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Spooky Pumpkin Carving Ideas Comments Off on Spooky Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

pumpkin-carving-ideas

Are you all ready for Halloween this weekend yet? Have you picked your outfit? Decorated your home?  Bought sweets for trick or treaters? It’s time to carve your pumpkin now!

We love these Disney pumpkins – and here are some great printables for Disney pumpkins. This one’s our favourite:

winnie-the-pooh-pumpkin

If Disney is not your thing, here are some more traditional templates guaranteed to give visitors a fright.

For those who want something a little more… different: how about using a power drill to carve your pumpkin?

 

This is really fun but also much quicker than using a kitchen knife. You can create much more intricate, detailed designs that will look really effective once the pumpkin is lit.

 

If you get to the shop and find they’ve already sold out of pumpkins, don’t panic! You can always use another fruit or vegetable…

Source: BuzzFeed

Source: BuzzFeed

We love Halloween, and pumpkin carving is a really fun part of it. Here we’ve shown you a few ideas to make it less scary and more of a fun activity. We’d love to see your finished designs; don’t forget to share them with us on our Facebook page!

Turn Your Home into a Haunted House for Halloween Comments Off on Turn Your Home into a Haunted House for Halloween

Posted on October 26, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

haunted-house-halloween

Aside from fancy dress, decorating the house is possibly the most fun part of Halloween. We love to see when people have gone all out and decorated their homes. This artist turned her parents’ home into a haunted house for Halloween – doesn’t it look fantastic?!

You don’t need to go to quite such extreme lengths though; here are some top ideas for turning your home into a haunted house this Halloween:

 

This one of those simple yet effective details that can turn your average bathroom into a horror show!

This site has some amazing ideas for Halloween windows to scare the neighbours!

This one is so easy; why didn’t we think of it before? If you have a garden, you have to try this one!

Everyone is scared of spiders, aren’t they? What’s more scary than these hanging spider eggs? to make them, buy cheap white tights and fill with cotton wool (or a tennis ball to make them hang better), then stick toy spiders around them. Stick more on the bottom to make it look like they’re about to fall on people’s heads and suspend from the ceiling!

halloween-witch-hat

We love this tutorial from Polka Dot Chair for floating, light-up witch’s hats. A brilliant idea for your front porch or back garden!

halloween-bats

Finally, this brilliant yet simple tutorial for making a wall of bats from Dana Made It. These are so simple, and great for inside or outside as long as it’s not raining! Imagine going trick or treating and finding a house with bats all over the front door!

If you decorate your house for Halloween don’t forget to shows us a photo; you can leave one on our Facebook page!

2015: A Look Ahead… Part 2! Comments Off on 2015: A Look Ahead… Part 2!

Posted on January 07, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

2015- A Look Ahead (1)

Welcome to the second part of our look ahead to 2015, where we share all of the fantastic fancy dress opportunities going on…

July

July 1st is Canada Day, Canada’s national day. Dress as a mountie, or another famous Canadian… like… er… Avril Lavigne! The second is World UFO Day, so there is plenty of scope for alien costumes, and then it’s International Tiger Day on the 29th. Rawr!

August

August is a great month for fancy dress: the 8th is International Cat Day, and if you want to go a little more hardcore, the 10th is World Lion Day! If cats aren’t your thing, the 26th is Dog Day too! If you’re not into dressing as an animal, dust off the Christmas costumes and celebrate Be An Angel Day on the 22nd.

September 

September is Chicken Month! It’s possibly not practical to dress as a chicken all month… but for part of it? If you’re not really feeling the love for the chicken costumes, what about waiting for Teddy Bear Day on the 9th? The 13th is Roald Dahl Day, which is definitely something to look forward to. Of course, everyone knows the 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day – obviously, you’ll already have that one marked on your calendar. And then, we round off the month of fancy dress fun on the 26th with Lumberjack Day!

October

As the weather turns colder, the fancy dress outfits become more fun, right? October has plenty of opportunities for bonkers fancy dress outfits, with World Farm Animals Day on the 2nd, and World Animal Day on the 4th. Then we have Mad Hatter Day on the 6th, World Octopus Day on the 8th and a definite favourite: Punk for a Day Day on the 25th! Of course, October is also the fancy dress high-point of the year, with Halloween on the 31st! We always look forward to this one!

November

November is fairly quiet for fancy dress, aside from the obvious Guy Fawkes Night. The 3rd is Jellyfish Day – that would be a fun costume to put together! And the 10th is Sesame Street Day; which character will you dress as?

December

December is a fantastic month for fancy dress. Aside from all the festive fancy dress opportunities, there is World Wildlife Conservation Day on the 4th – why not dress as a panda? International Day of the Ninja is on the 5th; the 14th is Monkey Day, and the 21st is International Dalek Remembrance Day. Imagine the fun you could have getting a costume together for that one!

 

And there we have it: 2015 in a nutshell. We hope you’ll stick around and see what else is going on through the course of the year!

 

 

 

Trick or Treating on the rise: Coventry is the trick-or-treat capital of the UK Comments Off on Trick or Treating on the rise: Coventry is the trick-or-treat capital of the UK

Posted on October 24, 2014 by Karl Young

National Trick or Treating survey forecast national rise in Halloweeners

Coventry has been crowned the “trick-or-treat capital of Britain in a study that has looked at the UK’s attitudes towards the apparently declining tradition of trick or treating.

A staggering 94% of the city’s children are planning on taking to the streets this Halloween, way above the national average of 70%.  While the UK as a whole is on average likely to see a 2% rise in children heading out this Halloween.

These findings are from a myth busting survey into the attitudes towards trick or treating, carried out by online fancy dress retailer, fancydressball.co.uk.

The survey also suggests that households can now look beyond the negative stigma previously associated with the tradition. Families are now looking at Halloween as a night to enjoy dressing up and a chance to engage with the local community.

While Coventry has the most trick or treaters, Wolverhampton was found to be the UK’s most generous city when it comes to trick-or-treaters as 69% of parents suggesting that they would be willing to dish-out toys and money, as well as the more traditional sweet and fruits generations before has come accustom too.

Brighton and Hove/Gloucester were both crowned the thriftiest cities, as only 11% of parents were happy to gift money to Halloweeners, compared to the national average of 43%.

Elsewhere, Worcester was crowned the most unwelcoming place to trick or treat, with only 46% of parents willing to take their children out or let a friend/family do it.

Among the most popular places to trick or treat were Swansea in second place and Norwich in third. Wrexham and Aberdeen also made the list, seeing a significant rise above the national average in numbers expected ‘Halloweeners’.

Highest Number of trick or treaters by population percentage
1. Coventry 94%
2. Swansea 85%
3. Norwich 84%
4. Portsmouth 83%
5. Wrexham 83%
6. Aberdeen 82%
7. Plymouth 81%
8. Edinburgh 81%
9. Newcastle 79%
10. Brighton and Hove 78%

Most Generous

1. Wolverhampton
2. Liverpool
3. London
4. Bristol
5. Birmingham

Sweets remain the most popular ‘treat’, with money second – fruit though is also surprisingly popular at 22%. Londoners’ are most likely to give money away, Brummies’ are most likely to give fruit away and Mancunians’ are most likely to give toys away than other city.

Surprisingly, Brighton and Hove and Gloucester both topped the list of the thriftiest cities suggesting that they welcome ghosts and ghouls but are likely to keep their hands in their pockets, sticking to the more traditional gifting of sweets and fruit.

Most thrifty

1.    Brighton and Hove

2.    Gloucester

3.    Portsmouth

4.    Leicester

5.    Southampton

Expect to see lots of witches at your front door. The broomstick-riding, cauldron-stirring, fairy-tale characters are Britain’s favourite fancy dress costume when it comes to trick-or-treating with 18% of the nation opting for the pointy black hat.

Dracula (18%), Mummies (15%) and ghosts (14%) will also be out in force on October 31. While films and television inspired costumes will be out in force it is clear to see that the public still hold the original costumes close to their hearts.

Owner of the family run fancy dress site, Paul Howcroft, believes that the growing popularity of fancy dress has helped boost trick or treat numbers over the last decade.

He said: “Fancy dress costumes have become more accessible to the general public as the prices of costumes have come down in recent years and the range of costumes available both on and offline is incredible.”

“People love dressing up for Halloween, parents love dressing up their children and pets as well. Trick or treating brings the community together and for one night a year neighbours and neighbourhoods are creating a magical night for the young ones.”

The survey was distributed to 1,000 people in the UK and has revealed the most and least generous cities, as well as the top 10 cities for number of people planning to go trick-or-treating. The findings may shock you – see below for an interactive map that lets you explore the results!

What do you think? Are these results what you expected? Do you live in any of the cities mentioned? What are your plans for this Halloween?

The Top 10 Spookiest Destinations Comments Off on The Top 10 Spookiest Destinations

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Karl Young

As Halloween approaches Fancy dress Ball has searched the darkest corners of the UK to bring you our Top 10 Spookiest Destinations…

Pluckley, Kent

01

Pluckley in Kent is often cited as the most haunted places in the UK with hundreds of reports of ghostly apparitions sighted. One of the most famous of the ghostly residents is the ‘Watercress Lady’, an impoverished old woman who sold watercress at the Crossroads Bridge centuries ago. One day after spilling some of her favoured tipple, gin on to herself she was engulfed by flames as a spark from her pipe lit her clothes alight. She died still haunts the bridge to this day, selling her watercress…

Aldwych Station, London

02

This disused tube station is now used as a visitor attraction and filming location but was once a fully functioning station. During World War Two it was sued as an Air Raid shelter and would be packed full of scared Londoners seeking refuge form the bombing above. There’s something strangely eerie about the station and we for one, would not like to be stuck overnight in those dimly lit corridors…

Culloden Moor, Inverness

03

The Scottish moor is famously the place where so many Scottish rebels died during the Battle of Culloden Moor. The area is littered with commemorative stones with names of the clans who lost entire generations during the battle, testament to its gruesome past. Visitors have recalled seeing battling soldiers in the mist and even hearing ghostly bagpipes in the wind overnight. If you thought Glasgow was scary on a Friday night, try this historic battleground.

German Militairy Underground Hospital, Guernsey

04

During World War Two, occupying German forces on Guernsey forced prisoners to build this hospital fortress in to the rock. Built underground to avoid detection from the air, the Nazi hospital covers 7000 square metres. The harsh stonewall corridors serve as a timely reminder of the sacrifice and harsh conditions of the slave workers who built it and the often forgotten occupation of Guernsey by the German Army.

Pendle Hill, Lancashire

05

This hill in the Lancashire countryside is famously the execution site of 10 women accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. A house, believed to be one of the witch’s home was recently uncovered at the base of the hill. When excavators investigated it, a cat’s skeleton was found bricked in to a wall…With the curses of the Pendle witches still hanging over the area, it makes for one creepy Halloween destination.

Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire

06

‘The Green Lady’, ghost of Dame Lillian Drummond, the Lady of the castle who was starved to death by her cruel husband has been spotted at the house for over 250 years. She is said to have carved her name in to the window sill of the room her husband as he slept with his new wife on the night that she died. The current manager of the castle, which now serves as a tourist attraction, lives on the top floor and has seen her ghostly figure at the bottom of his bed. You’d have to be brave to spend a night here.

Drakelow Tunnels, Worcestershire

07

This network of tunnels was built underground in Worcestershire during the Cold War as a hiding hole in the case of a nuclear war. Six people died during the building and visitors have reported feeling their presence in the dark tunnels. The caretaker of the tunnels won’t venture in alone now after being pushed from his ladder by an unknown force and who can blame him?

Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast

08

The only thing scarier than a full prison is an empty prison. This Victorian building home to some of Northern Ireland’s worst criminals for over 150 years holds tours throughout the building including a visit to the prison’s Condemned Room, where the many man who were executed there spent their last days.

Edinburgh Vaults, Edinburgh

09

As you can tell, dark tunnels really freak us out and this Edinburgh landmark is probably the pick of the bunch.  The vaults sit underneath the city’s South Bridge and after housing small business like cobblers and blacksmiths earlier in their history, became a renowned slum with theft and murder commonplace. The situation got so bad that they were filled in with rubble a couple of hundred years ago before being rediscovered and opened to the public in the 1990s. You can visit them to this day to relive the horror of the slums they once were.

Castell Coch, Cardiff

10

The picturesque castle nestled in the forest outside Cardiff looks by day as if it was plucked right out of a fairy-tale but the night hints at a darker past. Visions of the Dame Griffiths who lost her son in the grounds when he drowned in a pit of water, his body never found, are part of the folklore as well as hidden treasure in tunnels underneath the building. We’d love to go on a day visit, but we’ll make sure we head of before night to avoid any ghostly meetings.

The Top 10 Haunted Hotels Comments Off on The Top 10 Haunted Hotels

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Karl Young

The Pied Bull, Chester

This hotel in Chester dates back to the 11th century so boasts a long and colourful history. The ghost of John Davies, a guest who fell down the hotel’s cellar stairs and impaled himself on a knife haunts the cellar and two of the guest rooms. Maybe he just loved the hotel so much he didn’t want to leave…

01

The Kirkstone Pass Inn, Cumbria

The Kirkstone Pass Inn is officially the 3rd highest pub in England, sitting at 1,300 ft. above sea level. It is to this day a stopping off point for travellers trekking through the Lake District. It’s believed to be haunted by the many visitors who perished on long journeys through the Cumbrian hills.

02

The Ostrich Inn, Slough

In the 14th century 60 unsuspecting travellers are thought to have met a grizzly end at the hands of The Ostrich Inn’s owners. Guests would be lured in to one of the rooms which had a secret trap door and killed. The Innkeepers were eventually caught and hanged. Thankfully the hotel is more hospitable these days but there are still the spirits of the tragic past guests to keep you company.

03

Room 333, Lanham Hotel, London

Room 333 of the Langham has hosted several different ghostly guests. Many of the sightings were by BBC employees who stayed in the hotel when a BBC building was based across the street from the luxurious hotel. One member of staff had their bed shaken so violently one night that they fell out and fled.

04

Lord John Darcy Suite, Mosborough Hall Hotel, Sheffield

This Sheffield hotel room was famously the murder site of the White Lady who now haunts the hotel. The jotels Governess was murdered by a squire who had impregnated her and refused to pay money for her to look after their child. Guests have reported hearing angry voices in the nightm, possibly of the couples final and violent argument.

05

Beaufort Room, Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire

A large black cat, a sign of the paranormal has been spotted in the hotel for hundreds of years. The hotel’s current owner admits he knew nothing about the hotel’s spooky past as the hiding hole of criminal highwaymen. Since he bought the place, his daughter has spotted the black cat spectre and guests have been thrown out of chairs by an unknown force. Maybe best to do your homework before buying a hotel next time.

06

Room 5, Brook Red Lion Hotel, Essex

The last thing you want in your holiday snaps is a strange guest appearing in the background. Well at the Brook red Lion, the ghost of a small boy has appeared in many holiday photos. A young girl has also been spotted wandering around room 5 of the hotel.

07

Room 28, The Schooner Hotel, Alnmouth, Northumberland

The Schooner Hotel, whose past guests include Charles Dickens and King George III, is frequently named as the most haunted hotel in the country. It’s no wonder it receives the accolade with the various stories of murder, suicide and massacre attributed to the building. Room 28 is perhaps the most haunted as children’s cries and a woman’s scream have awoken visitors in the middle of the night.

08

Bestwood Lodge Hotel, Nottingham

Compared to the dramatic tales of many of the hotels in this list, the Bestwood has a less malign spiritual presence. Once the home of King Charles II and his mistress Nell Gwyn, many guests have felt the presence of the famous Restoration Actress. One of the manifestations is the scent of oranges drifting through the corridors, possibly a hint to Nell’s past as an orange vendor at the Theatre Royal in London.

09

The Prince Rupert Hotel, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England

This Grade II listed building is nestled under the shadow of both the Cathedral and Castle of the historic market town. The beautiful period exterior is in stark contrast to visions of a woman hanging from the rafters of one of the hotel’s rooms.

10

Scary Halloween Food Comments Off on Scary Halloween Food

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

_lantern

 

We love Halloween. It’s the best night of the year in the fancy dress calendar, isn’t it? You can dress up as whatever you want and generally have a fantastic old time.

Of course, the best thing about Halloween is a good party… and the best Halloween parties have fantastic, scary food to help you celebrate!

Here’s our top five of fabulously scary Halloween treats:

1. Jelly Worms

This is super easy, but really effective – and a bit disgusting. A winning combination, as far as we’re concerned! Grab a bunch of drinking straws, fasten them together with an elastic band and stand them upright in a beaker. Then make up some jelly – add a little more water than usual to the mixture, put it into a jug, and pour into the straws. Leave the jelly to set as usual, and then shake your worms out of the straws!

2. Spider Cookies

This is so easy, it’s embarrassing. Get some chocolate chip cookies (you can make them yourself if you’re feeling industrious), and make up some chocolate icing using icing sugar, melted plain chocolate and butter. Pipe chocolate spider legs onto all of the chips in your cookies, and voila – spider cookies!

3. Hot Dog Mummies

These look really great! Buy a pack of pre-rolled short crust pastry and cut it into thin strips (like mummy bandages). Then wrap the bandages around sausages and bake – hey presto, hot dog mummies!

4. Dracula’s Dentures

We love these spooky treats because they’re so easy and quick to make. All you need are some cookies or biscuits, some red icing, marshmallows and almond slivers. Turn a cookie upside down, and cut it in half. Spread each half with red icing, making sure it’s thick enough to be seen from the round edges. Then line up mini marshmallows as teeth along the round edge of one of the sides, and sandwich the two pieces together. Use two slivers of almond for fangs, and hey presto you have a scary, smiling and tasty treat!

5. Pumpkin Pretzels

Another super easy one: make up some orange icing and coat a pretzel, then use a green Smartie or M&M as the stalk. The easy ones are always most effective! If you don’t like pretzels, you can do the same with crackers or biscuits. Why not experiment with using black icing to make a jack o’lantern face on your pumpkins too?

Of course, there are hundreds of really elaborate ideas and recipes online for intricate Halloween designs – but we always find it’s more fun to spend less time making the scary food, and more time making the scary faces!

 

Have a spoooooooooky Halloween!

Zombie Name Generator Comments Off on Zombie Name Generator

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Karl Young

Find out your Zombie Name and leave behind the living for the living-dead. As the Zombie Revolution kicks on why not find-out what your friends and family zombies names are on our generator. Simply find the first letter of your name and your birth month to find your zombie name:

The Zombie Name Generator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a  few names zombie names to get you started;

  • Kill-me-now Jones
  • Yes to brains – Lean Walker
  • Rancio O’Blood
  • Living-no-more Strong-in-the-arm
  • Corpsey Fandango

Let us know your the names you get by leaving a comment or sharing this on Twitter or Facebook.

Top Scary Rides Comments Off on Top Scary Rides

Posted on September 24, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

USH-_The_Mummy_Ride_Warning

 

Earlier this week we looked at the scariest attractions in the UK… how better to follow that up, than to look at the scariest rides in the UK! Rollercoasters can be fairly scary things, even without it being Halloween; every year they become more and more outrageous! We’ve compiled a list of our favourite, scariest rides in the UK…

1. The Smiler, Alton Towers

This one has to be at the top; the world’s first 14-looping rollercoaster opened in 2013 and has been a massive attraction for Alton Towers. With a maximum speed of around 85km/h and reaching heights of 30 metres, this ride runs 1170 metres. The key feature of the ride is “The Marmaliser,” a spider-like structure in the centre of the ride with 5 legs. Each leg has a different way of trying to make you smile. There’s also a wraparound screen that plays videos and graphics intended to make you smile… all while you’re being scared out of your wits, turned upside down and flung about at breakneck speeds. What’s not to love?

2. Nemesis Inferno, Thorpe Park

Alton Towers has Nemesis; Thorpe Park has Nemesis Inferno. The 750-metre long track encompasses four inversions including a set of interlocking corkscrews. In the almost two minutes you’re on the ride, you will experience up to 4.5 times the force of gravity. The ride is themed around an erupting volcano, hence the name. In 2004, this ride briefly held the Guinness World Record for the most naked people on a rollercoaster!

3. MegaBlitz, Coney Beach (Porthcawl)

Coney Beach is a relatively small amusement park in Wales; you’ve probably never heard of it, unless you’re Welsh. The MegaBlitz though, definitely makes it worth the trip. With a height of 54 feet and several 20-foot drops, it’s one minute, 15 seconds of sheer terror! This ride has been reported on in the press as creating certain sharp impacts on the rider and shake your head quite vigorously. Win!

4. Avalanche, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is known for its amazing rollercoasters; it’s no surprise it’s the most visited tourist attraction in the UK. The Avalanche ride does not disappoint; it’s built like a bobsled run, with no tracks for the majority of the course – you really are in a bobsled, haring down the course and around bends. Built in 1988, this one really does stand the test of time and is still immensely popular today.

5. Shockwave, Drayton Manor

Shockwave is a stand-up rollercoaster. Open since 1994, it’s the only stand-up rollercoaster in Europe – that alone makes it worth a visit. It’s also the only rollercoaster ever made with a stand-up zero-g roll. The rollercoaster reaches 85km/h and features an 80-foot drop into a loop, followed by a zero-gravity roll, finishing with two corkscrews. In one minute 36 seconds, this ride definitely packs a lot of punch. Definitely worth queueing for!

Lots of amusement parks will have spooky goings on over Halloween; to us a scary rollercoaster teamed with Halloween costumes and spooky noises is a winning combination!

 

Celebrity Halloween roundup 2013 Comments Off on Celebrity Halloween roundup 2013

Posted on November 01, 2013 by admin

As you’re wiping up the fake blood and face paint this morning, spare a thought for the celebrities who are facing hours of cleaning ahead of them post-Halloween 2013! Some of these celebrities went all-out for Halloween this year, dressing up in some of the best costumes we’ve ever seen!

Lucky for us, these celebs gave us a first-hand glimpse into their Halloween parties and celebrations through Twitter and Instagram! Maybe some of these will serve as inspiration for Halloween 2014…

Lily Allen

Lily treated us to her Halloween nails yesterday – little did we know there was much more to come! Dressing as an alien while performing onstage, we’re sure Lily’s water bill is going to go through the roof this month trying to wash off all that green paint!

 

Holly Willoughby

Holly always looks glamourous and her Halloween costumes were no exception! Treating us to two looks in one day, Holly initially tweeted this surreal and stunning butterfly effect to her four million Twitter followers…

 

…and then went on to give us the added bonus of a ultra-glam devil looks! Very gothic, pretty simple and incredibly effective!

 

Miley Cyrus

As one of the most talked about celebrities in the world right now, fans had big expectations for Miley’s costume! The singer went on to surprise us all with a costume inspired by Lil Kim’s performance at MTV’s VMA performance in 1999!

 

Jack Whitehall

The posh comedian has had a great year and clearly decided to go all-out to celebrate on Halloween! This demonic costume would be pretty intimidating if it wasn’t for Jack’s loveable facial expresions… Sorry Jack, we just can’t take you too seriously!

 

Rihanna

Rihanna teased her followers for several hours showing sneak peaks of her costume, until finally revealing her costume at the centre of a collage surrounded by her friends!

Beyonce

Queen B herself revealed an absolutely stunning costume that left many of her fans gobsmacked! This angelic costume was a real treat to see, even if it wasn’t quite Halloween-y!

Heidi Klum

Last, but by no means least, the Queen of Halloween herself Heidi Klum didn’t dissapoint this year with another amazing example of how to really do a Halloween costume. Heidi revealed the process of the application of her costume throughout the day on Instagram, which lead to this amazing costume that made her almost unrecognisable! Congratulations Heidi, you’ve won Best Celebrity Costume for yet another year running!

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