Check out more photos in Erin Broadley's “Grimm Fairytale Ball” slideshow. Some photos are NSFW.
You can pack thousands of scantily clad party people into a theater and give them Deadmau5 and Justice, but no mega-party can compare to goth clubs during this spookiest of holiday seasons. Friday night, we headed to Koreatown to start our weekend at Ruin's Grimm Fairytale Ball featuring DJs Xian (Malediction Society, Wumpskate) and Pumpkin (Wandering Marionettes, Cirque Berzerk). Throughout the night, we were reminded of why so many call Halloween “Goth Christmas” and so, we've compiled eight great reasons why goth clubs are the only place to spend Halloween.
You won't hear “Bela Lugosi's Dead”
When I was but a young club kid, a wise DJ once told me that you should never play “Bela Lugosi's Dead” at a goth club. Aside from the fact that there is hardly a beat, it's simply too obvious. Friday, when it came to the nightly dose of Bauhaus, we heard “King Volcano,” a slight nod to David Bowie's “Velvet Goldmine” and a good excuse to waltz. Brilliant.
The goth scene might be the only music/fashion community to remain untouched by the Era of Irony. You'll never go to a goth club and hear a song “so bad, it's good” and will probably never spot a person in intentionally ugly '80s exercise gear. Even on Halloween, the costumes are filled with romance, drama and sincerity. It's refreshing.
Cool pop culture references
Do you really want to spend your night with a gaggle of Kate Gosselins and Octomoms? Goths are typically far removed from the celebrity-obsessed pop culture zeitgeist. Our big celeb costume-sighting of the night was Jareth, aka David Bowie from Labyrinth, which is a much better conversation starter. But, in a scene where Bowie has god-like status, we were a bit disappointed that no one showed up as Supervillain David Bowie from The Venture Bros. with Henchman Klaus Nomi and Iggy Pop. Maybe that should be Team LA Weekly's costume next year.
Ambience is everything
Goth clubs never go half-assed on Halloween and Ruin's Grimm Fairytale Ball was no exception. Fake flowers were strewn across the entrance and vines lined the staircase. Inside the club, there were incredibly realistic-looking monster props mixed in with the venue's gothic decor and an absinthe bar.
Goths in pink
Goths are keenly aware that black clothing is flattering on everyone, but every once in a while, you need to break from the mold. Hence, Halloween is one of very few occasions (the others being themed events) where you will a sizable crowd dressed in colors like pink. That they can still retain their spookiness in paler colors is an achievement, as seen here with Marie Antoinette.
No cheesy sexy prisoner costumes
Goth girls see the line between risque Halloween gear and cheesy costumes. You won't see prison lingerie or cliched naughty school girl looks here. You might, however, run into Motoko Kusanagi. How often is it that you see someone reference Ghost in the Shell outside of an anime convention?
There are plenty of girls who are suckers for guys with dandy tendencies and, for these ladies, a goth Halloween party is the place to go. From steampunk professors to tried-and-true vampires, the boys know how to work it.
A Haunted Mansion dance floor
One universal truth about goth clubs is that there will be a lot of spinning, dipping and waltzing on the dance floor, whether or not you have a partner. No matter where you go, it will look a bit like the ballroom scene on Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride. But on Halloween, when the clubs are at capacity, the sight is all the more eerie and intoxicating.