Halloween, an Anglo tradition, is becoming more and more popular in Spain, as seen by the growing number of activities and sales of articles for its celebration.

Businesses are jumping on the Halloween bandwagon, promoting "terror" with a wide choice of products.

Masks, costumes, candies, makeup, parties, trips and theme menus are being offered these days to all kinds of customers.

"This is probably the only celebration on a upward cycle" despite the economic situation, Vicente Pizcueta, spokesman for the Noche Madrid association of nighttime pleasure and entertainment concerns, told Efe.

Halloween has burst powerfully into the Spanish holiday calendar, and in recent years "the theme of terror" has taken its place in the recreation sector with some ever more extravagant ideas.

Restaurants made into cemeteries, menus and cocktails dripping with blood, and hotels with all the spooky atmosphere of a haunted house all add to the excitement.

Ghosts, zombies, vampires and other scary figures of movies and television will take to the streets of Spanish cities on the last night of October.

Experts identify the origin of Halloween with an ancient Celtic feast in commemoration of their ancestors.

In the mid-18th century, Irish emigrants took the tradition with them to North America and some time later the "reworked" festival found its way back to Europe. EFE