It’s that haunting time of year again, a night when we celebrate all that’s ghoulish and ghastly about Britain. (No, not the latest by-election.) We’re talking Halloween!
If you’re in the mood for a party with more pumpkins than most, here are our top seven spooky suggestions for your own awesome Halloween event.
1. A Spooky Movie Night
Set up a screen in your garage, shed, or front room, beg or borrow an LED projector, and decorate with suitably spooky fake spiders webs (if you need them). Then, throw open the doors of your monstrous new movie house! Go traditional with hot popcorn served from a food cart, or enjoy a witches brew of cocktails created by expert mixologists. Pop on a CD of classic horror themes, or hire a string quartet to play them for you! Then, sit back and relax and scream the night away with your favourite horror flicks, from “Psycho” to “Nightmare on Elm Street”. Or choose the comedy route with “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “An American Werewolf in London”, animation gems “The Corpse Bride” and “Frankenweenie”, the Bette Midler classic “Hocus Pocus” or cult “Carry on Screaming”!
2. Kid-Friendly Mexican Day Of The Dead Festival
Spare the neighbours the horror of trick or treating, (many older residents dread it) and invite the local kids to enjoy Halloween Mexican style. Traditional Dia de los Muertos activities can include decorating sugar or chocolate skulls, building cardboard skeletons, and creating elaborate masks. Serve steaming bowls of chilli con carne (or con veggie), add in tequila shots for the adults, and finish the whole effect with a strolling mariachi band playing modern pop classics, just like in the tortilla chip adverts!
3. Fire Their Imagination
Banish the evil spirits that walk the earth on All Hallows Eve with your own fire celebration. Order in a hog roast, light the torches, and dot about those pumpkins you’ve been carving for weeks. (See below). Greet guests with costumed Halloween characters, or invite guests to create their own costumes from scratch (no supermarket plastic allowed!). Provide a peppery feast with stuffed chilies, hot curries or spicy chicken wings, before everyone boogies on down to hell-raising music from a sizzling rock and pop band. Finish the evening to perfection with fire and glow performers lighting the sky with spark and flame.
4. When Shall We Three Meet Again?
Convene your own witches’ coven by getting the girls (and warlocks) together for a costumed tour of your city’s most haunted pubs! (OK, if you live in Milton Keynes, that might be a challenge.) So, instead look for pubs or clubs offering something special in the way of live music and do your own mini tour by broomstick or taxi (your choice). By supporting local bands in your area, you’ll be helping keep live music alive and kicking, and may even see some rising stars before they become incredibly famous or signed up by Alive Network. (Same thing, really!)
5. Dance Like Michael Jackson
It’s the dance video that spawned a revolution, and it’s never really been equaled. Until now. Get a professional dance troupe to teach you and your guests the classic moves of the Thriller video, and hire in ghoulish costumes to dance in (as if 1980s fashions weren’t horrific enough). Then, crank up the soundtrack, power up the iPad, and capture your finest Thriller moves for posterity. Or moonwalk the extra mile and hire a live party band to play the track live, followed by more demon tracks to keep those undead guest throwing their best moves on the dancefloor.
6. Shockingly Good Cabaret
Add a touch of macabre sophistication to your party with acts that have more bite and edge, such as the Body Shock Cabaret whose act features more chainsaws, power drills and swords than a horror film props department. Or watch and wince as 5 times Guinness world record holder, Miss D Ville nails her unique stunt show – quite literally! For a mixture of magic, dance and illusion that’s more Ripper Street than Paul Daniels, The Norvinis offer a unique show that’s amaze and chill in equal measures for your Halloween event.
7. And Finally, Eat Pumpkin Pie
In the UK, we’re a bit sniffy about pumpkins, thinking they are good for carving and not much else. Which is a shame, as a good pumpkin pie is a thing of slightly sloppy, spicy joy and pumpkin risotto, a favourite of Italian chefs. So, save the pulp, dry and roast the seeds, and cook yourself some real Halloween treats this winter!
Check out these recipes:
* At the risk of sounding complete party-poopers, remember you cannot charge admission to your cinema without getting into all sorts of tangles with red tape such as licences and copyright. So don’t charge. And make sure you invite the neighbours.