The Day Halloween Died

My 2014 UK costume

I was quite disappointed to learn that Halloween is not a big celebration in the UK, as it is in the USA. I found it somewhat shocking and ironic, because the historical tradition of All Hallow’s Eve originates in England.

In America, we very much love Halloween. As a child I can recall driving around Georgian neighborhoods to see the spookily decorated laws. As a university student in New Orleans entire streets would decorate their houses and lawns with the most expensive over the top themes. One house did giant spiders crawling up the walls, another had a yard full of mesh ghost figures. It was wonderful. My family and I always decorated for Halloween and would usually attend multiple parties with bespoke costumes (my favorite was when my entire family dressed up as characters from “The Grinch who Stole Christmas).

This year I carved a sugar skull

But none of that happened in the UK. My housemates seemed genuinely annoyed that I decorated our living room for Halloween a whole 2 weeks early. (Even going so far as to pull down my faux spider webs!) And some of them had never carved a pumpkin before! To top all that off, on Halloween night, I only got 2 trick-or-treaters….despite buying 8 bags of candy. I was largely  disappointed.

Our marzipan spooky cake

Last Halloween I didn’t notice the lack of holiday spirit, because I was tipsy/drunk most of the time. But this year I definitely felt the void. I think that, like the pumpkin spice latte, Halloween needs to come to the UK. Imagine if the old manor houses did special haunted themes for the month of October, there is a gold mine right there.

A witch, a skull and Darth Vader 

My festivities this year did include carving pumpkins with my best friend and my partner, watching horror films and making a very elaborate Halloween themed cake. I’m hoping next year to throw my own big Halloween party to contribute to the addition of the All Hallow’s Eve spirit in the UK.

P.S. In the UK sugar skulls and anything Day of the Dead theme is totally unknown. Literally none of my friends were aware of the sugar skull until I carved one. I chalk this up to the fact that in the USA we are neighbors with a country that celebrates it and we have many immigrants that do as well. But I think this is yet another loss for the UK


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