You may have only just started getting settled into your student accommodation in Lancaster, but Halloween is just around the corner. Do you remember how exciting Halloween was when you were a child? Trick or treating, scary costumes, eating so many sweets and chocolates you made yourself sick. Well, the fun doesn’t stop just because you’re too old to pester strangers at their homes for goodies.
Halloween is a big event for students, maybe even bigger than it is for kids. Dressing up is expected, spooky décor is actively encouraged, and rather than overindulging in mini mars bars, you’ll find inventive ways to incorporate Halloween flavour into adult beverages at your own minibar. It’s never too early to start thinking about what you’ll be going as this year. So, with Jack Skellington’s favourite Holiday fast approaching, here is our guide to doing Halloween like a student.
Dress to Impress
A pinnacle element of any Halloween is the costume. Every Halloween your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest get crammed full of photos of impressive costumes, and you’ll want to make sure yours is also on point this year. You have two main choices when it comes to Halloween costumes: shop-bought or home-made.
Shop-bought costumes are a great choice for people who don’t fancy themselves a tailor or who aren’t handy with a glue gun. You can buy from dedicated costume shops or online; even pound shops and supermarkets will be selling ready-made costumes. In addition to all the classics – zombie, vampire, skeleton, witch etc. – there’s also a range of more specific costumes such as film characters like Penny-Wise and Jigsaw (normal costume version, or the short, sexy version, it’s totally up to you).
Alternatively, you can get creative this year; whether that’s by buying some Halloween make-up and accessories and building on an outfit you already own or getting out the fabric and starting from scratch. The internet is full of ideas for costumes. Get inspiration from pop culture; dress as your favourite TV or book character, even if it’s someone obscure. If you and your housemates are all going out together, why not pull together a group costume? Such as Scooby Doo and the gang or the Ghost Busters. How about an animal from an animated film but with the twist of what they would look like as a human?
There are so many ways to pull off a fantastic costume. Charity shops are great for getting clothes you need, and normal make-up can often function as Halloween make-up to save on buying any. But don’t leave it too late if you want to buy a costume; costume shops will run low on stock as it gets into late October.
Throw a Spooky Party
A student Halloween staple is the house party. If you’ve been invited to one, great! You just need to turn up in a costume with some drinks and let the host do the rest. But if the host is you, there’s a lot you need to prepare.
First, you’ll need to get those invites out. Facebook’s event feature is perfect for this, allowing you to set the location, start time and any other additional info before you can send it out to pretty much everyone you want. Alternatively, you could just send out a group message on something like WhatsApp. Whatever you use, make sure you do it a couple of weeks in advance, so people don’t make other Halloween plans.
A Halloween house party needs to look and feel like a Halloween party. You can’t just turn down the lights and play music (even if it’s the Monster Mash) and think that makes it a Halloween party. Thankfully, pound shops are on hand to help. They’ll have hundreds of cheap, scary, and sometimes strange, Halloween-themed decorations for your house such as plastic spiders with webs, blood-covered table cloths and decorative pumpkin lights.
You can also make your own decorations using stuff lying around the house, such as decorative spider webs cut out of bin bags, or by making some bats out of egg cartons, googly eyes and some black spray paint. Make sure your house is suitably spooky to get everyone in the Halloween spirit. Don’t forget to throw in some pumpkins, too.
A student house party would not be complete without drinks, and Halloween is the perfect time to get out that punch bowl you insisted your parents buy for you when you started Uni. There’s just something about a punch bowl at Halloween; maybe it’s the witch-like custom of making an alcoholic potion. Whatever the reason, you can get creative here, too. Try freezing some water in a rubber glove over night to create a severed ice hand to keep the punch nice and cold, and drape some gummy snakes over the edge of the bowl for that extra spooky touch.
If you’re going all out this year you can even get creative with the snacks. Look online for Halloween-themed recipes to make your very own Halloween-inspired food. You could try chocolate cupcakes with liquorice legs and smartie eyes to make delicious edible spiders, or a hotdog with a segment of sausage cut out to make a ‘nail’, squirted with some tomato sauce to look like a bloody finger in a bun. A lot can be done with party snacks to get that spooky edge, or if you’ve not got the time, plenty of supermarkets will be selling Halloween-themed snacks in October.
Check out Your Student Union
If a party isn’t on the agenda, then check out your University Student Union. They will most likely be throwing some kind of Halloween event, and if not, they will probably be posting on their social media about the Halloween nights being thrown by the clubs in Lancaster.
Let someone else take care of everything, so you can just concentrate on pulling together a fantastic costume and having a great night. But bear in mind that these nights will be very popular and may require tickets. So, keep an eye out for when these events get publicised and how you can get hold of a ticket.
We here at Student Housing Lancaster hope you have a great and truly spooky Halloween this year.