Idioms are everywhere in English, from books and movies to conversations and texts.
They can be tricky to learn because these expressions don’t literally mean what they say, so it’s a good thing that students usually enjoy learning them!
Make it more interesting by teaching idioms related to a certain theme, such as Halloween.
Here's a list of 14 frightfully fun Halloween idioms and expressions to teach your English language learners things spooky season!
List of Halloween Idioms & Expressions
- Spill your guts
- Scared stiff
- Death trap
- Come back to haunt someone
- Skeleton(s) in one's closet / skeleton(s) in the cupboard
- Make one's blood boil
- Witching hour
- Ghost town
- Night owl
- The cat's out of the bag / let the cat out of the bag
- Dig one's own grave
- Over one's dead body
- To stab one in the back
1. Spill your guts
Meaning: to tell all
Example: Okay, spill your guts—I want to hear whatever it is you’ve been hiding from me.
Meaning: very frightened (so scared that a person can't move)
Example: When I saw the giant spider in my shower this morning, I was scared stiff.
Meaning: a building or other structure that is dangerous
Example: That old roller coaster is a death trap. It will collapse one day if they don't fix it.
Meaning: to make a mistake that will affect a person later on
Example: I skipped school a month ago, and now it’s come back to haunt me because my parents just found out.
Meaning: an embarrassing secret (or secrets)
Example: If you decide to become a politician, be aware that reporters will look for skeletons in your closet.
Meaning: to cause a person to be very angry
Example: When my boss ignores me during a meeting, it really makes my blood boil.
Example: Last Halloween, we stayed up till the witching hour listening to “Thriller,” the famous song by Michael Jackson.
Meaning: an area that’s empty and devoid of life or activity
Example: My hometown becomes a ghost town after 9:00 pm every night. There’s nothing to do!
Meaning: a person who loves staying up late
Example: My brother is an early bird who likes to study in the morning, but I’m a night owl so I always study at night.
Meaning: revealing a surprise that was supposed to stay hidden
Example: We weren’t going to tell anyone we were expecting a baby for three months, but my mom posted it on Facebook, so the cat’s out of the bag.
Meaning: doing something foolish that will cause problems in the future
Example: My sister dug her own grave when she decided to cheat on her exams.
Meaning: someone who is easily frightened
Example: My friend is a scaredy-cat when it comes to heights.
Meaning: when someone will do everything they can to prevent something from happening
Example: My husband told me that he wanted us to go cage diving with sharks in Hawaii. I replied, “Over my dead body! I’m way too scared of sharks!”
Meaning: to betray someone
Example: I haven’t spoken to him since he stabbed me in the back when he told my secret to the whole class.
Click the image below to print our Halloween idioms and expressions cheat sheet!
Now it's your turn!
Are there any other fun Halloween idioms or expressions that we missed? Let us know in the comments below. Happy Halloween!
- Halloween Idioms
- Halloween Flashcards
- Halloween Lesson: Low Int
- Halloween Lesson: Int – High Int
- Earth Day Idioms
- Lucky Idioms
- Spring & Easter Idioms
- Love Idioms
- Eye Idioms
- Family Idioms
- 8 Ways to Practice Idioms in Class
Editor's note: This post was updated on October 19, 2022, to include even more spooky idioms and expressions.