Have a terrifyingly fun Halloween in 2016!
By Steph Dye (follow Steph on Twitter: @HelloIAmSteph)
In America, Halloween is the second biggest holiday of the year with people spending six billion dollars on sweets alone. In the UK however, whilst the spooky season may not be as popular, the day is still seen as a great opportunity to go out and celebrate. Unfortunately a lot of the parties that take place around the capital can be extortionately expensive and spending a lot of money, especially in the run up to Christmas, can seem like a bad idea. In light of this, we’ve picked out 12 ways to have fun on Halloween with hardly any money involved, whether you are spending it alone, with family, or with friends.
#1 | Have a Halloween-Themed House Party
Okay, so this may seem completely obvious, but an easy way to celebrate is to have friends over (or head to a friends house) with a little bit of fancy dress, some decorations etc… all of which can be bought in pound shops. Everyone can BYOB, throw some Halloween-themed tunes on (we’re thinking something cheesy, like Michael Jackson’s Thriller, or the Monster Mash!) and voila, you have yourselves a party.
#2 | Go on a Ghost Tour or Scary Walk around London
There are loads of free guided and self guided tours that will take you around the city, to some of the most haunted or spooky locations. Free tours by foot offer two, spooky walks – both a ghost themed one and another that will guide you through the many locations of Jack the Ripper murders! For those of you that would like to do it yourself, they also offer printable, self guided tours. London For Free also offers a great, self guided tour of the Jack the Ripper Murders.
#3 | Visit London’s Creepiest Museums
Any Museum must feel creepy at night, right? Well, how about checking out some museums that are guaranteed to give you goosebumps, even during the day. On our list is the Grant Museum of Zoology, a university museum that is home to some super rare skeletons of now extinct animals. Even weirder, however, is the Hunterian Museum, which is home to thousands of glass jars, showcasing some of the most unusual lifeforms, diseases and mutations ever seen!
Check out some more quirky, free museums here!
#4 | Pumpkin Carving
Probably the most recognised of the Halloween traditions, pumpkin carving is fun and can be enjoyed by those of any age (though adult supervision is recommended for little ones!) It’s easy to do and best of all, you can set your own difficultly level, so anyone can have a go. You could even grow your own pumpkins, though if you don’t have the time, space or just can’t be bothered, you could always pick one up from the store or pick your own…
#5 | Visit A Cemetery (The Flask Pub)
London is home to several huge, imposing but generally very beautiful cemeteries. Obviously if you are respectful, these peaceful places are free to walk around and the headstones and mausoleums can have some very interesting tales to tell. A great one to visit is the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, whose tombstones, many locals have claimed to see an orange light shining from… however no one can find the source…
#6 | Scary Movie Marathons
You can’t really go wrong with a night of horror movies, whatever time of year it is. Whether you go for cheesy ones, gory ones or down-right terrifying ones, there are so many to choose from, that you could keep going for a month, let alone a night! Probably best to do this one with friends, unless you want to spend every night sleeping with all the lights on! Don’t want to have the party at your house? Why no go to a screening of underrated classic ‘The Mist’ at the Victoria in Dalston for just £3.50.
#7 | Trick or Treating
Though this is probably an activity best left to children and their parents, it is still a great way to have fun with little ones and connect with neighbours. Many dismiss this activity as begging but why not use it as an opportunity to meet people in the local area? You don’t have to just ask for sweets either; you could also give back to those who offer treats! For example, why not bake Halloween themed cakes with your kids to exchange for sweets, then everybody’s happy!
#8 | Have a Haunted Drink
There are so many pubs across London that are steeped in history, that it is unsurprising that some of them have a scary tale or two to tell. A good one to visit is The Flask (which is also not far from Highgate Cemetery) which is supposedly the site of the first ever autopsy, as well being home to a barmaid who hung herself in the cellar and the ghost of a man in cavalier uniform.
#9 | Halloween-Themed Baking
If you are fancying a Halloween that is a little more quiet this year, why not try out some really cool themed recipes. You can either show off, by taking them to parties or trick or treating, or just enjoy by yourself! Pumpkin is a great autumnal flavour to use and a good way of using up the innards of a pumpkin that you want to carve!
#10 | Bonfires
“Hang on a minute!” I hear you cry, “Bonfire Night isn’t until the week after!” Well, whilst that is completely true, bonfires are also a mostly forgotten part of the Halloween tradition. Fires were often built to either burn offerings to avoid bad luck or disease over the dark and often difficult winter months, or to scare away evil spirits. They are quite good for toasting marshmallows on, too!
#11 | Day of the Dead Festivities
The Mexican version of Halloween (which is very much treated like a religious holiday), has recently become way more popular in London. For this reason, there are always has several goings on planned around the city. There is usually a free-to-attend parade, as well as several parties. The sugar skull, an iconic image of the holiday also makes a really cool facepaint/dressing up idea!
#12 | Dressing Up
Even if you aren’t doing anything for Halloween, it can still be really good fun (and super cheap) to dress up. From scary, to funny, to super realistic costumes, you don’t have to break the bank to create something that looks really cool even if it’s only going to used to scare the neighbours! Have a look at some DIY Halloween outfits here. So, whatever you are doing this Halloween, we hope these tips will inspire you to do something cool on the 31st…. Have a scarily good time!