So we’ve finally been fully infiltrated by all things American. As if the food, television series and slang and were not enough, festivals and holidays from the other side of the pond are now being celebrated with just as much verve and vigour here, as they are over there.
A few years ago, when I was growing up, All Hallows’ eve was just a minor pagan festival, only really acknowledged in this country, as the beginning of the winter solstice. But more recently, and with ever greater prevalence, from sunset, on the October 31st, more and more of us are celebrating Halloween.
We are traipsing the streets armed with pails and loot bags, dressed up in all manner of creepy, ridiculous and sometimes comical fancy dress, knocking on strangers doors, shouting “trick or treat” and begging for, in a best case scenario, mini bags of chewy confections, or unfortunately in most cases, over handled, half-melted, slightly sticky candy.
Of course, my children absolutely love it, and much to my own dismay, I am ashamed to say, so do I.
I annually pull out my long green wig, witches hat and cloak, cover my face in crazy makeup and insist on accompanying my over-excited offspring on this yearly pilgrimage to the great Gods Cadbury and Haribo.
And it’s not enough to wander the streets. The house must be suitably bedecked too.
All manner of seasonal decoration is purchased and strewn around the house. Orange and rust coloured flowers, fake cobwebs, spiders, creepy crawlies, candles, black cats, skulls and skeletons all add to the mood and create the right ambience for this one night at the end of October.
If you want to add a little Halloween Spirit to your home, a few of my favourite picks are:
Gothic themes lend themselves to this time of year, and these lanterns with their ornate bases wouldn’t look out of place in Count Draculas’ castle. They look amazing lit and grouped together in a mix of sizes.
I love to fill the house with pumpkins and gourds of all sizes. Their bright colours and knobbly, uneven textures are perfect for Halloween. I think that they look particularly good piled up in a large dish or bowl as a centerpiece or along a mantelpiece. I usually buy mine at my local farm shop, but they are widely available in grocers and supermarkets.
Alex Garnett table lamp £150
There is nothing more creepy than an illuminated skull and this hand cast bone (forgive the pun) china table lamp by Alex Garnett is perfect for Halloween or a teenagers room at any time of year!
“Eye of Newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog”. Make any concoction you serve at Halloween that much more themed with this brightly hued glassware from John Lewis.