66 Spooky Halloween Vocabulary Words and Phrases

66 Spooky Halloween Vocabulary Words and Phrases

October 31 is right here, on the corner.

Do you know what that means?

It means a lot of vampires, zombies, and witches on the streets, but also a lot of candies.

Yes, we are talking about one of the most favorite holidays, Halloween.

Some of you probably know all the details about Halloween, while some are only familiar with the basics.

This holiday is mainly celebrated in the USA, Canada, and the UK, but for the past several years, you can see that many European countries celebrate Halloween as well.

If you’ve been watching some of the most famous American sitcoms, you must have run into episodes where characters celebrate Halloween, dressed as spooky monsters, Frankenstein, or mummies. At the same time, kids knock on doors saying ‘trick or treat.

So, for those who want to know better,  it is the perfect time to learn some of the Halloween words and phrases, and for those who already know every single detail, it couldn’t hurt to repeat them, just in case.

Before we dive in, make sure you're dressed as a zombie, witch, or mummy so that you can have a complete feeling.

Halloween Vocabulary

In the following lines, you can find some of the most common Halloween phrases and words you definitely have to know. We’ve also prepared an extended Halloween Word List in PDF file. You can save it to your device and take a peek whenever you need it, especially on October 31.

Halloween

Today, Halloween is celebrated because of kids. This holiday's whole point is to have fun, dress up in costumes, eat candies, and play games.

What was, centuries ago, a pagan celebration, called Samhain, to scare away the evil ghosts, today is a modern tradition.

The name ‘Halloween’ comes from the term ‘All Hallow’s Eve,’ which means ‘hallowed evening.’ It’s not accidental that Halloween is celebrated on October 31. 

As you already know, November 1 is All Saints’ Day, which, according to tradition, means that the connection between our world and the spiritual one is thin at this time.

At first, people wore costumes to scare away evil spirits, so they eventually evolved into what we know today as an entertaining holiday.

Black Cat

‘Black cats bring bad luck.’

Have you ever heard of this superstition? 

Besides that, black cats are connected to witches and witchcraft, too, and one of Halloween's symbols. Long ago, superstition people believed that witches are turning into black cats.

And did you know that people believe that black cats can actually help you find love in some parts of the world?

Candy

Even though it isn’t a scary word, it is a far more important Halloween noun you want to know.

When kids dress up in costumes and go trick or treating, they visit neighbors for one reason only. To get candies!

Some of the most common Halloween candies are caramel apples, candy corn, skittles, M&Ms, etc.

Costume

At first sight, it seems that the difference between the words ‘custom’ and ‘costume’ is in two or three letters only.

But, it is much more than that. These words are pronounced differently, and their meanings aren’t even similar.

The costume is a kind of disguise, something you put on your body and sometimes put a mask on your face. You wear costumes to look differently.

So, the costume is an inevitable part of Halloween. Use this word with verbs as ‘dress up,’ ‘wear,’ or ‘go as.’

Decorations

Decorations are various objects you put to make something more appealing and festive.

When it comes to Halloween, they are mandatory.

How will people even know that you participate if your house doesn’t look spooky or you don’t put skeletons and spiderwebs?

Ghosts

Ghosts or spirits are the souls of a dead person. They can stay in our world and watch over their family members, friends, or people they meant something to while they were alive. They can also haunt people and scare them.

So, if you want to wear a Halloween costume, dressing up as a ghost is a cheap and straightforward solution.

Graveyard

A cemetery or graveyard is a place where dead people are buried.

Since Halloween is all about ghosts and spirits, it is evident that the graveyard is one of Halloween's common symbols.

Haunted House

When someone or something is haunted, it means that a spirit possesses them or lives in it.

For example, when many strange things happen in a house, people believe that it is haunted.

On Halloween, on the other hand, haunted houses are mandatory. People decorate their houses with spiderwebs, skeleton, mummies, tombstones to look like they’re haunted.

How would Halloween look like without a haunted house? Nothing special, right?

Jack-o-Lantern

If you read the next line, you will immediately understand what Jack-o-lantern means.

It’s a pumpkin.

Basically, the pumpkin takes the central place, a common decoration, on Halloween. When you carve a face onto a pumpkin and put a candle inside, its face will glow. And you’ve got yourself a Jack-o-lantern.

Scarecrows

Farmers often use scarecrows to scare away birds.

They make them with old clothes and straw as hair to make it look like a person. Like that, a scarecrow is put on a tall stick and it scares most of the birds.

Skeleton

Skeleton is all bones in a body.

Living people also have skeletons, besides skin, muscles, and organs.

The skeleton is one of Halloween's symbols because it is the remains of a dead person, which really makes it creepy, ideal for Halloween.

The Grim Reaper

If you aren’t familiar with this term, we should mention its synonym, ‘death.’

Death is a ‘person’ dressed in a black robe with a hood that carries a sickle.

His other name ‘Grim Reaper’ comes from the words ‘grim’ in the meaning ‘dark’ and ‘reaper’ in the meaning ‘to harvest things’ in our case, to harvest dead people. 

The Grim Reaper can be seen in many movies and shows, and found in books, too.

Trick-Or-Treat

‘Trick’ is a synonym for the word ‘prank’ which means ‘to fool someone.’ The term ‘treat’ is something nice and delicious, like candies and chocolate.

The phrase ‘trick or treat’ kids use on Halloween to say that if you don’t give them treats, they will perform a trick on you.

Before saying this famous phrase, kids dress up in costumes and mainly in groups and go to different houses in the neighborhood. Then they knock on doors and say together ‘trick or treat!’

Vampire

Have you heard about the Count Dracula from Transylvania? He is sophisticated, polite, but still creepy. He is a vampire.

Vampires are immortal. They bite on their necks and drink their blood. When a vampire bites you, you will likely become a vampire, too.

Vampires can transform into bats, which are one of the Halloween symbols, as well. 

Today, there are many books, movies, and tv series about vampires.

Zombie

The word ‘zombie’ isn’t only similar in many languages, and one more common symbol of Halloween.

Zombies are dead bodies that come alive. They can walk slowly and be really fast as well, but the scary thing about them is that they eat people and their brains. 

Final Thoughts

Halloween is an ideal time for you to expand your English vocabulary.

If you have the chance to hang out and speak with the locals, you can then impress them with these scary words.

No matter if you stay at home and watch Halloween TV series, you dress up as a witch, vampire, or zombie, and go out for trick or treating, don’t forget to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!

What are some of the most useful Halloween words?

Black Cat, Candy, Costume, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunted House, Jack-o-Lantern.

What is Jack-o-Lantern?

It’s a pumpkin. Basically, the pumpkin takes the central place, a common decoration, on Halloween. When you carve a face onto a pumpkin and put a candle inside, its face will glow. And you’ve got yourself a Jack-o-lantern.

What does Trick or Treat mean?

‘Trick’ is a synonym for the word ‘prank’ which means ‘to fool someone.’ The term ‘treat’ is something nice and delicious, like candies and chocolate. The phrase ‘trick or treat’ kids use on Halloween to say that if you don’t give them treats, they will perform a trick on you. Before saying this famous phrase, kids dress up in costumes and mainly in groups and go to different houses in the neighborhood. Then they knock on doors and say together ‘trick or treat!’

Releated Articles

April 17, 2024
What is the Easiest Language to Learn?
April 17, 2024
What is the best app for learning a language?
April 17, 2024
How to Say Hi in Spanish? Your Guide to Spanish Greetings

Daily learning tips directly in your inbox