This week is all about Hallowe’en.

I always enjoyed reading stories about witches, warlocks and things that go bump in the night when I was a kid, but there wasn’t the ‘Trick or Treat’ scenario of going from house to house.  This seemed to come into being from across the pond when my sons were young.  I know I’m a party pooper here, but I don’t really approve of this activity and never encouraged our boys to knock on doors asking for treats, and as far as I know they didn’t do it.  However, boys being boys…

Nowadays I keep a bag of sweets by the front door for Hallowe’en trick or treaters.  Village children have grown up and moved on as my sons did, and now there is a new generation of kids knocking on the door.  Parents stand guard at the end of the garden, but although I dish out sweets and smile benignly at the dear little souls, I am still of the opinion that there is something quite unsavoury about the whole thing.  Elderly people in particular might be afraid of a group of children chanting ‘Trick or Treat’; I know my 92 year old mother would be terrified.

As a teenager I attended various Hallowe’en discos with a group of girlfriends, where we would sit around scaring each other witless with ghost stories if no boys had been brave enough to ask us to dance.  Then there were the angels and devils’ dances and the vicars and tarts’ parties.  I found an old photo of me from Hallowe’en 1979.  I had just left home for the first time and moved into a grotty little flat with a workmate, and we were hosting one of the aforementioned vicars and tarts’ parties.  Below you can see me aged 21, young and silly and dressed in a nun’s outfit, skirt partly slashed up one side, and wearing fishnet stockings and 6 inch stilettos. Those were the days!


As a kid it was said to me once that if I looked into a mirror by candlelight at midnight on Hallowe’en, then I would see the face of the man I would eventually marry.  We never had any candles and I was usually always asleep by midnight, so I cannot confirm or deny that theory.  All I can say is to try it for yourself!

What are your childhood memories of Hallowe’en?

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