Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 00:18:05
20 September 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Thursday, November 02, 2017

Slavic-Style Spooks

by Alice E.M. Underwood
Trick or Travesty

Russia’s got a bone to pick with Halloween. Since it falls on the eve of All Saints’ Day, the celebration’s focus on candy and costumes rankles some Russian Orthodox believers. Still, some young folks dress up and celebrate for fun. Many Russians either ignore the holiday, considering it a Western sort of spook, while others decry the candy binge it often entails for tender-toothed youngsters. Wherever you fall, here are some scary and spooky stories to give you a shiver.

In Haunter News

1. Think twice before you don that tiger skin or mount a mammoth tusk for your costume: endangered species face internet trafficking as well as illegal hunting. Luckily, officials have barred over 1000 such websites.

2. Is a severed pig’s head engraved with a pentagram a Halloween costume gone wrong or the start of a barnyard horror movie? Since it was left on the door of a supporter of anti-corruption activist and presidential hopeful Alexey Navalny, there’s a slight chance it’s also a political statement.

3. Hallowon’t? If you change your mind and want a Russian-themed costume, here are ideas for DIY creations to represent Russia in your wicked wardrobe.

Quote of the Week 

"Despite being widely known, Halloween has failed to be absorbed into Russia’s (culture) – only three percent of those familiar with Halloween plan to celebrate it."
—A survey by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center on Russians’ attention to Halloween this year.

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.

Burger Bucks, Dyeing of Shame, and Flying Ballerinas
Burger Bucks, Dyeing of Shame, and Flying Ballerinas

Burger King makes money (its own), broke taxi passengers turn green, and summertime snow. Plus, a ballerina with a backup plan, Borodino, and the Museum of Death. 

Fake Countries, Sausages, and Mystery Highways
Fake Countries, Sausages, and Mystery Highways

How to be patriotic to a nonexistent country, get a proper education, and deal with a highway through your house. Plus buildings, bridges, and bratwursts to die for. 

Evil Clowns, Ballerinas, and Other Movie Monsters
Evil Clowns, Ballerinas, and Other Movie Monsters

Clown horror is horrid for clowns, a ballet scandal on the silver screen, and a pack of protesting porkers. 

Guns, Gents, and Stalin
Guns, Gents, and Stalin

Heroes who caused deaths, heroes who saved lives, questionable movie heroes, and the heroes who make art and cheese. Which is your favorite?

The Biggest Cheesecake, The Artsiest Robot, and The Spaciest Station
The Biggest Cheesecake, The Artsiest Robot, and The Spaciest Station

A record-breaking cake, a robot breaking (conceptions of) art, and a space station breaking international boundaries. Plus, flying cars and how to live on Mars.

Spying for Russia and Flying for Russia
Spying for Russia and Flying for Russia

The glorious deeds of a famous spy, the smaller deeds of everyday spies, and a whole new horizon for female fighter pilots.

Putin in Birthdayland and Alice in Wonderland
Putin in Birthdayland and Alice in Wonderland

For Putin's birthday, a fake burger, a real burger, and a puppy. Plus, St. Petersburg rooftops, frogmen, and how to bathe in crude oil.  

Bread and Circuses. And Tetris.
Bread and Circuses. And Tetris.

Arcade cars, patriotic circuses, and administrative festivities. Also, some crazy murals, Moscow's transformation, and the secrets of Peter the Great.