Family

Me and Halloween

I’m not really sure when the modern phenomenon of the commercialisation of Halloween started. I remember a record called “The Monster Mash” that used to get played when I was a teen and Pans People danced to it on Top of The Pops but we didn’t really get into the whole dressing up and Trick or Treating. My Mum wasn’t keen on it as I remember, citing her religious beliefs, but I know plenty of people who join in whatever their beliefs.
There was Frankenstein and Dracula that were somehow scary despite the bats being on elastic, and the fact they were in black and white seemed to make them more spooky. We also had The Addams Family on TV.
In the 70s and 80s there was a plethora of films designed to scare you witless – Carrie, The Exorcist, Halloween and The American Werewolf in London – that were quite mainstream. And because of the special effects they became more “real”
Michael Jackson’s Thriller was such a phenomenon, despite the fact that I couldn’t really ever get my head around his silly high speaking voice.
As far as modern Halloween is concerned, I think it is the Americans who have driven it…or at least The Disney Channel. The Halloweens portrayed are quite benign, with it becoming a not scary holiday but a chance to dress up and have a party.
Harry Potter has made magic and witchcraft acceptable, especially as the children have the leading roles and the adults are either guiding or evil. My American friends totally embrace the magic…if you’ve never seen a 2 yr old dressed as Severus Snape and a 4yr old as Dolores Umbridge you’ve missed a treat! The Mum spends the whole of October making costumes.
As someone who loves a get together I have embraced Halloween for my children. Give me a Gluestick, coloured paper and felt tips and I’m a happy girl. I love to decorate the hallway so that if anyone knocks on my door they get the full effect. We have a tacit arrangement on our small estate that only houses with visible signs that they are joining in can be knocked at. We have a skeleton – Uncle Stan – who guards our doorway. I have made a couple of cakes as the centrepiece to the table…a spider and a ghost.
In the past we have had proper parties with games such as The Mummy wrap – seeing who can completely cover a member of your team with toilet paper. I have also made a Yukky Dip – black spaghetti in a bucket with a little tomato purΓ©e and olive oil and pickled onions that feel like eyeballs if you can’t see them! Hidden in it were small sealed Haribo packets…there was a lot of squealing as people put their hands in – especially as I said it was intestines!
The last party we had was just before my son went away to Uni, and as Hubby had only recently had a knee operation we decided to have one of those Murder Mystery parties that come prepared. You still dress up and as my kids friends are arty and drama people they were quite happy to join in. We spent the whole evening laughing as the plot twisted and turned…and I’m not sure any of us guessed the murderer right! If you have teenagers these are really fun.
All in all, I enjoy Halloween, and don’t mind at all if I still get little ones knocking…I usually have a few sweeties hanging about.

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3 thoughts on “Me and Halloween

  1. Hehe loved this post and your wander down memory lane. I remember The Monster Mash. Used to play it non-stop!
    “Uncle Stan” That’s what I call my Stanley knife. πŸ˜‰
    Still haven’t seen the Exorcist & I don’t think I ever will. Serious case of the heebeegeebees. πŸ˜€
    Love the pics! X

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