Halloweentown

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/halloweentown.png

This is a setting with a creepy motif. The buildings are Gothic in design (often clearly modeled on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), there's always a heavy fog in the air that obscures your vision, and the full moon always lights the cloud-draped sky... even at 2:30 in the afternoon. Halloweentown is usually inhabited by the usual assortment of horror trope creatures. The main color schemes are black, gray, orange, red, slimy green, and on a few occasions, purple. You'll often see them in combination.

Despite the somber colors and the Horror Trope decor, this setting is not always played solemnlynote . Imagine the Perky Goth or Nightmare Fetishist character as a setting, and you've got this place. It's less Eastern European and more trick or treat. Halloweentown is usually not that scary, at least not intentionally so. It's intended to be somewhat playful and fun. A good way to tell if a series is set in a place like this is if there are jack-o-lanterns and it's not Halloween, although it's not a prerequisite.

A very popular video game setting. If the main characters are visiting this location during Halloween, them being in costume (whether they fit the Halloween theme or are references to other works) is optional.

Contrast with Überwald, a much more serious, and much less funnote , take on the classic "spooky" setting. Not to be confused with Halloweentown, a made-for-TV Halloween Special by Disney.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Death City in Soul Eater, where the Shinigami live. Idiosyncratic in that the city's located in a desert clime and that a representative "postcard shot" would probably show warm sunlight and clear blue skies. Still fits the trope.
  • Thriller Bark in One Piece, an entire pirate ship with a horror motif. The island's population is mostly zombies created from lost pirates. The ruler, Gekko Moriah, resembles a vampire, and lives in a spooky mansion. There is also Perona, a woman with ghost powers.

    Comic Books 
  • The independent comic series The Underburbs. Countess Winifred Pale, a vampire, begins a world domination plot by turning a small human town into part of an evil dimension, transforms residents into monsters and effectively makes every day into Halloween.
  • The Dreaming in The Sandman resembled this, especially early on when the series was less fantasy and more horror.
  • Casper and the Spectrals has Spooky Town, a city segregated into numerous boroughs for different supernatural beings that competes with each other to scare normal humans and ensure the local Sealed Evil in a Can stays sealed.
  • Solar City from Halloween Man blends this with Raygun Gothic.
  • Villa Susto (lit. Scare Village) in the Spanish comic Minimonsters.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Trope Namer is The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is the job of the inhabitants of Halloween Town to make Halloween happen each year.
  • Corpse Bride, the spiritual successor to The Nightmare Before Christmas, takes place in this sort of setting as well. It is more specifically the Land of the Dead where the death-related trappings of this setting obviously exist like sapient black-widowed spiders and maggots, resting coffins, ravens and body replacements for corpses. Since they are not that passionate about fear it doesn't have a particularly dark or gothic aesthetic, however, using a more jazz-like and cheery environment.
  • The world Other Mother creates in Coraline invokes one since its magical and otherworldly in an welcoming and entertaining way. Also thoroughly subverted, in that it's a death trap.
  • The town Paranorman inverts this, as the reason Blithe Hollow is so famous is that there's a legend of a witch haunting the town which the locals use as their only tourist attraction, despite the fact that they abhor anything out of the ordinary and their norms, including foreigners. While the town does have some supernatural elements which most of the populace ignores, the only real danger turns out be those same citizens that are led by bigotry to cruelty and violence.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Halloweentown series of movies. The titular town is unusually bright and cheery... Until it's time for bed...
  • A proto-example is Holstenwall from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It has the creepy mood and architecture (which were a visible inspiration for Nightmare), but only one Mad Scientist and his sleep-walking Serial Killer.

    Literature 
  • Photographer Walter Wick's book series Do You See What I See? has one installment that involves exploration of a Halloween Town, starting from a hill overlooking the town, down into the streets and finally to a spooky house at the other end of the village.
    • In one of his other series "I Spy" has a book focused entirely on the spooky house (Which may or may not be the same house as above, as he is known to reuse images in various books)
  • The world of origin of Vampires in the Necroscope series.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The freeware tabletop RPG Pumpkin Town takes place in a small world inhabited by all sorts of Halloween monsters, who live in an otherwise-ordinary small town setting until Halloween night, when gateways to the mortal realm open up and the denizens can pass through and go trick-or-treating or do whatever other mischief they think they can get away with.

    Videogames 
  • Animal Crossing has the Spooky furniture set, which can only be found on—of course—Halloween. It allows you to turn your house into one of these.
  • Mad Monster Mansion in Banjo-Kazooie.
  • Croatoa, a zone in City of Heroes, is fog-encrusted, and inhabited by ghosts, witches, Red Caps, and fire-breathing Jack-o-Lantern plant monsters.
  • Horrorland in the Goosebumps point and click adventure game Escape from Horrorland.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has the aptly-titled Spooky level, which seems to be a mishmash of this in design and more worryingly Überwald (there actually are flesh-eating zombies and vampires that you have to kill).
  • The Netherworld/Makai in every iteration of Disgaea and its sister series.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, the protagonists actually visit the trope-naming town a couple of times. And they even get cool monster costumes to match!
  • Haunted House on the Atari is one of the first games to be set here.
  • Ooga Booga in King's Quest VII.
  • Dark City (Chaos Faction) in the MMO Angels Online.
  • Niffleheim in Ragnarok Online.
  • Pumpkin Hill, Aquatic Mine, and several other levels in Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • World of Warcraft's Undercity, home of the Forsaken undead. This is a city built completely underground. All the buildings are gothic in design, skull-shaped decorations abound. Green-yellow goo (in which you can surprisingly fish) flows in the canals. The city is guarded by giant abominations (read Frankenstein's Monsters). One of the quarters of the city is "The Apothecarium": a laboratory destined to the production of said monsters and the development of new Plagues. All the inhabitants are obviously undead. The ruler is a Banshee and the co-ruler (used to be, until his failed takeover attempt) a vampire-demon. This is the actual capital city for a player race, too. Not a vile dungeon filled with enemies. (Don't get us wrong, the Forsaken are mostly assholes, especially the Apothecaries, but still.)
    • As far as actual dungeons are concerned, Naxxramas probably qualifies. A flying Necropolis filled with more undead horrors your mind can comprehend.
    • There is also the Halloween-feel to Duskwood from Darkshire to the Worgan raids. The whole area also often plays host to the Headless Horseman, Pumpkin Fest, and Trick or Treat Mask give-aways every year.
  • Ghost Island in Pac-Man World.
  • Crescent Moon Village from Wario Land 4 has this feel about the place, as well as being Big Boo's Haunt.
  • Underworld from Fallout 3 is the closest the setting can offer. It's a settlement of ghouls (in the Fallout universe, this refers to ageless Technically Living Zombies who're usually sapient and got their condition from being massively irradiated) who took up residence in a museum exhibit about the afterlife, hence the name and the giant stone skull over the gate. Many of the people and places in there have names relating to death and mythological interpretations of the afterlife.
  • The "Wacky Worlds" Expansion Pack of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 lets you put Halloween and "horror"-themed decorations in your park, along with the option of bare dirt (or whatever you want) for the ground. Some rides are even Halloween-themed.
  • The Transylvania world in Looney Tunes Bugs & Taz Time Busters.
  • The town of Threed in EarthBound at least before you beat Master Belch, it features zombie dogs, zombies, ghosts, a graveyard, coffins in an underground path leading to Grapefruit falls, and even a totally blatant Halloween enemy called the Trick or Trick kid.
  • OutRun 2006 has one of these scenarios as a race track.
  • Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove takes place in the town of Monsterville, which naturally doubles as a Monster Mash.
  • Puppeteer has Hallowee-Ville.
  • This is what Prague is set up to be in Sly 2: Band of Thieves. It even comes with it's own set of monsters, a guillotine, a gothic castle, and a countess with spider legs to rule over.
  • During the annual Halloween activity in Guild Wars 2, Lion's Arch becomes a Halloweentown, with permanent darkness, a leering moon, kitschy tombstones, Jack-o-Lanterns, creepy portals, and assorted other Halloween paraphernalia filling the Trader's Forum.

    Web Original 
  • Ravensblight Manor, a site for the various artistic experimentations of Ray O'Bannon, is modeled after a strange town which is capable of teleporting anywhere within the continental United States note . The site includes a toyshop in which you can acquire free downloadable papercraft of the various manifestations of spookiness that occur around the town. These include a Ghost Train, ghost aircraft, ships, haunted car, trucks, and multiple houses, each with a succession of occupants who either died tragically and miserably, were suspected of working foul magics, went mad, or did something weird and disappeared or had to face the locals' wrath. Cemeteries, monsters, coffins, and games about cemeteries... and the list goes on. And it's always midnight in Ravensblight! Don't take a ride on the abandoned carousel, even if it is still playing fairground music.
  • Dreamscape: The vampire empire in the Underworld. Not just because of its populace, but also all of the buildings look like haunted houses and its got a red sky.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Certain parts of Salem, Massachusetts try SO hard to live this trope year-round. Unfortunately, the bar, or ice cream shop, or convenience next door conveniently ruins the illusion.
  • St. Helens, Oregon is a good example, seeing as it was also the same place used by Disney for the Halloweentown DCOMs.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HalloweenTown