Witches and warlocks and ghosts and ghouls across the UK are preparing for a fright night of spooky shenanigans on Thursday as Halloween gets into full swing. 

There is a host of official events taking place at venues across the country. 


Warwick Castle’s Halloween Week is taking place until November 3 and features a Wondrous Witches show and a Falconers Quest display with up to 50 different birds of prey.  


Fabulous Ghost Bus tours, meanwhile, are available in many cities, including London and York. Fright Nights at Thorpe Park boast live shows and thrill rides in the dark – including Stealth, one of Europe’s fastest rollercoasters. 


While Halloween celebrations have become big business across the world, here in the UK the event has gained massive popularity in recent year. It’s not only youngsters who’ve taken to wearing costumes, going trick-or-treating and carving out pumpkins for lanterns. Adults are getting in on the act too. 


According to figures released by Statista, the most purchased products for Halloween in the UK are boxes of chocolate and sweets. Fancy dress costumes are also popular, with sales of clothing reaching an estimated £166 million in 2017.  


New research by Channel Mum, which polled 1006 UK mothers, revealed that 84% of families plan to celebrate Halloween, with 94% planning on buying outfits. 

All of this had led to frighteningly large amounts of consumer spending – it was estimated to have reached more than £400 million last year. 


Retail managers and shop assistants are raring to go with special ranges of goods. Asda’s popular Ghost Crumpets will haunt the aisles of supermarkets once again, while software developer Niantic is hosting The Pokemon Go Halloween global gaming event until November 1. 


Stevie Douglas loves Halloween. He’s a professional who knows all about the business of scaring customers – but in the best ways possible. 


He’s the Director of Scare Scotland, a company that trains and provides actors for ghost tours, scare attractions, horror movies and any “weird stuff” for film, TV and events.   


“Scare Scotland is actually quite misunderstood in terms of what we do,” he admits. “We always get people asking us if we’re ghost hunters. I say no but if you’re looking for an actor to play a ghost, I can provide one for you.   


“The horror genre is very niche and a lot of the time it’s low budget – so sometimes you have to do a lot with a little. We improvise a lot and that’s how we overcome challenges.”  


This means early starts, hard work . . . but also an awful lot of fun. 


“When we’re working on a show our day will start early,” says Stevie. “This includes rehearsals with the actors and making sure the set is safe, ensuring all of the props are in place, make-up is on hand – very important! – and, essentially, that we’re ready to go.  


“No two days are the same and, of course, we have to do the serious stuff as well: meeting potential actors and new talent, updating our social media, answering enquiries from potential clients and, on occasion, pitching the company to clients. “Then there are the financial elements, such as chasing up invoices and making sure actors are paid on time.” 


For Stevie the best bit about being Director of Scare Scotland is working with such amazing people. 


“They are so enthusiastic about what they do,” he says. “They always give 100 per cent, which keeps our customers sacred – and happy! They make it easy for us.  

“We get folk from all walks of life. In fact, we really do get to meet the weird and wonderful of society.”  


Stevie points out there are no formal qualifications or training required – all you really need is a sense of humour!  


He adds: “We train our people through our school called the Undead Academy. We have had actors from top acting schools who struggle with this type of work – until we train them. You don’t get to be a zombie at the RADA!”  


The best zombies need enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, adds Stevie.  

“I was employed as a youth worker for 20 years and a lot of my own personal skills come from that – such as learning to have patience, instilling a sense of fun and always looking for a final, positive result.” 

As you’d imagine, Halloween is an especially busy time for Stevie and his army of undead actors. 


“Last year we had three shows running in one day, as well as two nightclubs with our actors performing.”   


To anyone who’d like to take up spooky dramatics, Stevie has some less-than-chilling words of advice. 


“Keep it fun! And be ready to learn,” he says. “Being a scare actor is more than just learning lines and jumping out on people. There’s a psychology to it. You want people to be scared but also entertained – not scarred for life!”   


If you’d like to get in on the act this Halloween, why not set the scene for a new career by auditioning for top roles on x1jobs?