I hope everyone has had an excellent Halloween, whether that means you dressed up and partied or if you curled up in front of some festival appropriate films or if you had a completely ordinary night. Mine was petty good. It started with some lovely ladies on the train giving me a flower and a grandmother tell me I looked good in skull make up. From there I went to a Halloween/Day of the Dead party thrown by a friend from work, who has the most adorable son. Between paella and eyeball cupcakes, it was pretty great. And then I headed to Beth’s to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show and then fell asleep halfway through The Addams Family.
I think I over did the eyeliner.
So yes, pretty good Halloween all round. But I’d like to tell you about the stuff I did for Halloween last weekend. Because who doesn’t want to hear about Halloween at Hogwarts?
I was down in London, once again visiting Maddie. For graduation, my Dad bought me a ticket to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford, and Maddie agreed to go with me. And we booked to go during their Halloween extravaganza.
Suitably dressed, we made our way to Watford Junction by train, before boarding the shuttle buses that run to the studio tour. The people who were most excited were the kids and the twenty year olds. Not the parents.
Image is grainy becaUSE IT WAS TAKEN IN THE MIRROR OF ERISED.
Our tickets were booked for 6.30pm so thanks to Maddie being super clever, we got there for 5, giving us time to buy food and spend about an hour in the gift shop. The gift shop is a treasure trove of temptation. Expensive temptation. I now have many items of Harry Potter themed merchandise, including a Chudley Cannons pennant.
I need there to be a Quidditch team in Dudley called the Dudley Cannons.
Finally we got to go in. I’ve been to the studio tour before and the beginning is very cool. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t been yet, so I’m gonna skim over that.
The Great Hall was decorated for Halloween, naturally, and it was very cool to see the sweets and goodies on display, getting us into the Halloween mood. But round the corner a bigger surprise was waiting. Death eaters.
Literally the best photo I have ever taken.
This scary fellow snuck up to me while I was reading about the makeup and stared at me, until I noticed him. And, in what is my most British reaction ever, I said hello in the polite manner reserved for vicars and head teachers. He later got into a staring match with Maddie. He was disappointed that we didn’t scream and run away like the preteens did when he drew his wand and went into a duelling stance.
Standard night out.
The Studio Tour, for those who don’t know, is a collection of props, sets and costumes from the Harry Potter films, laid out so fans can come and be part of the magic. It’s well worth a visit if you loved the films. They explain how things were made, how spells were filmed – all sorts. And they have hundreds of props that you will spend hours wondering where they were in the film. My favourite is a knitted Hippogriff.
I want one so bad.
There’s also opportunities to ride a broom, take part in a wizard duel and even go on the Hogwarts Express. You can also buy butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream, see the Knight Bus and loiter outside 4 Privet Drive. There’s a section about the models and puppetry behind the magical creatures, a slew of graphics, architecture models and concept art, as well as the fact that you can walk down Diagon Alley.
All London buses should be purple and three storeys high.
Having been before, I had seen most of it, but it was great to see deatheaters wandering around. The woman was so scary as Bellatrix me and Maddie were too scared to go and get a photo with her. I also got to try butterbeer for the first time and generally mess around at Hogwarts with one of my best friends. All in all, it was pretty darn great.
Indeed, I talked about it so much at work that someone I work with is going in January. How’s that for word of mouth advertising? Of course, going in January, she’ll get to see Hogwarts in the snow. Whereas I love a good Jack-o-lantern.