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Halloween Graveyard






Halloween is Coming!


A lot of people who visit Britain in October are surprised at the popularity of Halloween, the festival we celebrate every year on 31 October. The British are often asked, "Isn't that an American festival?"


True, some of our Halloween celebrations have been influenced by the USA and Canada, but the festival originated in Europe.



A Short History of Halloween

Halloween began many years ago in Britain and Ireland as a pagan festival that celebrated the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. People believed that at this time of year, the barrier between the living world and the spirit world was very weak, and the dead could enter our world and do terrible things.


The early festivals involved lighting a bonfire and wearing masks and costumes to mimic evil spirits and hopefully keep them away. One custom was to carve a face into a turnip (a type of vegetable) and put a candle inside it.


When Irish and Scottish immigrants went to America in the 19th century, they took with them the festival of Halloween (or 'All Hallows Eve' as it used to be called). The American pumpkin was used instead of the turnip and it became a symbol of Halloween.


pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin



Today, as well as telling scary stories and watching horror films, we often celebrate Halloween with...


Fancy Dress Parties (or 'costume parties' in American English)

We dress up as ghosts, monsters, witches, wizards, devils, zombies and other scary creatures.


Halloween Graveyard


Trick or Treat?

Children (in fancy dress) knock on the doors of their neighbours and say, 'Trick or treat?' This means: 'give us some sweets (=a treat) or we will be naughty and play a practical joke on you (=a trick)'. A popular Halloween treat is a toffee apple - an apple on a stick and covered in toffee.


Apple Bobbing

A traditional game where you have to pick an apple out of a bucket of water using only your teeth!

Read about this game

Play online 1

Play online 2


Pumpkin Carving

We hollow out a pumpkin and cut holes in it to make it look like a face. We then put a candle inside it. The finished item is called a jack-o'-lantern.

Carve a Pumpkin online 1

Carve a Pumpkin online 2

Carve a Pumpkin online 3


Other Decorations

For Halloween parties, we often decorate the room with cobwebs (=spiders' webs), bats, skeletons, spiders - anything scary!


skeletonvampire spider and cobweb




Learn Halloween Vocabulary

Halloween Words & Pictures (free pdf download)


Games for Kids - Easy

Haunted House 1 - (find the correct object)

Haunted House 2 - (find the animal)


Games & Quizzes - Medium

Vocabulary Quiz

Halloween Quiz


Games - Difficult

Hangman Game 1

Hangman Game 2

Hangman Game 3




Have fun, and happy Halloween!





Related Pages

British Culture: Festivals



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