Make Halloween 2021 a Night to Remember

These days trick or treating, carving pumpkins, dressing up, eating (a lot) of candy, and having parties have become the embodiment of this annual celebration. No one celebrates Halloween like they do in the states; we all know that. It is a chance for many to go all out with outstanding house decorations (both inside and out), fancy costumes and fun parties; and that’s how it should be. Even if the UK doesn’t celebrate this festivity as much, it’s still a day where we can temporarily escape from our regular life and indulge in our spookiest and darkest side. Also, with the year we’ve had, Halloween might just be the festivity that we’ve been waiting for.

In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to make Halloween 2021 as memorable as possible. We will explain the origins of this festivity and dive into costume ideas, Halloween home decor and possible activities to do on this day. Let’s get started!

History of Halloween

Halloween is believed to have originated over 2000 years ago as the Celtic festival of Samhain. For the Celts, the 31st of October marked the end of summer and the beginning of the cold, dark months, usually associated with more deaths. The final day of this month also symbolized the beginning of the new year. They believed that on Samhain, the boundary between life and death, and thus, the living and the dead would blur, allowing the souls of the deceased to roam the earth.

During this festivity, the Celts would set bonfires, burning crops and animals as gifts for their deities in exchange for protection during the winter. This fire was also used to frighten away evil spirits that had returned to earth during this day. They would even wear masks to make them unidentifiable to the ghosts.

The Samhain festival was not all bad though. The 31st of October was also considered the day for divination. A day in which Celts would ask the Druids for advice on topics such as marriage, health and death. Since it was considered a magical and supernatural day, it would be more probable to get responses.

However, during the Roman Empire, the Celts were invaded and conquered, leading to this festivity to integrate with the Roman’s celebration of the passing of the dead, which also happened in late October.

In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV decided that November 1st would become All Saints Day to honour the saints and souls that went to heaven. This was celebrated very similarly to Samhain. The night before was named All Hallows Eve to remember the deceased, and eventually, Halloween.

However, during the Reformation, this festivity was forbidden due to its connections with the Roman Catholic Church. Only in the mid 19th century and beginning of the 20th, there was a revival of this festivity, with Irish people migrating to America and bringing their ancient traditions along.

Trick or Treat

Again, it all started with the Celts on Samhain day, where they would leave food outside their home to appease the dead. In 1000 AD, poor people would knock on the doors of wealthier families, asking for food in exchange for prayers for their dead relatives. This tradition was later picked up by children, going door to door asking for money or food.

In Scotland and Ireland, young people would dress up in costumes and go house to house offering tricks (reciting a poem or telling a joke) before receiving a treat. When the Irish migrated to the USA, they brought with them this tradition. Today, in America, children go trick or treating in their suburbs dressed in Halloween costumes to collect candy. Indeed, last year Americans spent around $2.6 billion on candy during this festivity.

Halloween Costume Ideas

Today, there are so many costumes to choose from, depending on what you like. Obviously, there are classic outfits that you will see every year, such as vampires, mummies, witches, ghosts, devils, scary clowns and zombies. These have become the staple of Halloween and a reminder of this spooky tradition. So, if you want to go classic, then one of these will do the trick. However, nowadays, Halloween costumes are not limited to these fantasy and supernatural characters. You could go as anything; what’s important is to dress up for this festivity! Here are some ideas you could get inspiration from.

Spooky Movie Oriented Costumes

We have to start with the Addams family, being one of the most iconic and bizarre cartoon series in American history. If you’re looking for a female costume, Wednesday or Morticia Addams can be easily replicated. Whilst, for males, you could decide to go as butler Lurch or uncle Fester with his ridiculously white face and prominent eye circles. Honestly, that’s probably what we will all look like during winter, so might as well get used to this look.

The Shining is another classic. Dressing up like Jack Torrance is pretty easy as you just need a flannel shirt, jeans and a red coat. To capture the essence of the character, you’d also need a (FAKE) axe and make sure to keep your eyes wide open and smile exaggeratedly. Or, if you’re with a friend, you can choose the creepy twins. Even those who haven’t watched the film will surely know who you’re dressing up as.

If you’re looking for something more complex, the Corpse Bride is a greatly recognizable costume. You will need a blue wig, a ripped wedding dress, dried flowers and blue skin… If you plan to go that far. There’s also the corpse bride’s groom (Victor Van Dort) if you decide on a couples costume.

Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs is another great shout, featuring the half-face mask and orange prisoner overalls, or a straight jacket. It’s such an iconic look, and pretty much everyone will recognise who you are. Well, at least the costume!

Last but not least, Beetlejuice is another great Halloween costume idea, dressing up as the antagonist himself with a striped black and white suit, decomposing skin and green hair.

Take Your Pick

Your costume doesn’t have to be scary or based on a creepy, bizarre film. Instead, you could choose one based on your favourite movie or TV show.

Let’s start with Marvel. There are so many characters within the Marvel Cinematic Universe to choose from, such as The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. members, and villains. From Black Widow, Captain Marvel and Scarlet Witch to Iron Man, Thor and even Thanos. If you’re a Marvel fan, this is your chance to dress up as one of these characters.

Lord of the Rings could be your go-to for Halloween 2021. Between elves, dwarves, wizards, hobbits or even Gollum, there are plenty of characters to choose from. If you’re doing a couple or group costume, this could be an amusing idea.

If you’re looking for something low key, characters from Stranger Things could also be a good one to replicate considering the 1980s style. You can easily find most of it in your wardrobe (possibly) or second-hand stores. So, if this Halloween you’re looking for a simple outfit, then look no further than this show.

Pirates of the Caribbean or any pirate costume is a classic one for Halloween. If you’ve always wanted to dress up as (Captain) Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann or any pirate, this is your opportunity to do so. You can keep it super simple with black jeans (or leather trousers), a baggy t-shirt or shirt and some boots or even go all out with a proper store bought costume. If you’re really feeling it, why not go as Davy Jones? That would be impressive!

Finally, If you’ve watched Squid Game, you could even dress up as one of the guards with the red jumpsuit and mask. Otherwise, you could wear a blue tracksuit and become one of the players, or even dress up as a VIP with a suit and a dramatic fancy mask.

Honestly, the list goes on and on. Whether you go more traditional with a ‘scary’ costume or replicate a character in a movie or TV series, Halloween is your chance to dress up however you wish.

Halloween Activities

Carve Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins, or Jack O’Lanterns, originated in Ireland with the myth of Stingy Jack. When the Irish people migrated to America, they took this tradition with them, and ever since, we’ve been carving pumpkins every Halloween. Creating Jack O’Lanterns is a great activity to do with your friends or family. However, it is much harder than it seems, and the more detailed the design is, the more can go wrong. Yet, no matter the outcome, this activity is creative, amusing and a lot of fun. You could even put on a Halloween film or songs to have in the background to get you in the spirit.

On Pinterest, you can find many designs to choose from, whether you decide to opt for a spooky face or try to carve a bat or even a haunted house. The world is your oyster (or, in this case, ‘pumpkin’). But remember to get the right tools if you’re planning on using a more complicated design. After you’ve finished, put a candle in it and place your masterpiece in a spot for everyone to see, and keep the evil ghosts at bay!

Watch Scary Films

It’s not really Halloween until you’ve watched at least one scary movie. This festivity, at least today, is about getting your heart pumping with supernatural, gruesome stories. It is about the unknown, what isn’t and what might be, what we can’t explain logically, but could still happen.

Most horror movies are made to distort your normal reality. They make you feel uneasy in your safe spaces, giving you a thrilling rush of adrenaline, dopamine and endorphins.

Ranging from the classics like:

  • Psycho (1960)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • The Exorcist (1973)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

To the most recent horror movies like:

  • The Conjuring (2013)
  • Insidious (2010)
  • Get Out (2017)
  • Hereditary (2018)
  • It Follows (2014)
  • It (2017)
  • A Quiet Place (2018)
  • Midsommer (2019)

So, this Halloween, make popcorn, grab some sweet treats, turn off the lights and get ready to be scared (and scarred) whilst watching one of these films. Well, at least the latter modern ones will definitely keep you up at night!

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

You just can’t compare going to a supermarket with going to a pumpkin patch. In a store, you’ll find a small bin or display with maybe 10 to 20 pumpkins and, most probably, all the best ones will have already been snatched. Within a pumpkin patch, you can choose from thousands of pumpkins, finding all types of shapes, sizes and colours. You can spend hours searching for the right pumpkin to carve or display, comparing one to the other until you’ve found the perfect match (pretty much like romantic matchmaking). It’s also a great day out to do with your family, friends or partner. If it’s a sunny brisk day, you can spend a whole morning or afternoon at a pumpkin patch, appreciating a different landscape and meeting new people. It’s also a great opportunity to support local farmers instead of promoting big corporations.

And, after all that walking, who wouldn’t want a nice drink? At most of these locations, they will usually offer a selection of dishes and drinks. You can decide whether to have a full meal or just get a tea or hot chocolate to warm yourself up whilst appreciating the autumnal atmosphere. After all, it’s not every day that you can take in all the shades of orange and be one with the natural world.

A few of these places will even have hayrides and petting zoos, ideal for children and adults alike. Make sure to check out your local farm and see what events they have going on.

Take Part in a Unique Outdoor Event

Yes, we’ve already mentioned visiting a farm, but pumpkin picking is not the only activity you can do there. Some farms will create yearly Halloween events for those looking for an adrenaline rush and to embrace the spooky season. For instance, Tulleys Farm in West Sussex organizes Shocktober Fest, a fright festival featuring many attractions and facilities. Some of the activities you can get ready for are: Wastelands Penitentiary, Twisted Clowns, The Cellar Imprisoned, Horrorwood Haunted Hayride and much more.

This event is not just about scary attractions. At Tulleys, you can also relax with friends and family and enjoy this festivity. The farm sets up live music stages and bars where you can grab a drink. They also have 2 street food courts offering everything you could desire, from burgers and fish & chips to crepes and doughnuts, and they even have a BBQ shack. Plus, if you don’t want to drive home after a frightening night, Tulleys farm also offers accommodations.

Tulleys is not the only farm offering a Halloween spooky event. Have a look at your nearby area to see if anywhere is offering a Halloween special event. If not, I’m sure you can always find other events going on.

If it’s your thing, you could maybe get your heart pumping by visiting an actual haunted site. If not, you could always opt for an escape room to do with your friends, and even better if it’s Halloween themed.

Host a House Party or Gathering

At a house party, you could experiment with spooky cocktails. For example, you could make a Bloody Mary drink and ask everyone brave enough to perform the Bloody Mary ritual in the bathroom in front of a mirror. Or, if you’re not a fan of this cocktail, you can always find a different recipe on the internet that could be fun to make.

Secondly, every Halloween party needs some food. If you have a sweet tooth, why not make Monster cookies or a Halloween inspired dessert such as an ouija cake. Also, what is Halloween without candy? Grab your favourite sweets and add them to a bowl. Halloween is your chance to eat as many sweets as you can without being questioned, so go for it!

If you plan to add something savoury, you could make spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs, but with a twist. Instead of having plain meatballs, use cheese and olive slices to create meatball eyes, so it seems the pasta is watching you. It’s not the spookiest idea but might as well keep the theme. You could also make mummified sausage rolls with puff pastry and even do guacamole Halloween style.

Finally, games are a must on Halloween, especially if you’re in a  group. You could go with a classic like Wink Murder or play a murder mystery game. You could also have several Halloween feel boxes packed with slimy, unpleasant food. You might add cooked spaghetti, jelly, passion fruit, hard-boiled eggs or any other ingredient with strange textures. Let’s see if your guests can guess what it is! Lastly, you could use Tarot cards and even do Tarot readings. At the end of the day, in Celtic times, the halloween period was used to get guidance concerning health and marriage. So, it seems only right to follow this tradition.

Halloween Decorations

Last but not least, what is Halloween without spooky decorations? If you’re looking for a general Halloween home decor, here are some decorations you’d want to consider. Firstly, spiderwebs and cobwebs are essential pieces. You can’t properly create a spooky scene without making your furniture seem old and untouched.

Skulls and skeletons can also help create that Halloween vibe you’re looking for. After all, Halloween is the celebration of the dead, and what is this festivity without, well, the reminiscence of a living body?

Adding ‘creatures of the night’ props such as bats and spiders can also reinforce the image of Halloween. Spiders, in medieval times, were thought to be a witch’s companion, whilst bats, at least based on Dracula, can turn into Vampires, and plus, they’re simply weird. If you’re looking for other creatures to include, black cats and ravens are also a good shout.

A Halloween interior decor wouldn’t be complete without candles of all shapes and sizes. A dark room filled with numerous candles creates the perfect eerie vibe. It gives you the feeling like something is about to happen at any moment. That’s just how we want Halloween to be!

However, if you feel like doing something different this year, you can always opt for themed decor.

Themed Halloween Decor

For most of us, cemeteries, especially at night, have an uncomfortable feeling. It’s not that we expect someone to rise from the dead and chase us around, but it’s the fear of mortality and the unknown that makes us uneasy. This means cemeteries are a perfect theme to replicate inside or outside your home. Decorate your space with tombstones, skeletons and scattered bones. Also, add lanterns, cobwebs and foliage to create that eerie mood. If you want to make it seriously creepy, you could add your name, or the name of your guests on the tombstones. That will keep them on their toes.

Otherwise, you can stick with a Witches Room theme. You can place candles all over your space and add a cauldron, old books, dried flowers and a broom. You could even fill up glass bottles with strange liquids and add candy eyeballs or gummy teeth candy to it. Lastly, some cobwebs and creepy music will give it the final touch.

If none of the above appeals, you could always recreate a Haunted House decor.  Some of the pieces you might want to include are wooden furniture, dolls, cobwebs (obviously), statues and paintings of old men or women. If the portrait stares at you whilst you move, like the Mona Lisa, it’s even better. You could also add candle holders to give it a sinister tone and play music of creaking wood and children laughing; that will definitely spook your guests.

Are You Ready for Halloween 2021?

We hope this guide has helped you get some ideas for the 31st of October. You don’t have to go all out there if you don’t want to. However, making this day memorable and different to your normal routine can be the temporary escape you’ve been waiting for. So, enjoy yourself, whether you decide to dress up, carve pumpkins, visit a Halloween farm event or decorate your home to resemble a spooky site.

Also, if any stores offer great Halloween decorations and costumes, let us know by writing a review on Psydro. We’d really like to know your feedback, and we’re sure the rest of the Psydro community would appreciate it too!

 

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