Forget about applebobbing or pumpkin-carving. This year’s Halloween parties are more lavish than ever.

After last October’s muted affairs, the spookfest is now bigger than New Year’s Eve, with the super-rich really pushing the boat out. We reveal the top trends that will make for a frighteningly extravagant evening. . .


Luxurious Halloweens are made with decor in mind. Some devotees even have their own theatrical backdrops.

Charlotte Aitken, of Albion Parties, plans events for wealthy clients and says the ‘London elite’ spend ‘tens of thousands decking out their homes with pumpkins, seasonal flowers and mechanical skeletal props outside the front door’.

Jade Beer reveals the top trends the super-rich are embracing for an extravagant Halloween. Pictured: Halloween party

Jade Beer shares the top trends that the super-rich are using for a lavish Halloween. Pictured: Halloween party

People hire spooky venues to create the perfect setting rather than hosting it at home.

James Lord, the CEO of Bridelux, chose the graveyard wing of William Astor’s neo-Gothic mansion in London, Two Temple Place, for its gilded interiors, wood panelling, stained glass windows and marble details. He also hired Rob Van Helden, the florist behind Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara Ball, for his private party for 200 worth £100,000.

Laura Slater, of Bubblegum Balloons, decorates private London homes with bespoke balloon installations costing up to £4,000. Her business has grown by 150 percent this year because people are celebrating Halloween like never before.

‘We were getting enquiries and orders as far back as August,’ she says, adding: ‘The work we do in private homes is often the best; they have the biggest wow factor.’


Lose that cheap old felt witch’s hat. According to Charlotte, her clients are opting for couture costumes ‘from designers such as Alexander McQueen’ which can cost upwards of £1,000. Children are also getting bespoke outfits.

‘One child was taken by her mother to a dressmaker in London to have a bespoke Harry Potter outfit made for her,’ she says. Another woman had five hours of body-painting done at her house by a professional. She looked amazing.’

Charlie Astor, director at Sharky & George, plans bespoke Halloween parties costing up to £15,000

Charlie Astor, director at Sharky & George, plans bespoke Halloween parties costing up to £15,000

Christina Rhodes’s Black Rabbit Projects offers its partygoers the use of an in-house styling team: ‘They can do professional hair and make-up and will style your staff if you are hosting.’

Stylists create mood boards to help you visualize how you want to feel and look before the event. They will help you choose the right outfit and visit your home to fit it.

‘The cost varies but you’re looking at about £1,000 per person,’ says Christina. ‘I’m a goth at heart, so this year I’m going as Mrs Coulter with my partner as Lord Asriel from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.’


Apple bobbing is no longer enough for some people. The entertainment has been made extra special.

Charlie Astor, director at Sharky & George, who plan bespoke Halloween parties costing up to £15,000, says: ‘We are organising an immersive Halloween party where children must raise Frankenstein from the dead.

… and here’s how to do it in the real world! 

Serve cocktails and shots in toy syringes, test tubes and mini cauldrons

Cocktails and shots can be served in test tubes, mini cauldrons, and toy syringes.

  • You can make a bar out of offcuts, which are painted to look like open coffins. And Charlotte Aitken suggests: ‘Create a pumpkin soup station where ghoulish chefs serve food in hollowed-out mini-pumpkins or glass dishes shaped like skulls.’ See Etsy or Lakeland.
  • Check out the ready to order collections from top-end events companies. ‘You can buy our flying witch balloon package online for £18,’ says Laura Slater from Bubblegum Balloons. Halloween confectionery is also available at and
  • Cocktails and shots can be served in test tubes, mini cauldrons, and toy syringes (cheaply available online).
  • Meri Meri and Scandiborn offer fashionable dressing-up options to children. or are also great options. Boden has glow-in-the-dark T-shirts and leggings from £17.
  • Tesco is running a kids’ Halloween costume design competition. See Waitrose online for free Halloween recipes; and Lidl has treats for under £1.

The children meet a strange scientist at the top of the building who will use dry-ice, slime, and exploding experiments in order to create a life-giving potion. The children take the potion and use Nerf guns to shoot their way through many rooms of zombies.

‘On the next floor down, they hand the potion to a vampire magician. They are given a wand, and a spell if they pass the test. They then go to the basement, which will be pitch black with UV arrows and ghostly sounds, leading them towards Frankenstein, who they must revive with potions and spells.’

Private members’ clubs are also embracing the spooky season. Tickets to the legendary Circus of Horrors Halloween bash at Annabel’s, with its ‘cacophony of terrifying surprises’, are rumoured to have sold out in six minutes this year.

And there is a waiting list for tables costing up to £2,000 at Raffles nightclub in Chelsea for its Día de los Muertos Mexican-themed event, which starts at 10pm on October 28 and finishes at 4.30am on the 31st.

‘Halloween is now bigger than New Year’s Eve,’ says Raffles co-owner Carlo Carello. ‘


A Staple of children’s parties, craft has gone up a level for Halloween this year.

Chris Murphy, of Tuck-Box Cakes, who offers baking classes for children, says: ‘I’ve been booked for a two-hour autumn leaf cookie-decorating class for nine-year olds. For £95 per child, I teach them how to decorate cookies using different shades of icing and marbling techniques.

‘When I got to one party, I was competing for the kids’ attention with a funfair-sized helter-skelter that was taller than the house and fireworks that spelled out the kids’ names in the sky.’

The high-end children’s entertainment firm Notorious Kids offers a ‘Gory Gourmet’ class for up to 20 children for £800, which includes two entertainers.


When it comes to treats, red velvet cakes that ooze ‘blood’ when sliced open are popular, says Chris Murphy, of Tuck-Box Cakes. One famous musician has ordered a three-tiered version topped with a golden pumpkin, at a cost of £550.

‘Smashing pumpkins’ are another hot trend. Costing £250 each, they have a chocolate shell like an Easter egg and are filled with sweets. Each box includes a wooden mallet for children to use to smash the treats.

Chris says: ‘One celebrity mum ordered my ‘smashing pumpkins’ for 20 children in her child’s class, which added up to £5,000. They were delivered in taxis to the school.

‘I personalise them with sugar stalks and leaves, then airbrush them so they look incredibly realistic. Each child’s name is projected onto the finished pumpkin in calligraphy. It’s about two days’ work.

‘I’m more in demand than I’ve ever been, with enquiries up 25 per cent on previous years.’