Photos by Boris Leist

Halloween hardcore 365

It's the time of year when getting dressed up as a ghost, ghoul, witch or wizard won't raise too many eyebrows. But few of those marking Halloween will take it this seriously...

BORIS LEIST

German photographer Boris Leist has been meeting people for whom Halloween is nothing special. For them, extreme dressing up is something that is enjoyed all year round.

They jump into fictional fantasy worlds - filled with orcs, zombies and mutants. They are lovers of Larp - live action role-play.

Before immersing themselves in games, Larpers - like warrior-priest Krashûk-Shatogar here - can spend hours getting ready.

BORIS LEIST

Meet Marie and Louise - the zombie twins.

BORIS LEIST

There are no re-enactments of historical events from our world. The characters photographed in Leist’s book - itself titled Larp - play roles in alternative apocalyptic scenarios.

BORIS LEIST

Meet mutant researcher Dr Henry-Pierre de Sard.

BORIS LEIST

The games are generally played without an audience and those taking part are free to improvise to a certain extent. It depends on what traits and abilities each character is meant to have.

BORIS LEIST

Ronald McDonald - who used to be the mascot of a well-known chain of fast food restaurants - is suffering like everyone else.

BORIS LEIST

BORIS LEIST

One masked Venetian couple attract attention when they dance together. “Zombies do not normally dance,” says Leist.

BORIS LEIST

BORIS LEIST

Most of the people featured in the photos are German, but Leist says he met Larp lovers from across Europe.

“Lawyers, teachers, police officers, nurses, company bosses - from all walks of life.”

BORIS LEIST

“And it's nice that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like - with Larp, what really counts is your character, your creativity and the way you play.”

BORIS LEIST

BORIS LEIST