Halloween in Glasgow city centre is a sordid circus of slutty neds in cheap fetish gear. PVC-clad cretins get their saddlebags out in fishnet stockings, masquerading as nurses, policewomen or whatever career outfit was cheapest in the Ann Summers bargain bin. They stumble in stripper heels and drop chips and curry sauce on corset-compressed cleavage. The horror show of Halloween Sauchiehall Street is arguably more depraved than any slasher or snuff movie, and urges the rest of Glasgow society to stay at home and barricade the doors.

Despite the dearth of respect for this ancient celebration in the scummier vaults of the city, Halloween events that glamourize the macabre still exist in Glasgow.  Club Noir’s burlesque Halloween ball sexualizes the sinister, Optimo Espookio is packed with elaborate outfits and In The Company of Wolves recently channeled 70s horror for their gruesome take on Scottish style. Complement these with a string of late-night horror flicks at the GFT, and your Glasgow fright-fest can be more than just toffee apples and tacky costumes.

This year Subclub drew on Asian inspiration for their Halloween festivities. In honour of all that is gory, organisers transformed the underground venue into a replica of notorious Japanese suicide forest Aokigahara.

Aokigahara, for those of you unacquainted with its legend, is a forest at the foot of Japan’s towering Mount Fuji. The area itself is steeped in Japanese mythology – said to be haunted by demons and unsettled ghosts (‘yurei’) and also presumed to be a site where the act of ‘ubasute’ (leaving your auld Granny out in the woods and letting her starve or freeze to death) was once practiced. On top of all that, it’s the world’s second most popular spot for topping yourself. Probably not the best forest for orienteering, but ideal for séances.

The horrific romanticisation of death is what makes Aokigahara, and true Halloween celebrations, so alluring. Famous Japanese novel Nami No To (Tower of Waves) climaxes in the joint suicide of the book’s protagonists within the depths of Aokighara, and the trend for taking your own life in the forest is often attributed to this. Aokighara suicide is so rampantly fashionable that the Japanese have taken to erecting signs around the forest pleading death-obsessives to reconsider. A group of volunteers must also patrol the woods annually to uncover cadavers.

Cut to Subclub’s interpretation of suicide glamour and we find ourselves submerged in a miniature model of the notorious forest. Ghoulish faces are cast in shadows and movement is made jittery in the flutter of the strobe. An abandoned camp site stands against a forest back drop, mirroring the haunted woodland where so many Japanese kids go to take their lives.  Todd Terje’s exquisite set throbs from the Funktion 1s, pulsing through the costumed guests.  Tunes from Serge Santiago’s Atto D’amore to Terje’s Ragysh accompany the excitable cheering, dancing and facial contortions of the crowd. We get lost in the woods.

Sadly not all scantily-clad sluts were sieved out of this hardcore Halloween setting on Saturday night, but none were overly offensive.  It’s easy to put up with the sight of someone’s bare, spotted arse above torn stockings when your surroundings and soundtrack are so exhilarating.  I spent the evening writhing against the Wall of Sound in my dead girl get-up and slit wrist bandages, planting nightmares in the recesses of people’s chemically-charged brains. A deliciously dark Glaswegian Halloween, exactly as it should be done.

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