More Ghoul Than Kagoul

Halloween is not only for children and anoraks, reports Jenny Cottee.

Halloween is now arguably London’s biggest night out next to New Year’s Eve. Originally a commemoration of All Souls Day – the day of the dead, it became a fun thing for children to go trick-or-treating. Meanwhile a UK adult celebrating Halloween would have been seen as a bit of a trainspotter. But Halloween has recently moved on from gooey sweets to vodka shots and fancy dress designed for the Rocky Horror Show instead of junior school.

Is it that Halloween has grown up or are young adults acting below their age? Either way, Halloween themed nights were last week’s hot ticket and I opted for the Zombie Pub Crawl in central London – largely because the one in Shoreditch had already sold out.

Sporting ripped clothes and fake blood, I psyched myself up for a journey of judgemental stares. How wrong I was. On the DLR I was surrounded by blood splattered zombies; together we were joined by devils and black cats on the Jubilee line. By the time I reached the rendezvous in Leicester Square, I realised I was underdressed compared to the array of fully accessorised zombie brides, pirates and nurses who awaited me.  Most ghoulish of all was the woman whose costume featured a baby zombie eating its way out of her stomach.

The ticket price included free entry to five clubs and bars. Just as well, since despite the title of Zombie Pub Crawl, there weren’t many authentic hostelries prepared to let in a large crowd covered in fake blood.

As the evening progressed, our pantomime cast got more into their respective roles – moaning, shouting and occasionally stumbling (though this may have been to do with the drink taken). We certainly entered into the spirit of Halloween.

At the end of the night, as I boarded the night bus and headed back to the relative quiet of East London, I was joined by dishevelled looking zombies, their fake blood and wounds beginning to peel off, declaring that it had been a great night out. And honestly, dear reader, I have to agree.

Hopefully these poor, tormented souls will be allowed out for another night of mayhem next year.

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