Plug pulled on Halloween Horrors event leaves room for more speculation about true cause.
It has been ongoing for the past six years.
As was the case last year, the event this year is planned by students from Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Events and Project Management as their final year project. There are 17 students involved this year.
Halloween Horrors was supposed to be held on weekends at the Night Safari between Sept. 30 and Oct. 30.
On Sept. 15, Thursday, just two weeks before the event is supposed to happen, it got yanked by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore that manages the Night Safari.
Here’s what went to waste due to the last-minute plug-pulling: Seven months of work, a lot of costumes, time spent auditioning ghouls, a million dollars, road show publicity events and 1,000 tickets sold.
The event was expected to rake in $4 million.
In a Facebook statement, Isabella Loh, director and newly-installed chief executive of WRS, tried to explain the decision to yank the event.
She said Halloween Horrors was no more “because of the negative feedback received from corporations, friends of the zoo, the public and the media about the event, especially over the relevance in relation to conservation”.
Isabella also said, “We are now staging a festival centered around Deepavali in October in our parks. This is a multi-cultural family event for all Singaporeans and tourists to join in”.
Besides, Isabella’s reasoning is epitomised in this statement to the press: “With our focus on Asian festivities, we have therefore decided to cancel Halloween in view of the clash in dates.”
And now there is a strange villain thrown into the mix.
He is none other than our newly elected president, Tony Tan.
Tony was celebraring the Mid-Autumn Festival at the Singapore Zoo on Sunday (Sept. 11) when he said: “Such family bonding, I believe, is very important for Singapore because we need to create informal occasions where families, children can bond with their parents and grandparents. It is the best way of building a sense of unity and comfort within the family”.
And Isabella agreed with these comments made by Tony that “WRS parks should have more family- bonding and wholesome activities”.
Isabella was also reported to have said: “The successful launch of Moon Night which was attended by the President, marks the first of many Asian-themed festivities and family bonding events to be held at Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks.”
And to add a bit more intrigue to the proceedings thus far, someone who was allegedly involved as a scare actor, named lolxuan, mentioned in a forum:
“Hi guys, I was involved in last year’s halloween horrors and was gonna be in this year’s too as a scare actor.
The event is planned by a group of students from Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Events and Project Management as their final year project, just like last year. Everything from the theme, costume design, recruitment/audition of actors to the actual planning and exectution of the event was and would have been done by them. Most of the scare actors, about 90% of us, are either poly students or recently graduated poly students.
The last minute cancellation came as a huge shock to all of us involved because it’s less than 3 weeks to the start of the actual event. I was actually at the night safari trying out my costume the other day and when i got home at night I heard that someone high up decided to pull the plug on it just like that.
This annual halloween event has been going on since 2007 and is always a huge success in both drawing crowds as well as making huge profits for the Night Safari/Singapore Zoo. it is ridiculous to expect anyone to believe that the actual reason of cancelling such a highly anticipated event so close to its start is to make way for events like a Deepavali festival or other ‘family oriented’ events”.
lolxuan also mentioned that someone of faith might be responsible for the cancellation:
“To people speculating about there being a religious nut behind this last minute cancellation, that certainly seems to be a possibility. From what we understand so far, the decision came from Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s new interim CEO, Isabella Loh. (you can google her elite, uncaring face)
The reasons we got apart from the one they told the media is that ‘having an event like Halloween Horrors is like worshipping the devil.’ I’ll say that the people working at the Night Safari/Singapore Zoo, members of the public and of course the students who are directly involved in creating this event are all extremely disappointed in this shocking decision. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions as to what is going on…
In an update, lolxuan posted:
“Okay guys, here’s the latest update.
It has been confirmed that the decision to cancel Halloween Horrors was a sole decision made by the CEO.
We are trying hard to get this decision overturned now so the event can go ahead as planned.
Please don’t let 7 months of hard work and effort go down the drain like that. If you are involved in this event, have been involved in past years’ events or simply would like to go to this event then I appeal to you to help make your feelings known in whatever way you can! Spread the word people!!!”
Mr Brown, our favourite blogger, has since said he will be boycotting Night Safari because he doesn’t agree with Night Safari’s decision to lay to waste the work done by the Singapore Polytechnic students.
You can also let Isabella know how you feel about her at the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Facebook page.