Getting into the American Halloween Spirit

If you weren’t born in the USA and you only moved here in the last year, you may not be familiar with the flare with which Americans celebrate Halloween. Perhaps you’ve been living in the USA for years but you’re still unsure how to really get into the mood for Halloween. If it’s not a festival that you’re familiar with celebrating in your home country, it’s not always easy to get into it.


Perhaps this year is the year that you truly indulge in the Halloween spirit in honor of being an immigrant that now lives and works in the USA.




Halloween originated as a pagan festival in parts of Northern Europe, particularly around what is now the United Kingdom. Many European cultural traditions hold that Halloween is a time when magic is most potent and spirits can make contact with the physical world. Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought the holiday to the United States.


Halloween’s commercialization only started in the 1900’s. Today it is a very commercial holiday. The shops are stocked full of pumpkins, lights, sweets, and costumes that are Halloween-themed.


Celebrating Halloween


Here are a few ways in which you can get into the Halloween spirit.


Host a horror movie night


A great way to make friends in your new neighborhood or to spend time with your newfound friends or acquaintances in the USA is to invite them over for a night of horror movies. The list of possibilities is almost endless. Make popcorn, buy Halloween sweets, and perhaps even dress up to watch the movies and get spooked together. If you can’t host it at your home, there are usually horror movie festivals happening at cinemas in the big cities, so perhaps look out for one of those.


Attend or host a costume party


A big part of Halloween celebrations in the USA is dressing up. A firm favourite is to dress up as a skeleton or a zombie. Other ideas include taking a well-known character or costume and adding fake blood and rips in your clothes to look scarier. Your local store or shopping mall will be fully stocked with costumes that are cheap and easy to put on. Otherwise go all out with a character that you love, doing your makeup, hair and everything else from scratch.


A costume party is a great way to make new friends, since everyone is already out of their comfort zones. Your costumes are automatic talking points, so it’s much easier to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Everyone is in a good mood, so you’ll easily be able to meet some new people.


Create a haunted house for the kids


If you moved to the USA with your children, then they definitely deserve a little bit of Halloween indulgence. Perhaps instead of going out with them to trick-or-treat, you might create a haunted house in your garage or the alleyway next to your house. Invite the other kids from the neighborhood and your children’s friends. This is also a great way for them to make friends outside of school. There are so many incredible things you can do with a haunted house and the kids are sure to love it. Besides, it’s the perfect opportunity to get them back for all the disobedience they’ve shown toward you. You’ll be talking about the event for years to come.


Surprise your family back home


Just because your family is still back home doesn’t mean they can’t share Halloween with you. You can send your children scary pictures or videos of your costume or perhaps you can send them small Halloween gifts that are only found in the USA. Perhaps send them each a silly costume and dress up for a Halloween Skype date on the 31st of October.