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Tonight is, of course, Halloween. The celebration of all things spooky has its roots in Ireland and the pagan harvest festival of Samhain, which later merged with the Catholic eve of ‘All Saint’s Day‘ (also known as ‘All Hallow’s Eve’, hence ‘Halloween’).
Check out the photos from Friday’s KKCL Halloween party above. We had twister, a Halloween quiz, a bizarre costume competition and Oli’s fantastic splat the rat game.
Many people believed (and still believe) that the spirits of the dead come alive and walk among the living during Halloween night. The festival is also associated with an air of magic and mystery, summed up in the catchy song ‘This is Halloween‘ from Tim Burton’s ever popular ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (where the two festivals become mixed up).
In the UK people celebrate Halloween in many different ways, the most popular being fancy dress parties where guests are expected to dress in freaky costumes. A number of American traditions have also rooted themselves in the UK. Trick-or-treating is when children go around their neighbourhood in fancy dress to collect sweets, shouting ‘trick or treat’ (the implication being that if you don’t give the kids any sweets they will play some kind of ‘trick’ on you). People also carve scary cartoon faces into Pumpkins, known as Jack-o’-Lanterns, although children in the UK have often used turnips or swedes instead.
Some people gather together to watch classic (and not-so-classic) horror movies such as ‘The Omen’ (1976), ‘The Exorcist’ (1973) and John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ (1978).
The UK was particularly spooked in 1992, when the BBC achieved notoriety on Halloween night by broadcasting ‘Ghostwatch‘. Although the show was a fictional drama, the BBC gave the impression that it was a real live investigation into paranormal activity, creating an Orson Wells ‘War of the Worlds‘ moment where many viewers thought the frightening events unfolding on screen were real and happening on live TV! After receiving record complaints, the BBC stopped Halloween specials on TV for several years after.
There are many Halloween events for kids and adults happening around London – visit the Time Out website to find the best things to do on October 31st… if you dare!