How to nail Halloween in Leicester

Your very own survival guide


Now you’re a fully functioning student, the days of running from door to door in search of sweets are long gone. Maybe you freshers don’t feel like it was actually that long ago but let’s be honest: Halloween in Leicester isn’t about how many sweets you can grab, but how many shots you can afford in the O2.

Halloween is Leicester’s time to shine. Yeah, our nightlife is pretty basic, but our fancy dress game is strong as fuck thanks to Wednesday night socials. Think rowers dressed as Smurfs, cheerleaders in ABC and the rugby boys wearing those shirts (it still amazes me that they manage to get the vom stains out) and that’s just a regular week.

Just as you don’t want to be the person who gets the library lift to the first floor, you don’t want to be the Cady turning up to the party as a witch in a sea of bunnies. You need to nail this Halloween in Leicester.

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Keep that costume fresh af

We’re in the dark depths of term and no one has the cash to be parting with £40 for costumes. Just think how much cheaper it could be if you did it yourself. Yeah, it may not end up like the masterpiece you imagined, but a pound saved is a pound to be spent on shots. Halloween is all about putting bits and pieces together. 

The classic cheap combo is the torn white tee with a splattering of fake blood – good, but could do better. Be more adventurous and go to Tiger, between the Lanes and Highcross, for some cheap inspo. Everyone always seems to forget that Leicester actually has loads of vintage shops – all you need is a bit of imagination. If you’re feeling even more adventurous then raid the market.

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If you live in Lasdun then obviously you have to dress as prisoners

Rockstar reps have never been right, so avoid buying that weeklong ticket

It’s been a whole month since Freshers’ and you’ve probably got your routine sorted. Shabang pre drinks in a Lasdun corridor or gin on the 80 en route to a Wednesday night sports social – everyone has their weekly ritual.

However, you’ve been here weeks and run out of the frozen meals your mum packed. Money is low and that essay they told you about at the start of the year? Yeah, that’s due next week.

Rumours run rife of the Halloween wristband – five days of halloween must be better than one? Calm down, that FOMO you’re feeling isn’t real. For £12 this is only worth it if you go to at least three events. Do you remember the last time you went out three nights in a row? Wasn’t pretty. Second years have realised this year actually counts and third years are crying over their dissertations already. This is not Freshers’ take two.

Much like the costumes, a halloween night out is about quality not quantity. Pick one or two nights and make the most of them. Utilise free alcohol – if there’s any time to risk that dubious bottle of liquid left in your kitchen after Freshers’ week it’s now. Do yourself a favour and leave your card at home as flashing it for O2 VK’s is too tempting.  Your ticket (+ID), some drinks cash, £2 for a taxi and you’re good to go.

Oh and the free Nandos? If you’re out every night I wouldn’t bet on your chances of making it into town for chicken. Save your money for the Dominos lunchtime deal delivered right to your door, no need to wash off the fake blood. You’re welcome.

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Pizza is the real MVP

You’ll have to be smart about what time you go out 

Just when you thought long queues were a thing of the past, Halloween rolls around and you’re left shivering in your cheap, thrown together at the last minute costume wondering if it’s all really worth it. The answer is yes – you just have to be a little smarter about it. 

The peak queue time is around midnight so be safe and get there for 1am. If you’re not that bright and find yourself the long queue, buy some chips. The warmth of greasy, £1.50 carbs will sustain you.

Failing this, hide out in the library on the comfy sofas (third floor is the place to be) and do some late night reading (aka pick out books with hilarious titles and put them on your Snapchat story) whilst you wait for all those people to file into the O2.

Finally, just bring that coat. £1 is so worth spending when you can be warm and smug whilst everyone else is shivering around you.

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Avoid the walk of horror 

It’s the morning after. You wake up on blue tinged bed sheets next to a sleeping stranger dressed as a smurf. Wait – is that John Foster you can see out of the window?

Oh god. You’ve ended up in Oabdy.

Don’t panic – we’ve all been there. Sleeping with a fresher is only shameful if people find out. The problem with halloween though is that people will find out. Riding the 80 at 9am dressed as a cat isn’t a usual Saturday morning sight.

This is where you need to use your head. Running off before the fresher wakes up is obviously an option, but burning that bridge means that you can’t steal some clothes to hide your post-halloween shame. Be nice to the fresher. Borrow a hoody. This is the best way to avoid the judgement of the bus driver and old ladies on their way to their weekly shop.

When you make it back to safety, stop at Sainsbury’s to grab some discounted halloween sweets. These will make your shame spiral and hangover far less traumatic. Halloween recovery sorted. 

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Spotted: A stolen hoody on its way to the 80

By Max Longley, Verity Bowman, Cameron Bonser, Tori Scott, Sophie Dinnie.