Hannah Drake

Halloween in England

LifeHannah DrakeComment

A few people have asked me what Halloween is like in England. I think the answer to most anything is that nobody here goes quite as crazy, over-the-top for anything as people do in the States. Not for holidays. Not for seasons. (I guess I haven't seen Christmas yet, but that's the general vibe I get. Though it's worth noting that a small Christmas display popped up in our grocery store a few weeks ago at the end of the Halloween aisle.) 

We spent the weekend in Ireland, which meant I didn't get to see what Halloween weekend--Halloweekend, if you will--was like in our neighborhood, which is predominantly students. Do they wear different costumes each night and party all weekend long like students do in the States? Who knows! (Luke probably does*, I'll ask him.)

One thing I did notice was that a lot of businesses were decorated for Halloween instead of autumn in general. Since Thanksgiving isn't a thing here, there's no reason to embrace the season for a few months before moving on to Christmas. Instead, a lot of shops had spiders and cobwebs in the windows and gory monster heads on the shelves. (Again, we did start to see Christmas decorations outside on busy pedestrian streets and inside in the shops. Just not in the windows!) When I was working at Pure Barre, I always decorated the lobby for the autumn so I could keep the decorations up through Thanksgiving. It seemed like a lot of businesses--or people at their homes--did the same.

We got home late on Monday night from Ireland, so we were home for Halloween itself. We're not really into Halloween, so we didn't make any plans. Besides, we were pretty exhausted and wanted a quiet night at home. We decided to turn of all the lights that you could see from outside and hide from trick-or-treaters in our sitting room. While Luke was taking out the recycling, though, a mom came up with her kids to trick-or-treat. We didn't have any candy, but she said they came up because of the pumpkins. So we put our pumpkins inside and we didn't get any more trick-or-treaters the rest of the night.

A few weeks ago, Luke made a big batch of pasta sauce and we froze half of it as a "chili base". I don't love chili the way I love other soups (beef stew or gumbo for instance), but my mom brought us some Fritos from the States, so it seemed like the perfect Halloween dinner. It was a great way to make chili quick, too. We threw in some beans, mince, and the right spices, and we had some delicious chili!

We had some happy hour cocktails before dinner. I had seen a Tasty video earlier with some sort of Halloween cocktail made with apple cider, pumpkin puree, ginger beer, and some kind of liquor, so I decided to whip up something similar to use the rest of the homemade cider we had. It was AMAZING!

  • 1 oz rum

  • 3 oz spiced apple cider, warm

  • 3 oz ginger beer

We had a non-scary Halloween movie/TV marathon: We watched Practical Magic on Amazon Prime, Bewitched on Netflix, and then the Halloween episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. For dessert, we had Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, one of my favorite Halloween candies. (Seriously, that huge bag that has Snickers, Twix, and Reese's is THE BEST!) I was shocked to find out that Luke had never had one before, but he loved it. He said he's had Reese's Pieces, but not the peanut butter cups. How?!

All in all, it was a great Halloween. (Our first together!) Maybe next year we'll embrace it a little more, but I kind of loved our quiet evening hiding from the rest of the world. Ha!

*Luke said students probably would have gone out on Halloween and maybe one night during the weekend, but they wouldn't go out 3-4 nights in a row like I think American students do.

How was your Halloween? What did you do? Did you dress up?