Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of Hallows' Even or Hallows' Evening), also known as All Halloween All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on October 31st.
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, as well as watching horror films.
Dressing up in costumes and going trick or treating wasn’t encouraged when I was a kid. My mother considered Halloween to be evil. The one and only time my brother and I were allowed to go trick or treating, her point was proven. The woman that lived across the street from us was considered…hmm…different. By different, I mean she would water her flowers when it was raining, and she danced around in the front yard barefoot and wearing her nightgown. But, on Halloween night, my brother and I knocked on her front door and yelled “Trick or Treat.” We were treated all right. NOT! She told us to hold out our hands, and we did. She scooped hot pennies into our palms. Needless to say, we dropped the pennies and raced home only to be lectured about the evils of Halloween by our mother. To prove her point, my brother and I were rewarded with painful blisters in our palms. I guess you could say we were ‘tricked’ rather than treated.
Before all the meanness started and schools permanently cancelled Halloween festivals, my elementary school held their annual festival. Oh what fun it was with pony rides, candy apples, and fun houses (which were tents that parents had set up).
One spooky house was indelibly imprinted on my mind. Keep in mind that I was only nine years old. I was blindfolded and told that I was going to feel the insides of a dead person. My hands were thrust into something slimy and stringy. A creepy voice said I was feeling the guts; and then my hands were put in a bowl of round and very cold…eyeballs. I was truly traumatized. It wasn’t until years later that I learned the intestines were actually spaghetti and grapes for the eyeballs. You know, to this day, I’ve never been a fan of eating spaghetti.
When I married and had my own children, I was skeptical about allowing them to go trick or treating. Not for religious reasons. During the 70’s so much meanness happened during Halloween—people putting razor blades inside apples; incidents where poison was put inside candy filled straws.
I have nothing against Halloween. It’s just not at the top of my list of favorite holidays. I suppose the way I feel is a holdover from my childhood. On the positive side, I do love a good moonlight hayride, and if I had to choose between a candied apple and a caramel apple…that red, sweet, hard glazed candy will win out every time.
What about you, dear readers? Do you have a special Trick or Treat tale you’d like to share; and don’t forget to tell me about your favorite Halloween candy.
Until next time, be safe.
P.S. CLOUD WOMAN’S SPIRIT, a paranormal western romance, and a perfect Halloween spooky book, is $.99 until October 30th, at Amazon.