A perfectly frightful tea party

Natasha Roffe offers some tricks for treating your little horrors on Hallowe'en

For those wary of sending their cherubs turned cackling witches and wizards on to the streets for a night of trick or treating on Hallowe'en next Tuesday, the alternative is to treat the little monsters to a party at home. In America, Hallowe'en has always been big business but, if the pounds 150 pumpkin-shaped china soup tureen at Tiffany's in Old Bond Street is anything to go by, Britain is also cashing in on this pagan festival as a pre-Christmas sales pitch.

Commercial gripes aside, children love Hallowe'en, so we are offering a selection of things freakish, from pumpkin cutters to electronic ghosts, all guaranteed to generate shrieks of gleeful horror.

Once you've lured the kiddies to the Hallowe'en festivities with Hannibal Lector-inspired "Come Over For a Bite" Hallowe'en invitations (Marks & Spencer, pounds 4 for 12), throwing a tea party is merely a question of stocking up with the best range of eerie edibles available from supermarkets and department stores. Tesco's Gasp the Ghost cake (pounds 7.99)is disarmingly charming, while Marks & Spencer does bright orange pumpkin-shaped cakes (pounds 4.99) or a set of four mini-pumpkin cakes for pounds 1.49.

The Beverly Hills Bakery is doing baskets (from pounds 21) of pumpkin-flavoured muffins, chocolate cookies, brownies and jam, all cellophane-wrapped and finished with a distinctive green ribbon and Hallowe'en greeting - an inspired way to say thanks for a ghoulishly great night out. Millies Cookies is also offering toffee apple flavour muffins (90p).

For visting trick or treaters, the Book of Spells and Spices (Tesco, pounds 2.49) - complete with an edible tarantula that would dangle nicely out of young jaws - contains all that's necessary to traumatise toddler and teeth alike, while witch's head or skull-shaped chocolate lollipops (Tesco, 99 pence), marzipan witches (Harrods, pounds 3.20), striped candy climbers featuring cats or witches (Harrods, pounds 2.80), moon- and bat-shaped fruit gums (Marks & Spencer, 49p) are all ideal.

Toys to make toddlers tremble - and parents cover their ears in horror - include a plastic rocking witch who cackles as her bright green eyes light up (Hamleys, pounds 24.99), a 24in animated sonic vampire (pounds 34.99), voice- activated ghosts and pumpkins (Hamleys, pounds 14.99) that cackle on command and, for goody bags, Hamleys also does glow-in-the-dark sickly green monster gloves (pounds 8.99), skull mask (pounds 3.49) and walking monsters (99p). If cackles aren't enough, a larger, and even wickeder, witch (pounds 49.99) not only rocks but also responds to noise, warning: "I'm going to get you, my little pretty." Dorothy, eat your heart out.

For post-tea entertainment there is a good range of non-edible activity books, including the House Haunting Kit (Random House, pounds 8.99), which contains Abra Cadazzle spells, a cassette of terrifying sounds and a stage bloodkit; a Creepy Kokey sound book (Heinemann, pounds 6.99) - a horror story that children can sing along to - and, for the more creative child, a Hallowe'en Fun book (Kingfisher, pounds 3.99).

Another find for a nocturnal do is a pumpkin lantern (Harrods, pounds 24.99) with a pair of matching black candlesticks with raised pumpkins wrapped around their middles (pounds 2.50 a pair, also from Harrods). If you'd prefer to make your own candlelit pumpkin, Selfridges has a fine range of pumpkins (60p a pound) up to 200lb in weight, as well as pumpkin cutters (pounds 5.99) to ease the process.

Hamleys 0171-734 3161, Tesco 01992 632 222, Marks & Spencer 0171-935 4422, Tiffany's 0171-409 2790, Millies Coookies 0171-240 0194, Beverly Hills Bakery 0171-584 4401.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power