Halloween: How The Brits Do It

Nov 8, 2016 2:41:48 PM

ATP Student Ambassador, Kelsey Austin on Halloween

Ahhh Halloween, one of my favorite times of the year. You get to be whoever you want to be for one night and do various activities together with your friends or family. To me, this is the best time of year, the Fall season has all the best family and friend oriented holidays – besides Christmas!

With Halloween being one of the season’s epic American traditions, it has also started spreading across the world. At home many of us start planning our costumes – notice the plural in costume – the day after Halloween ends each year. We spend countless hours on our outfits for ‘the night’ and make other fun one’s for the weekly parties leading up to, and after, Halloween. We put great thought into how we dress and where we go on the night.

Although this is the usual tradition in the U.S. it is not something everyone follows. In the UK, it is something that is slowly progressing to what us Americans are used to. There are not as many costume shops as at home, and costume preparations is usually quite last minute. They also celebrate Halloween with themes – which I have noticed since starting school in Leeds! It also turns out that if you are over the age of sixteen,  trick or treating in the UK is frowned upon, crazy right?!

From what I’ve learnt, more and more people are getting into the spirit with more Halloween events being created. This year there were about 8 events in the city of Yorkshire, and four of these in Leeds! To be able to find events coming up, I download the app Skiddle. It shows everything from parties to haunted ghost tours. The events on average cost about £4 if you buy early, or £8 on the night, if it doesn’t sell out (which it always does!). With there being about 4 events in the city many people hosted their own ‘Halloween’ themed house parties. Most students dressed up and partied on Saturday. With assignments due the next day, Saturday seemed a better idea.

On Saturday, the streets were filled with people in fancy dress, which made me feel more at home, and very excited. Pubs as well as clubs had a theme such as, “the purge” or “fright night”, house parties were packed, and the one costume store (Luvyababe) was full with people looking for last minute ideas. The party didn’t stop until about 6am which I could hear from my window. And from the sounds of it, it was a great time!

I unfortunately did not go out to celebrate that night as I had an important paper due. Though, I did celebrate on Tuesday that week by attending my friend’s party with her organization. They rented out the top floor of the bar and decorated with cob webs, candy, and spiders- lots and lots of spiders. They also gave out free champagne and blasted some of the most popular tunes. The week before, I participated in a haunted themed escape room, with the entrepreneurial society. At the end we had a great time and escaped with two minutes to spare.

ATP Student Ambassador, Kelsey Austin

On Monday, I went out as I would normally do at home, the only difference was that no one besides myself and my friend were dressed until about 10 or 11:30PM. It was  a quiet night (for students!) with people still recovering from Saturday. Besides the party and some trick or treaters, most people stayed home or went to the 4 major themed parties. At the student residence party, we were able to enjoy free pizza and drinks, while everyone was getting ready. At the end of the party I went into the city, walking around and talking to others with great costumes. By the end of the night, I went home and spent the rest of the time watching the best horror flicks. Although, it was a quiet night and not as similar to the celebration of the states it was great fun. I am definitely looking forward to next year and hopefully I can bring some of my European friends down to celebrate.


If you want to experience Halloween for yourself next year in the United Kingdom, then go ahead contact one of The Across The Pond Advisors. It will definitely be worth it!

Download Studying in the UK: The Essential Facts for Canadian Students