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Out and About

Hallowe’en at Silver’s

All Souls’ night precedes All Saints’ Day. You might not have guessed this virtuous truth in Moscow on 31 October, or for that matter on the 29th and 30th either. Long nights for grown-ups to pretend to be children and give their angelic sides the dark times off. You were tucked up at home, getting an early night before a big work week, but lesser spirits were stirred, and shaken. Whole schools of ghouls descended, in one sense or another, to Moscow’s catacombs, crypts and thoroughfares. Underground watering holes buzzed with demons, dancing corpses, fallen angels, and Dracula’s extended family. Consistency of logic or legend were both suspended. It was an enjoyably scary night to be out and about, so I am told.

Nowhere better than at Silver’s. Cryptically congested and eerily lit at the best of times, it was quintessentially kitsch for the night. Bar manager Julia and her flock had re-decorated the luxurious, cavernous subterranean halls with a cornucopia of creepy cobwebs, bats, bones and blood-bespattered features and fittings. It was as spookily scary as, well, the regular nocturnal clientele, who may or may not have been in fancy dress. The saturnalia extended to the drinks offered, too, with portions of dangerous potions kindly offered phial and gratis, looking like drained blood, but kicking like a quartet of apocalyptic horses. Reigning over this macabre madhouse were, of course, the Queens of the Night, the Silver Sirens, the best bar staff in this life, or possibly the next. Costumed up as befitted their characters, the team kept the drinks and the fun flowing in equal measures, so that the sacrificial customers went home with either fond or no memories. You had to be there! Was I?

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