Hogwarts Happy Halloween Highlights

The Hallowe'en at Hogwarts crossword | Wizarding WorldHappy Halloween! While we can’t boast giant-sized Hagrid jack-o-lanterns or actual ghosts sailing through the Great Hall as we enjoy a goblet of pumpkin juice, we can highlight a few seasonal activities for Hogwarts fans. We can also celebrate the ways in which the Wizarding World has affected the celebration of Halloween. At my Muggle school’s delightful Spooktacular celebration this past week, I counted numerous Harrys, Hermiones, and other Hogwarts students among our visitors. They were all delighted when I immediately recognized them and complimented them (although I did tease the Slytherins just a bit). A few years ago, my entire department had a Hogwarts theme. As I head out to my community’s very popular annual family-friendly celebration tomorrow evening, I expect to see numerous characters and decorations that would not be there had J.K. Rowling never created a lonely boy wizard with a distinctive scar.

Thanks to the ridiculously successful film franchise, most of those costumes and other items are clearly drawing from the visual landscape created by Warner Brothers, but Harry’s world is still a literary one, putting Rowling in the heady company of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Washington Irving–authors whose work has helped codify the way Halloween is celebrated. After all, Halloween would not be complete without Frankenstein’s monster, Count Dracula, the Headless Horseman, and, in the past 20 years, Harry Potter.

Even decades after the first novel’s publication, ready-made costumes based on the Hogwarts Saga are best sellers from retailers and articles offer tips for constructing one’s own Potterverse ensemble rather than purchasing one. (My Professor Sprout ensemble is of my own creation, and it is much more book than film!)

For those who want more than a dress-up experience, there are plenty of unofficial and officially sanctioned opportunities to have a seasonal immersion in the Wizarding World, from themed parties, events, and escape rooms to ambience videos. One of my favorites of these takes the visitor to Hagrid’s Hut.

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle At Universal Studios Florida,  for those who really want to get into the Wizarding World, the Hogsmeade section in the Islands of, Adventure section features aHHN 2022 at USH Death Eaters popular interactive experience with Death Eaters menacing guests who can drive them away with spells and wands (the ones purchased at the park, of course). There is also a fireworks and projection show on the park’s version of Hogwarts Castle. It’s a fun show, if not as spectacular as the Disney shows at the Magic Kingdom using the castle, projections, fireworks, and music (but really, not much can compete with those). Running from mid-September through tonight, the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle show, with both the Death Eaters and the castle show, is a popular attraction. The Death Eaters also participate in the park’s popular Halloween Horror Nights, making them monsters in line with everyone from Dracula to Michael Myers. Resort TV1 gave a nice preview of both experiences a few weeks ago.

What are your favorite seasonal Potter opportunities? How do you see the Potter power at Halloween now and in the future?





  1. Wild Sisters, a neighborhood bookstore, had a potion bottle craft in which various empty bottles were decorated with black lace and lovely labels of Gillyweed, Draught of Living Death, etc. Very deliciously witchy!

    I see Potter power as a Weasley-esque explosion of fiction and non-fiction engraved on a marble tombstone in Deathly Hallows. The deaths of James and Lily Potter, forever linked to October 31, are etched on the same stone with something Paul wrote in a letter to first century Corinthians: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” It is not referenced on the stone or in Deathly Hallows, and so is baldly cryptic. Harry was disturbed by it, and Hermione tried to explain it, but any explanation would be unsatisfactory to one grieving as Harry was. He himself eventually made the kind of self-sacrifice that backfired upon his enemy in emphatic and thoroughly comprehensive ways. And under it all is love, not the pillow-soft, sickeningly sweet version, but in the hard, gritty choice version. It’s truly a hallowed eve of releasing a stubborn grasp of the unimportant to be freed up to love with wild abandon.

  2. Louise Freeman says

    I put on my witch apparel for work at our clinic yesterday: My academic gown and my blue velvet witch hat. We’ve had a demographic shift to younger families in our neighborhood so we actually had a sizeable number of trick or treaters for the first time in many years.

  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says

    Part of my Hallowe’en experience was an introduction, thanks to MandaloreGaming, to Ring (1998) and its sequel, Ring II (2003) – in which little Siegfried has encounters with his dead parents, Sieglinde and Siegmund, which left me wondering whether this was a debt to Harry Potter, or a topos I am unfamiliar with.

    Given the shared Feasts and Vigil of the Hogwarts school and Western Church calendars, and the quotation from St. Paul, and all the ghosts, including House ghosts one of whom is a Friar (of which Order?) , Harry’s baptism, and various evident (how conscious?) Saint’s names as given names – Hermione, Nymphadora, etc., etc., – are All Hallows and All Souls implicit, as well? And a school Chapel, and Chaplain?

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