“Our priority is to have as much fun as we can”: Is Halloween cancelled this year?

What’s scarier, catching Rona at the halls house party or that shit clown costume off Ebay

As the festive season begins, some big questions are on everyone’s minds: What should we do for Halloween? Am I allowed to have a family Christmas? Why is our government choosing not to feed children? For uni students, the Tier 2 London lockdown has for sure snuffed out a lot of potential plans over this period, and while some sit and sulk about it in beer gardens with broken heating and 15 layers on, others have decided that Halloween cannot be cancelled this year. I spoke to some students about their spooky season plans, and this is what they said:

“We’ve kind of stopped giving a fuck about Corona in the last month,” one student confessed, “so our flat has decided to have a themed party. Lockdown has taken so much away from us, so our priority now is just to have some fun while we can.” It’s been a tough start to the term having to accept a new university life reality, especially after the UK’s 5 month lockdown, so many students are undoubtedly taking this stance throughout the country. Dressing up has also been a very popular choice, with or without a party to go to, with someone else saying “Yeah, we’re having a small dress-up party. We’re going all out with the costumes.”

However, these gatherings are very risky business, and something that a lot of people won’t want to be a part of. “I’m too scared to have a party,” a UCL second year admitted. “I’m not at risk, I just don’t want to get sick.” With the spike in Covid cases at uni halls and campuses all over the country displaying how easy it is to catch Rona, it’s clear that the last thing we all need is a mass congregation, especially for such a small holiday as Halloween. What even is the point, apart from getting to dress up as a sexy cat or an inflatable Tellytubby?

Others are keen to stick to the rules while still going all out. “We’re having a dinner party with our social bubble with a Halloween-themed menu,” a friend told me, clearly getting inventive and classy with what is usually a very trashy occasion. “We’re not dressing up though, just a chilled evening together.” I, for one, would be very down for Frankenstein cake pops and soup with fake eyeballs in it, so am a big fan of this proposition.

It’s also possible to follow the government rules and go to pubs and restaurants for Halloween this year, and this was the most popular decision among the people I asked. One stated, “I’m dressing up with my flatmates, going for a drink at a bar, then coming home to order takeout and watch Strictly!”

“My housemates and I are dressing up as playboy bunnies and going for cocktails at Simmons,” another student said. Very big props for the innovative costume choice and legal Halloween plans here, however there is a catch. “We might do an afters at the flat with some more people after that though.” Due to the 10pm curfew that is still in place nation-wide, ‘afters’ has become the second biggest trend after bottomless brunches. The rule of 6 can be enforced in pubs and beer gardens without many qualms, but the minute that they close, there is free reign over the rest of the night, and many students are choosing to continue the party with gatherings at flats instead.

But in between the insta-worthy pumpkin picking and carving photos, watching Hocus Pocus for the 356th time and buying enough fake blood to stage a full-scale murder, some students have had it with all this spooky business. Given that 2020 hasn’t exactly been a dream, the irony of Halloween arriving just as London prepares for another heavy winter lockdown is fucking terrifying enough. “This whole year has been Halloween, I’m taking a break,” someone admitted, and honestly, amen to that. See you next year Halloween, you cruel mistress.