Halloween Phrasal Verbs, Idioms and Expressions

With Halloween just around the corner (coming soon), here are a few spooky sayings you might like to know.

bats in the belfry – A belfry is a part of a building (possibly a church) where bells are located. The belfry is located at the top of the building and represents the head or mind. If a person has bats in the belfry, it means that he is very strange or crazy.

Example: My uncle Robert has bats in the belfry. He came to my wedding in a clown costume.

to believe in – to believe that something or somebody exists

Example: Do you believe in ghosts?

to dress up – to wear costumes or clothes so that you look like someone/something else

Examples: Last Halloween, I dressed up as Madonna.

Beth as Madonna

photo by ecparent

a ghost town – a town or place where there are no people because they have all left

Example: When the factory closed, everyone moved away, so now Cedarville is a ghost town.

to hand out (or hand something out) – to give something to each person in a group of people

Example: The teacher handed out candy to all of her students on Halloween.

to makes someone’s blood boil – to make someone angry

Example: When I hear about drunk drivers causing accidents, it makes my blood boil.

a night owl – a person who likes to be awake and active at night

Example: I’m a night owl. I hate waking up early in the morning, but I like to stay up late at night.

to scare the pants off someone – to frighten someone very badly

Example: That horror movie scared the pants off me!

scared stiff – frightened so badly that one cannot move

Example: Alan was scared stiff when I jumped out of the closet at him in the dark.

skeleton in the cupboard (or skeleton in the closet) – something that might bring embarrassment or shame to a person (or group of people, like a family) if other people found out about it

Example: Before I married my husband, I asked him if he had any skeletons in the closet.

witch-hunt – a search for people with unpopular opinions, usually with an aim of punishing them, because they are believed to be dangerous to the community

Example: Roger was the victim of a witch-hunt and was fired because of his radical ideas.

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