Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 21:04:56
18 November 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.

Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge
Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge

Trouble in the tombstone industry, booming blockchain, and mercenary music hits. Plus, cats at work and a use of paper you've never seen.  

Slavic-Style Spooks
Slavic-Style Spooks

Halloween or Hallowon't? The holiday is more trick than treat in Russia, so dive into the details and creep yourself out with some frightful tales while you're at it. 

The Big 100
The Big 100

This year marks the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. Here's what that looks like, plus gas, cats, and seals (state seals, that is).

Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!
Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!

Ice Age lions thaw out, fairytale heroes meet social media, and foreign news needs a new passport. Plus, all about Russian art in less than 30 minutes. 

Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars
Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars

Father Frost gets iced, a space shuttle gets wet, and cars get driven driverlessly. Plus, famous Russian buildings go on vacation, the Romanovs take TV, and Russian smilies)

Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends
Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends

Putin announces he'll run for president, the Olympic Committee announces Russia can't compete, and some swans announce that they want a new house. 

Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers
Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers

An art exhibit proves once and for all that Putin is a superhero. Plus, World Cup counterfeits, how Russian media monitoring works, and a leopard cub.

Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat
Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat

What a Russian holiday looks like, the Romanovs go to The Gambia, and why secret police are extra special around the holidays. All that, and Russia's most popular cats.