Spooktacular! Britons decorate houses to celebrate Halloween in style

Spooktacular! Britons decorate their houses with ghouls, ghosts, skeletons and a host of other creepy creatures to celebrate Halloween in style

  • Fans of the macabre across the UK have decked out their homes in spooky style
  • READ MORE: Creepy doll’s head found in sewer by workers in Halloween horror

Dare you enter some of Britain’s spookiest homes this Halloween? Based on these displays, the country is not short of haunted houses at the scariest time of year.

Brits have been pulling out all of the stops to create the scariest displays around – with many using the attention from neighbours and locals they get to raise money for charity.

Stretching from the south of England over to Wales and up to Scotland, there’s no shortage of spooky stop-offs to take in with skeletons, ghouls and ghosts galore.

In Llandaff, Cardiff, special effects guru Danny Hargreaves has given his home  macabre makeover with spiders, monsters and a huge inflatable vampire.

Mr Hargreaves, 44, who has worked on programmes such as Doctor Who, Peaky Blinders and His Dark Materials, spent a week putting together the spooky set-up – which even features the undead rising from beneath the ground.

BRISTOL: This home in Oldland Common is adorned with all manner of decorations – from neon witches and pumpkins to a Mexican-style ‘Day of the Dead’ skull

GILLINGHAM: Arachnophobes beware! A huge spider appears to have completely taken over this home in Kent – the work of Medway dad Kieron Shepherd, raising money for charity

WINDSOR: Giant spiders have also webbed up this floral display in Berkshire

SLEAFORD: Lincolnshire student Tom Simpson has created a display with skeletons and tombstones to raise money for charity

CARDIFF: Special effect boss Danny Hargreaves has transformed his house with a macabre makeover using his expertise of working in the TV industry

CARDIFF: There is no shortage of spooky details at Mr Hargreaves house, from members of the undead (left) to knife-wielding skeletons with pumpkins for heads climbing the walls (right)

MOTHERWELL: The Howson family have been putting on horrifying displays in their house since 2006 – and no details have been spared this year

MOTHERWELL: As well as the grim and grisly display inside, the front garden is adorned with gravestones and skeletons that appear to be rising from beneath the lawn

READ MORE: Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialise! Halloween revellers dressed in all manner of frightful outfits including vampires and devils hit the streets

He said: ‘I enjoy Halloween more than Christmas – it’s the start of the silly season with Halloween followed by Bonfire Night, which is very relevant to me as a SFX guy, then it runs into my birthday and Christmas!’

Mr Hargreaves, his wife Carmela and children Harry and Rosie want to use the house as a way of raising money for a children’s charity.

He said: ‘It’s good fun, and there’s a serious aspect because I do it for the Dreams and Wishes charity – they’re a local charity and they help seriously ill children.

‘We’ve got the bucket on the gate, I’m having a party to raise funds with some of my friends, and there’s a website for it too.’

In Motherwell, Lanarkshire, William Howson, 68, and wife Roslyn, 61, have decorated their home with all manner of the macabre for the 17th year, after throwing a spooky party for one of their grandchildren in 2006.

Mr Howson told the Glasgow Times: ‘We don’t charge people to come in, it’s just all about the fun. 

‘We have to start setting up in September, there are hundreds of decorations to get out, so it takes us about seven weeks.

‘People will queue for hours to get in – and it’s so funny seeing people’s reactions to it, especially the adults who are scared.’

Student Tom Simpson, who lives in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, has erected tombstones, Grim Reapers, spiders, a 10ft tall skeleton and a looming ‘pumpkin man’ with light-up, fiery innards. 

The tombstones are his own creation, but the giant props have been shipped all the way from North America. He’s been putting together elaborate and spooky sets since he was young and designs the scenes himself. 

Mr Simpson, 22, said: ‘I really enjoy it. It gets bigger every year, but I don’t think I’ll be able to beat this year. I’ve used every inch of the garden.’

‘I’m quite particular, so no one’s allowed to touch it but me.’

Over the past three years, Mr Simpson has been raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK after his father, Arthur, died of the disease.

He added: ‘I’ve always enjoyed Halloween so I thought I might as well give something to charity.

‘It’s a bit different – you don’t really see it. You see Christmas houses, but you don’t see Halloween houses.’

BRIGHTON: Ollie Slim (dressed as a Ghostbuster) has decorated his house to resemble the firehouse from the 1984 spooky comedy 

BRIGHTON: Mr Slim and his family have raised more than £40,000 for Macmillan Cancer Care over the last decade

SOMERSET: A spooky set-up at a desk inside the Radstock Hotel, which has been adorned with more than 1,000 Halloween decorations by managers Leeann and Will Austin

SOMERSET: Not even the bar area at the Radstock Hotel is safe from the spectacularly spooky displays

ELTHAM: Lee and Linda Morris’ home in south-east London – the couple say you can ‘never have too much’ in the way of decorations 

ELTHAM: The couple’s home is adorned with spooky decorations every year, having started to collect them five years ago

READ MORE: Dead offensive: Funeral parlour tastelessly puts Halloween skeleton display in its window as undertakers face backlash over decorations 

In Brighton, Ollie Slim’s annual Highcroft Haunt pulls in thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support – and this year he has gone all out to transform his home into the Ghostbusters firehouse.

Outside, a dummy clad in the uniforms from the 1984 ghoul-catching comedy fires off a stream from a ‘proton pack’ – amidst skeletons on horseback, flashing lights and projections and an inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Mr Slim and his family have been creating displays at their house in Highcroft Villas for more than a decade.

In less than 10 years the train conductor has raised more than £40,000 for Macmillan Cancer Care.

He said: ‘I’ve been Halloween nut ever since I experienced a proper Halloween in the US when I was a boy.

‘We’ve had a different theme each year and this time we’ve gone for Ghostbusters with guest appearances from Marshmallow man, Slimer and the Ghostbuster team.’

He added: ‘I must have spent thousands over the years decking out the house. I don’t want to think of how much I must have spent.’ 

The Radstock Hotel in Somerset, meanwhile, has been covered in more than 1,000 Halloween decorations put up by managers Leeann and Will Austin – who spent 29 hours hanging up the accoutrements.

Some of the displays are 8ft tall while others come to life with animatronics; the Austins’ collection has been assembled over some 23 years.

Ms Austin, 55, said: ‘I love (Halloween), it takes a long time and it’s tiring, but I absolutely love it.’

She was inspired after her father used arts and crafts around the house during her youth.

‘I grew up with that sort of thing. We were always dressing up and (my dad) was an artist as well so he’d do lots of drawings and make things,’ she said.

Mr Austin said that the decorations have already frightened some children, but said it helps to attract customers.

‘We scared a couple of kids and we’ve been busy all week. We’re busy every year because people know what we do,’ he said.

Meanwhile Lee Morris, 52, and Linda Morris, 59, from Eltham, south east London, who annually decorate their entire home and garden, said seeing their family’s faces is ‘priceless’.

Mr and Mrs Morris said ‘you can never have too much’ after they decorated their house from floor to ceiling with Halloween banners, ornaments and life-size cut-outs of famous scary characters such as Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King’s It.

Pictures show their kitchen cabinets and fridge plastered with red and white tape that reads ‘Danger! Keep Out!’ while their garden has displays of plastic gravestones to mimic a cemetery.

Mr Morris told PA: ‘Our motto when designing for Halloween and Christmas is ‘you can never have too much’ and that is the same with attention.’

The couple have been collecting decorations for five years, but said the ‘bug really took hold’ about two years ago.

‘We are a big Christmas house so starting early for Halloween and adding the same magic seemed a natural progression,’ Mr Morris said.

‘Being able to use our creative flair with no limit or boundaries, with a large and close family it gives them a sense of surprise every time they visit and the looks on their faces is priceless.’

SURREY: A colourful Halloween display outside this house in Surrey warns guests the owners mean business

KENSINGTON: A skeleton welcomes guests to a spooky house in London

CHELSEA: A hair salon in West London has shown its customers its in the spooky spirit 

HOLLAND PARK: A garish Halloween display in London sees a house flanked by skeletons 

In West London, a quiet Kensington street has been all but transformed into scenes reminiscent of a nightmare on Elm Street with ghouls, ghosts and bats. 

Some of the most wealthy London homes have called in floral specialist Warren Bushaway from London Event Florist who specialises in decorating homes for the festive periods and celebrations. 

Warren counts on Simon Cowell, Robbie Williams , Peter Crouch and many other celebs as regular clients to decorate their multi-million pound homes.

Some Chelsea residents have decided to embellish their entrance with a gorgeous golden skeleton, and to make things even spookier, he is wearing a black cloak and holding a matching skull-pointed spear, perhaps to ward off unwelcome spirits.

Meanwhile in Kensington, skulls and pumpkins are the order of the day with one property employing  a line of the vegetables leading up to its door. 

However, there have been calls for Brits to exercise caution with Halloween displays due to the effect it can have on nature. 

Nature lovers have been warned that wildlife could die if they were tricked by Halloween pumpkins.

This week, Dorset Wildlife Trust warned: ‘Pumpkins can be fun to carve and decorate during Halloween, but they can actually make wildlife sick if eaten.

‘Please make sure you take your pumpkin back inside at the end of the evening if placed outside.

‘Or even better, place it in a window instead.’

Forestry England are asking people to ignore online tips and tricks telling people to toss their pumpkins into the woods, parks, fields and gardens for wildlife.

Kate Wollen, assistant ecologist for Forestry England, said: ‘We see many posts on social media encouraging people to leave pumpkins for wildlife to eat, but please do not do this.

‘Feeding pumpkins to birds, foxes, badgers, deer, and wild boar can make them unwell and can spread disease.’

She said it’s far better to use the flesh to make a delicious pumpkin soup or add discarded pumpkins to compost heaps to make a rich soil for next year’s vegetable garden.

Kate said ‘They are 90 per cent water so are a great composting material, adding a great source of nitrogen and moisture.’

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