This year Halloweenerrific has something special in store for its readers. An exclusive report live from the USA.
Halloweenerrific is based in the UK so obviously has a bit of a UK focus, but we felt that it was high time that we went across the Atlantic to see just how good our American cousins have it.
Halloween in the USA
When it comes to Halloween celebrations, you’ll be hard pressed to find any other place in the world that takes Halloween so seriously.
And if you’re in the USA during the Halloween period, then you’re likely to see some key features that make this time of year all the more exciting.
The retailers in the US go wild when it comes to Halloween products. This is helped by the fact that most products from food to cosmetics have special ‘Halloween editions created for this time of year.
So every shop you go to (one chemist that I went to was particularly impressive) with have decorations, costumes and snacks for you to buy.
In addition to the permanent stores you also get a number of pop up stores that are only around during the run up to Halloween. One of the more notable ones is Spirit Halloween, who take temporary leases in a number of locations and stack their shelves with a lot of very cool stuff.
As I mentioned in the previous point, there are loads of Halloween/harvest themed products sold in the US this time of year, meaning that you can’t help but get excited about Halloween – because it’s everywhere!
In addition to the usual cakes, treats and clothes I found Halloween themed candles, air fresheners, hand soap, bin bags, drinks (soft and hard), cereal, fruit and veg, night lights, cutlery, crockery and household cleaning products, to name but a few.
The main benefit of a trip to the US for Halloween shopping is the promise of products that are very hard to buy in the UK. This includes some of the most realistic and terrifying props, big inflatable decorations, carvable synthetic pumpkins, advanced carving tools and all manner of sweets.
It’s worth noting that you’ll meed a special converter to run any mains powered products in the UK as they run appliances on a lower powered electricity supply.
3. TV and Events
From the very beginning of October TV channels start to spookify their channels with Halloween adverts, branding and lots of programmes to get you in the mood.
UK channels don’t come anywhere near this level of devotion and although Halloween is growing in popularity here you can still find yourself hard up for cool things to watch on Halloween (particularly if it falls on a week night).
Pretty much all popular shows have Halloween episodes and many channels run horror movie marathons throughout the month leaving you quite spoilt for choice.
And when it comes to Halloween events, there are all kinds from haunted houses to full scale horror parks. For instance, Universal Studios (LA and Orlando) close their parks early in October to open later at night with a host of terrifying attractions, basically transforming the park into a horror wonderland. And it’s huge!
So should you rush over to the US right now if I want the best Halloween ever?
Well, not necessarily.
Yes, I have provided a lot of reasons why America has it very good when it comes to Halloween. But as I got out of my pumpkin scented bath, after washing my hair with pumpkin spiced shampoo started on a bag of pumpkin flavoured candy corn, something occurred to me. It wasn’t as good as I expected.
Apart from places like Spirit Halloween, the regular stores didn’t have that much more than we have in the UK.
Take Walmart for instance. I went to a couple of huge branches and other than big inflatables they weren’t really offering much more than our own Asda. Which is worth baring in mind the next time we moan (as we usually do) that Asda don’t have enough cool stuff.
Walmart didn’t even have the Wingflatables! Shocking!
The fact is, Halloween definitely is gaining popularity here and although it might not feel like it, our shops have come a long way in recent years to help us make our Halloweens more fun. So we don’t do so bad after all.
There’s always room for improvement though. If you have any suggestions on how your home country could improve their Halloween celebrations, share them below.