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Halloween vocabulary and expressions.

Halloween, originally known as All Hallows Eve, is  a  holiday celebrated on October 31, the last day of October when, according to Celtic tradition, the spirits of the dead return to where they lived, and witches and demons become active.

To celebrate, children and adults dress in scary costumes (ghosts, witches, etc) and  children go from house to house saying: "Trick or Treat"  which means :  "Give us a snack (sweets or candy) or we'll play a trick on you."

Halloween, traditionally celebrated in Ireland and Scotland, was introduced by immigrants to other countries, essentially the UK, Canada and the USA.

  • Bat
    • Small mouse-like animal that flies at night.
      At Halloween, if a bat flies around your house three times, death will come soon.

  • Candle  
    • A cylinder of wax that you light with a match.
      People put candles inside pumpkins at Halloween to make lanterns.

  • Carve  
    • Cut with a large knife in order to form something, for example a scary face in a pumpkin.

  • Bobbing for apples.
    • A traditional Halloween game :
      apples are put in a barrel of water and people try to remove them using only their mouths.

  • Cauldron
    • The big pot a witch would use for making spells.

  • Cobweb
    • A sort of net that spiders make to catch flies.

  • Costume
    • Scary clothing or disguises worn at Halloween.

  • Costume party
    • A party or gathering where everyone dresses in scary costumes

  • Creepy
    • Scary; it makes you feel frightened or afraid.

  • Demon
    • A devil, an evil spirit.

  • Evil
    • Nasty, with bad intentions.

  • Ghost
    • Spirit of a dead person.
      At Halloween, ghosts are usually dressed in white sheets.

  • Ghoul
    • In stories : a spirit that robs graves and eats the bodies.

  • Goblin
    • Small ugly creature that plays tricks on people.

  • Haunted
    • Inhabited or visited by ghosts, usually a house or a castle.

  • Jack-o-lantern
    • Scary faces are carved out of pumpkins and candles are placed inside.
      These are called 'jack-o-lanterns'. They are made at Halloween and displayed on window sills to scare away evil spirits.

  • Mask
    • Covering for the face worn as a disguise.

  • Pumpkin
    • Large round orange-coloured vegetable used at Halloween to make lanterns.

  • Scarecrow
    • Figure resembling a scarecrow which is used to scare people at Halloween.
      Scarecrows are normally used in fields to frighten away birds (crows).

  • Scary
    • Frightening; makes you feel afraid.

  • Skeleton
    • The bones of the body.

  • Skull
    • The bones of the head.

  • Spider
    • Small crab-like insect with 8 legs.
      A spider seen at Halloween could be a spirit watching you.

  • Spooky
    • Frightening or scary.

  • Treat
    • Something nice to eat, often sweets or candy etc.

  • Trick
    • A practical joke.; something mischievous.

  • Warlock
    • A sorcerer or wizard; a man who uses magic, usually to do evil.

  • Witch
    • An ugly woman, wearing a black cloak and pointed hat, thought to have evil powers.

Useful websites :
British Council : Halloween activities
Free Halloween activities for kids
Free Halloween games and activities
Halloween worksheets for children
Halloween for kids and teachers