Halloween English phrases


(Photo courtesy of Gaudencio Garcinuño)

Halloween is a holiday that happens on October 31st each year. People dress up in strange costumes. Kids wear these costumes to walk around the neighborhood and ask their neighbors for candy. Adults go to parties or street fairs. Here are some phrases that you might hear around Halloween:


People wear costumes on Halloween.

They can either buy a pre-made costume or make their own costume by hand.

You can dress up as:

  • a ghost
  • a witch
  • a fireman
  • a princess
  • a mummy
  • a vampire
  • a zombie
  • an alien
  • a character from a movie
  • someone who's in the news

When you want to tell people about your costume, say:

I'm dressing up as a robot for Halloween.

Trick or treating

Kids go from door to door, asking for candy. This is called going Trick or Treating. The kids knock on the door or ring the doorbell. When the door opens, they yell:

Trick or treat!

When kids show up at your door, you should ask them what their costume is:

What are you supposed to be?

Who are you dressed as?

The candy that kids get can be:

  • mini chocolate bars
  • hard candy
  • chewing gum
  • suckers (also known as lollipops; these are hard candy on a stick)

There's also one kind of candy that's specific to Halloween. It's called "candy corn". It's not really corn, just colored sugar formed into a little triangular shape that looks a little like a kernel of corn. Most people don't really like it.

Other activities

Lots of people carve pumpkins. A carved pumpkin is also called a jack-o-lantern. To do this, you:

  1. cut out a hole in the top of the pumpkin
  2. scoop the seeds out of it
  3. cut holes in the sides to make the shape of a face
  4. put a candle inside of it

You can also go to a haunted house. Real haunted houses are houses that have ghosts in them. But at Halloween, people sometimes put on a haunted house. They do things like:

  • decorate some rooms in a building with cobwebs
  • put fake plastic spiders everywhere
  • hang plastic bats from the ceiling
  • play spooky music
  • turn the lights down low
  • hide behind something wearing a costume, and then jump out to scare people who walk through

People often pay to walk through these fake haunted houses.

A word to use on Halloween

Boo! (to scare people suddenly)

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