So why so we do it? Follow commercial trends like pathetic little lambs? Suck it all up and go spend that money like good little acolytes of GlobalCorp?
You’ll have see the halloween outfits in the shops – sparkly little witchy costumes, warlock hats, illuminated pumpkins, pumpkins for carving, little witch-shaped lollipops to give out to visiting children.
Well, I felt compelled to buy two packets of halloween-themed Haribo sweets because there were two for the price of one – and it went through my head that we had to give something to the little darlings who might turn up at the door later.
On the whole, small kids are adorable… and they do look amusing when they have daubed themselves with make-up trying to look scary…. but you know the small zombie with fake blood trickling down her chin is little Lottie from down the road with her thatch of uncontrollable curls and her thick specs askew so you can’t help smiling and wanting to make her happy with a few sweeties.
But I HATE myself for those Haribo. They lie on the kitchen worktop – revolting pieces of sweety shit full of sugar, colourings and flavourings – silently mocking me for buying them.
As a kid in Wales, halloween was a nice little prelude to Bonfire Night. It used to be apple-bobbing in a bowl on the kitchen table followed by a ghost story or two with torches held under the chin and then hysterical games of hide-and-seek in the dark until we were tired.
I wasn’t encouraged to wander over the dark Welsh hillside where I lived (it really was dark without streetlights), knock at the door of strangers and demand “trick or treat!
Aside from the risk element I, what kind of talk is “Trick or treat?” It just sounds rude.
“Excuse me sir/madam but would you be kind enough to consider giving me a treat please? I don’t know you and I probably don’t deserve one but if you don’t give me a treat then I might have to play some kind of trick,” is a much more polite and British approach.
I have nothing against Americans but I do wonder why we, as Brits, have to be infested with their traditions. The Easter Bunny. Who the hell is he? And why? We have Easter eggs. They are chocolate. We scoff them. End of.
Halloween just seems like so much ghoulish over-played, over-commercialised crap.
When my own boys were young, they expected a certain amount of spookiness on Halloween, which was fine. I made some kind of yummy, iced “horror” cake and they wrote their own ghost stories, which were mostly (in son#2’s case) fully-cartoon-illustrated gory battles involving horrendous weapons and much dismemberment. We cut up sheets, they wore them and they chased each other around the house until there were injuries and crying. Happy days.
One year I made the mistake of giving in to #2 son’s demands for a “horror” mask. It was made of green rubber, had strands of long lank hair attached and looked a bit like Bruce Forsythe might if he’d been buried for a week.
Son #2 insisted on answering the door wearing it and I kid you not, at least three of our small visitors burst into tears at the sight of him. The shrieking and claw hands didn’t help, but hey, enough of me.
Now, as an adult, I can only see it’s value as an entertainment for children.
Sure there’ll be real witches out there having a great time tonight. It’s their big day of the year, after all and they’re welcome to it. But I doubt they’re preparing by nipping down to Asda to snap up the latest in sparkly pointy hats.
I’ll grudgingly admit that halloween might be a good excuse for adult parties but ONLY if they consist entirely of spirit-lifting Halloween cocktails. But I’m including them in this ranty blog because I haven’t been invited to any.
If I had been invited to something I wouldn’t need to buy a costume anyway. I could look scary enough by merely blacking out a tooth and not wearing makeup.
Not my usual helmet…