It’s nearly Halloween, the spookiest time of year. And while many bars and restaurants dial up the doom for the holiday, some keep the horror vibe going all year long. These are the seven creepiest, scariest and sometimes silliest horror-themed bars in the world.
The portrait above the bar stares at you with eyes that move, but it’s no optical illusion. Rather, it’s an animatronic set of eyes that mechanically move back and forth at the appropriately named Creepy’s, a clown-themed bar full of eerie portraits and dolls that stare down at you as you drink. Most don’t have the moving animatronic eyes, but you’ll still feel like you’re being watched at every moment. Luckily, the fried chicken sandwich here is worth the raised neck hairs.
Frankenstein’s monster lives at the appropriately named Frankenstein in Edinburgh. Housed in a three-story ancient church, this homage to Big Franky sports the decor of a mad scientist’s lair and occasionally screens silent movie nights and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It also caters specifically to stag and hen nights (bachelor and bachelorette parties, for colonialist readers), because nothing is more truly terrifying than a raging Scottish hen or stag party.
The Slaughtered Lamb in NYC is a pretty standard English-style pub, save for the life-size statue of a werewolf grappling a maiden, as well as the werewolf iconography dotted throughout the bar. It’s all a testament to the original Slaughtered Lamb in London, which was the location where the two tourists were attacked by a werewolf in the 1981 cult classic American Werewolf in London. While you can’t tear into innocent villagers here to drink their lifeblood, you can tear into some good fish-and-chips and drink a nice selection of imported ales.
Vampire Cafe in Tokyo lives up to its name, with blood-red colors adorning almost every surface of the space, which features red velvet curtains, candles, cobwebs and even a coffin in the middle of the bar. Best yet, the staff role-plays vampires the whole time, and evenings are hosted by Vampire Rose, the frontman of a metal band and vampire impressionist, complete with Victorian era clothing, white makeup and fangs.
Get transported back to the Victorian era at world famous Jekyll & Hyde Club in NYC, a creepy ode to the famous mad scientist with a dual personality. The place is as much a performance as it is a bar. Actors portray a variety of roles, like Professor Shroud or Dreadworthy the Butler, and animatronic props, sound effects and decorations complete the hokey ambience. Is it a tourist trap? Almost certainly, but it’s still a fun, spooky time.
Swiss painter H.R. Giger would be proud of his eponymous bar in Gruyères, Switzerland, because they certainly nailed his aesthetic. The entire space feels like the inside of a Xenomorph hive, with great spiney arches and Alien-like skeletal chairs. His signature love for creepy baby faces is present, with clusters of them along the walls, and the every surface in the space swims with his stylistic swirling, complex designs. It feels like you’ve been consumed by some great malevolent space alien, which, we have to guess, H. R. would’ve been totally into.
Witness the ghostly horrors that lurk beyond the stars at The Lovecraft Bar in Portland, Ore. Or just grab an absinthe-based cocktail and dance to some gothy synth music. The Lovecraft is a nightclub that caters to goths, punks, horror aficionados, nerds and everyone else keeping Portland weird. The walls, floors and ceilings are etched with eldritch runes and symbols, and a fog machine pumps clouds into the space while blue and green lasers flash.
Mixing your cocktail