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  • Pippi Jean

Halloween Hallowhere Hallohowdoyoudo?

Words by Pippi Jean (she/her)

Okay, I know it’s not technically Halloween. This issue is closer to the election than that good ol’ murder-mystery-skeleton-fright-night. But the Christmas pop up store is already flaunting its red and green cheer on Willis Street, so it’s official: nothing is real anymore, including time. Plus, I think it’s time for a little nostalgia trip, as well as a how-to on making your own fake blood (for your Halloween parties, celebrations, or other various uses—whatever it is, it’s not my business). 

When I was younger, my neighbourhood was super big on Halloween. Every last weekend of October, each fence down the streets near my house was covered in spiderwebs. People put creepy dolls in their windows and pumpkins on their doorsteps. Ike’s Emporium used to sell fake human hands and feet. Once, when I was little, I saw somebody had strung up a whole leg from the roof over their front porch, and I nearly cried. 

According to Kiwi Kids News, “Halloween is not quite as popular in Aotearoa as in other Western countries, and in the past wasn’t generally even celebrated here.” Still, retail outlets push the occasion. I remember the Halloween spirit in my hometown used to come and go. Some years, most houses on a street would be decorated, and other years, hardly anyone would. One thing I didn’t realise is that we put out a Halloween ‘sign’, or decorations, to tell kids it’s okay to trick-or-treat. In America, on 31 October, it’s more a thing that kids expect to be given treats everywhere they knock.  

Halloween has always seemed so American to me. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. The evening before was known as ‘All Hallow’s Eve’. Those celebrations emigrated with Europeans to America, where All Hallow’s Eve became an occasion for ‘play parties’: private parties thrown to celebrate the next day’s harvest. Over time, this evolved into what we know today as Halloween, which is so huge in America that trick-or-treating can shut down whole streets. As a teen, I used to be jealous of the Halloween scenes in shows like Stranger Things. Everything on set was so loud and busy. It looked like the entire neighbourhood was celebrating the occasion. 

What does Halloween mean to you now, as a student? A good excuse for a dress up party? End of assessments for the second Trimester? Absolutely nothing? For me, it’s a mix of all of those things. Around the end of October, I recall being 7 years old and running around in the park near my house, back in my hometown, with my brother and plastic bags full of candy.  I remember being 12 and asking kids who came to our house to spin around and recite the alphabet backwards. That sense of nostalgia makes me antsy. Around the same time every year, I feel like getting up and doing something Halloween-y to get those feelings back. 

Whether you’re hosting a flat party for this year’s Halloween, pulling a Halloween themed prank, or getting ready to film a new Halloween video on your super-secret ASMR channel (I don’t know your life), I thought I’d supply some awesome recipes for fake blood. A great addition to moulage, these recipes will be sure to make your Halloween costumes pop. 

Chocolate Fake Blood

This sort has more of a realistic bloody look. The cocoa powder makes the mixture a dark, gooey red. Meanwhile, the corn syrup base gives the mixture a good thickness. A potential drawback is that its quite sticky. 

You’ll need: 

  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup

  • 4 drops of red food colouring

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa mix

Mix and chill to… serve? To use. To decorate!

Washable Fake Blood

This one is a crowd fave in my first responders team because it’s easy to make, use, and clean up. The dishwashing liquid means that the red stains will be much easier to wash out from clothes. 

You’ll need:

  • ⅔ parts dish soap/detergent

  • 4 drops red food colouring 

  • 2 drops blue food colouring

  • 1 drop yellow food colouring

Mix and test on a cloth or item of clothing for how well it washes out!

Non-Sticky Fake Blood

Most fake blood recipes on the internet will suggest you use corn syrup, but this stuff can get super sticky and uncomfortable to wear as part of a costume. Luckily, you can make your final product realistic-looking without using corn syrup. 

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of water

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons red food colouring

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

First, blend your water and powdered sugar on a blender on low, or with a whisk. Then add red food colouring and blend in. Finally, add the cocoa powder and blend the mixture completely. This is another edible recipe, but it will also stain clothing, so watch out! 


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