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The American takeover of Halloween

October 27, 2012

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I hate Halloween nowadays. I shall be locking the doors and turning the lights off in a churlish avoidance of answering the door. What is it with this banging on the door and demanding something nice or they’ll do something nasty? Trick or treating is  the equivalent of demanding money with menaces and people seem to think it’s cute. It’s not. For an old person living alone, opening the door to a bunch of masked teenagers is scary. And let’s be frank the effort made by the standard teenager in the dressing up department is minimal. It’s more along the lines of a bank robber or mugger than a vampire. Why the Hell should I give you anything? Putting on a Batman Mask does not constitute dressing up let alone be relevant to Halloween.

Then there are the small children in groups with their Mums hanging around and I think why are you teaching your kids it’s OK to believe that if someone isn’t nice to you you can throw an egg at their door? What life lesson is that?

What happened to the Halloweens we had as a child and ours had when small? Bobbing apples, dressing up and having a party at home with friends.  The U S of fucking A happened. That’s what. And we saw a chance to get a shed load of sweets from unsuspecting neighbours and took it. The supermarkets latched on and now we have a plethora of halloween-related paraphernalia that we are supposed to buy to ensure any sweets we do give away are specially wrapped for the event.

I didn’t let ours go trick or treating except I think I might have once when a friend was doing the Mum thing and taking them round. But she’d been round to the various neighbours in advance and asked if it was OK so she didn’t worry any of them or put them in a difficult position.

And it’s also caused the death of the penny for a Guy. No-one does that anymore – building a Guy and hawking it round asking for contributions. But not saying “But if you don’t give me a penny I’m going to do something horrible to you or your property” – Penny for the Guy was straightforward fundraising to buy the fireworks or sweets for bonfire night.

If, like Carol Singers or penny for the Guy -ers they came round and hoped for a donation because the effort they have been to was worth it I wouldn’t really have an issue. It’s the inclusion of the threat in the request that rankles with me. It’s so un-British. It’s not the way we do things. The giving of sweets or treats is a reward for the effort of dressing up, it’s not a right because it’s October 31st.

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3 Responses to “The American takeover of Halloween”

  1. Terri Says:

    Exactly Sarah.

  2. janetditch Says:

    This is my first Halloween in which I’m living in a house rather than a block of flats (ie immune to these merry pranksters/thugs coming to the front door)…I will definitely be turning the lights off and pretending I’m not in!!

  3. Lorna Kyle Says:

    I’m completely agree. When our children were small we just played games at home-although I didn’t bake real money in a cake like my mum did,you know if you got the sixpence you would have wealth all your life etc because that was ,frankly, a bit dangerous-but bobbing for apples etc. I used to hate it when there was a bang on the door demanding sweets. I did have them ready most years but after being egg splattered one year and then loads of that silly string sprayed over our front garden ,I though those 15 year olds could really do without my packs of Haribo jellies next year.So I stopped.
    I would LOVE it of genuine carol singers came round our road with Dickensian costumes and swinging lanterns and ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen’. If anyone bangs on our door and shout ‘Away..’ I make them sing all the verses and then just say ‘Thank you very much that was lovely ‘.
    Ebenezer signing off….x


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