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Yes, Halloween is just about the corner, and also what through your diligent German studies and your interest in cool German vocabulary, you might want come spice increase the holiday through a bit of Deutsch!

Maybe you’re going come be abroad in Germany about the autumn season and can witness the holiday in the flesh, or probably you desire to include some spooky flavor to your at-home self-studies.

No issue your reason, it’s always a an excellent idea to expand your word financial institution as much (and in as funny a way!) together possible, and checking the end the special vocabulary used during particular holidays is a terrific way to do so.

That said, you’re probably wondering… what’s German Halloween like?

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How October 31st Works in Germany

For all of its cultural fascination through spooky stories, Germany doesn’t actually have a solid inclination come celebrate Halloween, as this is generally thought about an American holiday.

There are a few Halloween-focused parties and also events, often sponsored by a local community or done individually, such as fear movie fests and also small-scale parades. You might see part young trick-or-treaters wandering the streets or adults participating in costume-themed festivities.

One that the normal excuses come celebrate is the truth that November 1st is Allerheiligen (All Saints’ Day), an actual spiritual holiday in Germany that can offer some folks a factor to dress up the night before or shops come start marketing some spooky gear.

However, among some Germans, there’s additionally the opinion the Halloween is an unwanted hassle upon existing and established German holidays that take location in the exact same season.

For example, Martinstag (Saint Martin’s Day), which is top top November 11th, is a job hosting bonfire and lantern-carrying processions come celebrate the historic Saint young name of Tours. There’s even an event quite comparable to trick-or-treating, where children may receive treats while to sing songs at doorsteps. This holiday is frequently cited to it is in a victim to the an ext commercialized Halloween.

Nevertheless, Halloween and its festivities show up to be growing in popularity in Germany, therefore there’s good reason to discover some vocabulary that’s typically used ~ above a German October 31st.

One that the ideal ways to find out German Halloween vocabulary—as well as authentic words and also phrases the you deserve to use the whole year round—is with the curated, native-speaker videos you’ll find on takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and also inspiring talks—and transforms them into personalized language learning lessons.

Each video comes through interactive captions the can offer you instant interpretations of any unfamiliar German words or phrases, complete with pronunciations, memorable pictures and added usage examples. You have the right to toggle the German captions and English subtitles ~ above or off to suit your finding out needs.

You’ll have actually a bewitchingly an excellent time discovering through contemporary, authentic videos that space made by native German speakers, for native German speakers.’s finding out wizardry includes adaptive quizzes, bilingual transcripts and multimedia flashcard decks.

Want to know much more about the magic? Abracadabra! with the cost-free trial, you have the right to scare increase hauntingly great German learning that’s made simply for you.

Without further ado, here’s our perform of German vocab you’ll it is in wanting to use on the vacation of ghosts and also ghouls.

18 funny German Halloween Words and Phrases


Frohes Halloween (Happy Halloween)

There isn’t a special German word for Halloween, therefore a simple Frohes Halloween is every that’s necessary to wish someone a lovely, spooky day.

Froh by itself means “merry” and, in the correct sex case, have the right to be tacked on to the beginning of a specific holiday for a celebratory greeting (for example, Frohe Weihnachten for “Merry Christmas”).

Süßes oder Saures! (Sweets or sours!)

The German indistinguishable to “Trick or treat!” and also what candy-craving German children chime in ~ doorsteps on Halloween. One can also say Süßes, sonst gibt’s Saures (“Sweets, or there will be sours”) to it is in slightly much more menacing in your approach.

Vorsicht! (Beware!)

A great word to recognize whether it’s Halloween or not, together it can additionally just serve as a basic warning the “Watch out!” If you desire to be an ext specific, you deserve to say Vorsicht vor ___ (“Beware of ___”).

Ruhe in Frieden (Rest in peace)

Naturally, just like the English R.I.P., you’ll likewise find this phrase on gravestones, although not shortened together R.I.F. As you might think!


Der Jack O’ Lantern / Halloweenkürbis (jack o’ lantern)

The name “jack o’ lantern” and the practice of decorating candle-lit pumpkins derives from an ireland folktale and there isn’t a unique German word because that it.

Der Halloweenkürbis literally just method “Halloween pumpkin.” There space actually a number of pumpkin-carving events in the German-speaking world, a renowned one being the Kürbisfest in Retzer Land close to Vienna.

Die Gruselgeschichte (scary story)

This indigenous is a simple mix of the adjective gruselig (“creepy” or “horrifying”) and die Geschichte (“story”). Germany has its own tradition of eerie tales, therefore you’ll absolutely want come hear some of them top top Halloween night.

Der Alptraum / der Nachtmahr (nightmare)

Der Alptraum is a word derived from a combination of der Alb (“elf” or “goblin”) and der Traum (“dream”), as it to be once thought that nightmares were caused by an elf sitting on her chest.

Der Nachtmahr comes from die Nacht (“night”) and der Mahr (which is essentially the exact same thing as der Alb), and the English word “nightmare” originates native this German word.

However, Nachtmahr is considered a bit outdated. Alptraum is much more commonly used nowadays to explain those frightful desires that haunt her sleep.

Die Fratze (grimace, ugly face)

No Halloween is complete without some horrific face-making. Die Fratze can average your traditional grimace or a grotesque face, one of two people of which you’ll desire to perfect because that October 31st.

Das Kostümfest (costume party)

A clip of Halloween, costume parties have made their mark in German celebrations the the holiday. It’s also an excellent to know that the Germans choose to save their attire fittingly scary because that the occasion. If you’re going to attend among their costume parties, you could want come switch the end your Superman costume or cute pet suit for something important frightening.

Der Aberglaube (superstition)

Germany has its very own fair share of superstitious beliefs, and also some might sound quite acquainted (the fortune of four-leaf clovers gift one together example). Aberglaube is a mix of an antiquated aber, which essentially meant “after” or “against,” and also the native der Glaube, meaning “belief.” Thus, Aberglaube loosely method “against belief,” and is interpreted in context to average “against Christian belief.”


sich verkleiden (to dress up)

You’ll desire to wear her spooky finest for a German costume party ~ above Halloween. Remember the this verb is a reflexive one, for this reason don’t forget to usage the proper sich form!

For example, if you’re going come a serious costume party the won’t take it anyone slacking in your attire, you might hear:

Alle Gäste müssen sich verkleiden. (All guests must dress up.)

jemandem Streiche spielen (to beat tricks on someone)

Playing tricks will always be a staple of any type of Halloween, also in Germany. The usual suspects will most likely be some specifically mischievous youths.

naschen (to eat sweets)

Naschen can just mean “to nibble,” however it’s commonly used in recommendation to sweets consumption. There’s even an idiom, gerne naschen, that means “to have a sweet tooth.”

verfolgen (to haunt)

Verfolgen can likewise just average “to follow” in a non-Halloween context. The verb spuken has a similar an interpretation to verfolgen and is much more associated through the spooky, otherworldly kind of stalking.


spukhaft (spooky, ghostly)

The spuk part of this word (Der Spuk is a noun that method “haunting”) will be a pretty simple clue for English speakers regarding what the means.

übernatürlich (supernatural)

A word that just rolls turn off the tongue. The adjective is a mix of über (“above” or “super”) and natürlich (“natural”), as with its English translation!

gruselig (scary)

This is a word you’ll be tossing about all day on Halloween. Gruselig is an adjective that can encompass varying level of scary and can be offered to explain something as just “creepy” come flat-out “horrifying.”

schauerlich (nightmarish, gruesome)

Der Schaeur can have actually a few different meanings, including “thrill,” “shiver” and “chill.” when this is merged with the basic suffix -lich (the English indistinguishable being “-ish”), you get an adjective to assist you describe something truly spine-tingling or unearthly.

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So there’s our perform of some fun and essential vocabulary for a German Halloween—see if you have the right to put the to great use this upcoming October 31st.

We expect you have a safe and also spook-tacular holiday!

Download: This blog write-up is easily accessible as a convenient and also portable PDF that youcan take it anywhere. Click right here to get a copy. (Download)