Nights (and mornings) are drawing in, there’s a distinct autumnal feel to the air, and Halloween is fast approaching, so it’s time to prepare for ghoulish parties, dressing up and trick or treating.
Trick or treating originated in North America sometime around the 1940s, but it was Scottish and Irish immigrants who first took the tradition of celebrating the eve of All Hallows to the US in the nineteenth century https://halloweenhistory.org/. Trick or treating has become increasing popular in the UK during recent years, and, love it or hate it, chances are high your kids will pester you to go around to neighbours houses knocking on the doors in the hope of receiving sweet rewards. Oh, and they will need to be dressed up in a suitably spooky manner too!
To avoid bothering people who don’t want to be disturbed on a cool, dark autumn night the many people now put something outside their houses to indicate they are welcoming Trick or Treaters – often a light, carved pumpkin. There’s some fantastic stencils and ideas for fabulous pumpkins at https://www.rd.com/home/decorating/pumpkin-carving-patterns-ideas/ to help you create the best pumpkin ever.
Are you thinking of transforming your home into a shrine to all things deadly, spooky and downright terrifying? Then here’s some tips for food, games and decorations to ensure your guests go home with their hair standing on end!
- Halloween food doesn’t need to be too complicated to be effective, but it does need to be ghoulish! Buy or bake cupcakes, roll out white fondant icing into circles big enough to cover the cakes and add black fondant icing to decorate the faces – and you have ghosts. Again buy or bake gingerbread men and snap off the arms or legs, using red writing icing to leave a bloody stump! An eyeball pizza is simple and looks and tastes great – decorate a regular margarita pizza with thin strips of red pepper, a circle of salami in the middle, topped with a smaller circle of chopped black olives and bake. There you have the perfect, huge, bloodshot eye!
- Decorating your house for Halloween is relatively simple – and great fun. Black paper on the walls – strips of crepe paper work well too. There’s the obligatory pumpkins, of course – it’s great fun carving them. A bigger, bolder version of the cupcake ghost works well – if you have trees in your garden, or somewhere else from which to suspend things, cover balloons with old white sheeting, tie them from a tree and cut out scary faces from pieces of black card and attach to your ‘ghosts’. Cut out bat shapes from black card too and hang indoors and outdoors. ‘Fake’ cobwebs are easily available – hang over tree branches for a spooky look, or hang black threads from tree branches for an even spookier feel – and wait for your guests’ screams…
- And, finally, Halloween games. An all-time favourite is the Halloween ‘lucky’ dip. Fill lined and decorated boxes with all kinds of horrible contents – spiders buried in gooey jelly, cold cooked spaghetti, a rubber glove filled with sand, cold hard boiled eggs. Let your imagination run riot! Bobbing for apples is still a perennial favourite – or alternatively hang them (or doughnuts) to see if your guests can nab a bite. Mummy wrap is great fun – provide lots of cheap and cheerful loo roll, divide your guests into two teams and see who is first to create the best-wrapped Mummy! Ghostly bowls uses the same principle as your ghosts hanging from trees – fill empty large soda or water bottles with tap water and cover them with smaller pieces of old white sheeting, and cut horrid faces from black card, and see who is the first to get a strike – you decide what the prize will be!
- And don’t forget to dress up and make yourself up in the scariest way possible – my kids would probably say that’s just my regular day to day look….
For lots of Halloween goodies, including filled party bags, check out our website https://www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk/. We hope you have the scariest, most horrifying time ever…