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ESL Halloween Vocabulary

Instructor: Lindsey Hays

Lindsey has taught Elementary Education, Spanish immersion, and ESL. She has a MS in Elementary Education with a BA in Spanish.

October 31st is a special day to be spooked! It's a day for fun, candy, and a little scare. Let's look at some words to help us understand and describe the holiday!


Are you scared of the dark? How about witches, vampires, or mummies? On October 31st, we have a day to celebrate all things scary...Halloween!

Let's look at some exciting and spooky Halloween activities and some words we can use to describe them!

Activities on Halloween

Halloween night is memorable for any kid! Here's why.

  • Costume: On Halloween night, children dress up in costumes. They put on clothes that make them look like someone or something else - anything from witches to dinosaurs, ghosts to princesses, you name it!
  • Trick-or-treat: On Halloween night, children go out in their costumes and trick-or-treat along their street. When their neighbors answer their doorbells, they say, ''Trick-or-treat!'' and in return, get candy they can take home.
  • Candy: The candy can be chocolate or fruity and come in the form of lollipops, chocolate bars, Hershey kisses, candy corn - anything sweet!

The most popular Halloween candy is candy corn.

Symbols of Halloween

When people think of Halloween, they often think of these symbols. People use them to decorate and get in the spirit of the holiday.

  • Spider web: People use white material like a cotton ball to form fake spider webs for decorations.
  • Bats: Bats are black animals that live in barns, hang upside down, and fly at night.
  • Skeleton: Halloween originated as a way to remember those who have died. Now skeletons, or people's bones, have become a popular symbol for the day.
  • Ghost: Children sometimes wear sheets over their heads and dress up like ghosts. Ghosts are believed to be the spirits of those who have died.
  • Black Cat: Some people believe black cats are ''bad luck'' so they make for spooky symbols of Halloween!
  • Witch: Lots of children dress up as witches, women with tall black hats and cloaks, striped stockings, pointy shoes and noses, crazy hair, and warts on their noses! Witches are portrayed as women who cast spells and make potions.

Witches are known to fly around on brooms.

  • Vampire: A vampire is a mythical person who is said to suck people's blood. Some children like to dress up as vampires on Halloween.
  • Mummy: A mummy is a dead person who has been wrapped in cloth for preservation. Children dress up as mummies by wrapping toilet paper around their bodies.

Pre-Halloween Activities

Throughout October, children wait excitedly for Halloween night. Here are some activities they can do in the meantime.

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