Newlyweds and timeshare owners adore Aruba, but how does Aruba celebrate the spookiest night of the year, Halloween?
This year I am in Aruba for Halloween for the very first time in my dozens of trips to this beautiful Caribbean paradise, and I set out to find you the best haunted events all around the island.
Halloweekend Night (Saturday, October 28th)
Halloween 2023 fell on a Tuesday, so the Saturday preceding Allhallows Eve was definitely the night to begin the scary celebrations.
I began the evening at the Paseo Herencia shopping center on Palm Beach, which offers its Mall-o-Ween family-friendly events every night from October 27th as Halloween approaches.
As I entered the plaza, I heard screaming children from the haunted elevator near Caribbean Cinemas as an extremely bright full moon illuminated the frightening scene.
Many people were roaming the grounds in costume!
For adults, there is a Haunted Pub Crawl and a horror movie screening at 7pm nightly.
More details on Paseo Herencia's special Halloween events are available here.
Afterwards, I walked towards the Holiday Inn where I noticed some commotion.
Upon closer inspection, the Chogogo and Kukoo Kunuku party busses were picking up guests for their haunted pub crawls. These tours are known for their debauchery, and one can only imagine what the evening held in store for these passengers.
My next destination was the special Fang-Tastic Halloween event at The Casino at the Ritz-Carlton Aruba.
As I arrived, I noticed a display of Halloween-themed cupcakes free for the taking along with spooky-colored witches' brew and a live band playing salsa music.
One of the employees told me that gamblers with a casino loyalty card earned extra points on this evening and were eligible for up to $11,000 in cash prizes.
After helping myself to these delicious baked goods, my final destination for the evening was Craft, an open-air restaurant/lounge with live DJ music on the weekends from 10pm until closing time.
My friend, DJ Alex, was at the decks playing groovy house music as the venue's industrial strength smoke machines ghoulishly filled the street with fog.
Angelic women outfitted in black and white wings graced the dance floor, and several groups enjoyed bottle service as they watched the throngs of passersby saunter down Juan Irausquin Boulevard.
I left as the clock struck midnight, and tourists were still lining up for photo opportunities under the watchful eye of a statue of Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's horror film The Nightmare before Christmas.
Halloween (Tuesday, October 31)
Continuing my search for Aruba's best ghastly thrills, I decided to head towards the middle of the island, and I began my day at Surfside Beach located between Oranjestad and the airport.
Surfside is one of my favorite beaches (click here to read my Ultimate Aruba Beach Guide) especially to watch the planes fly into the airport.
We walked from Surfside Beach past the West Deck and into Oranjestad, eyes peeled for Halloween activity.
Aruba's capital city was packed with visitors from the not one not two but THREE cruise ships in town for the October 31st.
Apparently, being in Aruba for Halloween was a huge attraction for these cruise ships, as two of the ships would stay in Aruba until late in the evening of AllHallows Eve.
As we walked around downtown Oranjestad, we saw many cruise passengers from the Regal Princess, Carnival Horizon and Nieuw Amsterdam leaving on their shore excursions and walking around the Renaissance Marina. Costumes were sparse - but it was early.
Meanwhile, back at my resort pool, a best costume competition was underway along with other pool games such as a team Balashi beer-chugging competition.
Later in the evening, I headed to my favorite nightclub on the island, Gusto, to visit some Dutch friends of mine who work there.
Patrons began to arrive dressed in all sorts of costumes - I would say about 1/3 of people were in Halloween-appropriate attire and face paint.
As I drove home that night past all of the Halloween revelers, I decided that an Aruban Halloween can be as spooky as you want it to be.
If you are as big of a Halloween fan as I am, then please check out the original song I wrote especially for this season.
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