Halloween in England – The Haunted Bat
Hallow Guys and Ghouls,
I was asked by the awesome Norwegian Halloween to tell you a little about Halloweeeen where I live (in England!). So here we go:
As a Primary School teacher, I look forward to the Summer holidays – not just because I can have some time away from work – BUT because during the Summer holidays IT BEGINS. In England, around July we begin to see a few trickles of Autumn appear within the high street stores; and by August the Jack-o-lanterns and Ghosts begin to appear on the shelves.
Currently, in June 2018, I have seen some Instagram posts which revealed that a couple of shops in America have already started stocking their Halloween goodies; so fingers crossed it will start earlier in England too!
In England Halloween is ever growing. My advice, to any Halloween lover in the UK, is to frequently stalk your local Homesence; as they are usually the first stores to stock anything Spooky.
But, if you don’t live too close to one, there are loads of Facebook pages devoted to sharing knowledge of Halloween sightings: such as Halloween Décor UK and Halloween Watch UK. Unfortunately, in the Homesence stores they have limited stock; so you have to buy it as soon as you see it!Usually they swap over to Christmas stock in the first few weeks of October (BOOO!).
Other stores, such as B&M, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Primark, all begin stocking Halloween items around September, but saying that, they are starting earlier each year (WOO!).
Within England it is traditional for children to ‘Trick or Treat’; however, it usually ends at around the age of 14. I don’t really have neighbours where I live; but if you go down into the village you can see the children trick or treating on Halloween. The common practice (where I live anyway) is to only knock on the door if there is a carved pumpkin outside – If there is no pumpkin, don’t go knocking! It is uncommon to decorate the outside of the house for Halloween; I probably only saw three houses decorate across the whole of Halloween season last year – apparently within England carving a singular pumpkin is enough!
As for where we get our pumpkins; the majority of Brit’s would say they brought theirs from the local supermarket (Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Co-op etc.); and I too would have said this if you had asked me a few years ago.
However, slowly but surely, I have noticed more Pumpkin Patches opening across England; wherein you can go, walk up and down the fields and pick your perfect pumpkin! It is great fun as there are also little rides, stalls and a Maize Maze.
Every year I make sure I handmake my Halloween outfit; and have enjoyed dressing-up as all my favourite spooky characters.
In today’s society there are so many ‘quick fix’ outfits on offer, and I believe it is becoming more common to just buy fully pre-made outfit – Asda do have an awesome range – most of which I would wear on the daily! Obviously, there are positives and negatives; it saves time, allows everyone to get involved; but is it as fun just buying off the rack?
I love a good Halloween party; which is the natural progression once you get too old to Trick or Treat … or once people begin to THINK you are too old! I am not sure about the rest of England, but there are some specific games I love to play during my Halloween parties. Bobbing for apples is a must, and if you add some tomatoes (which sink) it creates an extra level of competitiveness for those who like a challenge.
We also play toilet paper mummies: in which we see which pair can wrap their partner up in toilet paper the quickest.
And one of my personal favourites – Pin the Cat on the Witch’s Broom!
Halloween in England is ever growing but compared to America we still have a long way to go! I look forward to seeing what this year brings… let the spooks begin!
Lizzie AKA The Haunted Bat.