Brits escape reality with big spend Halloween

While Halloween has traditionally been popular chiefly in the United States, the United Kingdom now seems to be following suit.

LONDON (REUTERS)  The scariest nightmare for this London costume shop would be to run out of outfits at their busiest- and most profitable- time of the year.

Halloween is big in the US - it was brought there during the 19th century by Irish and English immigrants.

​ ​But the festival is returning to its Celtic roots,​ ​and it is becoming a roaring business in the UK too. Angels Fancy Dress ​was founded in 1840 and business has never been better.
Angels store manager Andy Andreou says: "The queues we have is ridiculous and people are happy to queue and it's, I can't tell you the enormity of it."
Last Halloween, the shop made around ​£400,000 (S$633,063) ​in a week - selling over 1,600 wigs.

Research group Mintel Market predicts that Brits will spend £320,000,000 ​on Halloween in 2017, up 3.2 per cent form 2016.

Some think this might have to do with people's desire to forget about current world issues.

Says Andreou: "We always see a trend in things like zombie movies, vampire movie, horror movies when things are bad because it's a pure escapism. And I think with regards to Halloween people dressing up, that's something to do with it, because I have never, like I say every year it gets so much more popular and people go more and more gruesome."

Andreou said among the most popular outfits are witches- sexy witches in particular- but also scary movie characters such Pennywise, the clown from It​, and characters from the Netflix series Stranger Things.

Some however decide to go a bit more exotic.

Model Felicity Hayward says: "People only dress up on special occasions like Christmas and I think Halloween's just the one when you can just do what you want."

Angels expects to receive 200,000 visitors​ with queues of up to an hour long.