plenty of events to celebrate the scary holiday for all the family.

For parents looking for Halloween events for their little monsters, the Semitsvetik theater is staging a theatrical festival for the whole family this weekend. Every night this weekend at 5 p.m., there will be a musical performance called ''Little Witch.'' This performance shows children that kindness and doing good deeds for others is the most powerful magic in the world! All young members of the audience will receive a gift. Tickets cost 700 rubles. They are also limited, so hurry to make sure your children will experience all the chills and thrills of Halloween!

For those who are looking for a more grown-up celebration, there are a number of Halloween-themed parties taking place every night this weekend at clubs all over Moscow. Vermel club is hosting a number of Halloween-themed events this week, including a "Vermel's Family Halloween Night" on Nov. 1. The night is loosely based on the theme of the popular film and television series family, the Addam's Family. Let your inner Lurch loose at this event, which promises plenty of scares. The event starts at 11:30 p.m. and entrance is free.

Gipsy loves giving their parties unusual names, and following their ''PMS Marathon,'' Friday night will see the club holding a ''BDSM Night.'' Though the name hints at debauchery, partygoers might be slightly disappointed to discover that the name is merely derived from the names of the four DJs playing on the night, Bryuler, Dulschikov, Smaguine and Malygina. Despite this, judging from past themed events at the club, it seems to be a safe bet that many will take inspiration from the name of the event when planning their costumes. Entrance is free.

Techno club Monasterio also promises an unforgettable Halloween. They began revealing the names of the DJs who would play at their event Friday night ten days ago. So far only one has been revealed, Nikita Zabelin, but they let slip that there will be a number of internationally well-known DJs at the party. Entrance is free.

Those thrill-seekers who would like a slightly more sedate but still terrifying Halloween weekend should check out the festival of New British Cinema, which began this week in Moscow. Director Ben Wheatley's black and white historical thriller, ''A Field in England,'' is playing at Formula Kino Gorizont on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Set during the English Civil War, the film follows a small party of deserters as they are ambushed by two dangerous men and made to search a field for a mysterious treasure. Madness and psychedelia quickly grip the group of men as they are forced to question their actions. The film is in English with Russian subtitles.

Also playing as part of the festival is Peter Strickland's ''Berberian Sound Studio.'' A psychological thriller, the film follows the frightening experience of a sound engineer's work in a 1970s Italian horror film studio, which becomes a terrifying case of life imitating art. ''Berberian Sound Studio,'' is playing at Formula Kino Gorizont on Monday at 7 p.m. The film is in English with Russian subtitles.

If you are looking for inspiration for a Halloween costume, check out CarneVale at the Yevropeisky shopping center. Delivery is free for purchases of more than 1000 rubles, and they also have a website where you can buy various costumes. If you are thinking of scaring your nearest and dearest with your transformation into a witch, demon or most terrifyingly, a nun, this is the place for you. You can also find wigs, jewelery and makeup to help you in your transformation.

You can also check out, a website that mostly sells theatrical costumes that may be suitable for Halloween — fake blood, artificial noses — all kinds of weird and wonderful possibilities. Remember that many of the parties taking place this weekend offer prizes for the best costumes, so get creative! Have a spooky weekend!

Semitsvetik Theater, 10/12 Timiryazevskaya Ulitsa. Metro Dmitrovskaya. 495-764-5290.

Monasterio, 15/12a Rochdelskaya Ulitsa. Metro Smolenskaya. 495-665-22.

Gipsy, 3 Bolotnaya Naberezhnaya. Metro Tretyakovskaya, Kropotkinskaya. 495-669-8693.

Formula Kino Gorizont, 21/10 Komsomolsky Prospekt. Metro Frunzenskaya. 800-250-8025.

Vermel, 4, Raushskaya Naberezhnaya. Metro Tretyakovskaya, Novokuznetskaya. 495-689-7353.

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