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, and black and slimy green
, and black
... sometimes 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.
Contrast with Überwald
, a much more serious, and much less fun, take on the classic "spooky" setting. Not to be confused with Halloweentown
, a made-for-TV Halloween Special
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Anime and Manga
- The independent comic series 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.
Films — Animated
- 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.
- The world Other Mother creates in Coraline. Also subverted, in that it's a death trap.
- The town Paranorman is based in is this, as the reason the town is so famous is that there's a legend of a witch haunting the town.
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.
- Photographer Walter Wick's book series Do You See What I See? has one instalment 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 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 they denizens can pass through and go trick-or-treating or do whatever other mischief they think they can get away with.
- 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.
- Conkers Bad Fur Day has the aptly-titled Spooky level, which seems to be this, except 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.
- Donkey Kong Country 2 has one of these.
- 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.
- The entirety of Luigis Mansion and its sequel, where Luigi goes about in a haunted house hunting ghosts with a souped-up vacuum cleaner.
- The final world of New Super Mario Bros. 1 has a distincty Halloweeny feel. And walking Pumpkins.
- Twilight Town in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door exists in a state of perpetual twilight, with a gigantic yellow full moon in the sky, and is inhabited mainly by crows and the gothic Twilighters. The town itself is under a curse where every time the church bell rings, a random denizen of Twilight Town is turned into a pig. Fortunately, No Ontological Inertia is in place.
- Dark City (Chaos Faction) in the somewhat obscure MMO Angels Online.
- Niffleheim in Ragnarok Online.
- Pumpkin Hill, Aquatic Mine, and several other levels in Sonic Adventure 2.
- Super Mario Land 2 has the Pumpkin Zone.
- Super Mario World has an unlockable skin that turns the game into this if you can beat the special stages.
- 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 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.
- The Neitherworld in the animated adaptation of Beetlejuice. It's full of bizarre buildings, Gothic-looking scenery, twisted backgrounds, and strange creatures of all shapes and sizes. Of course, the creatures are, for the most part pretty friendly if a little strange.
- Casper's Scare School has its school here.
- Ruby Gloom is set here.
- 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.