Want to escape clubbing in Exeter this Halloween? Here’s how with these tips and tricks

Because the scariest thing about Halloween is being crammed into Unit 1 with dozens of sweaty costumes


It’s Halloween in Exeter – needless to say you’re deep in the toil and trouble of 150 FIXR notifications. If you think sifting through these is a scary task, imagine standing in the middle of a Halloween-special Cheesy Tuesday, Monster Mash thrashing in the background, Men in Black to your left, and 10 devils to your right – with your Shein nylon costume digging into your back. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Here’s a list of tricks I had up my sleeve, so you’re sure to find something more wholesome this spooky season.

Chisel away at some pumpkins

Trot down merrily to the supermarket and come back yielding two massive pumpkins – it’s a fun experience, I promise. For the last few years, our house have held pumpkin carving competitions, cutting away at the kitchen table for hours before the much anticipated voting process. If your house is anything like mine, the competition may be even more fierce than those savaged pumpkin faces.

This year, votes came splashing in from an Instagram poll. As you can imagine from the picture above, there was a clear winner and loser, 59 votes to five to be exact. Fortunately, I still consider the loss a technological failure, so my pride isn’t too hurt.

Leaf Exeter Uni behind and farm things up this Halloween

Even more wholesome than pumpkin carving is a Halloween day out at some of Exeter’s nearby farms. Darts Farm is a favourite among students, simply jump on the train to Topsham and within half an hour you’ll be sipping hot chocolate, and meandering through fields of pumpkins begging to be taken home. Plus, I promise the air can never be cold enough to give their ice cream a miss (it’s amazing!). Pennywell Farm is another favourite for pumpkin picking, and also offers farm animals galore, with piglets you can cuddle and watch race through an impressive swine F1 track. It’s the perfect excuse to leave the essays behind and release the stress this term has brought!

Take to the spooky back roads

Exeter’s underground passages are sure to deliver the eerie feelings you crave this autumn. Also, let’s be honest, during the last six weeks you’ve probably seen Exeter’s high street more than the back of your hand, so a fresh change of scenery will be a sigh of relief, no matter how unnerving it becomes. Staff will lead you through the dingy tunnels recounting tales of Exeter’s scary past, covering all things sinister from the Blitz to witches.

Enjoy the most cliché foods and drinks

Because the taste of a pumpkin spiced latte is undoubtedly worth the emotional baggage of the stereotype attached to it. On the surface, they sound absolutely vile – I mean come on, a warm vegetable drink? I’m not too sure. But somehow, nothing hits the spot quite like it, which we were reminded of getting this one for free outside The Forum!

Be sure to take advantage of Exeter’s vast array of coffee shops for these Halloween specials. Gander down to the Undergrad, a nature lover’s heaven and sample the pumpkin seeds and pumpkin risotto. The Tiny Tasting Room is another sure contender, offering cinnamon bun lattes, pumpkin spiced buns and brown sugar shaken espressos all tucked away in the heart of the city centre. Portal Pizza is another beloved location, selling butternut squash pizzas right on beautiful Magdalen Street. 

Go all out with a costume party at home

As Exeter students, we all know you don’t need an occasion to don some strange costumes and frolic through town: I did it every other Monday and Wednesday last year. Would you really be walking down the high street if you didn’t bump into a couple of Smurfs on your way to Tesco? But, given it’s Halloween, I guess there’s even more of an excuse to push the limits. 

So, grab the obnoxiously large cardboard box your friend’s air fryer came in and get snipping – you don’t need to break the bank to get that Halloween fun flowing. Plus, aren’t the best costumes a bit out of the box? You could even make it a competition, if you dare! Your winnings will be sure to come from interpreting the theme completely ridiculously such as turning up to a 90s party dressed as a 90-year-old, dressing up as a stock cube for a tube station social, or just putting a load of broccoli on your head. It’s only embarrassing if you make it embarrassing (and it was).

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