Halloween Topic Guide

Did you know that Halloween is based on a festival from thousands of years ago?

Witches, ghosts and pumpkins are just some of the things we associate with this spooky time of year.

Teach your children about the Halloween using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas



The Halloween Pack

Halloween Facts

  • Halloween is a shortened version of “All Hallow Even”, meaning the night before All Saints Day. It falls on the 31st of October.
  • Many Halloween traditions come from the pagan festival of Samhain, which was a time when the divide between the living and the dead was believed to be very thin, and spirits could return to Earth.
  • The tradition of dressing up at Halloween comes from Samhain. People would dress up to scare away evil spirits.
  • Jack O’Lanterns were originally carved out of turnips or beets; when the festival began to be celebrated in the USA, people there used pumpkins instead.
  • Trick or treating is believed to date back to medieval times when poor people would be given sweet treats to pray for the souls of rich people’s relatives!


How To Carve A Halloween Turnip

Learn about the history of Halloween lanterns and how to make one with a turnip. Children will need adult help and supervision to make one.

Running time: 2:40

A Pumpkin’s Life

A fascinating time-lapse video showing a pumpkin patch from planting to harvest.

Running time: 3:01

Skeleton Dance

A fun animation of the well-known song about the skeleton.

Running time: 2:19

Meg and Mog


Running time: 3:52


Room on the Broom

This well-loved rhyming tale is perfect for younger children.

The Worst Witch

Jill Murphy’s tale of life at a boarding school for witches.

The Graveyard Book

Bod lives in the Graveyard, brought up by ghosts. But the assassin who killed his family is still looking for him. A terrific read for older children.

The Ghost of Thomas Kempe

Who is causing all the trouble at James’ new house? It’s not James…

The Witches

Can anyone stop the Grand High Witch?

Don't Read This Before Bed

Spooky, true stories from National Geographic Kids.

From Seed to Pumpkin

A lovely science book for younger children.

Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!

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