Last month, US expatriates Craig and Anne-Marie Carlisle, both 48, brought more than 100kg of candy into Singapore. But it wasn’t because they run a candy shop, or have a particularly wicked sweet tooth.
Every Halloween, the Carlisles, who live in Woodgrove Estate in Woodlands with their two children, have to contend with hundreds of children appearing at
their doorstep asking for sweets. And they are more than happy to oblige.
“Halloween is the biggest celebration in the neighbourhood,” said Mrs Carlisle, who works as a manager for a semiconductor company. “And it’s been the same every Halloween.”
Every year, the streets of Woodgrove Estate, which is home to a large number of American expats whose children are studying in the Singapore American School (SAS) nearby, turn into a horror movie set, complete with people dressed as ghouls and witches.
Thursday night was no different. Cobwebs hung from metal gates, pumpkin lanterns sat on front porches, bats hung from the ceiling and skeletons lined the walkways as the residents in the estate spared no effort in transforming their homes into haunted houses.
The Carlisles, who have lived in the estate for four years, had one of the spookiest houses in the neighbourhood. It was adorned with grinning skeletons,
moving skulls and tombstones, complete with creepy laughter blaring from unseen speakers.
It took 12 hours to get everything ready and it was well worth the effort. Many people came to take pictures with the ghostly props. Mrs Carlisle said they spent several thousands of dollars on the decorations and the sweets they gave out.
But was buying 100kg of sweets overdoing it? “We finish giving out all the candy every year,” she said. Although the celebrations started as a neighbourhood event, it now draws thousands of children and their parents both Americans and Singaporeans, from all parts of the island, with an estimated 2,000 people this year.
The event has become so popular that the residents hire security personnel for crowd control and directing traffic as children in costumes go door to door collecting treats.
Here are more pictures of our TNP photographer's ghostly encounters.
The article related to these pictures was first published in The New Paper on November 2, 2013.