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How to survive the horror of Halloween


Comedy duo the Scummy Mummies share their experiences of trick or treating tantrums, sugar-fuelled parties, and toddlers that just won’t tolerate that cute pumpkin costume…


Ah, autumn. The perfect time to take your children on woodland walks to collect leaves for a collage, before returning home to enjoy butternut squash soup in front of a log fire. Or not…


You’re more likely to be woken up every day by someone jumping on your head and asking how many days left till Halloween, before rowing with your partner about who turned the central heating up.


As everyone knows, 31 October is when the world is taken over by terrifying monsters who run riot screaming and scaring the living daylights out of everyone – in other words, children in polyester witch costumes who’ve eaten their own bodyweight in sugary treats.


But it is possible to survive Halloween and stay sane, just. Here are our top tips.



When your kids are little, you can get away with cutting holes in a sheet and telling them they’re a ghost. But wait till they start school and inform you that this year they want to dress as a glow-in-the-dark pirate ninja skeleton, just like Toby. Don’t bother ordering online – chances are you’ll end up with the wrong kind of pirate ninja skeleton, and a tantrum. Take your kids to the shops and let your darlings choose their own, so there’s no arguments later. 




We’ve all seen the pictures on Pinterest of pumpkins displaying elaborately carved recreations of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. But let’s be honest, pumpkin carving is hard and dangerous (although it does give you an excuse to invest in some proper chef’s knifes). If your kids are Star Wars fans, cut a hole in the top and call it the Death Star. Alternatively, if they like football, draw on some hexagons with a Sharpie. Display your pumpkin with a Jack O’Lantern sweets bucket and your work is done.


For that authentic haunted house look, simply don’t bother cleaning for the whole of October. Hey presto! Cobwebs everywhere. If you really want to go for it, get yourself a black cat (you can even get costumes for kitty – who knew?)  Too house proud? Dim the lights and throw in plenty of fairy lights – spooky atmos sorted.


Wall decorations always ramp up the Halloween vibe – plus there’s the added bonus they’ll cover up any impromptu artwork the kids have kindly added to your wallpaper. Dangle some pumpkin piñatas from the ceiling too – great for the little ones, and it means you can let out some aggression because your other half has “forgotten” to take the bins out again.



Halloween parties are great fun, unless you’re hosting them. Make life easy for yourself with paper plates and cups, and covering the carpets in clingfilm (too far? Perhaps…). Keep parents entertained with some party games for them, too. Belting out Thriller karaoke-style on your son’s PS4 is enough to keep even the craziest kids in check.


When it comes to tasty Halloween treats, you can’t buy too many. Well, you can, but you can also scoff all the spares yourself once the kids are in bed.


So there you go - Halloween doesn’t have to be a horror story. Although, by the time your kids come down from that sugar high, it’ll be nearly Christmas. Now that’s REALLY scary. 


Our spooktacular picks:

Halloween products


1. Fancy dress cape, £8.99, H&M; 2. Moving witch hat, £16, Claire's; 3. Hanging honeycombs Pk 3, £2.50, Party Superstores; 4. Sainsbury's home small light up pumpkin, £2, Sainsbury's; 5. Cotton Rich skeleton print onesie, £10-£16, M&S


Don’t forget!

Pop into Centrale & Whitgift between 12 October and 5 November, download the free Zappar app and help Scooby Doo and the gang solve some mysteries. You can also get a FREE Scooby Doo toy! Keep an eye on your PLUS app to find out more…


*Products subject to availability



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