I love Halloween and I'm not afraid to say so.

Ever since I was a kid and it meant free sweets and scary movies, through to adolescence when it was the perfect excuse for a teenage party.

I remember going to one in the early 1990s dressed as John Major. I thought I was making an hilarious political comment, but most people just wondered why the hell I was wearing a suit and a stupid mask.

Still, I somehow managed to end up snogging a witch, so either the charm was working or there was a young Tory in attendance.

It's continued to keep giving and as I've got older I've enjoyed watching my kids get into the spirit of it. Every year there are more pumpkins in windows, suggesting people are open to young trick-or-treaters coming round.

Pubs have started running Halloween events in increasing numbers too and an event that used to be dismissed as 'a stupid American thing' is now the second biggest party night in the UK, after New Year's Eve. Halloween is worth a frightening £400m to the UK economy - up 3,000 per cent since 2012.

You know it's big business because more major brands than ever want to get involved.

An event that Hobgoblin used to basically own is now attracting the attention of the likes of Budweiser, Heineken and Jägermeister (below), all of which are running with Halloween inspired activities.

 

 

Licensees have told me they like Halloween because it is basically good fun and is also one of the last chances to have a big night before the intensity of Christmas descends.

Because Halloween has not been established as a big event for that long, many still see it as a free shot without the pressure of Christmas or Valentine's Day, when you are expected to deliver.

It's also hugely versatile. You can have a family fun day with dressing-up and apple bobbing through to something far more sinister and racy for the adults. You can do what you want and take it as far as you want to, within reason of course.

In fact, Halloween probably inspires more creativity when it comes to events than anything else.

So basically, what I am saying is that if you haven't planned anything for this Halloweekend or next Tuesday itself, make sure you don't miss out.

Obviously the more organised you can be the better, but even if you just get a few pumpkins for the kids to carve or dim the lights low for a spooky night for your regulars, you could start to build something that is likely to grow over the next few years.

Now what costume should I go for this year... Donald Trump, perhaps?