Halloween escape room - celebrate the spookiest holiday with us!
Even though Halloween is not as big in the UK as it is in the US, more and more people celebrate it one way or another. The most popular events are costume parties or watching horror movies with friends. But, let us propose something different for this year! Before we do so, let’s see what we are actually celebrating this time of the year.
Origins of Halloween
For the Celts, Halloween was originally a celebration of witches, ghosts, and demons. This was also considered the last day of the year. Tradition has it that evil spirits are released from the underworld on Halloween night to visit the Earth. Moreover, according to the beliefs of the Druids, the spirits of those who died that year also set out for the afterlife. So from dead souls, it was a good rumble that night.
With the advent of Christianity, the converts organized a feast of their own for pagan Halloween, making the winter solstice around November 1 as All Saints ’Day. The night before the holiday, it was named All Hallow’s Eve on the island of Ireland.
Halloween’s symbol is a carved pumpkin lantern. Legend has it that a lantern blacksmith, a certain Jack O'Lantern, is the legacy of his devil-bound unity.
Jack had done so many bad things in his life that the devil had come for him. However, the supposedly heavily drunk blacksmith still had a wit. He asked the devil to pick an apple from the tree in his garden. While the devil was staring at the apples, Jack carved a cross into the trunk of the tree. The devil was so afraid that he did not dare come down from the tree. So they began to come to an agreement. Eventually, the blacksmith let down the devil, who in return promised not to take him to hell with him.
When Jack died, he couldn't get to heaven because of his sins. Thus he was trapped between heaven and hell, alone in eternal darkness. In the end, his old buddy, the devil, felt so sorry that he gave him an ember from the fire of hell. So he got at least a little light in his exile.
Jack put the embers in a carved black radish and lit it for himself. In the US, over time, radish became a pumpkin, which became an iconic symbol of the holiday.
10 differences between Halloween in the US and the UK
- In the Isle of Man, Scotland, Halloween continues to be celebrated in the Celtic tradition of Samhain. The Americans do not emphasise the Celtic roots, but tradition has it that Samhain (which takes place between 31 October and 1 November), the 'end of summer', marks the end of the harvest season and symbolises the gap between the world of the living and the dead. It is a time for bonfires and dancing, a tradition that still lives on.
- There is a much bigger English autumn celebration than Halloween, as Guy Fawkes Day has a strong historical tradition. In 1605, Roman Catholics tried to blow up parliament because King James I had not extended religious freedom to them. The memory of the failed gunpowder plot is evoked by the now-famous 'Remember, remember' 5 November.
- Brits prefer to dress up in traditional Halloween costumes. For example, ghosts, zombies, witches. Americans' costumes, on the other hand, are often not scary, but rather creative.
- In the UK, not much attention is paid to Halloween decorations. They don't spend a lot on it and if they do use decorations, they're not very scary.
- There are several classic Halloween treats that are either only available in the US or only in the UK. Thanks to online shopping, of course, everything is now available.
- Going door-to-door for candy is a tradition almost unique to the USA. What's more, the British prefer to eat Halloween sweets rather than give them away for free.
- In the Middle Ages, on Halloween (then known as All Hallows Eve), children dressed up in old costumes to imitate evil spirits. They would go from house to house and receive donations to ward off evil. This tradition is still alive in many places, but nowadays some kind of performance is expected as a reward, such as reciting a poem or singing a song.
- In Derry, Northern Ireland's second largest city, Halloween is celebrated for four days with parades, music and a haunted house. The Banks of the Foyle Carnival has been described by many Americans as one of the best Halloween celebrations.
- As described above, the tradition of the man called Jack in Scotland and Ireland is to carve a rutabaga or turnip instead of a pumpkin.
- "Mischief Night" is a thing in some regions of the US ― but it has origins in the UK. According to Vox, New Jersey and surrounding areas (such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), the night before Halloween is known as "Mischief Night" ― an evening of vandalism via toilet-papering, egging, and other pranks. Elsewhere in the US, pre-Halloween hijinks are known as "Devil's Night" and "Cabbage Night." A similar tradition is observed in northern England and the Midlands region, where it's known as "Miggy Night" and "Mizzy Night."
Halloween escape room
Now that we know more of the spookiest holiday of the year, let us tell you what is our offer to you. Why not spice up the festive atmosphere with an exciting escape game? 3 thematic rooms, decorated with spooky elements for the festive season. Still not convinced? What if we told you that we also have a discount? Yes, you read that right! No matter if you book for 2 or 6 people, you will get 15% off the price of the game. All you have to do is use our code: HALLOWEEN-15 when you book a game on the 30-31 of October in our Manchester escape room.
Do you think you can escape on time?