How to Have a Wicked Halloween in Quarantine

Illustration by Sian Hopkins

Words by Abi Edwards

Halloween –a time of donning scary costumes, house parties, Halloween club nights and all things spooky. This year, students will be experiencing a slightly different Halloween as all the usual festivities cannot go ahead due to the coronavirus. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourselves, as it is an exciting opportunity to get creative. A way of experimenting in terms of spookiness is with food and drink – and there are ways of throwing a fantastically scary bash in your household or flat even when you cannot celebrate as you would have normally. I’ve always loved Halloween not just for the dressing up, but for the delicious food, and being a foodie I couldn’t wait to write an article about it. Here are some easy, affordable and more importantly fun ideas to make the most of food this Halloween, and to have the best Halloween feast ever.

Traditional Halloween

Halloween is not Halloween without the ritual pumpkin carving, and there are many ways of getting your best pumpkin carving hat on. Why not have competitions with the people who you live with to see who can carve the scariest, funniest or most bizarre pumpkins? There are lots of different ways of getting artistic, and you could even have a theme, such as basing them on a particular TV franchise or just a simple design like this one. 

Another traditional Halloween idea is making toffee apples and decorating them as you choose, such as with hundreds and thousands or sprinkles with Halloween themed colours – the traditional sugary sweet treat can be a staple point of any Halloween party or a tasty snack for a horror movie night. 

A different type of starry night! Image: Abi Edwards

Sweet Centre Pieces

Halloween is notorious for trick or treating and candy, and sweet treats are a great addition to any Halloween table. For example, a chocolate cake with grey iced biscuits cut into tombstones and grass made out of green icing, a vanilla cheesecake with a spider made out of Maltesers, or even a scary green bowl of jelly with jelly worms are all easy and fun to make and can be the star of any Halloween themed spread, and are student budget-friendly. While we’re on to the sugar rush, cake pops can be another fun way of mastering your classic bake off skills. You could dip them in white chocolate or use white royal icing to make them into ghosts. The ideas really are endless!

Creepy cakes! Image: Abi Edwards

Party Food

While many students usually go out drinking for Halloween, they don’t always consider the delicious ways of making the most of Halloween food (let’s face it, it’s normally a kebab or chippy at 3am). Due to ongoing lockdown measures, usual gatherings and parties can’t take place, but it is still possible to throw a party with the people you live with, or meet up with friends on video apps like Zoom. Many people participated in Zoom quizzes with their friends during the first national lockdown earlier this year, which can be a way for students to connect with their friends and families during the spooky season, and possibly a way of hosting virtual parties with spooky themed food. There are so many ways of experimenting with food and making it as scary and inventive as you want. Party food ideas include mini pumpkin shaped pizzas, hot dog fingers, mummified sausage rolls or mummified jalapeño poppers with cream cheese, roasted parsnip ghosts with red pepper dip and pepper dip pots, a great and fun compliment to crisps or tortilla chips. These ideas would make a cool addition to any Halloween buffet, and can be adapted too if you’re vegetarian or vegan.


No Halloween buffet would be complete without a couple of beverages, of course. Whether you drink alcohol or not, a vibrant red vampire punch is the epitome of any Halloween spread. I found a wicked recipe on “Drink of the Week” which can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, which includes cranberry juice, grenadine, lime juice, 7Up and cherries. Vodka can be added to make your punch extra punchy, or even rum. Serve in a cauldron if you’re going for the hardcore Halloween aesthetic. 

A cauldron of cocktails! Image: Abi Edwards

So voila – a guide for creating some tasty Halloween food. Not only is it a chance to get inventive, but it’s also a chance to enjoy new food ideas you may not usually experience, as well as a chance to act like a big kid. There are lots more ideas online, and hopefully this article has persuaded you to try new things and be creative. I hope you all have a fab Halloween, whether it’s a Zoom quiz, small gathering with your housemates or flatmates, or just eating loads of sweets with a scary film. Now I’m off to have a huge slice of cheesecake.