Costumes, decorations and horror films: How Lancs students can salvage Halloween 2020

How to still throw a Halloween party for your household in Tier Three

In Lancaster, the Tier Three Lockdown restrictions mean that you can’t mix households this Halloween. The horror show which is 2020 truly has ruined the best night out of the entire year. Corona has killed plans for massive house parties, trick or treating and all nights out.

Some may call it a lost cause, but it does not mean that Halloween is cancelled completely and it definitely does not mean that you can’t still have a great night in with your flatmates. Here are some pointers on how to plan a Halloween household party, fitting the lockdown guidelines.


Obviously, this is the most important element to get into the spooky mood. There are so many options when it comes to costumes, you can be as creative as you want. 

The classic outfits are probably the best way to get into Halloween. These are things like Dracula, zombies, mummies, ghosts, witches, werewolves – basically everything which has already been done a thousand times before. Just buy a tube of fake blood and go wild! What could go wrong?

Group costumes are a hit! They can go two ways, either everyone goes as the same thing or choose a famous group of characters to go as. Favourite groups include Scooby Doo Mystery Inc, the Teletubbies, the Spice Girls or the Power Rangers.

However, these costume ideas can be costly, and as no one can show off their costume in Sugar under the flashing lights dancing to The Monster Mash, is there really any point in spending all your budget for the week on a Tinky-Winky costume which you will probably take off after an hour? I vote no, but there are cheaper options, such as going to charity shops or using clothes you already own. 

Themes are easy to do too. One of the simplest being picking a letter which your costume has to start as. Or things like cartoon characters, superheroes, or maybe 90s.

Face paint is always a brilliant option, same with hair dye. It can be a really good budget option if you don’t want to do a whole costume. And maybe, if you’re feeling brave, and have someone who’s good with makeup, try some gory Halloween makeup trends. 

The best way to go is creative but simple. Don’t make it too hard for yourself; it is perfectly acceptable to go for a popular costume, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Put some thought into it but don’t be too ambitious because the last thing that you want is for nobody to be able to figure out what your costume is.


Proper decorations are definitely the easiest way to make your Halloween night look professional and really get into the mood for spooky season. If you make your house look great, it’ll feel genuine.

Those of you who are more skilled with arts and crafts can have a go at making some custom decorations yourself but the rest of us mere mortals will have to make do with a quick trip to Poundland with a fiver to sort it out. Decorations such as fake cobwebs, skeletons, lights, pumpkins are all big favourites which will haunt your house whilst not haunting your bank account.

You can also give each room of the house a theme and decorate accordingly. This a good way to share the work load between the house, but make sure you get them back down quickly because it won’t be long before you start wanting to put Christmas ones up!


Let’s face it, everyone’s looking for any excuse for a takeaway and Halloween is a great opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to eat a Domino’s sat on the couch dressed as the grim reaper? 

Baking is always a good idea because you can decorate. A pumpkin, spider, skull, or bat cookie cutter is a must really to make some Halloween biscuits. Just find a “simple” biscuit recipe, then make some orange, black and green icing. But given student cooking capabilities, this could literally go up in flames, so you might be better off buying a decorating kits from Sainsbury’s bakery. One final food tip, make sure that you take out your fake fangs before eating!


If you’re not sick of them so far this year, a quiz is a good way to entertain the house. Maybe recycle one you did in lockdown (no one will notice). As you can imagine, Twister in Halloween costumes is very funny. A devil, a vampire and a ghost all falling on top of each other is something I’d want to see.

A safe Halloween classic is pumpkin carving. Its a good way to be creative and not just carve the typical scary face. Plus they add to your decorations. Be careful that you don’t end up in Lancaster Infirmary; we only want to see fake blood.


Films are standard for a night in. Log onto Netflix, and for those of you lucky people with those mini projectors, beam up your favourite Halloween flick for all your house to enjoy. Lean back on the sofa, full from half a large pizza, and watching Halloween films with you mates, what could be better for a night in?

Horror films are a perfect choice. But if they scare you more than your deadlines, there are many great family friendly Halloween films such as Hotel Transylvania, Hocus Pocus, Monster House or Scooby Doo.

This whole year seems to be an extension of Halloween; 2020 has been one scary year. But this Saturday, try to make something good out of a bad situation.

Recommended articles by this writer:

Halloween costumes inspired by the horror show that is 2020

Our guide to the best spots in Lancs – despite the end of the world

How returning to Lancaster University in a pandemic messed up my life