Today in Britain, even though us Brits are said to have essentially created Halloween in the 16th century, although not as we know it today, it is becoming a bigger and bigger event as each year passes. Nowadays, the Americans have fully embraced the trick-or-treat culture and have done so since the fifties where the more modern adaptation of what we accept to be Halloween has become popularised.


If you would like your children to take part in trick-or-treating, it’s good get your kids some fancy dress costumes from a costume shop or online store. Then, plot a route around the local area and, whilst supervised, send the kids to doors that look to be receptive and have them bellow “trick-or-treat” in return for sweets and treats. I find, that the best things to look for are Halloween decorations and brightly lit homes. Look out for ‘no trick or treaters’ signs and houses that are engulfed in darkness, they probably wish to be left alone. For more help and safety advice check out Childalert’s Halloween Safety Tips, it even features a video with a few words from Police Officer Duncan Evans suggesting how everyone can be safe on October 31st.

Halloween parties

A large number of people like to have Halloween parties in their home and invite close friends to come along in costume. This can be something home-made or bought from a shop. It is customary if you are hosting the party to offer some Halloween themed food and drink and also prepare some entertainment. If you have Spotify or use YouTube you can always take advantage of our Halloween songs playlist that we have complied. It features spooky Halloween themed music from the previous six decades and includes some more original songs that you might usually hear. If you are planning on creating some Halloween dishes to feed your visitors we suggest stopping by the BBC Good Food guide for Halloween recipes.

How Brits celebrate Halloween

Image credits: (left) and (right)

Heading out

It is not uncommon for local bars and pubs to have Halloween themed events inviting customers to come along wearing costumes on Halloween, or, most likely in this case for 2012 the weekend before, since Halloween actually falls during the middle of the week on a Wednesday. This usually marks a slight change in the strictness of night club dress codes, where they will likely welcome unusual outfits.

In some cases, you may even get a free drink for dressing up. There’s a bar near where I live in Newbury that sits beside the Kennet and Avon canal called the Canal Bar, not very original in the naming process, huh? Previously they have offered a free drink if you were wearing a Halloween costume. So it pays to dress up and join in. My tip would be to do a little research first. Find out if there are any fancy dress competitions, free drink promotions and offers anything like that and take advantage of them. Also, make sure that if you are heading out to a particular destination check to see what they are organising, if anything. I once went to a pub for a drink with two friends before we went out and I was dressed as a pimp, my first friend as Magnum PI, both average costumes, however, my third friend had proceeded to buy a surgeon outfit and poured stage blood all over himself. Now, the pub we went in to served food and wasn’t having any kind of Halloween celebration. They were not receptive to a bloody surgeon wandering around while people attempted to eat, potentially, rare beef. And they refused to let him in, which was great for me because that was one less drink I had to buy. I guess the moral is, dress up, but make sure your destination come Halloween night is receptive.


Image: The Sweet Memories Shop prepares for Halloween in Church Street, Twickenham (London, UK) by Flickr user Jim Linwood


This post was created by Ian Tomkins from Jokers’ Masquerade Halloween costumes. He has worked in the Halloween industry for ten years.

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