To spook or not to spook? That is the question!

Just sat here at computer wondering what everyone thinks of Halloween? Pete really loves it and we try and make an effort every year for the local kids (and adults). Our family help to decorate the front garden and a great time is had by all. I know that lots of people don't like it as some idiots frighten people unnecessarily but I would just like to know your thoughts, whether you celebrate or not etc.

28 Replies

  • My daughter lives in a nice community where all the children dress up and go house by house together receiving a small gift from every house.

    Where I live, each year I buy a collection of sweets and for the last two years none of our local little horrors came.

    I will do the same this year because you can bet if I don't buy any they will come in their dozens.


  • Call me an old grump if you like but I don't even answer the door to Halloween or Penny for the Guy callers.

    Why? Because it's usually a cold night when they come round. I have to get to the front door, which is slow going anyway and I'm out of breath by the time I get there. I would probably frighten them more by answering with a very red face and panting so much!

    I feel tempted to make a sign saying 'no callers - grumpy old man lives here' to put on the gate. It's easier to not answer than get up, stumble my way there and find they've been impatient and gone anyway.

    We don't have many young kids round here now. The ones that used to call have all grown up and moved away. There's a school over the road, but they all come by car to it, we're blocked in twice a day by inconsiderate parents. Can't even open my garden gate as they park on the footpath outside.

    Yes, I'm an old grump...

  • I meant to add in a bit about bonfires too - how I will not support 'local' events where the families and kids are running it. Through my radio work, and even before that, I've always tried to promote organised events where there's a big display and safety measures.

    Part of the loudspeaker announcements for several years have been to ask people not to light, or even bring, sparklers to these events. Quite often the display events are held on playing fields and those metal sticks get trampled into the ground then pop up when some poor kiddie is playing there some weeks later, and ends up with it stuck in his leg, or worse.

    Gone are the days of common sense and buying boxes of fireworks to set off at home. The idiots have spoiled a lot of that by throwing fireworks about. The only safe way is to ban all public sales, so there's no excuse. Even sparklers, as some 'modern parents' don't teach their kids about the dangers, they can get a serious burn from picking up a sparkler that's gone out'.

    A lot of events don't have a bonfire now, health and safety they say - but more with the idiots running through the embers or even throwing each other to the ground near them. The organisers would have to have someone there all night, until it burns out fully, to supervise it. I've been there too many times and seen these kind of accidents, at organised displays too.

  • I don't mind people enjoying the celebrations, as long as they are mindful of other people's feelings towards it. As a child in the 80's Halloween was something that us kids used to celebrate in the church yard and where I would tell tales of "Corpse Candles," I read some odd books as child! We never went out of way to cause harm to anyone in the community and our parents would have our guts for garters if we were caught trick or treating.

    I really hate trick or treating, I feel it is an invasion of my space. And would rather see parents celebrate this celebration by holding a little event in their own homes for any children who wish to partake. Knocking on my door is a no no.

  • for the last few years I have bought the sweets, sorted them into little bags and hung it in the hall, and nobody came, we live off the beaten track and there are no kids live up our lane. So the grandkids have benfitted. must admit though, when mine were little halloweenwas only just becoming popular, another american celebration sent over here, prom night is another, thank the lord it wasn't here in my kids day, money was short and the dresses cost a bomb, then the car hire etc, its all getting out of hand, if you are a grump gordon I am a tightwad.haven't decided yet whether to bother buying the sweets, if we do it'll be the grankids again so they won't go to waste, if we don't you can bet there'll be callers.

  • I hate trick or treat - an Americanism I could do without. I don't really like the idea of being threatened with reprisals if I don't provide the goodies. Although it's not really providing the sweets I object to, it's the constant door knocking. I tried leaving a tub of sweets outside but the first few took them all and the rest knocked anyway (cost me a fortune because then I gave coins). Like Gordon I find it an effort to keep answering the door and it is usually a very cold and damp night. Maybe I am an old grump as well!

  • The local paper in this area printed a poster you could hang on the door if you didn't want Halloween callers, so I laminated it and hang it on the door each year. I am another old grump

  • Good idea - I found several samples by doing a google then into images. I now have one ready for my front door, I'll laminate it tomorrow :-D

  • I don't answer the door to any one day or night unless they are invited or expected as pre arranged. Its good for the kids if its a safe community but there isn't many guaranteed safe communities these days. Does an adult discretely follow them around to be sure they are safe?.

    However I do get me a small pumpkin at halloween, leave it whole and after halloween passes I make pumpkin soup or just roast it.

    If the mood takes me I may wear black and orange :)

    Its a big thing in USA and I think many UK kids and some adults just love any reason for a party :D

    The arts and crafts side of halloween is always great fun :)


    Enjoy yourselve this halloween.

  • How new is trick or treat to your areas?? I was trick or treating at least 30 years ago. Halloween was a traditionally big celebration in our little village. Not pumpkins for us but turnip lanterns hollowed out with string handles. Ahhh the smell! Takes me right back. Dressing up, knocking on doors, singing a song, bobbing for apples etc.

    Ok so I don't particularly like what it's turned into but where I live it's nothing new at all!

    Marie x

  • We have been in our house for nearly 9 years and Halloween has built up over that time to be quite big now. We did celebrate it a bit when the kids were younger but nothing like we do today. It is very big in America of course and I think some of that has rubbed off on us here. It is ok so long as common sense prevails but it seldom does. xx

  • Far to American for me, gets right on my nerves although I supose it's good fun for the kids, I will be in bed anyway so won't be answering the door.

  • I have very mixed feelings. Firstly I have to say that 31st October is my husband's birthday and he is 60 this year. So very special.

    Although we think of it as an American influence, it actually has its origins in Britain.What we see now are pumpkins, originally it was turnips!?!

    Despite all that, if people treat it as fun, then great. And that is what happens in the States as I have been there on Hallowe'en. Here, I'm afraid, apart from the little children with Dad hovering at the bottom of the drive, we get older kids who don't want sweets, but money.

    We have had eggs thrown at the house and you cannot remove the stains of it. One year, Tesco's gave away eggs for this very purpose.

    So, as I say, mixed feelings.

    Lynne x

  • I think the way we had it years ago with apple bobbin etc was fine The turnips cut out and lit up and telling ghost stories. Now it is just another money spinner with the outfits and all the accessories that go with them big money all from American idea. Then mischeif night we never had that it is definateley American and is a pain. My Grandchildren have it in the house with apples nuts toffee apples games etc even the dog has an apple hanging on string Lots of laughs the house is decorated with spiders webs etc loads sweets fun but no going out to peoples houses knocking on doors. Hope you enjoy your style of halloween . I will be watching TV with a glass of sherry. :)

  • I got egged two years ago for not opening my door! The funny thing was I was actually in bed (upstairs) and one of the boys managed to throw an egg straight through my bedroom window, it hit the edge of the window and splattered over my head!! I still can't believe it even now!! The boys couldn't believe it either, they sounded as shocked as I looked! I heard them laugh uncontrollably as they ran off. "Little loves" (that's what I didn't shout after them as they legged it up the path!!)

  • Lack of awareness. Kids are not taught that there are people who simply can't come dashing to the door, or can't even get to the door. They are not aware that some of us have these conditions and to answer the door could even make us ill.

    Do we deserve egging for that? Actually, I think it's bad that they should be throwing eggs at all, never mind for invoking a 'trick' - it's a nasty trick as the egg stuff is a swine to clean off.

  • I agree Gordon. It should all be a bit of fun really and no nastiness should go on anywhere but such is life today. If they make a mess they should be made to clear it up too! xxx

  • You couldn't make it up could you! Little devils (being polite there!)xx

  • Thanks for all the great replies. Certainly provoked very mixed feelings and I can see things from everyone's point of view. I remember when we lived in another house and the kids were smaller, a delightful group of lads threw tomatoes at our door and they made a mess everywhere. It is not something I would bother with but Pete really enjoys it and, as a family, we all hope he will be well and that it doesn't rain. We have sweets to offer and fun things for everyone to see so it should be a good night. Never had any problems in this house so fingers crossed! Must confess to never saying "trick" always "treat" as a bit of a wuss at heart! Stay well all. xxxxc

  • This trick or treating is yet another filthy american habit like instant coffee.Having said that I always get some bags of sweets for the kids ,it"s only a few hours after all.

    What used to so much worse at this time of the year was all the fireworks,at least the Blair government did restrict the time period when they can be sold and other restrictions on their use,it"s nowhere as bad as it used to be.

    Keep puffing Woody

  • Hello, thought'd I'd put my pennies worth in... I found all the comments interesting (and can sympathise with those with mobility issues). We used to have a Halloween party and would only allow the kids to knock on neighbours doors we a) knew or b) houses that were decorated ..... the kids were taught to be polite and respectful whatever the response, no nastiness even on Mischief Night (30th Oct).

    Whatever you decide to do I hope you have fun and stay safe.

  • Thanks Helen, I hope that everyone who celebrates has a great time and shows respect for those that choose not to. Have fun too.

  • Now there's a thought - if people want the little darlings to call then decorate the door to say they are welcome, otherwise they shouldn't disturb the occupants - wonder if that would catch on if the schools, Police, parents and media were to emphasise that ?

  • Good thinking Gordon but would it work? I think it could. xx

  • Its actually 'all hallows eve' usually followed by All Saints Day, a holy day for Catholics and Anglicans. A Christian tradition dating back to 4th century AD:

    (just a bit of history for those interested) :)

  • Thanks for that Zoee, very interesting. xxxxx

  • If it were up to me I wouldn't answer the door. I can't stand the night air! My husband however knows all the kids in our area through walking our little dogs. So we like amagran, make up little bags of sweets and keep them in the hall and usually about 30 kids come over the evening. Needless to say my hubby sees to them! He's a big kid at heart anyway

  • My husband is a big kid too! Can't wait for our grandson to get a bit older, what fun they will have together. xx

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