Here are the five spookiest things you’ll see in Exeter this Halloween

Number three: Sidwell Street


Spooky season is officially here and that means it’s time to trot on down to Fantasy World (a costume shop on Fore Street where you’ll likely find me panic buying my outfits for a TP Wednesday) and rummage through its array of creepy outfits. Spoiler alert: The kids’ costumes are much better this year, so for the petite queens amongst us, you’re in luck. Exeter goes hard or goes home when it comes to Halloween, so be prepared to see plenty of strange goings on over the next few days. To give you a bit of warning in advance, here are the spookiest things you’ll see in Exeter this Halloween.

1. Inflatables or cardboard cut outs in windows

This is fairly standard practice in Exeter regardless of the season but in October, houses really up their game. Although some flats went to town on the window decorations when I was in Birks, it was never that effective unless it was a first floor flat. An advantage of living off campus is having a street level window, which comes with plenty of opportunities to scare people. There have been countless times where I’ve jumped out of my skin to someone opening a curtain, showing some kind of deranged cardboard cut out. Some personal favourites of mine include Shrek, a life sized Chucky doll and Boris Jonson wearing a Batman mask. Make sure to keep an eye on windows in student areas this Halloween, you’re in for a treat.

2. Costume shops

To my knowledge, there are only a couple of proper costume shops in Exeter, so it goes all out at Halloween. Last year, I was in need of a costume and it was too last minute for an Amazon smash and grab, so I ended up having a browse around Exeter city centre. I wasn’t expecting much and certainly wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen.

I won’t spoil the whole experience but let’s just say I walked past the display figure at the back of the shop five times without batting an eyelid, only for it to break character and walk into the store room as I reached around it to get something off the shelf. The worst part is they weren’t even trying to scare me, I think they just wanted to go on a break. It was a genuinely scarring experience and I will never trust display figures ever again. I’m still a loyal customer to Exeter costume shops when it comes to outfits for socials, but if you’re in a pinch for a Halloween costume, I’d stick to Amazon.

3. Sidwell street

Enough said.

4. Halloween house parties or flat parties

House parties in Exeter are hit and miss at the best of times but at Halloween, they get really freaky. I’m not a big fan of going clubbing during spooky season because outfits go to waste and it just turns into a night like any other. I think a lot of people feel the same way, so they decide to throw house parties instead.

One of the most bizarre things I’ve seen during my time at Exeter was some niche behaviour I spotted when I walked past a house hosting a Halloween party. The music was so loud I could hear it from the top of the road and there were about 20 people arriving at the time. I looked through the living room window and to my surprise, the only people in the room were two blokes sat on the sofa, dressed head to toe in nun outfits with pints in hand, watching TV. Fair enough, it does all get a bit much sometimes.

5. Couples outfits

If I had to choose one, this is the spookiest thing you’ll see in Exeter this Halloween. There is nothing worse than attending an aforementioned house party and getting stuck with the couple dressed as Barbie and Ken, especially if they are in boxes. Singletons be warned, you should expect to see a lot of these this year.

I’m a big fan of amusing joint outfits between friends, as these are arguably even more spooky, but in a good way. A personal favourite of mine was last year, when two of my male friends dressed up as Daphne and Velma. That is an image I will never forget and possibly something I found even more disturbing than my encounter in the local costume shop. Brace yourselves to see some sickening couples outfits over the coming days, and even more boys wearing far too short dresses.

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