WITH today being the scariest date on the calendar, families have been stocking up on their pumpkins, buying lollies by the bucket-load and preparing their fangs and ghost sheets.
Although not traditionally celebrated by Australians, a quick walk around any shopping centre suggests that Halloween is becoming more and more popular Down Under.
For Eerie Tours owner Nathaniel Buchanan, October 31 is one of the busiest days of the year.
“This year is a little bit different, because it’s a Wednesday and most people will be working, but the amount of requests for tours is overwhelming,” Mr Buchanan said.
“For me, Halloween is every day of the year. I dress up and scare people every day.
“It’s my favourite holiday and it’s the one day of the year that everyone gets it.
“I will be decking my verandah out with jack-o-lanterns.”
Statistics by McCrindle Research showed 51 per cent of Australians with primary school aged children plan to celebrate Halloween this year and that’s exactly why Tangled Maze is jumping on board by hosting a scary night at the maze this evening.
Owner Judy Morrison said Tangled Maze had thrown a Halloween party for most of the past five years.
“Apart from last year, when we held a Halloween-themed wedding instead,” Ms Morrison said.
“It’s lots of fun and we focus on it as a fun thing for the kids to experience.
“We put all scary things throughout the maze and everyone comes dressed up.”
Some Ballarat residents have even gone as far as to set up online petitions urging locals to celebrate the event. Samantha Broes is one person who has been encouraging others to ‘Make the spirit of Halloween come to Ballarat’.
“From trick or treating, apple bobbing and costumes, we could bring an annual Halloween festival to the lake,” her petition says.
“We could have costume competitions for the kids and teenagers, even adults and couples.”
Ms Broes said she was deprived of the scary festivities when she was young and didn’t want that to happen to others.
“Just think back to then you were a child and how much you wanted to trick or treat but it wasn’t something we celebrated,” she said.
“We can change this for our children and make our own traditions.”