There’s one thing we didn’t cover in our guide for what to do in Taiwan in autumn – Halloween. Yes, Halloween is celebrated in Taipei and around Taiwan by locals and visitors, even though it is nowhere near as big as it is in North America. That said, with each passing year, more and more people and businesses embrace the affair with costume parties, trick or treating, night club events, scary film showings, pumpkin patch visits, and more. If you’re staying on the island during the week of All Hallows’ Eve (or Wànshèngjié, as it’s known here) we encourage you to read ahead…if you dare.
5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween When in Taipei or Anywhere in Taiwan
Taipei Zoo, Taipei City
We’re starting things off with a family-friendly affair (unlike some of the others below) at the Taipei Zoo. Entering its 11th year (2019) is Zoolloween, which is actually a series of spooky and fun activities that lead into the big day. Parents and kids alike are invited to wear costumes while enjoying an event which merges ghosts and goblins with insightful opportunities to learn more about wildlife and conservation. View the full itinerary and more on the Taipei Zoo Facebook page.
2. Wang Shan Pumpkin Recreation Farm
Zhuangwei Township, Yilan County
What’s Halloween without a visit to a pumpkin patch? A trip to the Wang Shan Pumpkin Recreation Farm may not be the wildest of Halloween “to dos” in Taiwan but it is a big one for traditionalists with kids in tow. Pumpkins grow high and low, and hang from the curved ceiling of the farm’s greenhouse making for some pretty interesting photos. You can pick a pumpkin for the family, but also make your own delectable pumpkin rolls and tease your tastebuds with their famous pumpkin popsicle (it’s an acquired taste). You get the full farm experience at Wang Shan Pumpkin Recreation Farm, with a petting zoo and information sessions about the whole pumpkin-seed-to-table process.
If pumpkin patches and agriculture are your cup of tea at this time of the year you may also enjoy the Tamsui Pumpkin Tunnel (as it sounds) which is located at the Tamsui estuary in New Taipei City.
3. Tianmu Halloween Parade
Zhongcheng Road, Tianmu District
Halloween meets the Shilin International Cultural Festival during the Tianmu Halloween Parade at the end of October. There are thousands upon thousands of people decked out in costumes, while Zhongcheng Road and its storefronts are decorated to the tee. In addition to the carnival-esque parade, there are food stands, street performers, pumpkin-carving contests, and trick or treating opportunities at the shops for those of all ages…assuming you’re dressed the part! The two events combined for the first time in 2017 and given the success over the past two years (as of 2019) it’s expected to continue. If you’re here, this is a can’t miss Halloween to-do.
4. Hit the Club for Halloween Parties
For the 18-years+ crowd it’s all about nightclub parties on Halloween in Taipei and around Taiwan. While most major venues will be hosting a Halloween party this year (every year) the following Taipei establishments (open until 4:30 AM!) are known for having “best costume” contests, themed decor, and all around Halloween hijinks:
- OMNI Nightclub – Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District
- Triangle – Yumen Street, Zhongshan District
- AI Nightclub – No. 12, Songshou Road, Xinyi District
5. Visit (at your own risk) Minsyon Haunted House
Chiayi County, Southwestern Taiwan
This is no theme park type of destination. It’s a real deal haunted mansion and if you don’t believe us then you won’t have any problem visiting the property, right? You might want to read ahead first.
Minsyon home is an old abandoned residence of the Liu family, of the Qing Dynasty. Long ago, the host of the mansion fell in love with the family’s female servant. His wife eventually found out, and to get revenge began to mistreat and abuse the housemaid until she could no longer take it. With nowhere to turn she ended her own life by throwing herself into a well on the property. As time passed, the husband and wife, overnight guests, and remaining servants reported hearing and seeing the sprit of the deceased within and around the residence. The haunting got worse over the years until the occupants could no longer handle living in the mansion. Rumors of the haunting continued to swirl, until events escalated and become more dire. A camp of Japan soldiers seeking solace took rest in the abandoned mansion on one fateful night. By morning, all were found dead by apparent suicide. Since then, no one dares sneak into the house, but curiosity has made the Minsyon house a popular place to visit (from the outside) and photograph on All Hallows’ Eve. Do you dare?
Other apparent haunted houses and vacant buildings in Taiwan include the Xinglin Hospital (Tainan City), the Wuri home (Taichung City), the Keelung home (Keelung City), and the Hualien home (Ji-An Township). Just one tip – don’t go alone.
Halloween is a wild time of the year in Taiwan so it helps to have a local guide at your side to navigate through it all, haunted houses included. Pick out a costume for the big day/night and then connect to a local guide via the Loci Amica app (download here).