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Bored of haunted houses? Try graffiti painting while being scared by monsters

Bored of haunted houses? Try graffiti painting while being scared by monsters

Unpopular opinion: haunted houses aren't all they're cracked up to be. While many love the thrills and chills, I personally think if you've seen one, you've seen them all.

So amid the stream of Halloween-themed activities happening this weekend, my interest was piqued by the particularly novel Spooky Spray Nights by local graffiti art studio Heavenspot.

I mean, when and where else will you get to 'vandalise' walls with spray paint while ghouls flit around the room?

With the event going on from today till Oct 31, I stopped by their studio in Potong Pasir to see if it's as spook-tacular as it sounds.

Here's what went down.

Painting with ghosts

The first order of business was to gear up. With each pass ($50), you'll get a gas mask, two cans of fluorescent spray paint, and a UV torchlight to use for the duration of the experience.

To up the spooky ante, the box of equipment was left outside the door, forcing me to enter the room alone.

Inside, I was faced with a dimly lit space, with the darkness punctuated only by the slivers of light streaming through the boarded up windows.

I had to navigate through the scare zone with my UV torch, which revealed hidden symbols around the room, and it took me a solid minute to find a black painting surface with my name on it (the helpful staff eventually gave me a hint by shining their own torches on the surface).

After some experimentation to figure out how spray cans work, I got to painting, and found myself immersed in the creative process despite some scares from passing monsters here and there.

Painting in a dark room with only a UV torch was also surprisingly therapeutic — I felt no pressure at all to create an aesthetically-pleasing piece, and simply concentrated on having fun while painting.

As for my final product... let's just say I have a new appreciation for graffiti artists now that I've tried my hand at it.

@asiaone Time for a new way to spend your halloween! (p.s. don’t wet your pants) ??? #halloween #singapore ♬ Scary stories, horror footage, halloween sati - RYOpianoforte

A beginner-friendly environment

While I wasn't exactly proud of my artwork — I was going for a graffiti-inspired font but ended up with regular block letters — I didn't feel too bad thanks to a chat with co-founder Victor Tong, who emphasised that Heavenspot is meant be a judgement-free zone.

"What we are trying to achieve here is to let anyone and everyone try out the medium of graffiti with a relatively low barrier to entry," the 29-year-old explains. "You don't need to know the right people to bring you to the right spots. You don't need to know the unwritten rules of the community."

The studio, which had its soft launch in May this year, is the brainchild of Victor and co-founder Douglas Koh, 31. According to Victor, the pair hatched the idea after they spray painted a pallet out of boredom during one of the 'lockdowns'.

Before they knew it, an hour had gone by.

"So we thought, hey, this is really fun. Why isn't there a place where you can go to do this freely?"

Within two months, they had the place up and running, Victor says. But even though it was a speedy process, it was challenging as they "more or less created a whole new experience".

And with the fluid Covid-19 situation, as well as safe distancing restrictions taking group sizes from eight to two pax, Victor confesses that at one point, he was "actually quite worried that the business will not survive".

Fortunately, they've managed to sustain themselves thus far, and have even played host to a few special events, such as proposals and hen dos.

He's also had some particularly memorable customers, such a 12-year-old budding graffiti artist who painted one of the "sickest" pieces they've ever seen.

[embed]https://www.facebook.com/heavenspotsg/posts/203054115214013[/embed]

"That's part of why we wanted to open this place — it's to give people, and especially young people, a chance to explore this medium. It's really about elevating graffiti in a small way."

kimberlylim@asiaone.com

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