The top 10 Halloween tunes for your house party

clock Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 10:10AM

Well, you’re costumed up, and ready to party.   Now is the time for that most essential of jobs: planning the music! Putting together a suitable list of tunage is a task demanding military precision, and we’re here to help! Here are what we think to be ten killer (pun intended) tunes, perfect for the spookiest night of the year.

The Ramones, ‘Pet Sematary’

Before they became a label worn on t-shirts by people who don’t even really like rock music, The Ramones made their living writing perfect little punk nuggets like this.  Written especially for the freaky film based on Stephen King’s most disturbing book (his words), ‘Pet Sematary’ has to be the best song ever written about a dead kid coming back to life and partially eating his mother.  Not that there’s too much competition.

Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller’

The most popular track from one of the most popular albums of all time, ‘Thriller’ is one of the King of Pop’s most brilliant moments, a masterpiece of creepy build up, atmospheric production and, of course, hooks so strong they could pull a blue whale to the surface of the ocean.

Slayer, ‘Raining Blood’

If you’re looking for a cosy little ballad that’s perfect for slow dancing, this is your new jam.  No, not really.  One of thrash metal’s best tunes, Raining Blood is a headbanger’s dream, combining evil sounding lead with evil sounding riffs and, yes, evil sounding vocals all about horrible things. The perfect Halloween track.

Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers, ‘Monster Mash’

We challenge anybody to listen to this and not grin.  Though it’s now been around for over 50 years, this classic track is almost impossible not to shake your gothic booty to.  Altogether now: ‘he did the mash!’ ‘He did the moooooonster mash’.

Blue Oyster Cult, ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’

Cowbell.  You need more of it.  A classic mellow rock track that’s apparently about eternal love, but sounds much creepier than that, ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ is eerie enough to have a place on more or less any playlist.

Ozzy Ozbourne, ‘Bark at the Moon’

There was no way the Ozzman wasn’t going to make it onto this list, and this particularly wolfy tune is an absolute metal classic that combines Jake E Lee’s splendid riffing with that unmistakable vocal.  Also, you’ll get to enjoy the fact that Ozzy is so high (on life!) he’s forgotten how to say ‘moon’. Altogether now: ‘BARK AT THE MOAN’.

Rocky Horror, ‘The Time Warp’

It’s just a jump to the left! It’s a scientific fact that if you play the time warp to a room full of drunk people on Halloween, each and every single one of them will go completely mental.  We defy you to not do the dance.

Ray Parker, Jr, ‘Ghostbusters’

Possibly our favourite tune on this list, it’s impossible to not feel happy when listening to the lead tune from the 1984 smash hit.  We’ve got nothing witty to add here: you know this song, and you love this song. If there’s something strange…

Mike Oldfield, ‘Tubular Bells’

It might not get many people moving on the dancefloor, but if this creepy classic doesn’t make it onto your playlist you’re missing out.  Known by many people as simply ‘The Exorcist’ theme, it remains as atmospheric and hair-raising as ever.

Alice Cooper, ‘Feed My Frankenstein’

A glam-rock classic, Feed My Frankenstein received a ton of attention when Cooper performed the song live in a scene on Wayne’s World.  (If you’ve not watched Wayne’s World, your first priority should be watching Wayne’s World). An absolute jam of a song, and perfect for the scariest night of the year.

For more Halloween soundtrack inspiration visit our guide to choosing the scariest Halloween party music.

How to transform your home into a witch’s lair

clock Monday, October 20, 2014 at 12:41PM

In the grand list of awesome Halloween party ideas, the witches’ lair is always near the top.  There are a whole host of different ways in which you can help to create a really witchy atmosphere, and today we’re going to take a look at some of the most effective.

Include all the standards

There are a number of different items that have always been (and probably always will be) associated with witches, and it’s important to include them.  Whilst it might seem a tad clichéd to make use of a broomstick, a cauldron and a couple of witchy hats, they’re so well associated with cackling harridans that every single person at the party will automatically know what look you’re going for.

The skulls

With witches comes death!  A great way to whip up a spooky atmosphere is to have a few skulls dotted around the place.  You can usually pick them up cheaply from fancy dress or prop shops.  A good trick is to spray them with a dark green or brown to simulate rotting or mould: it’ll add that extra level of rather grim realisation and take-away the plastic-y colour.


No witch is complete without her spell books!  This is a great chance for you to be creative: it doesn’t take too much to put together some great looking spell books – simply take some cheap notebooks (available almost everywhere) and then wrap the cover in some Halloween wrapping paper (one with skulls, spiders and rats!).  If you want to make the pages look older, you can stain them with tea and allow them to dry out – it browns the pages and gives them that ‘hundreds of years old’ look in an hour or two.

Apothecary jars

Witches are known for keeping jars of horrible things in their lair, and these are quite easy to mimic. Any jars will do as long as they have glass tops.  From there you can fill them with water dyed either green or brown.  If you want to be really disgusting, fill them up with things like fake spiders and eyeballs.  Then liberally sprinkle the jars all over the house, and enjoy watching everyone recoil in horror.

Webs and smoke

Perhaps the most important part of putting together a convincing witches’ lair is the actual atmosphere of the space.  There are a number of different ways in which you can help to create a bit more atmosphere: firstly, never under-estimate the value of good cobwebs.  You can stick them in the corners of rooms, onto bookshelves and jars and even onto the drinks table!  Secondly, you can’t go too far wrong with some vapour: if you’re feeling energetic, try covering the ceiling and walls with black bin bags: as well as making the whole room nice and dark, the natural heat generated can make the room really atmospheric.  Be warned, though; it can be a bit toasty.

Halloween events happening near you

clock Friday, October 17, 2014 at 11:44AM

Are you looking for things to do at Halloween? Luckily for you, it’s our favourite night of the year here at All Fancy Dress, so we know full well what kind of spooky surprises are going on where you live!

Whether you want to catch a bone-shaking glimpse of a ghost, contact the spirits of lost souls or hit up a haunted castle on the most frightening night of the year take a look at some of the Halloween events happening across the UK below:


Halloween Spooktacular (31st October) – Morden Hall Park, Morden

From pumpkin carving and creepy crafts to bug hunts and trails full of spooky secrets and surprises, there’s plenty going on at Morden Hall Park’s Halloween Spooktacular this year. Under 2’s go free!

Pirates of the River Thames (31st October) – Tower Millennium Pier, London

Batten down the hatches and jump aboard the mysterious Dutch Master vessel for a ‘Pirates of the River Thames’ themed boat party. Fancy dress is required – with great Halloween tunes and a fully stocked bar – what more could you need?!

Necropolis – London’s journey of the dead (31st October) – Waterloo Underground tunnels

Take a journey back in time to when London’s graves were overflowing with corpses and city dwellers had to take their dead on a one-way train on the Necropolis Railway. With centuries of disease, poverty, crime and punishment, experience the untold story of London’s past!

Defected in the House (1st November) – Ministry of Sound, London

A spectacular Halloween party located in London’s clubbing institution, you’ll be able to party from 11pm-7am to some of the UK’s leading house DJ’s.


Copperdollar: Back of Beyond (31st October) – The Old Market

Copperdollar’s parties are a veritable feast of art, performance and music, so why not join them for one huge celebration for Halloween and Mexican Day of the Dead at The Old Market?! Sorry kids, 18+ entry for this one.

Glyndebourne tour: The Turn of the Screw (24th October) – Glyndebourne, Lewes

A chilling and enthralling ghost story from a world-class opera house, be prepared to immerse yourself in The Turn of the Screw!

Riddles in the Dark presents: Tales From the Krypt (22nd October) – FunFair Club, Brighton

Riddles in the Dark presents a dark and twisted circus-themed fancy dress Halloween party, with live performances, stalls, games, magic and mind-reading! Sorry kids, 18+ entry for this one.


Go Canoeing – Halloween Tour (31st October) – Ackers Adventure, Small Heath

Enjoy a spooktacular night on Halloween with a guided canoeing tour. Are you and your family brave enough to take on a paranormal paddle with some spooky spectres on the loose?

The Haunting 2014 – one of the UK’s largest Halloween parties (31st October) – The Rainbow Venues, Birmingham

More than 3,000 nightmarish creatures will hit Birmingham’s city streets for the annual Halloween festival which completely sold out last year. With entertainers, a zombie experience with hundreds of actors and fairground rides it’s a night not to be missed! Sorry kids, 18+ entry for this one.

Hauntings and Hangings Halloween Ghost Hunt (1st November) – Kidderminster Town Hall

This Victorian masterpiece of a building is haunted by those trialled and tortured (or so they say!) You can be one of the first to investigate it at the Ghost Hunt. The night is packed full of activities using the latest psychic and ghost hunting equipment and experiments for a night to remember. Sorry kids, 18+ entry for this one.


Ghost Hunt Live (25th October) – The Dalton Mills

In its heyday Dalton Mills was the largest textile mill in the region, but now it is said to be one of West Yorkshire’s most haunted locations. Visit this fantastic location for ghost hunting vigils in the dark, with hot drinks and biscuits included!

Shuddersfield Ghost Trail (31st October) – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Get in the Halloween mood and take a scary trip around Huddersfield – you’ll never see the town centre in the same light again!

Leeds Raves From the Grave Morning/Afternoon (1st November) – Vox, Leeds

A unique opportunity to spend time with your little ones. These fancy dress get-togethers for families with kids aged 5 and under will combine singing, dancing, soft play and more, within a Halloween party-like atmosphere.


Farm of Horror (15th October-2nd November) – Lancaster Park and Animal Farm, Oldham

This interactive Halloween night held at Lancaster Park and Animal Farm is ideal if you enjoy being chased by a chainsaw wielding psychopath or hunted down by zombies… you must be crazy! Minimum age for entry is 11, sorry kids.

The Ghosts of Ordsall Hall with Barrie John from ‘Most Haunted’ (18th October) – Ordsall Hall, Salford

Join special guest, Barrie John from UK Living’s ‘Most Haunted’ for a memorable night with the Ghosts of Ordsall Hall! Sorry kids, 18+ entry for this one.

Vintage Halloween Lindy Jive and Rock’n’Roll Dance Class (30th October) – Methodist Central Buildings, Manchester

Learn the basics of 30’s, 40’s and 50’s dances so you can dance at any jive, rock’n’roll and swing vintage dance.

Halloween Comedy Murder Mystery Show and Meal (31st October) – New Mills Art Theatre, Stockport

Shot in the Dark Murder Mysteries UK proudly presents its Hilarious Halloween Murder Mystery Show, ‘The Vampire’s Crypt’. Join the host, Sir Arthur Thrasher in the ruins of Hellbone Abbey along with his ghoulish cast, as they take you on a journey of murder, mystery and mayhem.


Morecambe Winter Gardens Ghost Hunt (11th October) – Winter Gardens, Morecambe

Come and see the most haunted theatre in the UK with a historical tour of the building, as well as workshops and techniques using ghost hunting tools and mediums. Where will you be when the lights go out?!

Frankenstein by Adenuf Productions (1st November) – St Lukes Bombed Out Church, Liverpool

Come and see some original theatre based on Mary Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein by innovative theatre company, Adenuf. With an all-star cast, this is a show not to be missed. Minimum age for entry is 11, sorry kids.

Halloween Comedy Murder Mystery Show and Meal (2nd November) – Gala Leo Casino, Liverpool

Shot in the Dark Murder Mysteries UK proudly presents its Hilarious Halloween Murder Mystery Show, ‘The Vampire’s Crypt’. Join the host, Sir Arthur Thrasher in the ruins of Hellbone Abbey along with his ghoulish cast, as they take you on a journey of murder, mystery and mayhem.

Five scary Halloween food ideas

clock Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 10:08AM

Food is a key part of any good party, so it’s essential to plan what you’re going to serve.  Of course, with Halloween on the way you’ll need to ensure that you get some scary, spooky food ideas in place.  We’re here to help!

Here are five cracking spooky food ideas that’ll have appetites rumbling and skin goose-pimpling.

Finger food – with real fingers!

If there’s one food that almost everyone loves, it’s a good set of cookies (‘Cookie cookie cookie’ as a famous philosopher once said).  To give these tasty biscuits a Halloween theme, cover them with a pale green icing.  Then you can use a brown nut sliced down the middle for a mouldy old brown fingernail.  Add a tasty thick red fruit sauce for dipping, and you’ve got gory but seriously tasty fingers; which is a sentence that can’t have come up very often!

The roasted fleshworm

All hail any food that involves bacon.  If you’re a fan of the piggy stuff, then this is a must.  Take a decent size sausage (stop sniggering) and wrap completely in thin bacon. Essentially you’re making a bigger version of those pig-in-blankets that everyone stuffs their face with at Christmas.  You can then carve away the bigger end of the sausage and put in some sharp looking teeth (small tomato seeds make great teeth and don’t change the flavour).  If you want to have some spilled intestines on the plate, cut open the ‘belly’ of the worm and put a small spoonful of chilli and bingo: a creepy monster that’s also delicious.

The eyeballs!

An absolute belter for the fingerfood table, these eyeballs look disgusting but taste delicious.  You simply take an eye-sized ball of normal mozzarella, then slice the end of a green and black olive and balance it onto the cheese – the green and the black core of the olive make the perfect iris and pupil!  To add a bit more ‘ewww’, whip up a simple salad dressing with herbs and spices – they’ll make a shiny ‘fluid’ cover that make the whole plate look more real (and gross).

Fried up ‘what the hell is that’?

One of the most useful things about chicken is how easily it can be shaped into horrible monstrous things.  By simply shaping chicken into random ‘creature’ shapes (take your pick – rats, mice, spiders, etc) and then frying them up in a good batter, you’ll have a bunch of tasty food on sticks that look weird as hell but still taste yummy. (If you want a bit of extra weird, use a thread of fresh chicken breast as a tail – when fried up, it should solidify enough to make your ‘rat’ look even more realistic).

Rats in Blood

Another cracking idea perfect for the main course – ‘rats in blood’ is simply a lasagne whipped up with some shaped meatballs on the top layer.  Add a small half-slice of onion as the ‘ears’ and a couple of black edible ball bearings as the ‘eye’s and you’ve got an instant delicious stomach filler that’s also stomach churning.  That’s the dream.

If you want more inspiration for your Halloween party menu then be sure to take a look at our best finger food ideas for your house party.

The Business of Halloween Infographic

clock Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 03:12PM

The Business Of Halloween


Halloween is our favourite time of year and is one of the UK's fastest growing seasonal events. Will we see a record breaking Halloween this year? We thought we’d look into some of the key consumer and economic trends to try and find out. Our research produced some interesting results, which we have documented in our Halloween infographic below.

The Business of Halloween


Are you going to be taking part in some Halloween festivities this year? If so, what are you doing? Is Halloween your favourite season? Let us know!

Do you want to embed this Infographic on your site? Copy and paste the below code

Dressed to impress: our sexiest Halloween costume range yet

clock Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 09:43AM

Should Halloween be sexy?  Hell yes it should! In fact, we’d argue there’s no better time in the world for breaking out of the shackles (oo-er, missus) and letting your hair down.  Here at All Fancy Dress, we’ve used this Halloween to unleash what we think are some of the sexiest costumes we’ve ever had.  These are some of our favourites.

1920s Gangster

Combining class with a serious hotness level, this gangster moll costume is perfect for being sexy without showing too much skin.  Combining a high, figure hugging skirt with an eye-catching red shirt, combine it with a black pair of tights and you’re instantly the hottest girl this side of Chicago (feel free to say that last bit back in a 1940s accent).

The Red Hot Devil

There’s no better time of year to unleash the devil in you, and this devil costume is perfect.   The figure hugging red dress will show off all of your best features without being too OTT.  Combine it with a stylish pair of red fishnet stockings and you’ll find that everyone is queuing up to sell their souls to you.

Flirty French Maid

It says a lot about how iconic the French maid costume is that we sell several of them here at AFD.  Which one you choose is entirely down to preference, but we’ve always loved the Flirty model, which is frilly, fun and cut away in all the right places.  Match it with a sexy petticoat and break out the sexy cocktails!


It says a lot about how good Anne Hathaway looked in The Dark Knight Rises that this isn’t ‘technically’ a sexy costume, but at the same time it so is.  If you want to show off your figure, then this is definitely, definitely a costume you should consider.

Police Dress

Yes, officer!  Like the Gangster costume, this is perfect for looking sexy without showing off too much: essentially, it’s the perfect outfit for teasing your dance-floor partners! Including the top, skirt, neck tie and hat, it’s got everything you need to uphold the party law.

The Sexy Army Girl

Talking of upholding the law, the sexy army party girl is a definite must for the alpha female of the group.  It’s hot, and yet weirdly tough, and yet…well, still hot.  Unleash your inner dominant female, and start doling out order!  Knee high boots are a definite must here.

Hilarious Halloween outfits for couples you may not have considered

clock Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 09:16AM

Whilst it can be fun putting together your own costume, some of the most entertaining outfits out there are those made for two people at once.  As part of our Halloween series, we’re going to use today to take a look at five fun and quirky costume ideas perfect for couples.

Bob Ross and his painting

Bob Ross is instantly recognisable: he’s got a massive afro, a goatee, and a paintbrush.  Though he unfortunately passed away back in 1995, he still makes a cracking costume idea.  And what better role for the other person than a friendly little tree, just like the kind Bob always liked to paint.  Alternatively, they can also rock being the actual painting!  Here are one and two cracking examples of this killer costume.

Pac-Man and Miss Pac-Man

It’s always nice to have a geek-friendly costume or two in your locker, and this is definitely one of them!  Easy enough to put together cardboard and paint, Pac-Man and his lady will be recognised by more or less anyone, and neither costume is too expensive to put together.  And you can be very, very sure that you’ll make it into almost every photo taken at the party!  Here’s a killer example.

Kermit and Miss Piggy

Is there a more famous couple anywhere in the world? Probably not.  The iconic frog and his lovely piggy lady make a splendid pair of costumes: the bloke can be stylish and besuited, the lady dressed in a lovely pink gown.  Combine this style with the fact that you’re a pig and a frog, and you’ve got the perfect fun yet classy looking costume.

Bananaman and Banana Lady

Despite the fact that it first became a cartoon in 1983 (feel old?) Bananaman is as recognisable a character as you’ll see anywhere, and he makes a perfect Halloween costume for those who want to lighten things up a bit.  What’s more, it’s possible to pick up this pair of costumes for the Bananacouple, ever alert for the call to partying!


If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood…well, it’s probably you.  Especially if you and your partner get decked up in this awesome Ghostbusters pair of costumes.  Rather than just go down the monster route, this couple’s outfit gives the bloke a chance to monster it up as Slimer, and then gives the actual Ghostbuster’s costume a bit of sex appeal.  Which is probably weird. What the hell, though, it’s Halloween!

Bone shaking skeleton costume ideas for Halloween

clock Monday, October 13, 2014 at 02:21PM

For many people, a good skeleton remains the best Halloween costume idea.  They’re relatively easy to put together, there’s not a lot of ambiguity (no ‘oh, what are you meant to be?’ here) and they’re incredibly versatile: you can make a skeleton costume everything from funny to sexy.  Here, then, are some of our favourite skeleton costume ideas.

The Zombie Skeleton

If being overwhelmingly creepy is the only thing that really matters to you (which is fine at Halloween, and only at Halloween) then this skeleton Zombie costume is definitely worth consideration. The rotten clothes transform the look from ‘oh, look, there’s a skeleton costume, that’s cute’ to ‘that guy looks like he might actually have died a while ago’.  If you want creepy, your search is over.

Miss Whiplash

Care to combine sexiness with a skeleton? (A question that can’t have come up too often). Then Miss Whiplash is definitely the costume for you.  A figure hugging LBD with a very undead motif, it manages to be hot stuff, classy, sort of elegant and yet creepy as hell all at the same time.  And if that’s not the Halloween dream, what is?

Skull and Bones; the Morphsuit

There’s something undeniably cool about a good morphsuit: it’s a great way to forget yourself for an evening and instead rock out as the master of bones, teeth and moderate ghostliness. Just remember though; people not knowing that it’s you in the costume doesn’t give you the excuse to take all the candy.  No-one likes that skeleton.

Skeleton Corpse Bride

If you want a kick-ass lady’s costume that is stylish rather than sexy for the hell of it, then the skeleton bride really is an awesome choice.  It’s bizarrely sophisticated, eye-catching and yet combined with the right make-up it’ll still make you look seriously freaky.  And again, that’s the dream!

Glow in the dark

The classic; the all-seeing all-dancing skeleton that we know so well, this glow in the dark second-skin will let you shed your skin (so to speak) and unleash your party animal on the Halloween world.  The all black background means that in virtually any darker room you’ll literally look just like a big old pile of bones.  If there’s such a thing as the perfect costume for dancing to the Time Warp, we’re pretty sure that this is it.

The most popular female horror characters revealed

clock Friday, October 10, 2014 at 06:22PM

There’s nothing like a good horror film, and there’s no denying that in a great many of them, it’s the ladies that really do the scaring.  Many of the movie world’s creepiest horror characters have been female, and today we’re going to pay tribute to what we think are five of the best.

The Woman in Black

First coming to life in Susan Hill’s superb novel in 1983, The Woman in Black is an instantly recognisable horror character, and one that would make an absolutely belting Halloween costume.  Legend has it that the sighting of The Woman in Black presages the death of a child, the woman herself – Jennet Humfrye in life – having lost her son and hung herself as a result.  Chirpy stuff all round, then.


Stephen King characters always seem to appear on these lists, and with good reason: the man understands horror perhaps more than any other writer in the world.  Carrie remains one of the most iconic female characters in the genre, the film itself being described by no less than Roger Ebert as ‘absolutely spellbinding’.   Carrie herself is no more or less than a pretty, complicated girl pushed into a horrific situation.  Not that it makes her any less freaky.

Ellen Ripley

If you look up ‘Badass’ in the dictionary, the chances are that a picture of Ellen Ripley from the Alien series will be in there somewhere.  Portrayed by the generally brilliant Sigourney Weaver, Ripley is an absolute beast (in a good way), kicking serious amounts of derriere and paving the way for future awesome heroines. Oh, and yes, Alien is definitely a horror.

Annie Wilkes

She might not look menacing, but Annie Wilkes (another Stephen King character, this time from Misery) is iconic enough to be recognisable by almost everybody.  Having kidnapped her favourite author, she subjects him to no end of psychological and physical torture until he changes his plans to kill off Annie’s favourite character.  If you want an easy to maintain horror costume, Annie is well worth it. Make sure you’ve got a hammer with you – it’s worth it for the sheer number of cringes you’ll get from other party-goers!

Regan McNeil

In terms of iconic female horror characters, it’s hard to imagine one that’s as instantly recognisable as Regan – i.e. the girl from the Exorcist.  It’s strange, now, trying to imagine the sheer impact that the film had at the time, but almost every display of power from the possessive demon during the film remains memorable, from the spider walk to the 360 neck rotation.  Perhaps the most famous female horror character in history; the power of Christ compels you.

How to dress like Elphaba from Wicked

clock Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 09:39AM

In the world of theatre, Wicked has become an absolute smash hit, playing constantly all over the world.  One of the reasons for its popularity is the awesome character of Elphaba – known to anyone who hasn’t seen the play as the Wicked Witch of the West.  Elphaba is such a cool character that anyone who sees the show instantly wants to rock the costume. Today, we’re going to take a simple look at the three pillars of Elphaba’s costume:

The makeup

One of the main visual factors of Elphaba is, of course, that she’s got a rather green face.  The makeup used for the professional set is MAC PRO Chromacake Landscape Green and then MAC Carbon on the eyebrows.  Obviously, though, not everyone is going to be able to ship out for luxury Hollywood level make up!  Fortunately, you can easily pick up this green face and body paint at a lower price point.

The dress

Elphaba’s dress is, of course, pretty iconic.  The dress in the play is fitted, with a big skirt.  One of the keys is to not just go for plain black – instead, try to add some strips of colour – dark greens and greys, for instance – through the design.  Of course, you can always just pick up a plain black dress, but remember that it needs a big skirt! The alternative is to actually pick up the official wicked witch costume which will get you the right look immediately and with the minimum of fuss.

The accessories

It absolutely wouldn’t be Elphaba without the classic wicked witch hat and broom.  Don’t leave home without them!