Londoners carve pumpkins to make local kids feel safe this Halloween


New research revealed today by award-winning mortgage broker, lender and digital home-buying service, Habito, reveals 1 in 5 Brits see Halloween as a way to build a sense of community where they live.

With almost half (47 per cent) of Brits set to celebrate Halloween this year, unsurprisingly, the nation’s most common way of celebrating Halloween is by indulging in Halloween themed foods and sweet treats from the supermarket (32 per cent).

However, Habito reveals that the humble pumpkin plays a key role in bringing communities together. In a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, a quarter of Brits will be carving a pumpkin into a lantern to put on their doorsteps this year. That’s a whopping 16.75 million* pumpkins.

One in 5 households also agree that putting a pumpkin on their doorstep makes them feel like the area where they live is more of a community.

Of the many reasons cited as to why people love to carve pumpkins the most popular were because it’s tradition (55 per cent), it’s fun (55 per cent) and to use in a recipe (30 per cent). It’s also considered an emblem associated with the community as, Brits said they sculpt a pumpkin to encourage trick or treaters (36 per cent) and to make local children feel safe when they’re out on the hunt for treats (42 per cent).

While Halloween has become a mainstream, commercial calendar event in recent times, it’s thought to have started as the community-based Gaelic Samhain festival, to mark the end of harvest season.

The research found that 2 in 5 Brits would be more interested in living closer to somewhere that had a vibrant and dynamic sense of community pride, with 1 in 5 suggesting that seeing pumpkins on doorsteps in an area makes them want to live there more. The regions which claim to feel like more of a community during Halloween include London (30 per cent), the West Midlands (25 per cent) and the North East (23 per cent). Those in the East Midlands are least likely to feel more of a community spirit during Halloween (10 per cent).

Will Rhind, Head of Mortgage Advice at Habito comments: “Most people don’t buy homes as a financial investment. People buy homes as a place to live, raise families, be part of a community, enjoy life, grow old. At Habito, our advice is to think long-term and buy a home that’s right for your needs and that you plan to enjoy for several years. Scoping out the local community on Halloween might make your decision about ‘where’ that little bit easier.”

To celebrate Halloween this year and to encourage communities to get carving, Habito have collaborated with pumpkin carving extraordinaire, Ray Villafane, to create the ultimate ‘Hell or Habito’ pumpkin carving, showing just how creative you can get with the humble pumpkin. His creation will live online on Habito’s and Villafane studios Instagram from 29 October.