This entry is prompt #9 of The Book of Me, Written by You project.

The prompt for week 9 is Halloween.

Have you ever participated in a Halloween event?

When was it?

Where was it?

What did you dress as?

Trick or Treat?

I should start this post by saying I'm not a fan of Halloween and I'm not a fan of fancy dress either … So this is likely to be a short post!

When I was a young girl growing up in London we never did anything for Halloween – in fact I don't even think I knew it existed. We certainly didn't do Trick or a Treat or anything like that. When I joined the Brownies I seem to remember we had a couple of Halloween parties – seems a bit weird now, given that (at the time) it was fundamentally a Christian organisation, and Halloween is closer to the devil! One time I dressed as a broomstick – I wore a brown top and made a skirt from lots of twigs. The other time I was Dracula, with a black cape, vampire teeth and a black plastic top hat with a cardboard bat stuck to it.

We were introduced to Trick or Treat by the mum of one of my daughter's friends, who had grown up in America. The first year we did it was, I think, about 2001 or 2002. I was very concerned about not annoying our neighbours so during the day I went to see them all to explain we'd be coming round and I gave each of them a bag of sweets to give back to my kids! I can't remember what they dressed as – I'm pretty sure Katie was a witch, and at that time Dan probably went as a Tellytubby! We did the same thing every year after that, just visiting the five or six houses nearest ours to collect the sweets I'd left earlier in the day. We used to get a few kids knocking on our door but really it didn't seem to be very popular.

In 2005 we moved to Oxfordshire to a small village and to my surprise Halloween and Trick or Treating suddenly seemed to be a big deal – and not just for the little kids, either. It was a easy to tell which houses were taking part, because they always had pumpkins on the windowsill or on the doorstep. For three years I and the kids joined in, going only to the houses that had pumpkins. I never really enjoyed it though – the idea of demanding sweets from strangers just doesn't sit well with me really. We then moved house again and the kids just seemed to outgrow it, much to my relief. Nowadays I turn off the lights and ignore the doorbell on Halloween!


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3 thoughts on “Halloween”

  1. The act of giving out candy on Halloween has its roots as far back as the middle ages. Back then poor people would go around on Hallow-mas (Nov. 1) and beg for food in exchange for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (Nov. 2).

  2. Far from it!!! Everything (bar the ridiculous ‘Freddy Krueger’ costumes that are available now) originally comes from the British isles, sad to say the Americans hijacked a very ancient and serious tradition and turned it into what we know as Hallowe’en today.

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