Let’s face it, it doesn’t take much to encourage the stars of Strictly Come Dancing to raid the dressing up box, does it?
It’s to be expected, then, that when Halloween rolls around every year, producers go into overdrive, giving the stars a suitably spooky makeover for the occasion.
We’re celebrating the return of Strictly’s annual Halloween special with a look back at the most thrilling, hair-raising and, yes, occasionally too-ridiculous-to-fathom performances from the Strictly vaults...
Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani – Psycho Killers (2011)
Nice of the Beckhams to lend Strictly their wedding thrones for this performance, wasn’t it?
Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani rightfully bagged their second 10 of the series for this performance, which proved that the McFly star even looks handsome when he’s sporting some scary-looking fangs. Confusing.
Pixie Lott and Trent Whiddon – Danger! High Voltage (2014)
“Danger! High Voltage!”, indeed!
On reflection, it’s probably no coincidence that Pixie Lott became a spokesperson for Batiste dry shampoo shortly after this performance.
Nancy Dell’Olio and Anton Du Beke – Spooky (2011)
Nancy and Anton scored just 14 points of a possible 40 for this performance, after which they were booted out of the competition.
We don’t know what the judges were thinking, to be honest. What’s not to love about someone literally swigging champagne in a coffin?!
Faye Tozer and Giovanni Penice – Fever (2018)
The fusion of “Halloween”, “Strictly Come Dancing” and “Steps” meant this performance had all of the ingredients of something a little bit naff.
And yet, Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice’s kooky Jazz routine ended up bringing unprecedented levels of cool to the proceedings, cementing their place as real contenders in that year’s series.
Alison Hammond and Aljaž Skorjanec – Wuthering Heights (2014)
We don’t know whose idea it was to have an angelic Alison Hammond descend from the ceiling before twirling around the dance floor to a Kate Bush ballad... but we hope they were given a mega raise after this performance.
Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone - The Scooby Doo theme tune (2012)
There are only so many times you can watch someone dancing to tracks like Thriller and Disturbia, so we have to hand it to Strictly bosses when they manage to really think outside the box and keep things fresh within the Halloween theme.
Scooby Doo and the Strictly ballroom might not seem like the most compatible ideas, but Dani and Vincent certainly made it work.
Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden – Smalltown Boy (2019)
The merging of this classic 80s track with the Stranger Things theme tune was truly inspired, and the staging and costumes based on the Netflix drama were just the icing on top (let’s just ignore Karim’s wig, shall we?).
On another note... we know it’s been over a year, but we’re still a little bit fuming by how undermarked this performance was.
Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton - Hedwig’s Theme/School’s Out (2015)
Ten points to Gryffindor for whoever came up with this idea. And the inclusion of a bit of Alice Cooper for good measure? Brilliant stuff.
Charles Venn and Karen Clifton – The Time Warp (2018)
Over the years, stars from Michelle Williams to Jamelia have attempted the Time Warp on Halloween week, but the stand-out Rocky Horror homage has to be this one, performed by Charles Venn.
The actor and his partner Karen Hauer were perfectly in sync, although we’re not sure this is a look that Charles should revisit.
Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke - Cruella De Vil (2014)
Camp with a capital “C”.
Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton – Doctor Who theme tune (2018)
Strictly marked the arrival of the first female Doctor by paying homage to her with this Tango routine, which saw Stacey Dooley taking the lead, in a nod to the theme of female empowerment.
Fair play to Kevin, too, because that silver get-up does not look comfortable.
Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse – Bad Guy (2019)
Let’s be real, Kelvin Fletcher had it in the bag from the second he broke out that shimmying Samba in week one, but this creepy Tango to Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy was definitely a high point from his repertoire.
Also – more flying on the Strictly dance floor, please!
Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute - I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper (2013)
There isn’t a single moment of this routine that isn’t completely ridiculous. So obviously we love it.
Colin Jackson and Erin Boag - Thriller (2005)
Proving there were no expenses spared when it came to production value in those early days of Strictly, Colin and Erin’s spooky Paso Doble was accompanied by... a green light.
We’re positively shaking with fear.
Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton - Defying Gravity (2014)
Worth watching till the end, when Frankie really channels her inner Elephaba (just maaaaaaybe turn your speakers down when the Strictly singer attempts that final high note).
Debbie McGee and Giovanni Penice - Frankie (2017)
It can’t just be us that thinks Giovanni makes a weirdly convincing Frankenstein monster, right?
Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice – The Addams Family theme tune (2019)
In recent years, Giovanni Pernice has become known as the king of Halloween on the Strictly dance floor, topping the leaderboard on every single Halloween special since joining the show in 2013.
Back in 2019, he and Michelle Visage earned their highest score with this creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky and, indeed, altogether ookie homage to the Addams Family.
Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev - Devil In Me (2013)
It would have been so easy to put Natalie in a red catsuit and a pair of pound shop devil horns and call it a day, so kudos to the production team for not dragging this lovely performance down with cheap gimmicks.
The dramatic staging and costumes really enhanced what was already a seriously impressive Viennese Waltz.
Russell Grant and Flavia Cacace - Better The Devil You Know (2011)
And speaking of “pound shop devil horns”...
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice - Shivers (2021)
Giovanni’s Halloween luck continued in 2021 when former EastEnders star Rose bagged the first perfect score of the series for this spine-tingling Tango set to Ed Sheeran’s hit.
The routine saw Rose emerge as a frontrunner in the competition, setting the eventual winner on the path to Strictly glory.
Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff - Supermassive Black Hole (2013)
We... we need a moment.
Strictly Come Dancing returns at 7.15pm on Saturday night.